The drive down from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta is an experience worth doing. Along the way there is the government sanctioned tequila country to pass through, which being very picturesque in it's terrain, ultimately descends into a low canopy jungle overhanging the road. About this time the road from Guadalajara briefly wends its way into the State of Nayarit before heading back into Jalisco. I see army men with automatic weapons.....ah....I'm in Mexico. At this state border it's about the illegal importation of fruit instead of narcotics.....which is kinda funny really, because as soon as you cross the state line, one sees multitudes of shanty fruit stands. I'm nearing Vallarta now...here is the in your face billboard at a T junction blinding me with advertisements for strip clubs and gambling....hey, I thought that I was going to someplace classy?
...sooooo....I'm entering into Vallarta from the north which I have been told is a place to avoid since it's your basic generic luxury hotel scene without real flavor...and that is true, however, in booking a hotel in Mexico in a place you've never been to before, I would still recommend something that you can be reasonably sure is going to be a clean and healthy environment.
I've heard some sparking reviews about this town, however I did not find it to be among the top 10 or even 20 places in Mexico that I would prefer to visit. Without going into all that, and the fact that a hurricane hovered off the coast for the week that I was there, I will say that there are a number of very good restaurants there, all in the 'Zona Romantico' or old portion of the town so named for the Burton/Taylor love tryst that occurred there...the best of which that I enjoyed was the Vista Grill overlooking the town and shoreline where I found a unique tequila called Almondrado, which varies greatly by brand. Whatever brand it is they have at the Vista Grill, which they would not tell me is I think, brewed in heaven. I haven't found anything like it in or out of Mexico yet.
....how would I characterize Vallarta in general?
It's an overpriced yet dismally dysfunctional vacation venue, unless you can get into one of the more intimate privately owned condo retreats that are south of town, and your primary interest is lying on a veranda.
Part of my Mexico set from my Flickr site...to see more visit at:
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