All-Inclusive in Puerto Vallarta
As a Nigerian who needs visas to visit most countries, it was a beautiful surprise discovering that I would not need a visa to go to Mexico. So when my cousin chose Puerto Vallarta as the spot to celebrate her 30th birthday, I was thrilled.
I was the first to arrive in Mexico on a Wednesday (out of a group of 4) and was greeted by a warm and efficient service at the airport. I had been warned by our travel agent to ignore the people offering car or hotel services in the hallway leading to the airport service but it was still overwhelming. Anyway, I made it out, made it to the driver, and headed to the Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa. I had never been to an all inclusive resort before this trip so free flowing drinks and availability of food was pretty exciting for me.
Two more members of my party arrived a few hours after I did and we proceeded to explore one of the dinner spots at the resort. The food was alright at best. It also did not help that we had dinner guests in the form of birds. We walked on the beach afterwards and the gloomy weather really brought us down. The trip was not boding well so far.
The following morning, we tried out the breakfast buffet and it was DELISH! Terrible for our waist lines but we were on vacation so who cares right :-). After breakfast, we went to meet our vacation travel agent to book our return cab to the airport at departure. However, Martin at Nexus tours turned it all around for us. He recommended a restaurant for my cousins’ birthday dinner and a show to attend. More shortly. We became optimistic and decided that we were going to enjoy this trip.
We decided to soak up the sun at the pool before the fourth member arrived.
That evening though, we had booked a Tequila tour and we quickly realized that the downside to our resort was the distance from the resort to the actual city of Puerto Vallarta. Thankfully, the power of the dollar made the cab rides affordable.
Our Vallarta Tequila tasting tour was quite educational. I was really skeptical about this tour but I can now claim to be a wanna be tequila connoisseur.
The tour took place at a traditional Mexican restaurant so we decided to stay on for dinner. OMG. I have never tasted Salsa so good in my entire life.
We walked outside the restaurant by the ocean for a few minutes before our long drive back to the resort.
On Friday, we laid out by the pool and enjoyed water aerobics haha.
There was also a margarita and taco party at the beach that we indulged in. That evening, we went to the restaurant that Martin had recommended. Spectacular does not begin to describe the view at the restaurant. Our cab driver had a difficult time locating this spot and our lack of data did not help. He had to stop three times to ask for directions but it was well worth it. El Palomar de los Gonzalez was everything. Upon arrival, Cesar – a little kid, took Bo’s hands and walked her up the stairs. The food was delicious, service was impeccable, the view, the music – sigh. I would like to be there right now.
Martin also recommended La Bodeguita Del Medio, a cuban bar to visit after dinner for drinks and dance.
We danced salsa, and drank some delicious Mojitos. The street where this bar is located has a lot of other dance spots but we were too tired to go bar hopping. It was also right by the ocean as well. It was a phenomenal evening.
On Saturday, we hung out at the pool and beach at the resort. There was a beer drinking contest and seafood paella on the beach. The resort staff were really kind and really worked hard to ensure we had a fabulous time.
Our last tour was the Rhythms of the night, another recommendation by Martin. We took a boat to watch the show which included a delicious spread of food afterwards.
I had an amazing time in Mexico and I will certainly return. Puerto Vallarta was fantastic but I would recommend staying closer to the city next time. It was also quite affordable when converting from dollars. We missed a few dinners at the resort so I say save your money, find an AirBnB type spot, and enjoy the city while savoring in authentic meals.