Girls Getaway to Mexico: 5 Days in Puerto Vallarta
Our girls getaway to Mexico had some hilarious moments and was a really well-rounded trip – we got to relax, take in Puerto Vallarta’s colorful sights, and experience its lively nightlife scene. This marked my third friends/girls trip of the year, and boy did it get off to a rocky start though. Firstly, I need to stop picking these redeye and 5:30am flights just because I think I’m saving money. I actually ended up paying $42 to take a Lyft to the airport, which I think brought me pretty close to how much a better timed flight would’ve been. Learn from my mistakes!
I can deal with lack of sleep most times, but the kicker to the start of this trip occurred once I arrived at the resort. My two friends had arrived a couple days earlier so I asked the front desk if I could have my room as close to theirs as possible. She informed me that it wouldn’t be possible. After some communication issues, I discovered it wasn’t possible because my friends were actually at a different resort! I had never used a travel agent before, but my friends wanted to so they could take advantage of a package deal. It turns out this travel agent accidentally booked me at the family resort and my friends were down the block at the adult resort. The resort refused to simply move me to the adult side due to difference in pricing and because the adult side was completely booked on one of the days. After two hours of frustration and sweat (mostly because I was wearing jeans in Mexican humidity), I decided to stay on the family side and just buy an adult wristband, which gave me access to the adult amenities. Because the travel agent admitted it was his fault, he finally agreed to reimburse me the $100 I paid for the wristband. The silver lining to this situation was that I had to walk back and forth from each resort everyday, which was probably beneficial for my body after multiple days of copious amounts of buffet food and alcohol.
Puerto Vallarta Trip Basics
- Weather: It was around 32C everyday in mid-November and super humid. Bring that sunscreen!
- Duration: 5 days and 4 nights.
- Accommodations: We stayed at a Crown Paradise Golden in Puerto Vallarta (adults only). Though I accidentally got booked at the Crown Paradise Club (family resort)… Service at the resort was quite mixed and I would recommend two resorts I’ve stayed at in the past: Barcelo and Grand Bahia Principe Coba resorts in the Mayan Riviera. I admit I don’t have a hotel comparison specifically in Puerto Vallarta though.
- Resort Cost: Through the travel agent, I paid around $550 CAD ($426 USD) for 4 nights.
- Airfare: I paid $358 roundtrip from San Francisco, California to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Puerto Vallarta Trip Tips
- Currency: I never exchanged currency once on this trip! Even when I went to my local bank they recommended that I exchange my cash once in Mexico if need be. I ended up bringing $100 in American cash, which all cabs, hotel staff, and many vendors accept. You will end up accumulating pesos from change though. I also used my Bank of America travel credit card during my stay, which has zero fees on foreign transactions. I used this card while traveling throughout Europe.
- Safety: I felt very safe during my time here! Like in most places, just grip that purse at the front of our body and be observant!
- Drinking Water: I am sad to say that I’ve had some very unfortunate intestinal issues on previous Mexico trips. I’m still unsure if it was due to food or water, but always be cautious and consume bottled water in Mexico. You don’t want to be in the bathroom for the duration of your vacation.
- Transportation: We took a cab everywhere. From our resort, it was $4 USD to get downtown. To and from the airport cost differently: $18 USD from the airport to our resort and $8 from the resort to the airport.
- Airport Madness: I cannot emphasize this enough – don’t accept offers to take a taxi from anyone at the airport until you see the outside! I made the mistake of accepting someone’s offer to help me take a cab who ended up just trying to sell me a timeshare. This happened twice! Both gentlemen were very persuasive and professionally presented. Just keep walking briskly until you see the sun.
Girls’ Getaway to Puerto Vallarta Itinerary
This was a bit of an unconventional trip for me! 99% of my trips are comprised of itineraries and a “must-do” list of things to do in foreign destinations accompanied by 30k+ steps per day working my way through activities and restaurants. However, our Puerto Vallarta stay was definitely a beach, eat, drink and repeat kind of trip. Apart from lounging at the resort, my friends and I were able to leave for a few hours at a time to check out local nightlife, market shopping, and historic areas:
Downtown Puerto Vallarta Boardwalk (El Malecon): This walk along the Pacific provides not only a beautiful view of the ocean, but also views of the distant mountains/hills and the sights and sounds of the surrounding shops and eateries. Get your photo op at the big Puerto Vallarta letters and be sure to head a couple blocks inland to the large market, Mercado Municipal Rio Cuale, for all your souvenir needs. This shopping oasis is much cheaper than the shops along the water, and be sure to bargain! I walked away with 5 colorful home goods for just $31 USD. I kept telling myself that each piece would be 10x the price at Anthropologie.
Old Vallarta: Just inland of the boardwalk lies the vibrant and historic sights of Old Town Puerto Vallarta. Its jagged street and alleys are filled with colorful surprises. I stumbled upon picturesque potted plants and a small street strewn with hanging rows of bright parasols. This is also where you’ll find the iconic Puerto Vallarta cathedral, The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Puerto Vallarta Nightlife: We found ourselves downtown along the boardwalk twice during our stay. One section by the water really comes to life at night and features clubs and bars playing the latest and old school club hits from America and Latin America. Note that you shouldn’t have to pay to get into any of the clubs; just talk to one of the promoters outside. And feel free to ask for a free drink before they bring you in! They just really want to fill the space. The clubs we visited were Mandala, the animal-themed Zoo Bar, and La Vaquita (pictured below).
Girls’ Getaway to Puerto Vallarta in Photos
Have any questions about a vacation to Puerto Vallarta or have any tips on travel there? Let me know in the comments!