Freewheeling in Vallarta

My baby sister passed a milestone birthday last week. I won’t say which as it tends to age me.

Suffice it to say that she felt its significance warranted a week basking in Mexican sunshine while sipping on an endless supply of freshly squeezed lime margaritas.  

She, her husband and friends chose to stay at the opulent Secrets Vallarta Bay, the ultimate in premium service and amenities and all in an adult-only ambiance.  

My boyfriend and I tend to be little more adventurous and decided to split our time between the Old Romantic Zone and then we moved on to Nuevo Vallarta.

Centred on the beach, directly across from the last pier on the Malecon sits the Emperador Hotel and Suites.

We had a fabulous full ocean view, junior suite with kitchen facilities, which is a fantastic option for those of us who enjoy starting our day with a fresh cup of homemade coffee and fruit salad. 

The surrounding neighbourhood is a mecca of international restaurants, cafes, bakeries and markets.  

We spent our days searching out our dinner options amongst the cobblestone streets and then capped off our evenings enjoying the many different entertainment spots. Andales, Nacho Daddy’s and Burro’s Bar to name but a few terrific music and dance venues.

We transferred to our next home away from home via public transit. The Puerto Vallarta bus system is truly excellent. You can virtually go anywhere (with luggage) for less than 30 pesos per person ($2CAD).

Obviously, I wouldn’t recommend this source of travel if you are lugging more than one piece of luggage though. The bus dropped us directly in front of the RIU Palace Pacifico.  

The newest in a series of three RIU properties in the Nuevo Vallarta district, the Palace is luxurious both in architecture and amenities.  

There are wonderful a la carte restaurants showcasing international cuisine, incredible selection of premium liquors and all served with incredible warmth and hospitality.

The endless beach in front of the resort is perfect for walking off any extra pounds you may accrue during your stay.

Our last adventure consisted of going on a guided cycle tour of the surrounding small towns and villages in the area. BICI Bucerias is owned and operated by fellow Canadians Joel and Jillian Goralski.  

The couple had spent many years vacationing in the area as a family as well as investing in some local real estate, but in 2013 decided to move permanently to Bucerias. With an entrepreneurial eye, Joel decided to blend his passion for cycling with a business plan. 

Their program includes guided day rides as well as full-week cycle tours with accommodation. Their calibre of rental equipment is excellent and they take careful consideration in fitting each participant to their bikes.  

Riding in Mexico was not at all what I expected. Aside from cobblestones in the city centre and learning the new call sign, “tope” (toe-pay) — speed bump — the roads were fantastic and incredibly scenic.  

Unlike the impatient and sometimes dangerous habits of the Canadian driver, the Mexican commuter is wonderfully tolerant and respectful of the cyclist.  

We rode two abreast without fear and marvelled how Joel worked in tangent with oncoming traffic to advise safe passing.  

Cycling as always, allows for a real immersion into a locale. Friendly laughing children ran along side and cheered us on as we passed thru town and a highlight was a stop at a local coconut water cantina. So, sweet and refreshing.  

I highly recommend it to any cyclist visiting the area to take part. You will love it!

And so, our week was done. We headed home to reality with lots of new adventures and memories under our belt. 

It’s always fun to “re-discover” an old destination.


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About the Author

Joy has long been a believer in the art of travel: the belief that a vacation is something to be anticipated savored and then long remembered as one of life’s great adventures. 
Website: thejoyoftravel.ca

You can contact Joy at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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