Best of Puerto Vallarta
A Walk Along Isla Río Cuale: A lovely shady stroll taking in crafts stalls; sidewalk artists; quaint, swaying suspension bridges; and the John Huston statue. En route, stop for lunch at a riverside restaurant or one of the view fondas at the Municipal Crafts Market.
Gringo Gulch: Visit the winding cobbled lanes that branch off of Zaragoza, two blocks uphill from the main town church. The picturesque bridge over Calle Zaragoza marks Casa Kimberley, the former home of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.
The Malecón: Enjoy an early-evening stroll along the seawall-walkway called the Malecón. Start out enjoying the many amusements by the Los Arcos amphitheater, and continue north, taking your pick of diversions from the parade of lively clubs, bars, shops, and restaurants.
Playa los Muertos: Its strand of yellow sand, gentle waves, and lack of undertow make Playa los Muertos a good spot for wading and swimming. Along the way, walk out on the New Pier and maybe stop by a beachfront restaurant, such as the Hotel Playa Los Arcos.
Snorkeling at Los Arcos: Los Arcos Marine Sanctuary, offshore from Mismaloya, is a magnet for both vacationers and fish. The vacationers snorkel while watching the droves of fish graze the seaweed and coral on the submarine slopes of these arched sea rocks. Best go by day cruise.
Day Cruises: Enjoy the breeze and the bay views, cruising first to Los Arcos sea rocks for snorkeling among schools of multicolored fish, then continuing to automobile-free Yelapa village for a short hike (or horseback ride) to a waterfall swimming hole. Other possibilities include the pocket paradises of Las Ánimas and Quimixto, and the romantic hideaway of Majahuitas.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition