Puerto Vallarta Ready for the Return of Spring Breakers
Puerto Vallarta, one of Mexico’s most popular destinations because of its world-class infrastructure and authentic Mexican feeling, is preparing for the arrival of this year’s Spring Break.
Named the top 4th Spring Break destination in the world by US & World News Report , Puerto Vallarta’s spring break travel season starts on March 1 and specialist estimate that about 8,000 students will be visiting the Pacific coast paradise in 2014, a thousand more than in 2013.
One of Mexico’s safest destinations, Puerto Vallarta, is not part of the US or Canadian Travel Alerts and Thomas Dale & Associates (TDA), a leading global investigative and security firm, found that the international destination is one of the safest for American and Canadian travelers.
This is a sentiment agreed by travelers as this year the destination has received numerous consumer-awarded titles, among them “Most Romantic Mexican Destination” and “Favorite Mexican Beach” from the readers of About.com and “Trip Advisor’s Traveler’s Choice awards have chosen Puerto Vallarta as the #9 Beach Destination and the number one overall destination in Mexico.
Puerto Vallarta’s Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR) handled over 1.2 million passengers in 2012, with over 2,000 direct flights coming from the US and Canada (SECTUR). The airfield is capable of handling 40 takeoffs and landings per hour. The airport terminal has 16 active gates, with an additional six in a recently completed terminal extension project.
The city’s hotel network offers 20,784 rooms, with well over half being 4-star-plus properties as well as historical boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts, private homes and condominiums
Puerto Vallarta is also home to an array of gay friendly properties. Gay travelers have the option of choosing from gay friendly resorts, hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts and guest houses.
Puerto Vallarta is a sports lover’s paradise offering an endless array of outdoor adventures under the warm Mexican sun. Water sports enthusiasts can choose from every imaginable activity from snorkeling and scuba diving to kayaking, sailing, water skiing, and surfing. The abundant marine life in the warm Pacific waters of Banderas Bay are known to be a fisherman’s paradise offering some of the best deep sea sports fishing around. Those in search of harder adventure can go mountain bike riding, opt for a jeep safari or go horseback riding in challenging terrains. There are also soft adventure tours of the jungle surrounding Puerto Vallarta from canopy tours to eco hikes. And, of course, all of the more traditional sports including tennis and world-class golf are also on offer.
Following is a list of some of the more popular activities to be enjoyed in Puerto Vallarta.
A Day in a Traditional Mexican Ranch: Ranches offer tours on horseback, by motorbike or hikes through surrounding ecosystems.
Las Caletas Islands Las Caletas is a secluded paradise, with a spectacular backdrop of the Sierra Madre Mountains, beautiful beaches, and even a tropical reef.
Los Arcos National Marine Park Famous for its 1600 foot underwater cliff “Devil’s Drop”, this protected park consists of towering rock arches, caves, tunnels, and reefs full of marine animals.
Yelapa & Majahuitas The small fishing villages of Yelapa and Majahuitas are two relaxing and unspoiled paradises that allow visitors to come in close contact with wildlife inhabiting the hills of the jungle.
El Salado Mangrove Estuary The Estero del Salado lagoon is a paradise for birdwatchers; a beautiful expanse of white mangle, palm trees, mosses, ferns, and fauna. Swimming with dolphins in Vallarta . After adolphin swim, take advantage of the day to enjoy 10 water slides, a fresh ride along the river, and dolphin and sea lion shows.
Canopy Tours: Canopy tours are an exciting way to see and learn about the varied tropical flora and fauna of the rainforest surrounding Puerto Vallarta. The adrenaline mounts as one rides from treetop to treetop, hovering over the canopy of the lush vegetation of the Sierra Madre Mountains.
Although Puerto Vallarta is known for its breathtaking views, gastronomy and culture, it also has a vibrant night scene. In the heart of Vallarta, along the stretch of the Malecón, there are restaurants, live music venues, bars and nightclubs offering something for everyone!
Performing Arts & Cultural Events
Puerto Vallarta's gallery community gathers in the downtown area to present weekly art walks where new exhibits are presented, featured artists are in attendance, and complimentary cocktails are served.
The major hotels in Puerto Vallarta feature fiestas for tourists. They consist of open bar parties, Mexican buffet dinners, and live entertainment (mariachi bands, etc).
Night Clubs & Dancing
Puerto Vallarta has many late-night venues and nightclubs, each offering their own unique music, drinks, ambience and décor. Most nightspots are located along Calle Ignacio L. Vallarta. Along this 3-block stretch, visitors may find a sports bar, live music and gay dance clubs.
The legal drinking age in Mexico is 18. Most bars serve alcohol until 2am while dance clubs will stay open for two more hours. The night scene usually starts around 11pm and most clubs don’t have a strict dress code. Depending on the establishment, there will be a cover charge ranging from 100-400 pesos.
El Malecon neighborhood is the most frequented bar and clubbing area. This area includes such hangouts as Mandala, the Zoo and La Vaquita are located near each other on Diaz Ordaz Street.
The restaurant-bar La Bodeguita del Medio has live Cuban and salsa music performances and La Dulce Vita Italian restaurant features a jazz band. La Chata, El Andariego and La Destileria restaurants have mariachi musicians and BeboTero, Paradise Burger and Senor Frogs each host live rock band performances regularly.
Vallarta has a vibrant gay community with a wide variety of clubs and nightlife options, including special bay cruises and evening excursions.
Puerto Vallarta’s gay nightlife scene congregates on the South Side Zona Romantica area. There are many gay friendly night clubs, bars, discos, cantinas, lounges and party venues located relatively close to each other. Check out www.dianastours.com and gayvallartabarhopping.com