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Puerto Vallarta Intl. Apt. Alamo Rental Cars
  International & National Arrivals

Puerto Vallarta Alamo Car Rental
  Carratera A Tepic No. 4690

Puerto Vallarta Westin Regina Hotel Alamo Rental Car
  Paseo De La Marina Sur Num. 205

Things to do in Puerto Vallarta

Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico has become the center of religious life for this city that is always busy and the center of a special 12 day festival every December. The church took 12 years to construct starting in 1929 and the inside is spectacularly adorned with decorative moldings, hand-carved columns and many other elaborate decorations that are beautiful and so interesting. The top crown above the church was damaged in an earthquake and later replaced, but caused quite a controversy since the original was modeled after a tiara worn by the mistress of the Emperor Maximillian. It had been started to be built in 1903, to surround the small chapel that was already there, but by 1915, a bigger church would be more beneficial to the worshippers and clergy, so after numerous delays, like wars and rumors of wars, the church was completely finished until 1952, and the crown wasn't added until 1963; supposedly modeled after Carlotta, the emperor's mistress, which is really surprising since the church, clergy and God especially doesn't go for adultery in whatever form or whoever you think you might be. Because it did take so long to build, there are numerous examples of architecture, which makes it even more interesting and unique; with the bells ringing hourly so you know the time and the tones are said to be very settling. The sunshine is said to come through the stained glass windows and illuminate the gilt-trimmed altar with a marvelous glow and the austerity of the exterior makes you wonder about the hopes and prayers of the local parishioners that came here so many decades ago and come here now. The earthquake happened in 1995 and when the crown was replaced, many people could see a difference and it irked them to think that this was the best the church could do since they all gave the most they could. The reason for the name and the church and perhaps why there are so many Catholics in the country of Mexico is that back in 1531, on December 12, a dark skinned virgin appeared to a Mexican peasant named Juan Diego. She said that she was the Mother of God and told him to build a church in her name and then gave him a piece of cloth that had her image imprinted on it, so that others, would realize the truth of the claim. That is the legend of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the reason the yearly festival is held here each December, but most importantly on the 12th.

Botanical Garden & Home Visits by International Friendship Club
Botanical Garden & Home Visits by International Friendship Club Puerto Vallarta, MexicoThe Puerto Vallarta Botanical gardens are considered a research educational center and pleasure garden located high up in the magnificent Sierra Madre Mountains, about 12 miles south of the city of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and are sitting on 12 acres of beautiful landscaped and gardened land that contain more than 3000 varieties of plants. Set within an unusual tropical dry forest ecosystem, this garden is about 1300 feet above sea level, with the gorgeous mountains surrounding them. The various gardens within include; the carnivorous plants, palm gardens, agave gardens, tree fern grotto, jungle trails, rose garden, orchid house, wildflowers and even tropical birds that come here for the beauty and any blossoms they can digest. The Rio Los Horcones is a perfect place to enjoy a relaxing swim, with the most panoramic views and serenity that you'll ever want to enjoy, with the crystal clear waters, refreshing and relaxing. The Hacienda de Oro visitor center completes this outstanding adventure with awesome mountains views, aromatic blossoms, old growth forests and abounding natural environments. The center also contains a wonderful restaurant, complete with brick oven pizzas and authentic Mexican dishes, and was designed by Anthony Sbragia, well known Santa Rosa, California native and artist. The entire area is well worth the short drive from Puerto Vallarta and is even an exciting part of the complete adventurous trek. But that is only a part of the trip since there are usually three houses or haciendas that you can visit on your way to the beautiful gardens, depending upon the route or type of houses that you care to visit and see. Some are occupied by the owners, who are very proud of their homes, and love to have guests stop by to admire and visit their exotic paradises. It is a magnificent travel trip, one that is out of the ordinary, since you will meet lovely people and enjoy great times in their homes.

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Local Restaurants in Puerto Vallarta

La Palapa
Appetizers; oven roasted beet salad, warm pecan crusted goat cheese, jicama, arugula, chile ancho & agave vinaigrette; La Palapa tortilla soup, squash blossom, epazote, chile guajillo avocado, cotija cheese & crème fraiche with shrimp; pot stickers filled with slow roasted pastor pork, spring onions with soy sauce, orange & jalapeno essence; fresh spinach & jicama salad, mushrooms, tortilla crisp, parmesan cheese, marinated panela cheese, citrus & tequila vinaigrette; light lobster bisque, tomato marmalade, lobster ice cream; Asian tuna stack, sushi rice, three sauces, crispy won ton; portobello & shrimp salad, fresh mango, baby mix, arugula, mint & tamarind vinaigrette. Entrees; pan seared red snapper, green asparagus, chorizo, shrimp bignets, saffron & citric sauce; pepper crusted yellow fin tuna, spinach & tomato, hominy, epazote & dried cranberry galette, chilpozonte sauce, mushroom & onion; chile ancho rubbed catch of the day, creamy rice with poblano & corn, green bean & onion, mango sauce; oven baked red snapper filet sarandeado style, black bean cake, sautéed veggies & plantain; pan seared duck magret, five spice roasted green apples, pumpkin puree, cassis sauce; pork tenderloin filled with goat cheese, chorizo & pecan, vegetable & mashed sweet potato, sweet chile mulato sauce; chicken breast glazed with tamarind & chile de arbol, potato, apple & onion puree, chayote au gratin, fresh watercress; seared day boat scallops, orange & serrano sauce, red bell pepper & saffron polenta, green papaya salad; braised boneless short rib with almond mole sauce, onion marmalade, grilled nopal, red bell pepper & rice timbale; grilled Pacific shrimp, guanabana & tequila sauce, corn & potato puree, jicama, fried plantain & crisp parmesan.

River Cafe
Appetizers, Salad & Soups; roasted wild mushroom soup with gorgonzola croutons & drizzled with basil oil; farmers soup with squash blossoms, corn, poblano pepper & cheese baked in pastry puff; Thai crab & coconut cream soup; deep fried calamari with house aioli; tuna carpaccio with Kobe mustard, capers & watercress; crab cake frisse with citrus dressing & lemon confit; mussels steamed in red curry cream with grilled garlic nan bread; hot spinach & artichoke dip with fresh cut salsa & sour cream; grilled Thai chicken skewers with 3 global sauces, gaucho, Kobe mustard and fresh mango vinaigrette; smoked salmon wonton stack with Asian slaw & mango vinaigrette; hearts of romaine with goat cheese, pickled zucchini & roasted beets tossed in sherry wine vinaigrette; fresh roma tomatoes with mozzarella cheese & fresh basil drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Fish & seafood; seared mahi mahi with bok choy & red pepper in ginger miso broth; red snapper filet over a lobster, French beans & hazelnut salad with caviar champagne sauce; grilled tuna & papaya served with quimixto vinaigrette; wild salmon with tomato tarragon vinaigrette, served over steam potatoes, in lobster broth with asparagus & green onion; deep fried shrimp encrusted with roasted pecans & coconut served with orange & red beet sauces; shrimp sautéed with tequila over fettuccini in béchamel sauce. Meat & Poultry; baked chicken stuffed with wild mushrooms & cheese with raspberry sauce served with steamed veggies & roasted garlic mashed potatoes; grilled chicken breast sautéed with portobello mushrooms, fresh basil in reggiano cream, with cappellini noodles & fresh spinach; slowly baked duck leg & slices of grilled duck breast served with sautéed pear & blueberry sauce; grilled filet mignon with wild mushrooms served with mild red chili sauce, herbed roasted potatoes & steamed veggies.

 

Pan Seared Red Snapper La Palapa Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

 

Pan Seared Duck Magret La Palapa Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

 

Braised Short Ribs La Palapa Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

 Grilled Chicken Breast River Cafe Puerto Vallarta, Mexico



Grilled Filet Mignon River Cafe Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

 

Grilled Duck Breast River Cafe Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

 

 

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Puerto Vallarta Apt. Hertz Rental Cars
 Carretera A Tepic Km 6.5

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 Paseo de la Marina Sur205

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Zoological de Vallarta Puerto Vallarta Zoo Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 3 Bengal tigers & 2 lion cubs
The Zoological de Vallarta, or Puerto Vallarta Zoo is a wonderful place to visit, especially with your family in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, with many unusual animals not often seen in the United States. Sitting on 130 acres or so, the zoo is presently only utilizing 15 acres, with plans for the present and future to include all of their property to house, nurse, raise and care for these beautiful animals that have come here from all over the world. It is a favorite destination for children who enjoy the pleasures of touching and playing with various animals located there. There are over 450 mammals, reptiles and birds being housed here, set on property that is completely surrounded by jungle making the entire habitat more like home for many of these animals living here. Many of these friendly critters can be fed, another popular thing for the children to do, but adults enjoy participating in this gentle contact, with hippos, bears, spider monkeys, rhea, deer, dromedary, flamingos and more. Don't be too surprised to see throngs of children running around like some of the wildest animals since this zoo encourages the local schoolchildren to come here for the educational aspects of the zoo and the creatures that live and thrive here.  The zoo has only been open for four and a half years, but their reproduction in captivity program has brought zoologists from around the world to learn more about their unique approach that has had such great success. This is just one of the reasons that the zoo has become one of the best in the nation, especially in the areas of animals that are in danger of becoming extinct, like the jaguars, Bengal tigers, African lions and the Caribbean flamingo. Another exciting and very interesting program is the visitor-feline interaction program that has attracted the attention of the world and its zoologists, as well as vets and other related people that come here to learn more about this particular program in hopes of being able to incorporate it into their own. All of this, plus the exciting interaction with many of the animals has helped this zoo become a favorite to the people of the region and the many visitors that come here to also enjoy this personal pleasure. 

Banderas Scuba Republic
Banderas Scuba Republic Puerto Vallarta, MexicoThe Banderas Scuba Republic is a fantastic scuba diving company located in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with professional instructors, divers and equipment to help you learn more and become a better diver, able to enjoy the beautiful sights that lie beneath the oceans and other waters of this earth. Striving to become the best in the world, these divers encourage your feedback and ideas to help you become the best that you can be, in hopes that they can improve and become that company that is known around the globe for its environmental and innovative ideas that relate to the sub-aquatic world beneath us. They offer certifications, which are done in a pool so that you feel more comfortable and at home, before you attempt any open water swims. They want you to have the most enjoyable and memorable experience of your life and strive towards that end. The company has recreational and sport diving that leads to a PADI, basic courses for all levels of skill, specialty and master diving certifications. They have the finest and newest equipment available that is kept in top notch condition, and they are the official representative of OCEANIC for all of the central Pacific Mexico region. A divemaster can be used or rented to go along with you and show you the best places in the region to scuba dive, depending upon what you are interested in, especially if you decide to swim someplace that would need special permits. Also offered are dive safari's that take you along the coast to different diving areas, boat diving trips that take you out into the ocean or along the many islands that are located nearby, catamaran, sailing boats, and even yachts can be included in your adventure from a half a day up to whatever you plan on doing or going. There are many private tours for diving and these can be a really exciting adventure with all the necessary trimmings, including clothing from BSR. There are more than a dozen favorite sites for you to enjoy or try out for specific creatures of the deep or just the most amazing coral in the region. Surely a great time and adventure for the family that wants to do more than just lie on the beach and get burned, suits full of sand and no stories to tell when you get back, except that you did get a good burn or tan.

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 APO International Gustavo Diaz Ordaz

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- Carr Barra de Navidad
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 Blvd. FCO Medina Ascencio km 4.5

Ocean Friendly Whale Watching ToursOcean Friendly  Whale Watching Tours Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
The Ocean Friendly tour company was created in 1994, to do field research on whale and dolphins in the Bahia de Banderas, by Oceanologist and nature photographer, Oscar Frey, who eventually started the Ocean Friendly tours and image to create a unique concept of responsible tour operation in the city. The company offers a personalized and specialized service that mixes professional knowledge of the marine culture and the safety and love of nature and its inhabitants. They carry a special bilingual crew that is very qualified in proper whale watching techniques, marine biology, safe nautical operations, diving and oceanography. The company have developed a marvelous technique of approaching marine life and the gorgeous landscapes of the Bahia de Banderas that sits off the city of Puerto Vallarta. Oscar was born in Mexico City, and his parents gave their son the opportunity to develop his own interests and abilities, which leaned towards marine biology and the entire marine environment since he was a young lad. He began watching the giant creatures off the shore when he was only eight and created such a love and desire that he needed to learn more. He thought so much of the magnificent sights that he witnessed that he began using a reflex camera at the age of 10, and then moved to the bay area in 1985, going to high school at the Marine Technological Studies Center and in 1989 journeyed to Baja California to go to the college in the Faculty of Marine Sciences at the University of Baja California. While there he took part in the Paleontological Research Program at the college that was offered by the National Geographic Society in 1992 and 1993, finishing specialized classes in adventure travel and ecotourism and was certified by SECTUR in La Paz, Baja California Sur in 1994. In 1995, Oscar came to Puerto Vallarta to develop a privately funded Humpback Whale Research program and whale watching tour operation in the Banderas Bay that eventually would make a Whale identification program that held over 991 unique whales, as well as a photographic record of their behavior and other marine mammals as well. He has made analogue and digital recordings of the whales' songs that has helped discover the mating habits and disturbance of boats that pertain to the behavior of the whales in the bay area. His latest research involves the use of Kite Aerial Photography so that he can document the coastal habitats of these magnificent creatures in their natural breeding grounds off the Mexican coastline. The whale watching season runs from December 8th to March 23rd, so that would be the best time to come down to Puerto Vallarta and get one of the biggest thrills in your life. By using this tour company that is more sensitive and respectful to the marine animals that live and come here, you will contribute funds to their important and continuing research, all pertaining to the protection and survival of these beautiful giants. Their vessels are customized to offer the best travel and viewing for the gentle giants as well as hydrophone and speakers so that you can listen to the amazing sounds and songs of the humpback whale.

Canopy Bay
Canopy Bay Jungle Zipline Puerto Vallarta, MexicoYes, there are many beautiful beaches along the shores in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, with bars, clubs and restaurants that will keep you feeling full and great, but there are also many great adventures that can be had as well for just a few dollars or pesos more. One of these utterly fantastic adventures is the canopy and outdoor adventures that are ziplines that go through the forests, or jungles in this case, that offer one of the most exciting times of your life. Only by leaving the throngs of people, the hustle and bustle, all the traffic and congestion that is so common in cities full of tourists and visitors from around the world, can you really learn and appreciate the ecological wonders of a country. With outstanding natural beauty, both in flora and fauna, the magnificent sights of the Mexican jungle are sure to be enjoyed and remembered, especially if you go zipping along a number of lines giving you first hand views that no one else could have, without traveling along the tops of trees in a tropical forest. The Vallarta Adventures' Canopy Tours and Outdoor Adventures guarantees to take your breath away, and no doubt that it will, unless your blind and deaf. This tour will take you to an amazing jungle location, with fully experienced and enthusiastic guides, where you will climb to the tops of trees and stand on platforms, while getting harnessed to the zip line and then sailing along the lines from tree to tree, platform to platform, getting the most incredible experience you have ever had. And if that isn't enough, their outdoor adventure will surely knock your socks off, as it is called the "Big Brother" to the canopy tours, but encourages you to learn more about the great outdoors and wilderness techniques, rappelling through waterfalls, splash through streams, jumping into natural river pools and soaring 200 feet high in the air on the 1000 foot zip line. Since the guides are thoroughly acquainted with the terrain that you'll be traveling in, you should not have any worries or problems, other than how to be able to create a better way to enjoy your next vacation.  Many other folks have tried this adventure and been thoroughly convinced it was one of the best times in their lives, so don't just lie on a beach and burn, getting bigger with all the outstanding food that you can enjoy, take a moment in your life to try something that will be a memory forever.  Perhaps you recall the movie, "Predator", with Arnold Gov. Schwarzenegger; well that 2500 lush preserve is now a jungle eco-reserve where your adventure will take place and you will fly through the trees like Tarzan used to do in the movies.

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 Av. Mexico Esquina San Salvador

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 Av. Francisco Medina Ascencio
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 Zona Hotelera Sur. Carretera A Manzanillo

Casa KimberlyCasa Kimberly Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Casa Kimberly in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is or was the very house that was made famous by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who bought is for Liz's 32nd birthday, and where they would spend many days and nights, away from the prying eyes of the ever present public. Their romance had its ups and downs, more so perhaps because they were such dynamic and private people living in an environment that put them in the public eye, for as long as they lived. Burton passed on in 1984, and Liz sold the house in 1990, when it would become a bed and breakfast, and now might be three condos; but the stories are as different about this as are they about the tumultuous affair and marriages of these two world famous people. The casa is set along a private street, and was a villa that Burton had bought during his filming of the Night of the Iguana, written by well known author, Tennessee Williams. The small village was hardly on the map at the time, with little population and not easily accessed. The population had grown from 10,000 to 250,000 since then, and become one of the hottest places on the Mexican Pacific coast. On the street below, you could see the bridge that spanned the road, where Burton would have to go when they had one of their famous quarrels, and referred to as the reconciliation bridge, connecting the main house to the pool house. Burton was also famous for his heavy drinking and when he became too much for Liz to handle, she would send him along the bridge to stay at the pool house. Sometimes, as the stories go, they would meet on this bridge and make up with the eyes of the locals enjoying every moment, as if they were watching some movie about these two famous folks. There were tours of the house in days gone by, with gorgeous views of the bay and city, pictures of Liz hanging on the walls, and containing eight rooms, that were always rented out when it became a B & B because so many wanted to spend the night in her house that had been so famous that it could have become a museum if the right person had invested in it before it was sold. Naturally, there is purple all over the place, since it was her favorite color, and the rooms were named after the movies that she starred in. Liz had sold the house as is, leaving many of her belongings and memorables, since she was selling it because it reminded her of another time with Burton that she would much rather forget, or at least keep in her mind in a way different than actually was, as so many of us do. There was a good collection of masks that Liz had enjoyed collecting, and the bathtub was made to Burton's specifications in the shape of a heart, in a marvelous coral color, facing the street with those thick glass tiles that allow the light to sift naturally in and keep nosey people from looking in. There are many other memorabilia set in the house, but most likely not there now. It was a great house to visit and now, who knows, but the idea that it did sit here and the stories that surround it and the people that lived in it is still alive and being told by the locals, who recall it all as if it was yesterday. It wouldn't cost you more than the time to stop by and see the current results, but if you stopped in the bar at the bottom of the street, they still might have the statue of Liz and Richard, with an iguana that had endeared the couple to them so many decades ago.

Mata Ortiz Gallery
Mata Ortiz Gallery Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
The Mata Ortiz Gallery is a marvelous pottery gallery located in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and sells hand made pottery items that are unique and quite beautiful. The pieces are all signed by the artists, and can be shipped anyway in the world, with a secure ordering process for safety. But it can't beat going into the gallery and wandering around looking at all the gorgeous vases, pottery shapes of all sizes, colors and glazes. Each piece is unique, and since it is hand made, there might be an imperfection that makes it that much more special since these pieces cannot be replicated in any way. There are dishes, plates, platters, wall hangings and various shaped items that can be whatever you want, some look like large eggs, with beautiful glazes on them, but they can't be used to cook, bake or any other thing like that, nor are they waterproof if you should try putting a plant or water inside them. There are bowl, unique creations of animals, or birds, jugs, covered wares and more. The Mata Ortiz pottery, or Casa Grandes, is considered to be one of the best and most creative ceramic gallery in the world, led by master craftsman Juan Quezada, with the complete pueblo of Mata Ortiz creating the most amazing and unique hand made, coiled pots or ollas, duplicating centuries old methods. The Casas Grandes ceramics are inspired by the Paquime, so that the potters are able to craft contemporary works of art, sometimes incorporating the mimbres designs and techniques that are shared in the southwest and Native American cultures. Using the plain olla as a canvas, the potters then imprint on them re-creations of ancestral symbols and by looking within themselves are able to create specially artistic pieces, both original and outstanding.

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Museum Rio CualeMuseo Rio Cuale Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
The Museum Rio Cuale is a newer small archaeological museum located on the garden island of La Isla de Rio Cuale and has a great English lecture given every Tuesday afternoon at 1PM. Anna Mendizabal, the museum's curator and director gives this interesting and informative narration about the archaeological discoveries that have been made in this region as well as the history and culture of the Mesoamericans that lived here. It is free to visit and enjoy, but closed for siesta every day from 3PM to 4PM. The museum houses a few galleries but does give a wonderful insight into the past before the Spanish invasion that used to live here, with a permanent collection of pre-Hispanic pottery, tombs and relics, with changing exhibitions held regularly. The museum sits in the heart of the island that is located in the middle of the Rio Cuale River that cuts through the city, starting in the majestic mountains around Puerto Vallarta and empties into the Banderas Bay, although it is only six blocks long and a block wide. The island seems to have an interesting story behind it as well, with bridges going and coming onto it from every direction, some coming from the most affluent neighborhoods of the city. The island has many shops, restaurants, the museum, jumping nightclub, plenty of trails, beautiful scenery and one of the nation's biggest markets, growing over time into one of the city's main cultural centers.

Bay of Banderas
Bay of Banderas Puerto Vallarta, MexicoThe Bahia de Banderas or Bay of Flags is the beautiful bay and also a municipality in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and is the biggest natural bay in the nation. The economy is based on fishing, agriculture and tourism, which has continued to grow since discovered by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor during his shooting of the movie, "Night of the Iguana". The main agricultural crops are mango, corn, watermelon, tobacco, beans, rice and sorghum with exotic fruits like guanabana, papaya and litchi growing as well. These need to be irrigated, and there are a few packing houses that take care of the finished products to ready them for sale or export. Tourism has grown to become very important and the bay is the most significant tourist site in the state, with miles of pristine beaches and landscapes that have invited and encouraged development. The long valley and great water availability offers cattle raising, with the mountains acting as the perfect backdrop to all this beauty and nature. It has been discovered that the bay is a significant breeding and birthing area for the humpback whale, which is another good reason for people to come here and visit. In fact, each year the humpback and killer whales come here for a pilgrimage, mating and giving birth, with other species like false killer whales, gray whales, and many kinds of dolphins. There are numerous whale watching tours available in the bay, but the vessels with the hydrophones on top deck offer guests the opportunity to listen to the songs of these huge creatures, and a marine biologist on board to enlighten you to all the pertinent information about these wonderful underwater giants. Come to the bay area and enjoy the perfect sandy beaches that go on for miles and the beautiful waters that are so clear and refreshing that it won't take you long to realized why so many people come here to retire or just visit as much as they can.

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May 11, 2011