We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Puerto Vallarta

Free Newsletter

Interested in Puerto Vallarta?

We'll send you updates with the latest deals, reviews and articles for Puerto Vallarta each week.

More Lists
We remove posts that do not follow our Trip Lists guidelines.
We reserve the right to remove any lists for any reason.
Trip List by kwbts124

Floridians in Puerto Vallarta

Jul 4, 2008  Great week - tired legs!
4.5 of 5 stars based on 9 votes

This is a list of: Dids, wish-we-dids and wish-we-were-youngers. Basically a "do NOT miss list" for people who, like me, may only get to PV once in their lives.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Puerto Vallarta, Chapala, Boca de Tomatlan, Mismaloya
  • Category: Recent trip
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Shopping, Active/Outdoors, Never been before, Repeat visitors, Beachgoers
  • Appeals to: Couples/romantics, Honeymooners, Singles, Families with teenagers, Large groups, Seniors, Students, Budget travelers, Active/adventure, Tourists
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Ocho Cascadas
    Ocho Cascadas, Puerto Vallarta

    Did. Our home away from home (for a week anyway). These award-winning villas have the most unbelievable views and are a vacation by themselves. We traded via Interval International after years of waiting. Each unit has its own pool and is uniquely furnished with rustic Mexican pieces. Depending on your villa # you will use either the top or bottom entrance. To get to the top, you will wind around steep cobblestone roads. The rooms are all off of a steep staircase – our villa was #9, second from the top. This brings me to the walk down to the bus stop, taxi pick-up, OXXO or beach. My Florida legs were in for a big surprise. Down we go...to the bus stop and then up we go to the villa. Good thing for the pool!

  • 2. OXXO

    Did. Whew, that's a tough but rewarding walk down and back up (for some Tecate of course)! This is Mexico's version of 7-11, literally (except they don't sell gas). Why do I mention a convenient store early in my list? Well, for your convenience - hehe. Don't laugh; the locals use this store religiously - just as we do at home. A local ex-pat Brit told me that this particular chain is owned by the same company that owns 7-11. Believe me - these convenient stores are everywhere you look. We frequented the one on the road to Conchas Chinas (MEX 200) and it was run very professionally and kept extremely clean.

  • 3. Bay of Banderas
    Bay of Banderas, Puerto Vallarta

    Saw – no walking - LOL. West coast sunsets are simply magnificent. For the best view – refer to Conchas Chinas residential item further down this list. From anywhere up in the Conchas Chinas residential area the view is spectacular -to the south you can see where the Sierra Madre Mountains meet the Bay (Pacific) and you can also see the protected area of two giant rocks called Los Arcos with its perfectly clear water. Immediately in down and in front of us (due west) we see Conchas Chinas Beach. With the clear water and rocks there are lots of fish and marine life to see (this is where we swam). Continuing to follow the coast north, there is the town of Puerto Vallarta and Los Muertos Beach. By following the coast all the way to Punta de Mita where surfers enjoy west-coast waves at the northernmost point.

  • 4. Los Arcos
    Los Arcos, Puerto Vallarta

    Wish I did. Los Arcos translates to "the arches" which you will clearly see if you take one of the many snorkeling trips to this area. It is a national park so fishing is illegal and the boats take great care in caring for this beautiful area. You can bring your own fins, mask and snorkel or they will provide them to you. Don't forget a waterproof camera! The pictures of Los Arcos from the water are ones you will cherish forever – I saw other people’s photos and wished I had gone. Next time.

  • 5. Malecon
    Chapala Malecon, Chapala

    Did – a lot. What seems to be the number one thing to do in downtown PV - walk. Yes, it was my favorite destination in downtown PV and not just because the sculptures kept me walking and snapping pictures (things that make you say "hmmm?") without thinking about my tired legs. The local favorite sight on the Malecon (out of sheer curiosity) is "The Ladder" sculpture. I'm not sure what it represents (sun worshipers?) but it sure is popular. Which brings me to my next venue which has chairs!

  • 6. Cheeky Monkey

    Did. The Cheeky Monkey is easy to spot and Valterazza is the restaurant right below the Cheeky Monkey (owned & operated by the same people) but up two flights of stairs none-the-less. This open-air restaurant is located directly across from "The Ladder" sculpture. You can sit and enjoy shade and a cool beverage while watching the crowds line up to climb the ladder, throw their right arm out (mimicking the sculpture) and have their photo taken. This is one of the best people-watching and leg-resting seats around!

  • 7. Paginas 24-hour Internet Cafe

    Shamefully - Did. Yes, a real internet cafe actually open and operating 24/7. Its super easy to find...its right behind Senior Frogs in downtown PV. Cost = about 150 pesos for an hour (about $1.50 USD). I would love to tell you that I never even thought about checking my email - but with 3 adult children at home caring for 4 innocent pets - one just had to check. It calmed the nerves (a bit). Oh-yeah, they use a Spanish-style keyboard so I had to ask where the @ symbol was located (it's CTL Q) btw. Weird. Also, if you don't use your full hour you can save an ID name and use your remaining time at another time.

  • 8. Vallarta Adventures
    Vallarta Adventures, Puerto Vallarta

    Did - Wish I was younger. A canopy tour is an adventure that you won’t want to miss. We went on the “Outdoor Adventure” tour because it gave us a little of everything. First you take a speedboat across the bay where you debark into knee-deep water of Boca de Tomatlan. Then after a short wait you board a “Unimog” which takes you up and off-road to Vallarta Adventure’s base camp. After you put on your “equipment” you get onto a mule and trek further up into the beautiful Sierra Madre Mountains just to have a blast getting back down. To get down you will take zip lines over 400 ft ravines, water and jungle. Then you will rappel down a waterfall and walk rope bridges over canyons of jungle. I recommend this for the active types but there are different style canopy tours made for everyone. I wanted to go on the “Americas Cup Racing” sailing tour but chose not to – of course now that’s on my “wish I did” list.

  • 9. Playa de los Muertos
    Playa de los Muertos, Puerto Vallarta

    Did. Walking this beach was an excellent way to see what PV had to offer on the water. I found $30 snorkel trips, great meat-on-a-stick, beer and an endless supply of friendly venders who love to bargain. We bought our first souvenir on this beach while eating from a family run grill under the bridge. The vender wanted 400 pesos for a carved shark made of ironwood. My husband managed to talk him down to 200 pesos (which was still too much) but we had fun and practiced our rusty bargaining skills. PS – this walk begins as an easy flat walk but quickly turns into steep rocky paths with beautiful vistas as you near the Conchas Chinas area.

  • 10. Boca de Tomatlan
    Boca de Tomatlan

    Did – twice. After landing in this cute little town, we decided to take a trip back to sample the real local culture. This town is truly a fishing village. The residents can be seen fishing every day at the mouth of the river. There are two restaurants here and you can catch a water taxi to the villages of Quimixto and Yelapa further south. We met a local Mexican man who resides much of the year in Los Angeles but owns a vacation rental on the south shore. He was taking his family to Le Kliff for dinner – my next item. I wouldn’t recommend walking along MEX 200 it’s very busy and mostly uphill but you can catch a bus for 40 pesos from Boca de Tomatlan to Le Kliff.

  • 11. Le Kliff Restaurante Bar
    Le Kliff, Puerto Vallarta

    Did. We spotted this restaurant during the speedboat ride with Vallarta Adventures and just had to try it. The restaurant is beautifully decorated as an immense tropical tikki village, a style known locally as a “palapa”. It hangs from a cliff over the bay hence, the name. The manager explained the fame of this restaurant with guests from movie sets such as “Predator”. We ate a wonderful meal and decided to just have coffee with brandy. Much to our shock we were treated with a grand coffee preparation show ending with a fiery waterfall of brandy.

  • 12. Conchas Chinas residential area

    Did. Very upscale and very uphill. This is an absolutely must see area. You can drive, have a taxi show you around or walk. I recommend a bus to the bottom of the hill then walking but wear sneakers or trail shoes, sun block and sunglasses. The views are breathtaking. I was drooling over the real estate - most of which belongs on the TV show, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." You can see the entire bay out into the Pacific Ocean and all of Puerto Vallarta and surrounding villages.

  • 13. Lindo Mar Resort
    Lindo Mar Resort, Puerto Vallarta

    Wish I did. When I say “wish I did” I am saying that I wish I did ALSO not instead of Ocho Cascadas. This hotel and timeshare is right on Conchas Chinas beach. They share a restaurant with the Hotel Conchas Chinas next door and have palapas and chairs on the beach complete with waiters. The water in front of this hotel is sparkling clear, rocky and perfect for snorkeling and relaxing with a drink. You can ask the front desk to look at a suite. The location coupled with the amenities and service makes this a very desirable place to stay. For a small fee you can buy a day pass to use a palapa and chair for the day.

  • 14. Punta De Mita
    Punta De Mita, Puerto Vallarta

    Did. This area is a fun three-bus-ride from Conchas Chinas – a taxi would be very expensive. From the Punta de Mita restaurant area, the surfers take a water taxi out and around the corner to catch the bigger “Pacific” waves because inside the bay the water is fairly calm. We ate at a place called Rocio’s which was in a perfect location to catch a water taxi or snorkeling trip to the rocks. Directly in front of the restaurant was a sandy beach with palapas and chairs where you could lounge all day while enjoying a tropical drink. The beach is pretty rocky and rough at this end of the bay and I would not advise you to try and walk to the point – words of experience – LOL.

  • 15. Mismaloya

    Didnt. Well half of us didnt. This was the day that I decided that I wanted to go back to town to shop for souvenirs and my husband chose not to come with me. Instead he ended up going to Mismaloya Beach. He said the beach was awesome with restaurants and venders and sand. I never got to see it during this vacation but it now has a place on my wish-I-did list. PV is turning out to be a must-return-to kinda place.

  • 16. Ocho Tostadas - (stadium)

    Unfortunately Didnt. This restaurant was recommended by a local Mexican couple we met at the Conchas Chinas beach. They raved about the food, cold beer and service. We only had one night left and decided to go - but the taxi informed us that it closes early (6:30 pm) and it was already 7:30 pm. He drove us by the restaurant and showed us the closed sign then recommended another place - La Langosta Feliz....we decided that we'd try it...

  • 17. La Langosta Feliz (Happy Lobster)

    Did and cant wait to Do again! Perfect last dinner in Vallarta. Sorry I didn't get to eat at OT but on the other hand glad I got the chance to eat here! Great service and the best seafood I have ever eaten. Ask any taxi driver to take you there. We ate the octopus ceviche then the grandest seafood feast I have ever seen and were pleasantly stuffed. We topped the meal off with Mexican coffee with brandy - mmm-mmm good!

    Note: This is an upstairs restaurant with no elevator and only one steep staircase.

  • 18. La Bodeguita del Medio
    La Bodeguita del Medio, Puerto Vallarta

    Two times a charm! We found this Cuban bar and restaurant by following our ears during one late night walk down the Malecon. We popped in for a drink and stayed for an hour or two watching the band and crowd dancing. The mojitos and daquiris were cold and we had our picture taken by the photographer that works there. This was our choice for late night on our last night. Cuban drinks, music and dancing in Mexico - made for a very tropical vacation. Although we sat upstairs the first night and downstairs by the dance floor the on our next visit - I recommend upstairs by the railing if you would like to dine and watch the people on the Malecon.

    We were sad to leave for the night...knowing this was our hurrah and our legs had finally toned up - LOL. We moped back to our villa to pack and get ready for our long flight to the flat-lands of Key West Florida (my legs were finally smiling).