As the polar vortex barrels down and blasts parts of the U.S. with record-setting low temperatures, it’s time to escape to warmer climes.
Consider heading south to Puerto Vallarta, which is basking in 80-degree days this winter.
To get some pointers on where to go and what to do, we talked to Miguel Dorado, chief concierge of Forbes Travel Guide and a 35-year resident of the city in Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Find out about a “Magical Town” and the beaches that will make you want stay here all winter long.
What are the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta?
There are many things to do in Vallarta, indeed.
El Malecon is a picturesque seaside esplanade where city life and culture happen. Here you can find statues, shops, artists, galleries and restaurants, as well as vibrant nightlife and outdoor shows.
San Sebastian del Oeste, a “Pueblo Magico” or Magic Town [a government designation for places that offer a "magical" experience through their history or cultural heritage] settled in 1605, offers a glimpse into another era with whitewashed buildings, an 18th-century church and a cobblestone plaza.
Los Arcos is a rock formation emerging from the crystal-clear water, an authentic playground for colorful tropical fish and sea life, making it a spectacular scuba diving and snorkeling destination.
El Salado estuary is located in the heart of Puerto Vallarta's hotel zone. This nature preserve is home to a diversity of wildlife, including 100 species of birds, Mexican spiny-tailed iguanas, American crocodiles, boa constrictors and land and sea animals.
What is new in Puerto Vallarta?
Gastronomy has placed Puerto Vallarta as a foodie destination.
What are the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta?
Marietas Islands. A string of volcanic islands rich in biodiversity; ideal for scuba diving, kayak and snorkeling.
Yelapa and Majahuitas. Two charming fishing villages ideal for kayaking and snorkeling. They are accessible by boat to enjoy nature in peaceful solitude.
What are your city’s most underrated attractions?
Many beautiful beaches go unnoticed for visitors to Puerto Vallarta-Riviera Nayarit. I’d suggest including at least one of the following beaches for a complete insight of this corner of the world: Las Animas, La Lancha, Higuera Blanca, Playa del Caballo, Playa Madagascar and Isla Cocinas.
Give us your favorite insider tip.
Fine-dining options abound in Puerto Vallarta. I would suggest visitors to this coastline paradise try local options filled with traditional flavors and authentic local spirit.