"A single tree in the tropical forest in the south of Mexico has more different species than some European countries"
Carlos Salinas de Gortari
I selected Puerto Vallarta, the jewel of Jalisco Mexico as a destination for our fortieth wedding anniversary and we both were extremely happy with that decision. Stretching around the sparkling blue Bahia de Banderas and backed by lush, palm covered mountains we couldn't have asked for a lovelier place to while away 10 days on a special vacation.
There are so many travel bargains available and Mexico has been the victim of much undue travel cautions. We found this tropical paradise to feel safer than being in the United States. The atmosphere was totally friendly and service oriented. The weather was nice and the prices right, the culture and scenery hard to beat. And, we didn't mind a short return plane trip home in lieu of the grueling flights from other tropical destinations.
We chose to stay in the "Zona Romantica" close to downtown in lieu of Nuevo Vallarta or the sterile American hotel strip where many tourists spend their entire time in an all inclusive hotel, "safe" from the real Mexico.
We enjoyed the picturesque cobbled streets and many great restaurants, but ended out hanging out at a local "Banana Cantina" that was a Vallarta version of "Cheers"
On our anniversary, we moved up the mountain to a large villa that afforded incredible panoramic views of the bay.
A highlight was doing the "Outdoor Adventure" with Vallarta Adventures. Billed as one of the greatest adventures on earth, we were not disappointed with the adrenaline production. In an area of tropical forest, 200 Ft. above the ground we flew on 1000 Ft. zip lines 10 times and rappelled three routes (one free fall) into natural river pools. Although an experienced "zip liner" in Costa Rica, this was Gerry's first rappelling experience. She showed "No Fear" demonstrated excellent technique and nailed them, an inspiration to the youthful group (young punks) that watched her "go first" on their experience of a lifetime.
Note: Cameras were not allowed and we elected to not buy the photographer's shots so we have no PICS of this day to share
Other highlights included:
-Luxuriating day in and day out on Vallarta's world famous Playa de Los Muertos
-Taking a panga to the peaceful village of Yelapa, only accessible by boat
-Strolling and shopping beneath the shady rubber trees on Isla Rio Cuale alongside the Rio Cuale.
-Taking a day trip to Punta de Mita and Sayulito to watch the surfers ride the waves
-Spending an interesting day at an old family tequila distillery, and partaking in a little tequila tasting
-Wandering the beautiful seafront "Malecon" and chatting about life with the locals