Tag Archives: puerto vallarta tourisim

Spring in Puerto Vallarta

Spring is the most awaited season of the year. We look forward to the end of the winter slumber and are ready to welcome the new season with open arms. The beginning of spring is marked and celebrated over the world by many cultures in various ways. 

In India, the Holi festival or festival of love is celebrated by people dancing in clouds of color. Thailand celebrates spring with a giant water fight where Buddhist monks, tourists, and everyone willing to unleash their inner child is welcome to participate. Here in Mexico, we celebrate the spring equinox by dressing in white and visiting the pyramids in various states.  

Colorful Puerto Vallarta

The flora diversity when visiting Puerto Vallarta in spring will amaze you, an explosion of color everywhere. We are blessed by abundant vegetation here at Banderas Bay. 

In springtime, you can delight in nature at its best, flowers blooming; the first rains fill the riverbanks of the Cuale River that runs through El Caloso and Old Town, and small fruits in trees waiting to ripen. It certainly feels like an enchanted land, and it’s here for your enjoyment. Puerto Vallarta possesses a wide variety of trees and plants, such as:

Jacaranda Tree

The majestic purple flower jacaranda tree, now considered a native Mexican tree, was a gift by the Japanese imperial gardener Tatsugoro Matsumoto. Mr. Matsumoto was a landscape architect that arrived in Mexico in 1896 by the disposition of the Japanese emperor. 

He was the first Japanese immigrant that came to Mexico. And because of his outstanding landscaping work, he was commissioned to design the forest and gardens around the Chapultepec castle. Later, in 1920 the then-president Alvaro Obregon requested Mr. Matsumoto to plant Jacaranda trees in the main avenues of Mexico City. The Jacaranda tree was brought from Brazil and rapidly spread through the city and other parts of the country like Puerto Vallarta. You can enjoy their extravagant flowers blooming in spring. 

Primavera Tree

The primavera tree is an early spring bloomer, therefore its name. Native to South America, it can grow up to 100 feet in the rainforest. The pink and yellow primavera tree flowers grow in clusters of one to three inches, which attract bees, hummingbirds, and bats. They make an ideal tree for tropical gardens because they have no insect pests. Here in Vallarta, we can marvel at their beauty present everywhere in springtime. From the streets in the Romantic Zone to the neighborhoods of Versalles and the Marina. The primavera tree greet us with its welcoming message that spring is finally here.

An Impressive and Delicious Flora 

The port of Vallarta is home to 14 different types of palm trees, including the coconut palm, which has culinary, cosmetic, and construction applications, and let’s not forgets the delicious and refreshing coconut water to quench your thirst in those hot summer days. If you are in the Romantic Zone, try this little spot Called Cocos Fescos Don Ramon at Aquiles Serdan corner with Ignacio L.Vallarta, coconuts are always sweet and chill. 

In spring, Puerto Vallarta is cover by lively violet, orange, red,  white, and yellow Buganvilias. This can grow technically everywhere. You can find them hanging over walls, fences, and in pots. 

If you wonder about that bitter-sweet beverage that Mexicans drink a lot called Agua de Jamaica.  Well, it is made out of dried hibiscus flowers. They are a standard part of the Vallarta landscape. The trumpet-like hibiscus has up to five large petals and comes in all shades of red, purple, white, orange, or purple. 

While walking around Puerto Vallarta in springtime, you can encounter trees bearing delicious fruits like bananas, avocado, starfruit, guanabana, and mangoes. Be careful not to get hit by a falling mango when passing by. It has happened before.

Snorkeling in Puerto Vallarta

Where to Go Snorkeling in Puerto Vallarta

Snorkeling, not only doesn’t require formal training but it’s also a fun activity to share with friends and family. Even if you are not an expert swimmer you can snorkel either wearing a life vest or holding on to a flotation device. Trying snorkeling will get you a first-row seat in a breathtaking underwater world full of colorful life forms. It takes your vacation experience to the next level.

Benefits of Snorkeling 

Snorkeling is not only entertaining but also comes with few health benefits, such as 

  • Improves joint mobility, eases joint pain.
  • Increase vascular health, strengthening the heart muscle. 
  • Enhances breathing by increasing oxygen intake.
  • Relieves stress and anxiety by practicing mouth breathing techniques. 
  • Full workout, you can burn up to 300 calories per hour 

Snorkeling in Puerto Vallarta

Snorkeling in Puerto Vallarta will expand your discovery of this beautiful town. Puerto Vallarta offers a variety of places where you can come in contact with its rich marine world. 

With more than 20 locations, found in the area between Los Arcos and Yelapa, you can pick one or more that are interesting for you to explore. Here, snorkelers can visit shallow coves, and come in contact with sea life such as starfish, giant lobsters, needlefish, turtles, eagle rays, and much more. 

Some of the most popular locations for snorkeling are Las Caletas, Los Arcos, Quimixto, Las Islas Marietas, Najahuitas, Pizota, and Colomitos. All of them offer a different experience. Let’s take a closer look into some of them to see what they offer.

Islas Marietas (Marietas Islands)

Snorkeling at Islas Marietas – ecotoursvallarta.com

The Marieta Islands are part of the UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere program to improve the relationship between humans and the environment. Oversee by the Mexican government, they make sure that this paradise continues protected from commercialization. Therefore, you will be able to enjoy untouched views of cliffs, beaches, and wildlife. 

At Marietas Island, three water currents gather,  giving a place for an abundant oceanic life as well as birds. Here you will find manta rays, multicolored fish, dolphins, humpback whales, blue-footed boobies, and sea turtles. 

Situated 20 miles south of Puerto Vallarta, you can either take a one-hour boat ride or drive to Punta de Mita and from there take a shorter boat ride. 

Parque Marino Los Arcos

Puerto Vallarta Los Arcos Small-Group Snorkeling Adventure 2021

Located 12 miles south of Puerto Vallarta in the area called Mismaloya. Los Arcos (that means arches in English) National Marine Park is formed by three rocky islands that have passages, tunnels, and arch formations that shelter a diversity of aquatic life. 

This government-protected marine reserve is very popular for snorkeling, diving, swimming, Stand-Up-Paddle (SUP), Yoga SUP, and kayaking.

Formed by five granite islets, the bigger three are called Roca de Los Arcos, Roca de la Tortuga, and Roca del Diablo. The islets are at the deepest part of the Bahia de Banderas Bay, which depth can range anywhere from 30 to 1600 feet. It counts with underwater caves, deep tunnels, impressive reefs, and arches. Its waters are loaded with specimens such as the pufferfish, octopus, eel, moray eel, parrotfish, cornetfish, lobsters, angelfish, rays, clownfish, stingers, anemones, nudibranchs, and sea turtles. 

Los Arcos National Marine Park is also the home for a diversity of marine birds which choose this place for reproducing. Here you can find the rare blue-footed boobies, sea hawk, some species of parakeets, cormorants, pelicans, and others.

At only 20 minutes away from the center of Puerto Vallarta, reaching Los Arcos is very easy. You just can jump in a local bus and get off in Mismaloya and from there hired a panga (water taxi) to take you. On the other hand, if you are more experienced at snorkeling, it’s also a possibility of hiring a private boat, you would have plenty of options where to choose from.

Pizota 

If you are looking for a tranquil spot to snorkel that is not on the touristic radar Pizota is the place you should go. Most visitors make it as far as Yelapa, which is a charming fishermen town with a lot to offer like restaurants, boutique hotels, and an impressive waterfall. However, it can get crowded, and with a heavy boat-traffic does not have the best conditions for snorkeling. 

Therefore, taking the short trip after Yelapa’s beach to the town of Pizota is worth it.  With very few visitors you will find great snorkeling conditions. 

To reach there you can ask one of the pangas (water taxi) drivers to drop you, just make sure you set a pickup time, so they can bring you back to Yelapa. Another option is to charter a boat to take you to Pizota. 

Before your Snorkeling Trip 

Some things to consider before start packing your snorkeling gear.

  • The best time of year to snorkel with very clear water is during the “shoulder seasons”: from April to June and then from October to December. However, its been reports of “cloudy waters” around the Christmas and New Years’s holidays. 
  • There are stronger water currents during the winter months that can make it difficult to snorkel or swimming.
  • During the rainy season, the rivers flow mud into the ocean which makes the water cloudy decreasing visibility.   
  • Check for a guided snorkeling tour in Puerto Vallarta. 
  • Use biodegradable ocean-friendly sunblock to prevent contamination to the marine life.

Also, remember to be safe and have a fantastic time while snorkeling and visiting beautiful Puerto Vallarta.

Los Muertos Pier

File:Muelle Puerto Vallarta.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

If you had recently discovered the paradise spot named Puerto Vallarta, and venture in sunny walks through its cozy streets, I am certain you came across Los Muertos Pier. 

A sail looking structure that stands out in what is also known as Los Muertos beach. It looks impressive during the day and even more charming at night with its changing colors.

Let me tell you that the pier did not always look that way, this splendid new pier has been there only since 2013. However, the life of Los Muertos dates way back in time and its significance for the citizens of Puerto Vallarta. 

A “star” Is Born 

The first Los Muertos Pier was built as a way to transport from Puerto Vallarta to Mismaloya, the cast and crew that was filming “the Night of the Iguana” in 1964, the famous movie that place Puerto Vallarta on the map. Starting Elizabeth Taylor and her then-husband Richard Burton, directed by John Huston. The pier was far from glamorous, made out of wood, but it fulfills its mission, to safely transport the movie team and equipment. 

Patrick Comerford: Re-reading 'The Night of the Iguana' by Tennessee  Williams

Eventually, in the 90s, a concrete pier was built to replace the wooden one.  It was called “Muelle de La Solidaridad Vallartense” (The Vallarta Solidarity Dock), it was not attractive, but it was practical. Its construction was finance by residents, businessmen, and officials from Puerto Vallarta. In those years,  Puerto Vallarta, together with Boca the Tomatlan were key ports, communicating the southern beach towns which were not reachable by car. 

Up to this day, you can still observe people who live down south transporting all sorts of essential things such as a washer, a refrigerator, or a Mariachi for the Quinceañera party (Sweet fifteen) in the small pangas (small open skiffs).

A Well Deserved Makeover 

In 2010, when the pier was not looking its best, the piles were old and rotten, the local government announced its proposal of giving a needed makeover to the Vallarta centric area. 

The project had the objective to bring new life into the area as a way to increase tourist traffic by creating attractive spots for everyone’s enjoyment. Therefore, the creation of a new attractive pier was vital for this Puerto Vallarta enhancement project.  

The project was designed by architect José de Jesús Torres Vega, winner of the Biennial of Architecture that year, and it took three years to be completed. 

Home Español

On January 4th, 2013, the new pier was inaugurated. A cheerful celebration with fireworks, music, skydivers, and much more. With its impressive 21,000 square foot sail, its design was not only functional but good-looking too. The current Los Muertos Pier features more than 300 feet walking area with benches, and changing color lights. Making it an ideal place to observe the always breathtaking Vallarta sunsets, read your favorite book, or just take in all the natural beauty that surrounds the splendid Bahia de Banderas Bay. If you feeling adventurous, jump in a panga headed to the exotic and less crowded southern beaches like Las Animas, Quimixto, Mismaloya, Yelapa. Depending on the season you may be able to spot a whale or two. 

Why the Name of Los Muertos Beach?

As many stories that passed along from generation to generation, part folk tale, part history. The origin of the name Los Muertos (the dead) for the Vallarta pier has three known versions.

Legend Number One 

According to local folklore, in the times that pirates cruised the seven seas, they regularly came to this port to steal and terrorized its inhabitants. One time, the battle was fierce and many locals, as well as pirates, die on the beach. Hence the name.

Legend Number Two  

It’s said that long ago, the Puerto Vallarta cemetery covered that part of the beach. However, when the city started to grow and got more populated, the government saw the need of moving the cemetery further from there. Even so, locals kept referring to the area as Los Muertos beach. Some affirm that when the area was being developed and many were constructing houses or businesses, bodies from the former burial grounds were found. Quite a surprise!

Fuerteventura, misterios y dulces en la isla majorera | El Viajero | EL PAÍS

Legend Number Three

Probably the most fantastical of the three. A long time ago, pirates seemed to have chosen Puerto Vallarta as their hideout spot for their stolen treasures. A captain arrived at the Vallarta’s shore on a full moon night, in search of his precious treasure that he had hidden few moons before. Though, he was not able to remember the exact location. Frustrated and tired, he gave up and sent out his pirate crew to search for the bounty. 

One lucky pirate found the treasure and decided it was too good for sharing. This resulted in a ferocious battle among pirates. The story tells that it was so bloody that no one made it out alive. The next day the locals found the beach full of dead bodies and gave it the famous name Los Muertos. 

Either way, fantastic legend or not, taking a stroll along Los Muertos Pier is a wonderful experience. Whether is daytime or nighttime, I can assure you you will find yourself immersed in the vibrant atmosphere that characterized all things Puerto Vallarta has. So, stop reading and start walking.