Puerto Vallarta is just one of those places that you need to "expect the unexpected."

From the moment you exit the airplane, Vallarta is an area of extreme contrasts and amazing diversity. The smell of jet fuel on the tarmac mixes with the scent of grilling chickens, tropical flowers and lush salt air.

Paved highways intersect with cobblestone streets and taxis whiz by an old man riding a burro laden down with five gallon plastic pails filled with rocks and a hand woven serape in place of a saddle.

Beach dogs, belonging to no one yet everyone, laze in the sun on the beach as the tourists next to them toss back margaritas. Children from every corner of Vallarta and the world dart in between the dogs and beach-goers, frolick in the ocean and communicate with each other in languages only children really understand.

Nestled on the sand, the wealthy sprawl shoulder to shoulder with the "poor in pocket but rich in spirit" and no one really cares; they both are enjoying their spot in the sun and hopeful for a glimpse of a spectacular sunset.

In the morning the juice cart is set-up and the "jugero" is busy squeezing oranges and grapefruits and making Mexican "on the go juice boxes" which are plastic bags with a straw sealed with a rubber band; an ingenious way to get a liter of juice and 200% of Vitamin C for only 15 pesos.

On this same block you can buy a copy of the Wall Street Journal, a French pastry, tacos filled with beef and beans, tamales, a ham and cheese omelet or a sterling silver and opal ring. Crossing your path can be everything from a chicken, a black cat, a horse to a 1973 VW Safari or a 2006 Mercedes convertible. If you stand on this street corner and listen, you will probably hear at least six different languages, four different songs, three televisions blaring programs from different channels, two dogs a barkin' and a parakeet in a palm tree.

This is the real music of Vallarta.

Night time is the right time in Vallarta.

The warm tropical air at sunset reeks of romance and expectations. Everything is there, from images of fabulous five course dinners to prayers that there are enough tortillas, beans and carne asada for the entire family.

Couples walk the Malecon and kiss as the waves splash below; local young men flirt with the local young females, both hoping tonight is the night they meet their future spouse; mature lovers watch their grandchildren eat cotton candy and strawberries smothered in cream while the parents hold hands and beam as they look on.

Music blares from the clubs on the Malecon and girls in brand new heels and tight mini-skirts dance on the ledges as they brandish their tans and sunburns to anyone who wants to watch. Inside, groups of men too shy to join in with the ladies hold on to their icy bottles of beer hoping that the courage inside the bottle gives them strength to at least take a spin later on the dance floor.

The lights along the Malecon cast a warm glow upon the beach, the sand sculptures of Jesus and the Virgin de Guadalupe, the rock balancers, the fire-people and Aztec dancers. A skinny little robot mime, completely awash in silver mechanically performs for tips and an old man with a blurry telescope will let you take a closer look at the moon for a few pesos.

To escape the activity of the Malecon just behind you, you can simply stare out to towards the ocean and become enveloped in the vast darkness or you can gaze upward to the Milky Way and surround yourself with billions upon billions of twinkling stars with the melody of the ocean and tumbling rocks as your music.

While Vallarta has a plethora of planned activities and tours, the best experiences and memories may just be the unexpected little treasures you come across as you explore the cobblestone streets and corners around Puerto Vallarta!