I am changing my old philosophy on returning to magical places. It went something like this: You can’t go back to magical places because things change – and not for the better, and returning will ruin your first experience. Due to this antiquated philosophy, I wouldn’t return to certain cities, countries nd/or cruise ships and ruin my memories of the first experience.
What was the inciting incident that made me change my philosophy? A recent trip to Puerto Vallarta.
Even though the first trip was 25 years ago, I didn’t want to sully my fantastic memories of Puerto Vallarta. But my curiosity got the best of me.
Puerto Vallarta has grown so much in these years. And for the better! My first trip in the 1990s was when the city was starting to awaken to the world of tourism. The city had a few decent hotels and many one- star hotels. But, back then I was a one-star hotel traveler. Today I’m not, I prefer a 4 or 5 star hotel with comfortable beds, air conditioning, a nice breakfast buffet, a pool, a beachfront bar to enjoy sunsets and a few other amenities indicative of this caliber of hotel. Puerto Vallarta today has many lovely 3, 4 and 5-star hotels. This visit I stayed at the Marriott Casa Magna Resort. This lovely property had all of the amenities and more.
A highlight included the hotel is the turtle protection program. I, along with other hotel guests, was there to witness as the turtle eggs hatched and made the journey from their nests to the sea for the first time. A hotel that has that amount of sensitivity to their environment is Number 1 in my book.
Another important thing for a tourist town to thrive is good food. Puerto Vallarta offers world class cuisine with many great restaurants. “If you starve in this city and its surrounding cities, it’s your own fault”, became my mantra. You can experience a variety of fine dining restaurants such as Café des Artists owned by Thierry Blouet, or you can walk up to an outdoor street café get a taco of octopus, marlin or beef.
You can dine along the promenade or enjoy bar food at the Los Muertos Brewery and Brewpub.
Stroll the promenade, El Malecón, dotted with sculptures, the sidewalks adorned with aboriginal art. The art scene is alive and well in Puerto Vallarta, with many galleries on this walk. Shops, restaurants, art and a central square. Cornerstones of the Mexican culture all represented here.
So, needless to say, Puerto Vallarta stole my heart. I will go back. I will bring many, many people with me!