Mexico is always a good idea!

If you’re planning a trip to Puerto Vallarta, you’re in for a real treat because not only is the city amazing, but the weather is always awesome – and the people are wonderful.

We stayed at the magnificent Riu Palace Pacifico, this all-inclusive resort is voted number one and there’s a reason for that and you’ll see if you stay there just how awesome everything is made for their guests.

the garden of the hotel was so pretty

Places you MUST go –>

1. Spend a couple of hours (about 3 hours) in downtown. You will find tons of souvenirs here along with really great pieces for your home while walking through Rio Canal and Zona Romantica. Make sure you walk over the sketchy bridge over the Rio Canal, it’s a fun experience and you have to do it once then you can walk around to get back! Just do it!!!

downtown shopping area near Rio Canal

This is the place you’ll want your negotiation skills up to par because there will be back-and-forth negotiations I call banter, and the really fun “last offer or I’m walking out the door” shenanigans!

I bought my Halloween costume while walking around and since we’ve been to Puerto Vallarta a few times, this is all I wanted to get.

Similar to the dress I bought, it is basically referred to as a traditional dress from Oaxaca

There’s tons of food options in downtown and on the waterfront, we had so much Mexican food on our trip that we ended up at the Bubba Gump instead of eating at the local places.

2. Take a Vallarta Adventure to (in this EXACT ORDER): Off-roading, Sea Safari and end with the San Sebastian tour. But make sure you’re only going on Vallarta Adventures – they are informative, super friendly and tell you everything you need to know and more AND they feed you the best authentic Mexican food!

wearing our helmets to get on the shores for the Sea Safari trip that included riding up to a waterfall
San Sebastian!
getting ready to climb onto the off-roading truck!

3. If you go on the San Sebastian tour make sure you take snacks with you because you’ll have to wait a while before eating and there’s not any chance of grabbing a snack while on the tour.


1. Go to the beach! Do it, the water was refreshing; not cold or hot, just perfect. Swim in the water but the water is super salty so try to keep your eyes and mouth shut or else you’ll end up swallowing and spitting out the saltiest water ever!

2. Say hello to everyone, the Mexican locals are so very friendly and welcoming and they love it when you greet them, they greet you right back! We went during Christmas so on Christmas Day I said hello merry xmas to everyone and you know what happened? Everyone smiled and greeted me back, it;s just cordial so do it!

3. Tipping is a very nice gesture and everyone in the world (maybe except Europe) works for good tips, so be nice and leave something thoughtful for good service.

4. Eat a lot of Mexican food because you won’t get the good stuff back in the states!

What to bring on your trip (a must!) –>

1. bug spray if you go on tours because we had “chicken pox legs” after one of our tours from being bitten so much!

2. a hat

3. walking shoes AND flip flops

4. a few bathing suits because if you’re like me and wash yours at the end of the day and hang it to dry you’ll need to leave it a tad longer for it to dry so have a back up pair – or don’t, its up to you.

5. If you burn quick bring sunscreen and aloe vera for the skin burns

6. bring in a ziplock bag a quarter size of soap because the rest stops and some f the bathrooms have funky soap or no soap on some tours in the small villages

7. I also brought napkins and tissue paper from the hotel daily because there won’t be any in some villages.

8. a light jacket

9. shorts

10. sunglasses, a few hair ties (I lost all of mine somehow), and conditioner because your hair just like mine will get knotty from the ocean/pool.

11. underwater camera – you’ll want to get pictures of yourself getting hit by waves in the ocean or jumping into the pool

check out my Flickr photo album and see how much fun we had!

Blogger // Writer // Southern California is where I call home, Seattle is where I live // DIY Queen!

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