Blue Pacific Ocean blends at the horizon into the deep purple of shadowed mountains as the sun slips over Puerto Vallarta with a last fiery display of color. Halfway down Mexico's Pacific Coast, this popular beach destination is about romance or recreation, depending on your frame of mind. With picturesque cobbled streets and historic architecture, the city center preserves a piece of the small fishing village it once was, now well developed and a sprawling urban center.
Having lasted out the mid-day sun in the shade of rambling streets, hit the beach and enjoy some of Puerto Vallarta's varied water-related activities. Snorkellers will find the plenty to ponder among the reefs and caves hiding all sorts of sea secrets. Seasonally, dolphins may even put in an appearance. Scuba divers can get essential gear and certification as needed to better penetrate the deep blue depths. Sail away for a day with a snorkeling cruise to access some of the more remote spots like those around Islas Marietas.
Those dead set on deck time can chose from world-class sport fishing and during the winter months, whale spout spotting.
The easily sea-queasy can stick to the trot of a horse on a trail ride across the beach and through jungle or rent a 4WD and do a little off-roading. Get a feel for cliff diving with a bungee jump.
Puerto Vallarta is 212 miles west of Guadalajara and a very long drive west of Mexico City.