Puerto Vallarta Escape

We divided our time between soaking up the sun at our resort and seeing the local sights. There is a lot of activities available, and you really have to pick or choose or you could need a rest when you get home from your vacation.


Puerto Vallarta Escape

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by alan & brenda on March 10, 2003

One of the highlights of our trip was a Valentine's Day cruise to Los Caletas that was called "Rhythms of the Night." It was a cruise to a secluded beach that included a candle and torch-lit buffet, a fabulous "Aztec" show, and of course, an open bar. The cruise staff was also very entertaining and the service was excellent.

No trip to Puerto Vallarta would be complete without a trip to the Malecon and old Vallarta. The Malecon is the boardwalk downtown full of excellent restaurants and jumping nightclubs. Old Vallarta is your source for fabulous flea markets and real authentic Mexican restaurants.${QuickSuggestions} Don't change your money into pesos before you travel. Your exchange rate is much better in Mexico. There are several money changing businesses in every neighbourhood and the rates always fluctuate. We usually cashed in enough traveller's checks for a day or two at a time and left the rest in the hotel safety deposit box. The best exchange rates were at the bank's ATM 3 blocks off the Malecon and also at the exchanges in that area. It's also a good idea to use your MC or Visa at reputable businesses as you get the bank's exchange rate and this can help register or insure your purchase (depending on which type of credit card you use).${BestWay} The buses are phenomenal! Even if you prefer taking cabs, you have to try the buses once. There are 2 main bus systems in Vallarta. If you are in Marina Vallarta or Puerto Vallarta you can ride most of the blue buses that run from downtown through the hotel areas and out to several communities. These buses only cost us 4 pesos each and were a fun ride...you really get a feel for the cobblestone streets.

The bus system for Nuevo Vallarta is much newer and these buses are gray and were called ATM buses. A couple of them even had air-conditioning. These bus rides were 10 pesos each and were quite comfortable.

When taking a taxi there are a couple points to remember. They hold a maximum of 4 passengers by law and also because it's hard enough to squeeze 4 people into one...it is a very tight fit. You should also agree on a price before getting in as there is no set rate or meter in the cabs. Many cabs do not have air-conditioning or there might be an extra charge if you would like to use it.


Continental Plaza/Canto del sol

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by alan & brenda on March 10, 2003

The hurricane damage from October's hurricane Kenna has been cleaned up and it's like the resort has gotten a facelift. A lot of the pool area has been completely redone, and there are only a few ongoing renovations, like the ground floor suites on the end are still being remodelled.

We had a hotel unit with a king size bed and a small patio leading out to the pool area. There was a bar fridge that we used to keep water cool and the room was well-kept. The tub was quite large and there was lots of hot water. Our appliances all worked in the plug-ins and no adapters were needed.

The resort staff were very friendly and easy to get along with. They had daily activities around the pool from 10am until 5pm, and there was a kids club with lots of activities as well. The resort is very open and it channels a nice breeze off the ocean in the afternoon. We really enjoyed our stay here and the food and entertainment were great.

The resort has and is upgrading their facility and programs. They added an a la carte dining experience to their all-inclusive package, and the service and food were exceptional. Their optional all-inclusive program was a good value and I would reccomend it.

Canto Del Sol Plaza Vallarta All-Inclusive
JOSE CLEMENTE OROZCO 125
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 48333
52-322-226-0123

Cheeseburger in Paradise

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by alan & brenda on March 10, 2003

We stopped in for lunch after a morning of walking around and exploring the Malecon. They have a wonderful seating area that faces out to the ocean and it feels quite open because there isn't any glass in the windows. There was a group of us, and we all had variations of the classic hamburger or chicken burgers. They served good portions and the quality was great. We had a couple drinks along with the meal, and it was a great atmosphere to just relax and enjoy the afternoon. They had a stage area and a bar area, so they must have some entertainment in the evening, but it was quite mellow in the afternoon. The service was great and they were quite friendly.
Cheeseburger in Paradise
Paseo Diaz Ordaz 740
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 48350
+ 52 322 323 28

The Blue Shrimp

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by alan & brenda on March 10, 2003

This was an excellant dining experience. A group of seven of us were there for lunch--once again after touring the area and flea market shopping. The service was great and very friendly. The decor of this place was awesome. They had 2 or 3 separate dining areas, a typical restaurant lay out, an enclosed courtyard with murals, and a loft area.

There are several items on the menu but by far the best part was the SHRIMP. They sell it by 1/4, 1/2, or a full kilos (2.2lbs). They pan-fry it, bread it, toast it, flambe it with tequila, grill it, you name it. I had the toasted coconut shrimp and tried the garlic butter shrimp and they were incredible. They offer medium and jumbo shrimp and I recommend the medium shrimp--it just seems like you get more to enjoy.

We had the salad and breadsticks/buns and ordered 1/4 kilo of medium shrimp each and it was an effort to finish it--but finish it we did. It was too good to waste.

The food was superb and definitely well-prepared. The host brought us a kahlua and cream drink to finish the meal and this topped off the dining experience superbly.

Blue Shrimp
Morelos #779
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
+52 (322) 222-4246

Downtown Flea Markets

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by alan & brenda on March 10, 2003

I highly recommend a trip to the flea markets downtown. There is so much to see and experience. You have to be careful because there are two "fake" flea markets downtown on the Malecon...a local told us these were tourist traps. They are small market areas with a few nice shops, but can be a little pricey--the real flea market is at the very end of the Malecon at the base of a bridge in a two-story complex packed with stalls and merchandise.

These guys have everything for sale in Mexico. They have numerous types of carvings: wood, metal, statuettes, figurines, chess sets, and wall-hangings. They have uncountable glassware ranging from utility pieces to decorations and of course tequila/liquor serving sets and shot-glasses. We really did see a lot of very colorful sinks for cabinet installations--they would really liven up anyones powder room. They also had a lot of pottery and blankets and hammocks and leather goods and jewellry and souvenirs and who knows how much else I've forgotten.

We usually had good luck bartering with the locals but just like everywhere there was good salesman and poor salesman. We found that if you deal fairly and politely then you usually have good results. We noticed a couple rude customers and salesmen and we just avoided those areas.

Also, take a look around this area while you are here. We found a couple great shops here and a really good cafe in this area where we just relaxed and had a couple drinks to cool off and get re-vitalized.

Municipal Market (Flea Market)
Insurgentes St
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 48310
+ 52 322 411 75

Rythms of the Night

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by alan & brenda on March 10, 2003

The crusie left from the marina at 6pm and we had about an hour's ride on a Catamaran to the beach at Las Caletas. The boat had an open bar for soft drinks, beer, and rum punch, and the staff was very attentive. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the ocean that seemed to linger in a slow farewell. Just at dusk, four or five dolphins appeared and raced our boat for awhile until we lost sight of them in the dark. The crew also put on a little entertainment that kept us amused until we pulled into the beach after dark.

Las Caletas is a very extensive area and it was only lit by torch and candlelight--it was spectacular approaching it from the ocean. The meal was served buffet style and you had several selections to choose from--salad, vegetables, meat . . . chicken, beef, and fish (including mahi-mahi, my favorite). There was a selection of desserts and Mexican coffee for afterwards. The Mexican coffee was delicious . . . very similar to Spanish coffee but it had Kahlua instead.

After the meal, we moved over to an open auditorium area where they put on a show featuring some of the originial native legends. The gods created them and gave them corn/maize and guided them. It was very well done and the effects were quite nice.

After the show, we had some more coffee and wandered around a bit before boarding the boat to take us back to the marina. The ride back featured some more entertainment and then they opened up the fore-deck and played romantic music so we could dance under the stars/moon.

All in all, this was an excellant excursion and I would definitely recommend it.

Vallarta Adventures (Canopy Tours, Scuba, Snorkel, Whale Watching)
Edificio Marina Golf Local 13-c, Calle Mástil, Marina Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 48354
+52 322 297 1212

Senor Frogs

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by alan & brenda on March 10, 2003

This is one of the craziest clubs in Puerto Vallarta. It really fills up and everybody is there to have a good time. They are a high energy club that features a lot of black light, smoke making, and wind effects. It can be a little pricey for the drinks, but most of the clubs are at about the same level.

This is definitely one of the main meat-markets in Vallarta and a good place to go to if you want to get a little wild...or just watch some other people get a little wild. These guys are affiliated with Carlos O'Briens and they do have some things in common. Your best value is to buy their huge green drinking stein for $10 and then just refill it. Refills are good at both Carlos O'Briens and Senor Frog's.

Señor Frogs
Venustiano Carranza 218 at Ignacio L. Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 48380
+52 322 22 25177

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