The Cobblestone Centre and Beach of Puerto Vallarta

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.

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.

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