It’s hard to think of a reason not to visit Puerto Vallarta. A perfect Mexican beach town hugging the Pacific and backed by grand, palm-covered mountains, this isn’t just a beautiful spot; Puerto Vallarta’s Old Town has a rich culture, and hearing the bells ring out from the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe feels like a real glimpse into the past. Checking out the boutiques, restaurants, and galleries of the Malecón … Well, that feels like the ideal way to keep up with the buzz of the present.
A stay at two of the best all-inclusive Puerto Vallarta resorts in the area will give you the chance to experience a vacation that marries the local culture — that perfect combination of old world charm and new world luxury — with ease. So without further ado, here’s your guide to 48 hours in one of the world’s best beach cities.
Aeromexico runs direct flights to Mexico City from dozens of U.S. and Canadian hubs. Fly straight to the capital, check out the awesome lounge if you have time, then board Aeromexico’s direct flight to Puerto Vallarta. The journey only takes an hour and a half, and while you’re up in the sky you’ll get complimentary snacks and tequila, plus access to some of the fastest Wi-Fi in the industry.
Afternoon: Your trip starts in the lobby of the Grand Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta, an adults-only all-inclusive resort and spa right by the ocean. Head to the Mojito Lounge for a hand-crafted mojito with fresh mint and lime. Sure, it’s traditionally a Cuban rather than a Mexican drink, but it’s also delicious. Especially when you’re looking out to sea. Maybe order a couple of seafood canapes to go with your cocktail, too.
After checking into your room (ranging from standard rooms up to presidential suites), clean up and head down to the Sommer Pool Bar. Lounge in the shade of one the fancy cabanas and sip on a margarita. It’s cultural! Margaritas were invented in this country. Soak up the ocean views and go straight to bliss.
Next on the agenda is to head to La Cevicheria for a late afternoon snack. Fish and seafood are this restaurant’s specialty, so order a Clamato cocktail and the montadito de cameron — a tapas-sized bread topped with shrimp. It’s also worth getting in a round of octopus aguachile, a ceviche that gets a local Mexican marinade of chili, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and onion.
Evening: There are fourteen bars and restaurants at the Grand Fiesta, you really don’t have to leave the resort, and the Martini Lounge is your next stop. Variations on the martini are numerous, and the bartenders will prepare your libation your way, according to whichever recipe you choose. May as well play a round — or three — of pool while you’re here.
In Puerto Vallarta, the sun sets between about 6:30 p.m. during the winter months, and 8:30 p.m. during summer. Watch the sky and sea erupt in a blaze of pinks and golds from the resort’s beach to experience what may just be the greatest light show on Earth. Next up, remember you’re right by the ocean, so better eat all the seafood you can. With that aim in mind, head to Yuu, the Grand Fiesta’s sushi restaurant, for dinner.
Still not quite ready to call it a night? Hit up the brilliant Divina Skybar for drinks and dancing to the sounds of the live DJ.
Afternoon: Another day, another incredible stay. It’s time for check-in at Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive & Spa. Backed by the Western Sierra Madre Mountains, this spot also happens to be right on the beach. Get your all-inclusive bracelet from the front desk to start enjoying all the perks of your stay.
Settle into your room (opt for the Mountain View with king suite for the most stunning views) and open your balcony doors to the world, and that Pacific breeze rolling from the bay. Yes, you made this happen. Well done. Now head to the outdoor pool for a quick swim before heading to the spa.
The eco-friendly Nakawé Spa, surrounded by calming gardens and pools, has so many packages and services to choose from: facials, peels, body wraps, massages — you name it. Bounce between the sauna, steam room, and relaxation pool until the end of time … or at least until you’re feeling even more laid-back than the resort sun loungers.
Evening: Time to turn things up a notch. Take a seat at the Terrace Bar for an ice cold beverage. Tip: Go for the Blanco tequila, neat. After a round of drinks or two, check out Fajitas House, known for their … fajitas. The ambiance can’t be beat as you sit and watch the sun set over Banderas Bay from your table.
Now what? You’re at the Fiesta Americana. You have your own private beach to stroll on! So stroll, look up at the stars, dip your toes in the ocean. Punch the sky. You’re in Mexico, and it’s amazing.
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