This was my first time in Mexico and our first time as a couple. Puerta Vallarta is very lush and tropical and surprised me with how beautiful it is. We finally were able to utilize our TSA Pre-check and Expedited Customs cards and having it made coming back to the States a breeze. The flight from Chicago O’hare airport to Puerta Vallarta was about 4 hours non-stop. The Grand Velas Resort & Spa Riviera Nayarit in Puerta Vallarta on Banderas Bay is where we stayed and it was an all-inclusive resort.

The resort is stunning and kept very clean. Their pool area is gorgeous and their swim up bar was one of the highlights of my trip. There’s nothing like sipping on a glass of Prosecco, staring at the sunset and ocean while at a swim up bar.

Their Spa was one of the best I have been to in my life. Brian and I decided to try our first 4-hand massage at their spa – as a couple. It was a very cool, luxurious experience and I think everyone should try a 4-hand massage once in their life! At each service we did, they give you a butterfly to clasp in your hand, close your eyes and make an intention. It was very yoga-esque and had a spiritual dimension to it.

Coloring Tables Inside The Spa at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
Coloring Tables Inside The Spa at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit

Shopping

We decided to venture off the hotel property to do some bartering and shopped in Bucerias since it was closer to the hotel than the Malecon. We had the front test give us $100 worth of Pesos to take with us before departing.   We were able to get a few really cute serving dishes  to take home as souvenirs.

Malecon is where I really wanted to go but it was about 40 minutes in each direction and it didn’t work out. The Resort gift shop had gorgeous jewelry and beautiful kaftans as well.

The Treasures | Puerta Vallarta
The Treasures | Puerta Vallarta

Things to do in Puerta Vallarta

Mike’s Charters and Tours

We went snorkeling at Los Arcos with Mike’s Charters and Tours and it was spectacular. The crew were hysterical and they really make the trip unique. Our tour was about 4 hours and included food.

Fire Dancers & Fire Show

A Fire Show fuses dance, juggling and fire in a magical combination that is breathtaking.

ATV & Zipline Adventures

Top Scenic Spots

Church of Our Lady Guadalupe

Located at the Malecon, the Church of Our Lady Guadalupe in downtown PV is one of the ways most people distinguish the resort town. Definitely photo worthy.

Los Arcos

Los Arcos means “The Arches” and you can swim, snorkel and kayak through them. These small beautiful granite islands protrude from the sea and are visible even from downtown PV, which have been protected as a National Marine Park since 1984.

Los Arcos | Puerta Vallarta Mexico
Los Arcos | Puerta Vallarta Mexico
Los Arcos | Puerta Vallarta Mexico
Los Arcos | Puerta Vallarta Mexico

The Beach at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
The Beach at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
Each Room has Outdoor Beds Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
Each Room has Outdoor Beds Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
The View From Our Room | Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
The View From Our Room | Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
Hallways inside Resort | Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
Hallways inside Resort | Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
White Art | Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
White Art | Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit

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