Jan and I spent our summer vacation this year in Puerto Vallarta. We have visited the city many time in the past on cruise ships. This time we decided to fly down and sty at the "all inclusive" Barcelo Resort located at Mismaloya Beach. This is a beautiful resort with a friendly staff and lots of activities. We spent Monday, Wednesday and Saturday relaxing around the pools and hiking around Mismaloya Beach. While there are a a lot of resorts north in Puerto Vallarta, the southern areas are more tropical and have the most tours and activities.
Our first paid activity was to Las Caletas. This is a beach hideaway about 20 minutes south by boat. Normally you would board a large catamaran packed full of other tourists out of the PV marina (which takes you across the Bay of Banderas and adds another 40 minutes to the trip). we were picked up at the beach in a speed boat for the quick trip. Las Caletas offers kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, free drinks and a wonderful buffet. There is a lot of kid activities as well as a zoo and an orchid garden up the hill.
Thursday we were off to the Hidden Mexico tour. This was a great tour that took you off road to many interesting tropical locations. Our trip started with a quick boat ride to Boca De Tomatlan where we boarded an off road vehicle and headed into the country. Our first stop was an archeological spot to study Aztec petroglyph. next stops were Vallarta Botanical Gardens, a wood fired bakery for some bread, and a woodshop which served us some homemade panella (cheese) and blue corn tortillas. We headed further south to the old colonial town of El Tuito. After stops at the church and town square we headed off to the cemetery on the outskirts of town. Lunch was served at the Villa Azalea Inn and Organic farm. After a quick walk around the grounds we made some guacamole and feasted on a really good Mexican food buffet.
Our last excursion on Friday was Yelapa and La Majahuitas snorkel. This time a boat took us out to the party boat waiting for us at Los Arcos(2 Rocks with caves off the coast of Mismaloya). We boarded and headed for the first stop at Las Majahuitas. The water was crystal clear and perfect for snorkeling and kayaking. After and hour we took for Yelapa (15 minutes south) while eating lunch. Yelapa is a beautiful old town with a long sandy beach, a river, and a jungle with a waterfall. The area is only accessible by water taxi as a tall mountain and dense jungle block access for the highway. there are a lot of condos and villas recently built and a couple of good restaurants. We hiked to the waterfall, walked through the town and headed to the beach.