One thing I did not do (and learned my lesson!) was to check with the guys at the reception desk of our hotel before going to Chino's Paradise. I just relied on the information provided in the guidebook I purchased prior to going to Puerto Vallarta.
I was really looking forward to going to Chino's Paradise, taking a dip in the pool, enjoying good food at the restaurant and great views of the jungle. Well, the place was shut down when we got there (and it seems that it's been this way for a while now). I was really disappointed since the guidebook really recommended this place as a nice side trip from Puerto Vallarta or Mismaloya.
Since El Eden is just about 2 miles up from there (and it was open) we did not feel like we wasted time by driving to Chino's Place, but I would recommend you check with the locals before going places. Make sure that the attraction you plan on visiting is still open and that the roads are in good condition.
Right up front at our resort at the Royal Decameron Complex we were warned to not para sail.
Personally I think they were just delivering a disclaimer to protect their asses. I can understand that.
I don't think anyone listed other than me however. The sky is littered with people para sailing everywhere.
The next time I go, I will be ignoring this very warning!!!!
There are several dive shops offering scuba diving tours and dive training in Puerto Vallarta.Avoid buying your tours from street or beach vendors because you never know where you will end.
Scuba diving is a great, rewarding and fun asctivity if it is conducted safely by professionals, therefore it is important to do a little research before signing up.
Some of the bigger dive shops are in it only for the quick buck and compromise the safety of their divers by taking on the same boat 20 - 200 people mixing booze cruisers, snorkelers and divers all together offering alcoholic beverages on board.
PADI the biggest and most reputable dive organization world wide recognized and respected has high standarts and tuff procedures to insure that their dive shops deliver the most safe and professional dive training.
ONLY certified and yearly current updated Instructors are allowed to conduct training and open water dives with novice divers.
A Dive Master is not an instructor and is only allowed to guide certified divers or assist and instructor on his open water dives.
MAKE SHURE that the person you are taking your certification course from shows you his INSTRUCTOR CARD WITH VALID STICKER for the current year and that this Instructor in person conducts all the training and dives.
Before signing up it is valuable to do a little research and visit:
and check out that your shop is what it says it is a PADI 5 STAR facility or a PADI Resort.
Some dive shops misrepresent themselves and don't fullfill the requirements.
Some dive shops send novice divers with entry level dive masters that lack the knowledge and training to assist a diver that has problems or violate the instructor novice ratio to safe money geopardizing their safety.
Ratios are 4 novice to 1 Instructor
6 novice to 1 Instructor+1 Dive Master
BE SAFE HAVE FUN
When one has a street or building named after them, it can be considered one of the highest forms of flattery. Unfortunatly in this case however the Elizabeth Taylor building is nothing other than a house that shows porno. So instead of slowing down with your children expecting to see a museum dedicated to this Diva, I suggest that you run away.
This is one of Vallarta's most popular and expensive tours. It offers you a chance to have a one on one encounter in a pool with dolphins.
The problem that I have is that the tour operators lead you to believe that there are trained professional's taking care of the dolphins when in actuality it is just a local guy that punches the time clock. Every year it seems that a dolphin or two dies in captivity, after this happens all they do is go into the wild and capture a new one. The dolphins are there for one reason and one reason only, to make money.
The tour operators try and paint a pretty picture of how they treat the animals but in reality their future is very dim.