A quick 3-hour flight on Southwest and a couple of cocktails, and hola Mexico! Puerto Vallarta airport is quite nice and modern. Once we pass the thousands of time-share salesmen, we are welcomed by our tour operator that ships us off to paradise in a little fiat-looking taxi. We zip through city traffic and in no time are sipping fruity drinks at Riu Jalisco in Riviera Nayarit.
The Riu Jalisco is huge resort with super friendly staff, and gorgeous stretch of beach along the Bahia de Banderas. This side of Mexico reminds me a lot of the Algarve beaches; except the sand is darker here. Did I mention they had a swim-up bar? We became great friends with Jesus and Nuvie (our afternoon bartenders). They made a killer mudslide; the pina coladas weren’t bad either. A lot of adult beverages were had by all. Lots of food choices at the resort in their four specialty restaurants and one full buffet. They did surprise us with a liquor dispenser in the room; never had seen that before. I give the resort a good 3.5 Stars with 5 Stars for the staff.
We took an afternoon off from sunbathing and went exploring the city of Puerto Vallarta. With some recommendations from Alonzo, our Islandsun rep, we were off.
As you enter the City, there are lots of big resorts, shopping malls and fast-food establishments, but once you are past all of that, you enter the older part of town with a long promenade along the beach with many different shops and local restaurants, as well as your typical souvenir shops. I did count 4 different Senor Frogs in the mile and half stroll. We made a stop at the church of Lady of Guadalupe. Was impressed with the steeple in the shape of a crown. Just beautiful artisan work. The inside was also very pretty with its white walls and gold accents. Along the promenade we admired the many bronze sculptures ranging from the traditional to modern. Our quest to find real Mexican food was successful; we found a shack on the beach cooking up lobster and shrimp and decided that was the place to enjoy lunch and a margarita. The Lagosta Loca didn’t disappoint. There was great food, drinks and local music as we enjoyed lunch overlooking the beach; cannot ask for more.
Overall, we enjoyed our little getaway to Mexico. Great weather, friendly people and free drinks. Perfect! Hopefully we can do it again next year. We may try to head North to Sayulita or Punta Mita. Bill wants to try surfing. I will just watch and take pictures.