Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

This morning after breakfast we took the local ATM bus to Puerto Vallarta . The bus ticket costs $13 pesos each (one way) and the trip took about 30 minutes. Taxi is also an option and costs about $200 pesos each way.

Puerto Vallarta is a seaside town located in the Bay of Bandares in the state of Jalisco; Nuevo Vallarta is in the adjoining state of Nayarit. The shore in Puerto Vallarta is lined with resorts and a long boardwalk (parts of which are currently under renovation). Additionally many cruise ships dock here making the area saturated with tourists during high season. The main attractions in the city are the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe and a flea market called Mercado Municipal.

Once we got away from the boardwalk and the tourist hot spots, I found Puerto Vallarta the perfect town to roam without a map. It is hilly with lots of nooks and crannies filled with beautiful homes, coffee shops, antique shops, and restaurants.We also saw many street vendors selling fruit juices, tacos, and other local fair.

We indulged in coconut water ($20 pesos), espresso and sandwiches at Cafe Oro Verde ($150 pesos), and mango ice cream bars from OXXO ($24 pesos). We stayed clear of the numerous (and pushy) tequila shops all of which invited us in for a shot of “the best tequila” in town. When one stays at an all inclusive resort, the lure of a free shot loses its charm.

At 4:30 pm we took the bus back to our resort in Nuevo Vallarta. We had left that morning feeling tired of so much hospitality and lack of local culture, but we returned sweaty and sticky craving the peace and quite of a gated resort community. My suggestion, stay in Nuevo and make the day trip to roam around in Puerto.

Tomorrow, we plan to go North to Bucerias. Make sure to check back in.

Oh, and dad, we are still alive and not kidnapped. Stop worrying.

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Chika Gujarathi is a freelance writer and a mother of three from Raleigh, NC. She writes for national and local publications about lifestyle, travel, books, and of course, motherhood! Her most current project involves illustrating and publishing a children’s Hindi book. When not adventuring with her family in the minivan, you can find her riding the streets of Raleigh on her beloved bike Linus.

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