Early last month I had the lovely opportunity to travel down below the border to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The excursion was a destination party spot for a bachelorette party of 9 girls. The beaches were warm, the sand was soft, and the people were incredibly friendly.
We spent our first day laying under a cabana on the beach; catching up, getting to know one another better, and to most of our surprises getting burnt like lobsters. Despite the layers of sunblock and direct avoidance of the sun, we all walked away with bad burns ranging from just a touch of pink to borderline first degree burns.
The first evening brought out a lovely rooftop dinner with the most spectacular views over the city. Rolling hills with buildings amidst a sea of flourishing lush greenery. We could hear the most magnificent evening church bells just as the sun set over the city.
The restaurant, Hacienda San Angel, was the home to one of Elizabeth Taylor’s former husbands; the most romantic Spanish style pueblo, with a full open courtyard in the center of the mansion. It was later bought by a San Francisco woman who then turned it into a pet-friendly hotel.
For dinner, I had a stuffed Chile poblano with saffron rice. The rice was so decadent it almost melted in my mouth. This was an incredible find and quite a beautiful experience.
Our second day in Puerto was our primary adventure day. We woke up to a beautiful sunrise/gorgeous day and headed off to the marina. We went boating throughout the Banderas Bay and saw beautiful beach destinations on the coast. We jumped off the boat to go snorkeling by a cove; then docked at Yelapa beach, a fun and interesting little village where we rode horses (more like donkeys) up to a waterfall. Our group was having wild fun, taking shots at every turn – even while on the horses at bars we could ride up to.
The waterfall lagoon was gorgeous and peaceful, just at the edge of the village where you could see aspects of the rain-forest trickling in on either side of the rock formations. We followed the trail back down through the village and out to the beach for lunch.
Some of us paddle boarded in the cove and others hung back to drink. Paddle boarding against ocean waves on both feet is no easy task. The waves were crashing in hard, and the sky was getting cloudy, so at that point, the group gathered up and we got back into the boat. The boat ride home consisted of continuing to party and dance while taking tequila shots.
The third day was spent on a larger boat, equipped with an open bar and two water slides. This time we were whale watching, dolphin watching, and stopped at a small island to bird watch. We spent most the day on the boat drinking and dancing and enjoying the sun. Later on we were highly entertained by watching one another drop off the water slides into the water from this two-story boat. After a day of boat tripping, some of us wound down for the night to the resort, while others went out on the town to hunt for street tacos.
Our final day and departing day happened to also be my birthday. A good friend of mine and I went to the resort spa, pampered ourselves to get our nails done and then headed back to California. The sunny and adventurous destination of Puerto Vallarta is gorgeous. I would like to go back and explore again, and check out a few recommended locations: