The ‘marina district’ is extensive. The vast selection of restaurants, shops, spas, a few small but impressive gallerias, a weekly open air market all offer a lot for yachtistas, tourists and locals. We met some boaters we’ve sailed and raced with in the Northwest as well as reuniting with several BaHaHa boaters that we met along the California coast.
We were warned that the marina waters are notorious for lurking crocodiles. One of the dock workers shared a photo taken the second morning of our stay. At approximately 15 feet long and pretty wide, the croc image intimidated us to stay away from the edge of the docks and certainly out of the water. Yikes!
We met Steve’s sister and brother-in-law in the Romantic Zone of downtown Puerto Vallarta. After visiting a few art gallerias we settled into a Mexican restaurant – just in time to dodge the lightening, high winds and deluge of rain. Although the food was marginal, the company was fun.
The following day we reconnected for an enjoyable coastline cruise to Yelapa. A niche beachfront community, apparently only accessible via boat; offered some cool parasailing and scuba diving. We were greeted by enthusiastic panga boats eager to assist us with anchoring our boat and shuttling us into the bay. Meanwhile, panga tour boats would suspend the para sailor, once reaching a desired attitude, the panga driver would release the para sailor, launching them to sail and maneuver
their way back to land with no tether.
Our schedule allowed us to return to Old Town Puerto Vallarta to extensively explore the art gallerias and exquisite works. Undoubtedly Mexico’s talented artists won’t disappoint. An afternoon visit to Museo Naval, newly opened in February 2016 was a highlight. No visit to Puerto Vallarta would be complete without spending an hour or more in this impressive and informative museum. Active duty Navy docents and front desk staff are informative and welcoming. We look forward to returning next year to see the progress and contributions further expanding this museum. The image of Steve at the helm displays his exploring the ‘dark side’ of power boating.
Drifting through the Romantic Zone, south of Isla Cuale, vendors and street musicians’ entertained; while magnificent views of gorgeous condos overlooking the beach offer stunning bay views. Nestled between Americano restaurants and street vendors, the Contra del Mar palapa restaurant (Song of the Sea) is a hidden gem. Offering an authentic fresh Mexican menu, a perfect sunset view alongside the beach, we wound down a fun evening enjoying downtown PV.
Passing through the centro – downtown district we were surprised to be entertained with numerous drum and bugle corp teams performing in the outdoor theater. Most of the teams appeared to be middle school and a few high school age students. Their talent and enthusiasm entertained the overcrowded venue with standing room only fans and standing ovations.
Next up, we’ll be hosting friends from Florida sailing down the Mexican Gold Coast – Cabo Corrientes Gold Coast to Barra de Navidad.