Choose Your Villa Size
Great! You’ve decided to go to Mexico! You need a breather from the stress of every day life and you’re looking for something relaxing and spectacular, yet not too far away. Not only are you looking for beautiful beaches, water sports, great shopping, gourmet restaurants, outstanding golf courses, tennis, family activities, arts, music and nightlife…but you also want to experience the real culture of Mexico and stay in a private villa with a full staff and all of the amenities. You deserve to be pampered…and to top it all off, you don’t want to lose the intimate charm of true Mexican hospitality.
Sound like a tall order? Well, the answer is very simple…Puerto Vallarta (and the diverse vacation options that dot the coastline of the Bay of Banderas now known as “Costa Vallarta” – including the north shore villages of Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerias/La Cruz, Punta Mita, Sayulita, Litibu, and San Pancho and the south shore areas of Puerto Vallarta and Mismaloya). The Costa Vallarta or “PV” as the locals call it is considered by many to be the undiscovered “San Francisco of Mexico” and the “Jewel of the Mexican Riviera”. To quote travel guru Arthur Frommer, “Puerto Vallarta and the Bay of Banderas remains my favorite part of this colorful country, for its unrivaled combination of Mexican warmth, international diversity, and artistic charm”. Costa Vallarta is unique because it offers many destinations in one. It has the wonderful combination of pure relaxation tempered with the perfect touch of elegant refinement- a rare find just south of the border.
Parallel with the latitude of Hawaii, Costa Vallarta and PV is comfortable year round, surrounding guests with gentle sea breezes through balmy days and nights. The average summer temperature is 85 degrees; 75 degrees during winter months.
Steeped in history, Puerto Vallarta has certainly maintained the charm set forth by the Spanish explorers who stopped here in the 1500’s. Wrought-iron balconies and red-tile roofs highlight cobblestone streets and stucco homes draped in vivid bougainvillea. PV looks and feels like a storybook come to life, set in a tropical paradise, complete with mariachi music ringing in the background.
Travel writers, artists, musicians and celebrities were not far behind. Almost overnight the focus of this sleepy village went from hideaway to hit. Suddenly, tourism was born and now Vallarta is unquestionably one of the world’s most incredible beach resorts and golf destinations.
Just 10-15 minutes drive south of Old Town Vallarta, you’ll discover the smaller fishing villages of Mismaloya, Boca de Tomatlan, and the more remote beaches of Las Animas, Quimixto, and Yelapa. This area is perfect for day trip discoveries or for those who are looking to get away from it all.
Mismaloya comes from the Indian Nahuatl word, “Michmaloyan” or “place where they grab fish with their hands”- which still stands true today. Mismaloya is surrounded by thick jungle and a scenic turquoise water beach cove on the southern coast of the Bay of Banderas, a 15 minute drive south of Old Town Puerto Vallarta and 10 minutes south of the popular Conchas Chinas residential neighborhood, where the largest cluster of rental villas close to Puerto Vallarta are located.
Mismaloya is a tranquil setting where the dramatic backdrop of the jungle, the Sierra Madre mountains and the river meet the sea. The cove is best known as the place where “Night of the Iguana” was filmed in l963. Today, this 500-meter long beach is lined with palapa-style restaurants, jet skis, parasails, fishing boats, and tourists basking in the tropical sun. Views from rental villas on the mountain side overlooking the bay and the Los Arcos rock formation rising magestically from the Pacific are one of a kind. Los Arcos is a protected national marine park and a popular spot to snorkel with a wonderful array of colorful tropical fish, manta rays, and whale watching between mid November and mid March when the humpback whales that migrate to Banderas Bay stay close to shore to protect their newborn calves.
The three smaller coastal villages of Las Animas, Quimixto, and Yelapa are fun day excursions all within a 20-30 minute boat ride south of Mismaloya. They are easily accessible only by boat taxi which leaves every half hour (usually 9am-4pm every day of the week) from Mismaloya bay. The tiny, pristine beach of Las Caletas, is also a popular day or nighttime boat excursion just south of Mismaloya that offers spa treatments, snorkeling, kayaks, and the popular “Rhythms of the Night” dinner and show package.
Puerto Vallarta has received many distinguished awards over the years, such as the “World’s Friendliest City”, by readers of the prestigious international travel magazine Conde Nast. Vallarta has also been named “Best Places to Retire in the World” several years in a row by the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), International Living Magazine, and US News and World Report. Also named “Best Places to Visit” in 2014 by Lonely Planet, in 2013 by Time magazine, “Best Holiday Destination in Mexico” by USNews.com, “Most Romantic Destination in Mexico 2013” and “Favorite Beach Destination in Mexico 2013” again by readers of the popular travel sites TripAdvisor.com and About.com.
Puerto Vallarta is an excellent place to surf at. We don’t always have waves at every surf break but for the most part, you can find waves somewhere and they will be a lot of fun!!!
This technique is a very smooth version of the Swedish massage worked at a single superficial skin level. This is recommended for anyone needing to relax and loosen up the muscles or if you have aches and pains this is a definite must.
- FLYING INTO PUERTO VALLARTA (PVR)
Most major airlines offer flights to Puerto Vallarta and many have direct flights Saturday-Saturday in the high season from November-April. To check BEST AIRFARES, click on the EXPEDIA search tool above.
TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM THE AIRPORT TO YOUR VILLA
IF YOU SCHEDULED A PRIVATE PICK UP – Look for your driver who will have your last name and the name of your villa on a sign. He will help you with luggage and will take you to the car or van. The cost is $15 US/per person with a minimum 5 person or $75 USD (or equivalent in pesos) pick up one way. For example, if you request a private transfer and have 8 people in your group, the transfer will be $15 US/pp X 8 = $120 US one way. If you have more than 10 people, we will arrange for a van and a cab or 2 vans. Drivers must be paid in cash, credit cards aren’t accepted. Please keep in mind that if your flight is early or late you may have to wait a few minutes for your driver to meet you. NOTE - all drivers have to pay a $25 US federal airport pick up tax on all arrivals. For this reason, airport pick ups (whether provided by private or municipal taxis) are always more expensive than your return trip to the airport. NOTE- Cabs and vans do not have child car seats, so it is best to bring your own or we can arrange for a rental for you - www.vallartababy.com.
IF YOU DID NOT SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PICK UP – Turn to your right and you will see two booths clearly marked “TAXI” near the exit door. You can buy a ticket from any one the ladies (the rates are all the same and determined by zone). They accept both USD or Pesos. They will point you out the door to the taxi line up. You will be shown to a cab or van. Give the ticket to your driver and tell him the property address. Public (not private) Taxi and Van rates are per vehicle, not per person and the tip is included. A public taxi from the airport will cost approximately $350-$600 pesos ($30-$60 US depending on the zone you're traveling to) and can accommodate 1-3 people plus luggage. Otherwise you will need a larger vehicle, but always ask. Some cabs will provide roof racks so you may not need a van. A public van transfer from the airport is approximately $650-$1000 pesos (or $60-$100 US - priced by zone) and can hold about 8-10 passengers with luggage. Rates subject to change without notice, so it’s best to confirm pricing before you purchase your fare. Fares are determined by zone and are non-negotiable.
MONEY SAVING TIP – if you don’t have a lot of luggage and want to save the airport pick up tax, take the orange footbridge that crosses the highway right in front of the airport lobby (about a 3 minute walk). There is a line up of both taxis and vans. Ask how much it will be before you get in (should be a savings of approximately 100 pesos). Taxi fares in Puerto Vallarta and throughout the Bay are in Mexican pesos (although they also accept USD - but nothing larger than a $20 bill), they are federally regulated and non- negotiable. It is usually a better value to pay in pesos (they usually offer at least 10:1, if not better). Now you’re on your way!
RETURN TRIP TO THE AIRPORT - we recommend to have your houseman arrange the nearest city cab or suburban taxi to pick you up when you return to the airport. We can, however, arrange for a private driver to pick you up upon request at the rate of $15 US/per person with a minimum 5 person (or $75 US) one way fee for the return trip. Private drivers have to pay for a special "tour guide" license so this will be the most expensive option.
Taxis are a safe mode of transportation and are plentiful throughout the Bay and Puerto Vallarta. There is a taxi station on just about every corner so it’s very easy to use the taxis. Your houseman can also assist you when you need a cab from your villa. If you are hailing a taxi on your own, be sure to confirm the rate before getting into the taxi. Prices are set throughout town (depending on the zones) and the taxis are not metered. The only variance is when taking a taxi from the airport, which is more expensive than going to the airport because it is a Federal Zone and there are increased taxes and airport pick up fees for the Federal Zone Taxis. Generally the standard fare is $3 to $6 one way to downtown PV if you are staying in Conchas Chinas with the fare going up to approximately $10 US if you are coming from Mismaloya further south. Cab drivers are very nice and the cars (usually Nissan Sentras) are clean. Always enter and exit the taxi from the sidewalk side (non-traffic side) of the cab and look for traffic or people before opening the door. Try to have your money ready to pay right away when at your destination. Taxis will often stop in traffic to let you out, thus stopping traffic, so pay and exit as quickly as possible. Taxis usually do not carry much change, so try to have smaller bills. Seat belts are often tucked down in the backseat. While it is not required to wear one, in case you have an infant seat, you may have to dig them out.
A lot of people recommend using the efficient bus system, but for a few more bucks you can take a cab and get to your destination faster. TIP - try to always note your taxi's number on the side door in case you leave something behind or have a problem. For further information, contact - www.taxisafepv.com
LOCAL BUS SYSTEM
The bus system in Puerto Vallarta and throughout the Bay might best be described as an “eclectic adventure”. Riding the bus is a great way to dive into the local culture to see the city and bay. Buses of all shapes, sizes and decoration cover all of PV (and the Bay of Banderas) and are very inexpensive. There will also be many new buses in 2014. The main routes from Puerto Vallarta (Centro or Marina) are to Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerias, LaCruz, Punta Mita, and Sayulita. Bus stops are generally well marked and look for your destination on the front window of the bus. Buses usually operate on about a 15 minute interval. Late night (after 9pm) it is better to take a taxi as the routes become more diffuse and less reliable.
Buses in the bay are very high off the ground so getting on and off can be difficult for the elderly or someone with bad knees, weak legs or other mobility difficulties. Also, unlike most buses in the US and Canada, you have to push a button (called a “timbre”) for the driver to stop. These are located, usually near the front, near the back exit, and several other places throughout the bus. TIP - get on and off the bus quickly. Take your seat as soon as possible because the drivers don't usually wait. Locals with disability cards are allowed to get on the bus and ask for donations from passengers. Entertainers will also get on the bus to sing and/or play a musical instrument for tips. The 1st two seats behind the driver are reserved for people with disabilities and pregnant women.
From Old Town PV, the cost to ride the bus to the surrounding areas (Nuevo, Bucerias, LaCruz, Punta Mita, and Sayulita) is about 20 Pesos ($2 US) one way (subject to change, please ask first to confirm). These are generally the larger and more comfortable (ATM) buses that service the north shore areas of Punta Mita, Bucerias, & Nuevo Vallarta. The bus ride from Old Town PV has several stops, takes about an hour plus and is approximately $50 pesos ($4 US) each way. Within the city of Puerto Vallarta, the bus will cost approximately 10 Pesos ($1 US). The buses travel from the southern point of the bay (Mismaloya/Boca) to the North Shore (Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerias, La Cruz/Punta Mita, and Sayulita) which spans a couple of hours travel time.
RENTAL CARS AND VANS
Renting a car normally is not very cost effective option as cabs are relatively cheap and the bay area is easy to get around (parking downtown PV is also very limited). We only recommend renting a car or van if you plan on exploring the area on a daily basis or several times throughout your stay. Be advised that many car rental companies do not quote all mandatory third party insurances on their websites and the rate can double or even triple when you get to the counter so it's best to try and confirm your total rate per day prior to arrival. To check BEST CAR RENTAL RATES, click on the EXPEDIA search tool above. Also keep in mind any car insurance you have outside of Mexico will not cover you in Mexico on a rental car – so check with your credit card and/or insurance company to make sure you have proper insurance for driving in Mexico. Mexican Liability insurance is mandatory.
We can arrange for a private car or suburban with a driver at anytime with at least 24 hours notice. Please contact us for a quote. Rates are approximately $40-$50 US/hour (depending on the zone within the bay) with a 3 hour minimum hire.
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