Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

We recently returned from Puerto Vallarta, and it was wonderful. It’s a city surrounded by mountains and the sea and tons of Mexican culture. The people are nice, and there is so much to see. If you never leave your resort, you’ll really miss out.

We stayed at the Hyatt Ziva. It was approximately 10 minutes from downtown and easily accessible by taxi. We really enjoyed it. The food was delicious, the rooms were very nice, and the staff was exceptionally friendly. The hotel sits on a beach that is surrounded by mountains on three sides, and the ocean on its fourth, so the beach is private. The only people with access are guests of the Hyatt Ziva. It was never crowded.

View from the lobby at Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta
View from our balcony in the Club Tower at Hyatt Ziva
Pool day
Private beach at Hyatt Ziva

Hot tub balcony suite
View from the penthouse suite on the 21st floor

The guys went on a fishing trip with Charly’s Sportfishing on our first full day in Puerto Vallarta, where they caught a huge marlin,  while us girls stayed and played at our resort. 

The next day, we booked a RZR and zip line adventure through Canopy River Tours. We took a taxi from our hotel to the tour office in downtown. From there, an open air bus drove us up into the Sierra Madres to the Canopy River outpost for our adventure. 

A secluded waterfall on the RZR adventure

After the RZR adventure, we completed a course comprised of 12 zip lines throughout these mountains. The daredevil kids both did each line and loved it.

Flying over the Río Cuale

On our way back into the city we drove through a few mountain villages that lined the Río Cuale. It was so interesting to see. Different and beautiful. 

A woman sweeping

Walking home

Children playing in the Río Cuale
Roadside arcade

We booked the Island Discovery tour with Vallarta Adventures the next morning. This tour took us out to Marietas Islands and the Hidden Beach located there. Colton and I did this together because Breely wasn’t old enough to participate. Bill stayed at the resort with her for a father/daughter day. 

This hole in the surface of Marietas Island opens to Hidden Beach, with the crystal-clear water of the Pacific Ocean rushing in. The beach is invisible from the outside, unless flying overhead, and it’s only accessible by swimming through a water tunnel, which is what we did. Book this tour early if it’s something you want to see. Access is limited to Wednesday through Saturday by the government, and Vallarta Adventures only takes 14 people on each tour. 

One evening, we took a cab to see downtown and the Malécon. The road around town is perched on the side of the mountain, along with the architecture. There are several places on the highway that go through tunnels in the mountain. We found that many cab drivers preferred to go through the cobblestone streets of downtown instead of the highway that was lined with speed bumps to control traffic. While downtown, we took some time to see the old cathedral that’s located a couple blocks off of the boardwalk and then we did some sightseeing and tequila tasting.

La Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe

Chair sculptures on The Malécon
The Malécon

The only thing I would’ve changed? I wish we could’ve stayed longer. 

Banderas Bay and the city of Puerto Vallarta
Infinity pool at Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta was a short hour and forty-five minute flight from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The Hyatt Ziva was an affordable and family-friendly, all-inclusive, 4 1/2 star resort, with a beautiful beach, tasty food, and a fantastic staff. The town was interesting and authentic and safe. The surrounding mountains offered fun adventures and scenic views. The ocean was warm and swimmable. 

I hope you’ll give this beach town a visit the next time you want to travel to Mexico, and I hope you love it as much as we did. 💋

Questions? Comment below.

All content copyright © Jennifer Crouch 2017

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