Once a mining town, and just a four to five hour flight from most Canadian cities, Puerto Vallarta―Riviera Nayarit is located in Mexico’s state of Jalisco and boasts immaculate white sand beaches, a plethora of water activities, and Huichol culture. Oh and did we mention it is home to one of the area’s most precious resources― tequila? Get ready as CSL and Sunwing whisk you away to this Pacific getaway.
As one of the four designated tequila regions of the country, Jalisco produces more than 80% of the blue agave required for the spirit. Take a tour at a tequila distillery and learn about the process before sampling a selection ranging from almond flavoured tequila to aged (anejo).
Downtown Puerto Vallarta is always bustling with activity. A visit here is not complete without selfies at the seahorse statue and dolphin fountain, a walk along the Malecón (boardwalk) that looks on to the Pacific Ocean, and a pit stop at the market to stock up on souvenirs, local crafts and clothing.
With dozens of beaches stretching along the coast, we particularly loved Conchas Chinas and Mismaloya for their secluded crystal clear, turquoise waters. During the evening, don’t miss the unbelievable sunset from Banderas Bay.
Just outside downtown Puerto Vallarta lies the town of El Pitillal. Here you’ll find a more traditional pace of life, where the intoxicating scent of street food vendors will guide you to authentic culinary gems like chicharrónes, elote, gorditas, and tamales. Nothing could be better than strolling the streets, munching on warm churros dusted with cinnamon and sugar straight from the fryer!
An iconic emblem of the city, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe church, sits high above the downtown skyline. Outside, a buzz of vendors sell traditional crafts and trinkets, while the resounding sound of the bells can be heard throughout the day. Witness a frenzy of dancing, singing, colourful floats and traditional Aztec motifs around the church, during the feast of Guadalupe celebrations from December 1 to 12.
GETTING TO PUERTO VALLARTA
Looking for a one stop shop for your winter vacay? Award winning Sunwing is more than just an airline, with all inclusive hotel and flight packages available for travellers that makes jetting off a cinch (plus we love an airline that offers a glass of bubbly to celebrate take-off!) We also loved the personalized and attentive service like ground transportation to and from the hotel as well as the on-property Sunwing representatives at the hotel.
If you are prone to cabin fever, a range of off-site Sunwing Experiences excursions, like the Amazing Vallarta tour (see previous page), give a nice overview of the city and surrounding area and can be easily booked on air or at the hotel.
Tip: It’s worth the splurge for the Elite Plus upgrade, providing travelers with: priority check-in, boarding and baggage handling (your bag will be among the first to be available for pick up), free checked bag (23 kg), and advanced seat selection.
WHERE TO STAY IN PUERTO VALLARTA?
CSL breaks down the culinary, spa and ambiance. at luxury all-inclusive choice Grand Velas in Nuevo Vallarta (a short drive from the airport).
This original travel article first appeared in the Winter 2017/18 issue of City Style and Living Magazine