My name is Lauren, welcome to my article on Puerto Vallarta. I am a travel blogger at Justin Plus Lauren. I also started a hiking blog at the start of the pandemic called Ontario Hiking. I started my travel blog back in 2013, so next year, I will have been blogging for 10 years! What an amazing decade.
Being a blogger has changed my life. I’m passionate about the work that I do, and I’m so pleased that I was able to make this my full time career a number of years ago. Traveling is one of the best things in the world.
I love seeing new places, learning new things, experiencing other cultures, learning about the history of a place, and even simply wandering around a new city or small town. I am actually not sure how many countries I have visited as I don’t tend to count countries – I am happy to visit some of the same countries over and over – but I estimate 40+ countries at this point!
A Chilled Vacation in Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta has always been on my bucket list. Justin and I hadn’t taken a trip together in two years since Covid, and we really wanted to get away from our computers and relax in the sun. Our winter in Toronto was rough this year, so we wanted to relax on a beach and see palm trees again!
As we were looking for a chill trip, we booked an all-inclusive package that didn’t involve any planning, other than packing our suitcases. Puerto Vallarta is a relaxed place to visit on the Pacific coast with lots to do. It isn’t a typical resort town by any means. I loved walking on the boardwalk and down cobblestone streets, admiring street art along the way.
The food at the restaurants is amazing. We found lots of vegan restaurants and vegan food too. I loved wandering all over downtown Puerto Vallarta and the Romantic Zone (old town), stopping for food or a coffee. The sunsets here are epic and we were treated to a beautiful sunset every night.
Favorite Part of Puerto Vallarta – Malecon
In Puerto Vallarta, I really enjoyed walking up and down the Malecon, the boardwalk by the shoreline. It’s lined with palm trees and all sorts of interesting sculptures. This is where you’ll find most of the action in town – shops, street performers/entertainment, restaurants, nightlife, beaches, etc.
Even though we only stayed for a week, I could see us returning for a month or longer! We’d love to rent an apartment and get even more familiar with the surroundings, have favorite local spots to visit, etc.
Best Things To Do in Puerto Vallarta
One thing that you need to do while vacationing in Puerto Vallarta is hike to the top of Mirador el Cerro de la Cruz. It’s a scenic lookout point in town and you will need to climb up a hill and some stairs to reach it. Trust me, it’s worth the climb to see sweeping views of the city and mountains.
Of course, you need to check out the beautiful beaches, eat some Mexican food, see the street art, and simply wander all over town. If you visit from December to March, you might have the chance to see whales and dolphins from the shore (or even better, take a whale watching tour).
There are also great opportunities to go snorkeling or scuba diving. If you would like more ideas, check out my guide to the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta! There I cover 36 experiences all within the city limits.
Wonderful Memories of this Trip
Other than the examples that I’ve already mentioned, we loved dining on the rooftop patio of a restaurant (funnily enough, it was an Italian restaurant and not Mexican, called La Traviata). It’s such a wonderful place to watch the sunset, plus the food and drinks were really good.
I highly recommend ordering the vegan pizza. I also really loved waking up every morning at our resort because our room had an incredible view overlooking the ocean. Sitting on the balcony with a coffee in my hand (the room had a Nespresso machine!) is the perfect way to start the day.
Staying at Dreams Vallarta Bay Resort
We wanted to have a relaxing stay in Puerto Vallarta, so we opted for an all-inclusive resort. However, if I were to visit again, I would likely stay at a hotel or apartment in Centro or the Romantic Zone. We stayed at the Dreams Vallarta Bay resort. It has wonderful pools and a beautiful sandy beach.
Plus, it was good to have the benefits of unlimited food and drink at the all-inclusive resort (even still, we dined out at local restaurants for most of the trip for more delicious eats and authentic food!). I loved the location of this resort. It wasn’t off in the middle of nowhere. You could walk from the resort right into town in 20 minutes, or take an Uber for a couple of dollars.
Travel Tips for Visiting Puerto Vallarta
You don’t need to plan much before you visit Puerto Vallarta. It has a really laid back vibe, and you could just enjoy the sights in town all week if you wanted. If there’s a specific activity or tour that you wanted to take, I would book that in advance as some of them have limited numbers and sell out.
You can take cheap Ubers everywhere in town. Puerto Vallarta is safe. We didn’t plan much ahead of time and were a little more “go with the flow” and we had a wonderful time. I am sure you will have a great time too!