Ahhhh, yes. Meheeko!!! We had decided years ago that we were done traveling to Mexico. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just that we had been to Cabo, Cancun, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. Our personal rule of travel is, “We don’t repeat places we’ve been until we’ve been everywhere we wanna go”. However…when you see that travel deal pop up, it’s hard to say no. So!! We snatched that sucker up and headed on down to Puerto Vallarta for our son’s fall break from school. It was his first time to Mexico so we were all excited.
How’d we find the trip? We have used TravelZoo quite a bit for our travels. See my article about Reethi Faru, Maldives. This particular deal to PV was for 4 nights at the Sheraton Buganvilias (all-inclusive) for $1049. We also bought this one last minute because our trip to London and Paris got squashed due to Covid restrictions for Americans. We upgraded to stay one more night just to finish out the week. In a nutshell, I LOVE PV. Love the area, the people and the food. We’ve decided that this is one place we will return to. We’re already planning to head back down next summer.
We ended up going down with another family whose kids are in school with my son. That made it a bit more fun for him. One big reason why Mexico is so good for folks from Estados Unidos (United States) is due to travel time. We left at 6:35am and were on the beach by 1pm. It’s also in the same time zone as Missouri, which is nice. The flight to Houston and PV were flawless followed up by a smooth entry through Mexican customs. The folks at the airport were helpful in getting a cab from the airport to our resort and check-in was a breeze.
Upon arriving we were shown our room and headed on up to change into our vacation/beach clothes. Our friends arrived within the hour and the kids were anxious to get wet! That evening we had dinner at the on property restaurant “La Valita”. The food was alright. Not great, just alright. We were pretty hungry from a day of traveling. The evening meal was a bit different. Service in the restaurant was sub par. I got sick of waiting for our drinks so I just went to the bar and got them directly from the bartender. Our friends waited an hour for their pizzas and my ribeye steak was not that great. More like flank steak. Yuck! The beach is your typical Pacific coast beach. Brown and course sand with murky water. Not near as pretty as the Caribbean beaches. The drinks from the bar were pretty good. Kinda hard to screw up a Mai Tai and Pina Colada. All-in-all I’d give the Sheraton Buganvilias a 3 out of 5 stars.
The next day was mostly spent at Paradise Village up in Nayarit. That place was really nice and we kinda hated to have to head back to our hotel. We did the whole “travel club” presentation which resulted in free golf and 2 free excursions. On a side note, we are advocates of listening to those presentations. You can get some great freebies from those! That night we had dinner at Fresca. It’s the Italian restaurant on the Sheraton property. I had the lasagna which was different. It was OK. The canneliones were amazing and the lime sherbet was divine!! The pools are nice and the water felt great every time we hopped in. We learned that they are pretty strict with their towel turn in times.
On day 3 we went back to Paradise Village to enjoy the day in their pool with their amenities. The beach is must nicer there!! They keep it groomed and it’s much more spacious than the one at the Sheraton. That afternoon we embarked on an amazing adventure!! We did the RZR tour with Canopy River Tours. We HIGHLY recommend that one!! We had an absolute blast zipping around the jungle on those things! The food at the place after we were done riding was one of the best meals for me. The views up in the mountains are breathtaking and driving across that long suspension bridge was pretty butt puckering. That night we ate at the resort again. I had Italian once more and it was much better.
The next day we went on the Tropical Adventures tour. It started with a slow roll through old Puerto Vallarta and stopping by a jewelry store. They have really nice jewelry but we held the brakes on that one pretty hard. Pro Tip – always haggle. Even if you may feel you’re being offensive, haggle hard. The next stop was the tequila tasting. I ended up buying (I’m sure it was overpriced) an “authentic” bottle of Jalisco tequila. I gotta say, that stuff was so good. Real Mexican tequila is much different than the stuff we get in the states. I drank Sargento tequila all week long. I don’t even know the name of the stuff I bought. It’s really, really good and smooth. After the tequila joint, we headed up the mountain and over the hills to the location where they filmed the movie Predator. I was excited since Predator is an all-time MAN MOVIE!! They had some dude dressed up like the Predator, which was kinda cool honestly. The food we had for lunch there was not good and I was pretty sure I was gonna crap my pants. Lo and behold, all systems continued to function normally so I was good. Swimming in the natural pool at El Eden was very refreshing and mama just hung out while junior and I did our exploring. That jungle is very thick.
On Thursday morning my buddy and I headed over to El Tigre golf course to play our free round of golf. We got comp’d green fees for 2, cart for 2 and clubs. We just had to buy collared shirts since we wore t-shirts. Those made nice souvenirs anyway. That is the most challenging and most fun golf course I had ever played. It was huge and they had 13 water obstacles! Many Iguanas and LOTS of sand bunkers to work around. I played “Bryan Golf” so I didn’t play out of the bunkers. The wives and kids went on a pirate ship excursion, which I was a bit jealous of. I mean, who wouldn’t want to ride on a real pirate ship and throw people overboard? After we all reconnected that evening, we hung out around our pool and ate at the Mexican fiesta. Which, by the way, was so much fun! I was a bit tipsy from drinks earlier so I’m sure that contributed to the fun tanks being full. The music was very enjoyable and the whole thing was just one big party.
On the last day, Friday, we hung out around the pool in the morning, showered, packed our bags and headed back to the Aero Puerto for the journey home. It was a great week and I really can’t wait to return. It made sense that there are so many expats living there. They have everything from Sam’s and Costco to Staples and Outback Steakhouse. I drank water out of the tap all week without any issues. Wrapping up, three things I highly recommend you doing should you ever go to Puerto Vallarta are the RZR tour, the Pirate Ship excursion and tequila tasting. You won’t be sorry.
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