Visitors to Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding areas can find
romance while enjoying a shimmering sun and the pulsating rhythms
of the country. These 10 venues should whet the appetite of
visitors in search of a little romance.
Artists’ Studio Walking Tour (Puerto Vallarta.)
Romantics can delight in a private, two-hour tour to studios and
residences of such locally based artists as sculptor Ramiz Barquet
and watercolorist Richard Baker, who work in the heart of the city.
The tour, led by Gary Thompson, owner of Galeria Pacifico, offers
boundless insights into Puerto Vallarta and the people who live
Chico’s Paradise. The open-air, palapa-style
restaurant sits high on a cliff overlooking the boulder-strewn Los
Orcones River, about 12 miles south of Puerto Vallarta. It’s one of
Puerto Vallarta’s most endearing hideaways, featuring authentic,
country Mexican decor, mariachi music, parrots and thick black bean
soup. Chico’s is perfect for an afternoon rendezvous and a chilled
El Tuito. Visitors can experience engaging
encounters with old Mexico via an attractive one-hour drive on
Highway 200 through pine-covered mountains to a small, earthy
farming village with few signs and little commercialism. There,
they can sip cold drinks in the tiny plaza, visit the country
church and enjoy a timeless and romantic setting that most visitors
Hotelito Desconocido (Cruz de Loreto,
Costalegre). The “Little Unknown Hotel,” as the name translates,
located 60 miles south of Puerto Vallarta, is the quintessential
unique romantic booking. Hotelito offers 24 palafitos (traditional
Mexican bungalows) adorned with handcrafted Mexican antiques and
king-size beds draped with mosquito nets. But perhaps the most
romantic aspect of Hotelito is that the solar-powered property is
lit with candles and tiki torches each evening.
La Perla Restaurant (Puerto Vallarta). This
elegant dining venue, located at the Camino Real Hotel, has long
been noted as one of the city’s finest restaurants. Service at the
dinner-only restaurant is formal, the cuisine is international with
a Mexican flair, the music is live, and the views go on forever.
Romance flares under the subdued lighting in a festive setting of
Las Alamandas (Quermaro, Costalegre). Ninety
minutes north of the Manzanillo airport by car, Las Alamandas
offers casita accommodations for 22 guests on 1,500 acres.
Romantics can indulge themselves in this intimate and secluded
hideaway graced with personal service, candlelight dining for two,
and dreamy days of lounging in a casita that could pass for a
Hollywood movie set. Puerto Vallarta Malecon. The best way for
couples to explore the Malecon is at dusk, when lights begin to
twinkle along the meandering coastline and the city is transformed
into an exciting montage of evening diversions. Scattered along the
Malecon, which spans the entire length of the downtown waterfront,
are original sculptures and local artists creating colorful
depictions of the cityscape.
The Rock (Four Seasons Punta Mita, Banderas
Bay). A 30-minute drive from Puerto Vallarta’s airport,
The Rock offers romantics a chance to dine at twilight on an
elevated outcropping overlooking the beach, with spectacular vistas
of the coastal peninsula. While twilight fades into a sky ablaze
with stars, each table is served by its own waiter.
Sailboat cruises. (Puerto Vallarta). Couples
can book sailboat cruises for the day. Several companies offer
excursions that sail north to the sparkling waters off La
Manzanilla Beach and the village of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. There,
passengers enjoy breakfast, lunch and an open bar as they cruise
the coastline, listening to soft Mexican music while lounging on
deck at full sail.
Terra Noble Spa, Art & Healing Center
(Puerto Vallarta). Terra Noble is a dreamy surprise high on a hill
above Puerto Vallarta. The open-air, adobe day spa is situated amid
a tropical landscape and chattering birds. It offers massages, body
treatments, facials and spa packages. Taking in spectacular views,
couples can relax in the adobe house while sipping tea, listening
to gentle music and enjoying a fantasy ambience that feels
somewhere between Mexico and India.
Call the Puerto Vallarta CVB at 888-384-6822. Web site:
Call the Mexican Government Tourism Office at 800-446-3942. Web