We stayed in condos near the Barcelo Hotel. We've visited Juan's Ramada Miramar restaurant many times, and weren't disappointed this trip. There were no other diners both times we were there, and after talking with Juan, we found that since the Barcelo became an all-inclusive hotel, guests no longer ventured out to find new food. We'd paid for a Barcelo day pass on Thanksgiving day just to have their turkey buffet, and could see the all-inclusive mentality - people complaining, demanding more of this or that from the staff, eating off their plates while at the buffet, so I imagine it would get fairly annoying to dine like this for every meal of a vacation.
Juan's Ramada Miramar is across a suspension bridge off of the Paseo - where they charter fishing and diving trips (We did catch over 100 lbs of Bonita with Chipol, brother of another master fisherman, Chato - great day trip.). It's on the river with jungle all around. We enjoyed watching a small iguana in a tree nearby and listening to the jungle sounds. Juan, as always, can prepare anything you ask for, and do it well! We had durado, breaded and fried for my husband, and grilled for me. The pico de gallo, rice, beans, tortillas, everything that accompanied the meal were delicious. There are plenty of great, out-of-the way places out in Mismaloya, but Ramada Miramar is my favorite. It's also next to the set of the 1964 movie, The Night of the Iguana. You can see the old, mission-style building where filming took place, and it's about a mile from the set of Predator. There are tour buses which take tourists to see these. Just take a cab - or the bus out to Mismaloya instead. Spend the day on its beautiful beach or walk into the little village to see the tequila factory, fresh-made tortilla shop, and Zoo Vallarta. Don't forget to eat at Juan's!
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