Adventure, gourmet dining, power golfing, shopping, eco-pursuits… All that and more can be found in and around Puerto Vallarta, a seaside gem perched on one of Mexico’s most spectacular bays, the Bahía de Banderas. Here, modern amenities go hand in hand with a feeling of being in your dream Mexican resort town: clean, safe, fun, and absolutely gorgeous.

Visitors to Puerto Vallarta fly in via the port’s state-of-the-art airport terminal, their introduction to a playground that offers a sophisticated and very chic take on a Mexico getaway. Miles and miles of gorgeous beaches surrounded by lush green mountains vie for attention, with cobblestone streets lined with historic buildings, galleries, funky shops, and superb restaurants. Art is everywhere. And, once the sun goes down, the city comes alive with music and late-night dancing.

If you love the great outdoors, you’re in luck: the area surrounding Puerto Vallarta is ripe for adventure. Many outfitters are ready to whisk you away on the escapade of your choice, from zip line canopy tours to jeep safaris, ATV tours, mountain biking, hiking… Hard adventure or soft, it’s all up to you. Don’t feel like walking up the side of the mountain? Hire a horse and let it pick its way up the slope to the nearest waterfall. Want to really get away? Hire a panga (small fishing boat) and have the captain take you to the remote village of Yelapa, a favorite with the A-list looking for a bit of privacy.

If you prefer the water, the Bay of Banderas is the aquarium of choice. Scuba diving and snorkeling occur in this enormous body of water, 20 miles across with 40 miles of coastline. Thanks to the protection of the Sierra Madre Mountain range, the deep, calm waters offer some of the best sportfishing in the world, as well as a year-round contingent of whales, dolphins, sea turtles and giant manta rays. Along its shores are numerous protected turtle nesting sites—ask about the licensed tour companies that offer nighttime visits with turtle releases around midnight, when the predators are at their sleepiest.

Accommodations range from all-inclusive resorts and rental condos to villas on secluded beaches and exquisite boutique hotels. Many of these are located just north of Puerto Vallarta in Nayarit. This area, known as Riviera Nayarit, is home to some of the most luxurious and exclusive resorts, designer golf courses, world-class spas, marinas, and gourmet restaurants worldwide. It’s one of the country’s newest, most modern—yet truly authentic—beach destinations. Its service infrastructure is of the highest quality, as evidenced by the many Four- and Five-Diamond venues.


Marina Vallarta

Designer: Joe Finger Rating: 73.1 Slope: 137 Par: 71 Distance: 6573 Course City: Puerto Vallarta State: JAL

Vista Vallarta

Designer: Jack Nicklaus Rating: 73.8 Slope: 144 Par: 72 Distance: 7074 Course City: Puerto Vallarta State: JAL

Vista Vallarta

Designer: Tom Weiskopf Rating: 74.7 Slope: 138 Par: 72 Distance: 6998 Course City: Puerto Vallarta State: JAL
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