Tired of the UK chill? It's time to jet off and experience the warmth and wonders of Puerto Vallarta & Rivera Nayarit, two neighbouring regions along Mexico’s breathtaking Pacific Coast. When landing in Banderas Bay, it's clear to see the best way is the Mexican way. So swap from a tourist to a townie and indulge in the following experiences, which make up the local way of life.
First stop: Riviera Nayarit!
Just minutes north of Puerto Vallarta International Airport, this beautiful region with 200 miles of pristine coastline, costal seaside towns, Lush Mountain peaks and an abundance of wildlife welcomes tourists worldwide, to experience the local way of life.
Food: When it comes to food, forget the fancy restaurants and head down to the picturesque town of Jarretaderas to enjoy lunch with the locals at their favourite Titis restaurant. Prepare for a flurry of flavours as you gorge on delicious dishes such as Stingray Machaca Tacos, Agua Chile and Camarones Cucaracha whilst mingling with the local crowd.
Experiences: It may come as a surprise but polo is a highlight of local life. The natives love heading down to the beautiful La Patrona Club in San Pancho to enjoy a day at the races. Be sure to have binoculars and beers in hand as it's the perfect opportunity to enjoy the sport the Mexican way.
For lovers of the surf and beach life, head down to Punta De Mita’s Hotel Cinco and spend the day at their very own beach club. Along with surfing, you can join the locals in a stand up paddle boarding lesson; they’ll have you feeling like a pro in no time! Or, join them in a 20-minute boat ride across to the magical Marietas Islands to explore the incredible marine life and the blue-footed bobby birds. http://cincopuntamita.com/
Nightlife: Feeling a fiesta? The Mexicans, of course, do it best! Leave the tourist in you behind and let loose with the locals in Riviera Nayarit’s Alquimista Cocktail Room. Natives from all along the coast of Banderas Bay come to chill-out here, as the baristas are some of the best around. Their concoctions of tequila, salt and spice are guaranteed to lift all spirits! https://www.facebook.com/Alquimista-Cocktail-Room-736888533136053/
Next stop: Puerto Vallarta!
When landing in Puerto Vallarta, prepare to be wowed. The vibrant energy, scents and sounds and the endless happy faces will have you dancing down the path of local life in no time!
Food: Venture south to the heart of Playa Camarones neighbourhood and enjoy a finger lickin’ good lunch on the beachfront at El Barracuda. Experience some of the smoothest guac around along with fiery tacos, tangy ceviche and icy margaritas. The locals are all laughs and smiles here, catching up on the latest gossip while digging their toes in the sand. http://www.elbarracuda.com/puerto-vallarta.html
Experiences: Locals are lovers of the sea, and the ocean provides a perfect base for leisure activities, including fishing, diving and snorkelling. Head south to the quaint coastal village of Boca de Tomatlán to experience it for yourself.
Situated on the luscious green mountainside, the bays offer the calmest waters around. Arrive at sunrise and venture out to sea with the local fisherman; they’ll be happy to tempt you with the catch of the day. Or grab the camera and capture the colourful spectrum of tropical birds that make the Boca Cove their home.
Keen divers and snorkelers can explore the underwater world and discover an abundance of sea life before ending the day sipping cocktails and nibbling “totopos y salsa” under the curtain of palapas that mask the golden sands.
Nightlife: Puerto Vallarta is renowned for its incredible nightlife. From bars to clubs and on-going parties, it attracts an array of global visitors who enjoy the vibrant music, flowing drinks and endless fun. It is especially welcoming and inclusive, providing a large offering for the LGBT community.
For locals, there is nothing better on a warm summer's evening than travelling by boat to a nearby beach resort such as Casitas Maraika in Playa del Caballo. It is a time to relax with friends below the palm-thatched bar and listen to the rhythmic sounds of crashing waves and Mexican beats. Resembling the location set of Tom Hanks’ Castaway, this tranquil paradise is the perfect place to feel at home with the locals and their inspirational way of life. http://www.casitasmaraika.com/
In short, when visiting Mexico’s Pacific Coast, make sure to explore the foodie hideouts, immerse yourself in the most loved activities and chat, laugh and drink with the people to really “live it like a local”!