Puerto Vallarta Mini Vacation - October 12-15, 2017

I needed a short get away vacation but Neil didn't have enough days to go with me so I asked my sister Daria if she'd like to join me.

Our favorite travel agent, Mischelle, with Primo Travel Services gave us a handful of options and we settled on Puerto Vallarta for three nights / four days. We planned the trip so far in advance that it seemed like it would never come, but it did, and we had a great time!

We chose the Hyatt Ziva for this trip which only a short distance from the airport. Our arranged transportation was seamless and he drove us the long way to the hotel so we could see the city and some of the sights. The area has steep hills with houses and hotels hanging off the side of the mountains. Puerto Vallarta itself is a lovely town and seemed quite safe to walk around based on our journey from the airport to the hotel.

My only other real comparison for Mexican destinations is Cancun. Due to the hills, Puerto Vallarta hotels are built up rather than being the sprawling resorts covering several acres like they are in Cancun. The Ziva features the standard all-inclusive restaurant choices and bars as well as 24 hour room service.

We ate at the buffet and steakhouse multiple times and the Mexican cuisine place once. Our other options were the Asian and the Italian restaurants. I didn't ever want Italian, and when it was our last night we wanted Asian, but it was closed. Oh well.

The hotel is elegant, though small, but the secluded beach is what sells this place. Because the ocean view sunrise is on the other side of the mountain, we didn't see any. But the sunsets we saw on our side were gorgeous. 

We arrived in time for lunch our first day and hit the buffet. Then it was off to the beach while the sun was shining since the weather reports predicted a lot of rain for our whole trip. 

Our second day, we slept so late and got breakfast so late that we didn't even get lunch until after we met our travel guide in the late afternoon. We sadly arranged our transportation pick up time for the trip back to the airport, but also, we looked at our excursion options. We settled on the Vallarta Adventures Outdoor Adventures excursion. We had plenty of pool and beach time. We only got caught in the rain once, otherwise it only rained at night.

The next day we got picked up at our hotel around 7:30am for our Outdoor Adventure and it turned out there was only one other couple who was going with us. After loading up in the off-roading style safari van we started the 45 minute trek up the mountain. Since it had recently rained so much, and the roads were mostly dirt with huge ravines carve out of them, it became clear why such vehicles were needed. The rough and tumble journey led us to the base camp where we were suited up with rash guards and climbing gear. After being paired with mules, we rode the mules the rest of the way up the mountain. Then it was back down the mountain by various methods. We did several zip lines, some single while sitting in the harness, one where you hung upside down, and one that you stood back-to-back with another person on a boogie board size plank. There was also rappelling down the mountain beside a waterfall, and rappelling down in open space, rope and plank bridges, and waterslides. IT.WAS.FANTASTIC. All that and we still made it back in time to have lunch at our hotel. Marvelous!!

Then it was our final day. We were getting our transport to the airport at 11am, which let us sleep late and have a nice, relaxing breakfast. The cab ride back to the airport was faster than the previous trip apparently because our driver didn't see any need for showing off the city.

The flight was uneventful but going through US Customs was a nightmare. Daria went through the traditional line, I went through the EZ Carry On Only Line. The EZ line was one of the biggest mistakes of my life. It took at least 30 minutes longer for me to get out of the airport than it did Daria. I won't do that again!

All in all it was a great trip! I'll try other destinations in Mexico in the future, but Puerto Vallarta is lovely and inviting.

View photos of the Puerto Vallarta vacation (61 images)