I was staying out of the centre. With “President’s Day” public holiday falling during the time I would be in town, there was a very limited supply of affordable accommodation in Puerto Vallarta.
I didn’t really mind, as Las Aralias is where the locals live, and it was a great way to experience the other side of this popular resort town.
It was 15-20 minutes on the bus into town, and only MXP$7.50 (AUD$0.50) so I didn’t mind making the journey.
The buses stop run frequently, so it is normally only 5 minutes to wait for the next one.
It is a great local experience.
Once you jump off the bus in the centre, you are only a couple of minutes to the promenade and beach.
They had wonderful art and sculptures along the boardwalk.
And the view is beautiful in both directions.
I didn’t stay long to admire the view, as I was keen to try to find a good cup of coffee.
The streets were quaint and cute with their cobblestone and I could start to see the appeal of this little town.
I found the place I was looking for – Vallarta Factory.
Immediately I felt overwhelmed by the amount of English-speaking foreigners. They are so loud. I realised that I have been isolated for a while.
It looked like a roastery as well, so I was hopeful about the coffee…… until my cappuccino arrived…
This is not the kind of cappuccino I enjoy. The taste was okay, kinda like Starbucks. I was on a sugar downer, so I opted to try the Pecan Pie. It was delicious.
Keen to explore further, I headed south from the cafe.
The “touristiness” of the place made me feel a little bit uncomfortable, but I decided to just relax and go with it. After all, some streets were as pretty as a postcard.
There was a small bridge to cross over. I was surprised to see how clean the water was.
I couldn’t see that much on the other side, so I just wandered around. The buildings were such an unusual mix.
Soon I was back at the beach.
There is some harassment here on the beach, but it didn’t feel as severe as in Cartagena. Maybe this was because the foreigners far out-numbered the sellers.
The beach was quite nice. Not as nice as Australian beaches 🙂
I headed north up the promenade.
There were many signs laid out for tourists.
And plenty of sculptures to see.
There was such a picturesque view.
And plenty of paid tourist activities.
Most of the tourists seem to be retirees, definitely over 65, and quite a few families too. I could see what was drawing them in. I can imagine it is a lot cheaper to holiday here than in the US.
It felt very “westernized” with splashes of Mexican culture.
I decided to head in for a few blocks to see the Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe.
They had a swish Tourist Office.
With a handy bus map.
Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
This is the most iconic Church in Puerto Vallarta completed in 1952.
With a simple interior.
Then it was time for some lunch. I found a simple restaurant not too far away.
Sometimes a simple soup is all you need.
Time to head home.
Catching the bus back was easy enough.
They can certainly get quite speedy on these cobblestones.
I really enjoyed my first venture out in Puero Vallarta.
Also published on Medium.