A Day of Adventure – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

When you think of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico you probably think of beaches and tequila cocktails. But just outside this oceanfront resort town are mountains that offer the chance for adventure as well.

 

Clipped into the zip line.

Clipped onto the zip line. Vallarta Adventures uses double clips for double safety.

A day of adventure outside Puerto Vallarta

There are lots of day trips offered in Puerto Vallarta. We chose Vallarta Adventures’ Outdoor Zip Line Adventure trip because it offered eight zip lines up to 650 feet (200 meters) long and up to 250 feet (75 meters) above the ground totaling nearly a mile (1.5 km) of zip line.

 

Eric flying down the 1st of 8 zip lines.

Eric flying down the first of eight zip lines.

Then are also four rappels, including one that drops 100 feet (33 meters) down the face of a waterfall and a free-fall rappel off a platform, Special Forces style. Did we mention the whole gig starts off with a speed boat ride before boarding a 4X4 Unimog followed by a mule ride  2,000 feet (600 meters) up into the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains where the course begins?

At 250 feet high, this is one of the highest zip lines anywhere.

About 250 feet (75 meters) above the ground.

The jungle  was gorgeous and the gear and safety standards were impressive, including the use of double clips on the zip lines.

Karen on one of three rappels

Karen smiling her way down a rappel even though she hates heights.

The guides, which have to complete 250 hours of specialized training before they can go out with clients, were great (young, well-trained, great English) and the course was fast-paced and just heart-thumping enough.

Soaked in a waterfall at the bottom of a rappel.

Soaked in a waterfall at the bottom of a rappel.

Eric on a high rappel

Eric on a high rappel.

 

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Sea Lion Kisses – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Director John Huston spent months shooting “The Night of the Iguana” (a bizarre movie that still somehow feels modern) in and around Puerto Vallarta in 1964. By the time he was done he’d fallen in love with the area so he bought an island and built himself a home there.

These days John Huston’s island, Las Caletas, is owned by Vallarta Adventures which offers everything from lounging in a hammock to scuba diving to hanging out with sea lions or dolphins. We have since stopped taking part in activities that involve contact with wild animals, but here’s what happened when we got in the water with a sea lion named Mara.

Kissed by Mara.

Eric kissed by Mara.

Snack time!

Snack time.

Karen is avoiding something. Is it Mara's breath.

Karen getting a whiff of sea lion breath.

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Lap of Luxury – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

We capped off our incredible run of amazing resorts on the Costalegre with a few blissful days in the lap of luxury at Hacienda San Angel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Hey if it was good enough for Richard Burton it’s good enough for us.

The gigantic patio in our room at Hacienda San Angel overlooking Puerto Vallarta and Baneras Bay.

The gigantic patio off our room at Hacienda San Angel overlooking Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay.

In the lap of luxury at Hacienda San Angel

The hotel exists in a building that was the home of actor Richard Burton (with one of his non-Elizabeth Taylor wives). It’s been meticulously and amazingly restored and renovated into an art and antiques filled haven where every detail has been attended to with style and elegance.

Karen doing her morning rituals - coffee and email, on the patio of our room at Hacienda San Angel.

Karen in the middle of her morning ritual: coffee and email on the patio of our room at Hacienda San Angel.

There are some interesting and fanciful sculptures along Puerto Vallarta's Malecon.

Fanciful sculptures along Puerto Vallarta’s oceanfront.

For Semana Santa (the week before Easter), there were some amazing sand sculptures being built along Puerto Vallarta's Malecon like this one of the Last Supper.

Intricate sand sculptures were being built along Puerto Vallarta’s waterfront in preparation for Easter Week in the city, including this one depicting the Last Supper.

Sunset over Banderas Bay from our room at Hacienda San Angel.

Sunset over Banderas Bay from our room at Hacienda San Angel.

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