We had a great time on the Sierra Madre' jungle expedition. The ride alone to the jungle was interesting with a stop in some small town so that we could get that experience (as well as quickly see hand-made tortillas being made).
The jungle tour was very interesting as our guide pointed-out all kinds of information on wildlife, insect, and trees/plants. The free lunch was basic sandwiches with drinks.
The tourguides did a superb job informing us as well as keeping us entertained.
The excursion was well-worth the money... I believe about $500 pesos each.
Well I have been to Puerto Vallarta a number of times and didn't want to spend what little time we had in PV on a tour, so we decided to head straight to the tequila factory. I had called ahead of time to get information on the location and how to quickly get from the pier to the factory.
So we got off the tender and headed straight to the taxi stand. 5 minutes (and $5 USD) later, we arrived at Aquí Jalisco. And wouldn't you know it, a tour was going on at the same time...so we tagged along.
Received information on the history ot tequila, how it's grown and the different versions made from the agave plant. After that, we went into the tasting room to sample different tequilas. 10 - 12 shots later, we staggered to the counter to purchase some for taking home.
We went on a day trip offered by Orbitz.com and found it to be a great time. For $25 a person we got a little taste of everything in PV. A nice description of the history of PV and the major landmarks. We had an opportunity to do a little shopping, treated to open bar, and visited a Tequila Distillery. It was a full day.
A day-long bus tour, which included walking around Puerta Vallerta with a charming guide talking about history and such is something I would really recommend.
We also drove out into the jungle a ways where you could go hiking, swimming or have lunch. It was just after the rainy season and pretty muddy to go hiking, and I had a great seafood plate (everything seemed so fresh) lunch under a thatched restaurant there. (I can't remember the name)
I was there in Sept. and I had the gumption to try an adventure tour and naturally I did some research and found that the number one tour operator in PV is Vallarta Adventures and so I set up to do a few tours with them and they were all fantastic. The hardest part is deciding which tours to do because they offer so many amazing things...from swimming with dolphins to jungle hiking to flight seeing to anything you could imagine...they do it...and professionally...I was blown away.....check out their website if you´re planning on coming here. THANK ME LATER!
You will learn about the manufacturing process, You will go on to a traditional tequila factory where the old-fashioned methods of producing tequila will be demonstrated, and of course samples will be given. They will teach you how to properly drink tequilla: ..Breathe in with your nose, hold your breath... drink it and then exhale through your mouth
ONE TEQUILLA!, TWO TEQUILLA, THREE TEQUILLA, FLOOR!!!!!
This was a lot of fun. A group of us took an ATV tour that lasted a better part of the day. We started out from town and our to the desert . We traveled through lush river beds, dry river beds, through an old town and then to the old tequila factory where, yes, we tasted different tequilas.
Going through the small town was quite humbling. Not only is this old Mexico, but so many of these people still live without running water or electric. We stopped for a soda and to use the restroom. Outside the restroom sat a little boy taking tips for handing us paper. Tony gave the little boy $2 and the little boy was so excited. Makes you really think about how lucky you are.
At the tequila factory there is an authentic local Mexican restaruant where they cook everything in front of you on fire stoves. GET SOMETHING TO EAT. It was wonderful.
We rented a car and decided to do our own sightseeing, which if you really want to see outside of town, you must rent a vehicle and explore. This is Los Arcos, we snorkeled around these rocks, and that particular day, the currents were shifting and the water was murkey and there were lots of jellyfish in the water.
South of Mismaloya, just past Le Kliff restaurant, there is a beach (Boca de Tomatlan) where you can grab a beer and then a water taxi to Las Animas.
The ride is short (5-10 minutes) and the beach is small and charming. Just hanging out for an hour is fun. Last trip I tried parasailing which was easy and an amazing view of the area.
For those who are not so adventerous or who do not want to get stuck on an all day adventure, I highly recommend.
As we drove by on our way south out of Puerto Vallarta after Mismaloya Beach, we trekked up the mtns, stopped at road side restaurant, walked around, saw some hill fires, and then I spotted a cross on the side of the road, blue glitter shrine, (there are many of these on the side of the road), and though we'd look over the edge on our way back, and discovered there was a beautiful water fall, which it took 2hrs to climb down to, it was nice to dip our feet in the pool to cool off.
Visit the small town of San Blas, where you can see beautiful 16 th century forts and ruins. There are a lot of interesting Mexican arts/crafts not seen in Puerto Vallarta. I was kicking myself later for not having bought these unique tara -cotta beads that, I , of-course could not find anywhere else! The trip takes about 2 hrs by bus, north into the hills, lots of good sight seening along the way... tobacco fields, banana tree's, tequila cactus, etc. Also many small Mexican villages along the way as well. After visiting San Blas the highlight of the trip is the boat ride up the mangroves,but not for those who are afraid of crocadilles, as you see many out in the wild and they are huge! Also, a lot of wild birds, large turtles, and interesting bugs. Once at the top of the mangroves you can dock and take a tour through the wild life preserve again, lots of croc's, quotimundo's(not sure of spelling), colourful birds, etc... they are all caged of-course. It was definitly the highlight of our trip, we had our 3 teenagers and they loved it, something they will never forget!
Elizabeth Taylor is possibly the most famous of all celebrities to live in Puerto Vallarta. Vallarta was put on the world scene when she accompanied her lover Richard Burton, while still married to Eddie Fisher, to a small fishing village on the coast of Mexico where he was filming "Night of the Iguana."
Their subsequent decades long torrid romance still echoes through the narrow alleys of Gringo Gulch where they bought houses across the street from one another and linked them with a pink bridge. Casa Kimberly still exists and is now open to tours.
One day I took the bus all the way south of town to Boca de Tomatlan. It is a small, mostly untouristed, fishing village. There is not a whole lot to do there, but it is a nice place to relax, wander around, and take a few pictures. The views are very nice. There is an open air restaurant / bar on the waterfront.
From here you can take the water taxi to remote beaches further south. I went to Yelapa which is the most popular, but is somewhat of a tourist trap although I enjoyed it. At Yelapa I kayaked in the inlet, strolled the village, and went to see the waterfall. There are also several other beaches that are much less crowded to deserted along the way. See my travelogues on "Boca de Tomatlan" and "Afternoon in Yelapa".
We've gone on many tours, geat finds on restarants, nightlife, and visited small towns outside the city.
We've gone on Jungle tours on 4 wheelers, Horseback riding through the mountains, City Tours, and Boat tours to private islands.
Great restaurants in the Marina, go to the top of the Marina lighthouse for a cocktail at sunset, eat at a restaurant on Los Muertos Beach, and party at many of the clubs on the Malecon. Go to Le Kliff restaurant for a special dinner. Lazy Lizard palapa restaurant on Los Muertos beach for a cheap bucket of beer and great food. For a secluded beach visit Mismaloya Beach, Nuevo Vallarta, or the small town of Sayulita.
Ocean from Condo for rent.
The first 2 weeks f January there is a HUGE party honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe in a small town 45 minutes South of Vallarta.
It includes the towns people dressing in various costumes marching to the church, carnival games in the Town Square as well as cockfights too boot.
Vallarta has theirs in the beginning of December but many have said that it is a show for the gringo's. Go and visit El Tuito's and you are sure to see the real deal.
It is a safe little village and you are garneted to have a blast there. For more info regarding El Tuito, see my travelogues.
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