Wednesday we said goodbye to the beautiful area of Mismaloya and the Barcelo, and now it’s time to head up to Nuevo Vallarta to spend the next 2 nights at the Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta. Nuevo is in the state of Nayarit, just on the other side of Puerto Vallarta city, and is about an hour drive. Buses always put me right to sleep, so I settle in and wake up in a new area.
Nuevo is very different from Puerto Vallarta and Mismaloya. The resorts are larger, and a lot closer together. Everything is more modern, but still has a touch of colonial Mexico. There is lots of mall shopping, rather than markets (there are still markets though, don’t worry!)
After check in, we tour the hotel with the the staff. In addition to the deluxe room we are staying in, we also get to see a junior suite. These have a larger sitting area, a separate bedroom, and a very large bathroom with a soaker tub. The hotel only has 4 junior suites, so they sell out pretty fast. My favorite feature of the hotel is the beach; it goes on forever. If you wanted, you could walk several kilometers to Bucerias uninterrupted.
This afternoon there is finally some time for sun and sand without having to rush. I suit up, and head for the ocean. The water is warm, and there are some light waves to body surf in. Every time I get in the ocean, I always wonder why I don’t live closer to one – I’m just in heaven.
Wednesday evening brings us to Rhythms of the Night, which is the most popular excursion in Puerto Vallarta. We go by boat for roughly an hour to Las Caletas, where they have a beautiful outdoor theater for the show. There is also an private area for weddings, which I think would be absolutely beautiful. The show is fantastic, with amazing acrobatics, dance, strength and singing. Everything is in Spanish, so I don’t really know what is going on, but it doesn’t matter because everything is just so mesmerizing. After the show, a buffet dinner is included before we head back to town.
Our final day in Puerto Vallarta leaves us with a full day for free time. I hummed and hawed about what to do, and finally settled on an excursion to the Marietas Islands with a few others from the group. I heard a rumor that the government is going to close down the Hidden Beach part of the islands to tourists, so I figured I better get in before they do so. The main draw of the Island is Hidden Beach, which is a beach in the middle of the island that can only be accessed by going through a cave. It was truly beautiful, and got some great photos. There was also time for snorkeling, kayaking and paddle boarding before lunch and drinks were served. Once back at the Occidental, the rest of the afternoon is spend by the pool getting as much sun in as I can before I have to say goodbye.
The Occidental treats us to a great farewell dinner at La Hacienda, their Mexican restaurant. There is a huge buffet spread of salads, tacos, enchiladas, rice and beans, vegetables and desserts. I don’t know how we could possibly eat this much food. We spend our last few hours together laughing, taking photos, and enjoying the amazing sunsets of the Pacific coast. After dinner, as I’m up in my room packing for my flight home tomorrow, I’m sad to be coming home so quickly. The past 4 days have just flown by. Adios Puerto Vallarta, but don’t fret as I will be back to see you soon!