Arriving Into Puerto Vallarta

After a good nights rest we got up early to make our flight to Puerto Vallarta. Lucking out we received a TSA pre-check and got through security in record time. It’s amazing how many people try to sneak their way through the short line, and amazingly enough some actually make it through. I suggest if you are departing out of LAX get there at least 2 hours early or you possibly could miss your flight. It’s crazy there!

In the Alaska Airlines terminal are plenty of restaurants to satisfy your hunger pangs. We thought since we had time we would sit at a table and be served breakfast in relaxing comfort. Warning, warning, warning! Osteria restaurant by “Top Chef” Fabio Viviani makes you wonder how this man could be called a chef. A small plate of cold eggs and cold, soggy fried potatoes with coffee was over $50 for two! No toast, no fruit, absolutely nothing else included. It was terrible! I figured if I made this at home it would cost less than a couple dollars at most.

We noticed lines of people at Wolfgang Puck Express. It was a little less in cost but the food looked appetizing. If you are on a budget Habit has great food as low as $4.50 for a good tasting hamburger. The mini-mart also had sandwiches and variety of small salads that would have been more satisfying than Osteria for a fraction of the cost.

Hello Puerto Vallarta!

We landed in Puerto Vallarta at 3pm. First I want to mention how beautiful and green it is as you are flying into the airport. It reminds me a lot of Oregon but with coconut trees and jungles instead of fir trees and forests. If you have a window seat you can see a few small villages with colorful homes just before landing and a long winding river flowing down to the sea.

Getting through Customs was quick and very easy. But, after that it was a free for all with a large packed room over run with tequila tastings and a multitude of vendors ready to take you for a ride. We came prepared with transfers to our hotel but these guys can be very sly. They will tell you that’s why they are there, that the hotel sent them to pick you up. Don’t fall for their schemes it’s a huge rip off. If you have not pre-purchased your transfers walk past all the craziness to where there are reputable companies. In the next room where the car and some well known tour companies are you can purchase transfers safely.

On the way to our Puerto Vallarta hotel

Our hotel was about a 25 minute ride through the busy streets of Puerto Vallarta. It’s changed a lot since I’ve been there. So many new buildings and a whole lot more street lights. They have a huge Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club along the main drive and many well known restaurants too. Not to mention Señor Frog’s which is world renown now. I remember the tiny one in Mazatlan decades ago before anyone had heard of them and they were the best. If you are staying near the airport there are so many choices for food it would be hard choice to decide where to go.

Driving through “New Town” on the way to our resort there is an ocean front boardwalk, modern statues and modern buildings. Then immediately past is “Old Town” where there is a noticeable difference in architecture and mood. The buildings are mostly made from brick with a concrete cover that is peeling off the sides. Wrought iron patio’s and window coverings on most buildings. You will find an “OXXO” convenience store on every block. Locals lingering with each other outside the shops along the street is a way of life there.

Passing through both towns our hotel was only 5 minutes away. Situated between the mountain jungle and the beach it was an impressive sight. Dropping us off, the Hyatt Ziva All Inclusive Resort greeted us with a choice of champagne or a special fruit and tequila drink. They also had a large bowl of chips, a huge pot filled with fresh guacamole and salsa on the way to check in. We were off to a yummy start!

We made it! Now a little about the Hyatt Ziva All Inclusive Resort

Checking in we found our way to the room where our luggage was already waiting for us. We dropped off our carry-ons and ran to the large window to check out the view. Was it as stunning as we imagined? Yes, it definitely was! But I don’t want to get too much into the hotel yet as I will follow-up with a report on this property soon.

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What did we do first? Went to check out the grounds and grab a very yummy Mango Margarita! There are bars located all over the grounds and all drinks are included with your stay. There are also plenty of restaurants with choices from Mexican to Japanese, Steak House to Buffets.

Every night at the Ziva has entertainment and tonight was Michael Jackson. The show had already started before we got there, but it was incredible, when I turned the corner and saw Michael Jackson. I’m not kidding the guy who did this show was his exact double! From his looks to his dance there was no difference between the two. I wanted to take out my phone to film him but left it in the room. Dang, of all times to forget my phone! All the dancers were pretty much spot on and the show better than I was anticipating.

Since I couldn’t get a video myself I’m borrowing this one from YouTube and the video just does not do the performer justice.

Now this was a unique way to end our first day in enchanting Puerto Vallarta! Heeeeeee, Heeeeeee! (A little Michael Jackson talk!)

More info on the Hyatt Ziva


  1. I only know of Puerto Vallarta from the old “Love Boat” episodes, but I supposed it actually is an attraction. You seem well set-up to enjoy whatever follows.


      Ha! That’s so funny what you said that about the Love Boat! We just turned on the tube and guess what was on! I didn’t even know they were still doing reruns of that show. But yes, we really have enjoyed all the Puerto Vallarta has to offer and there really is a lot to do there.

  2. Firstly, I hear you regarding the airport food, we made the same mistake while waiting at LAX last year. I love Mexico so much, and All inclusive resorts are something us Australians are not used to. It looks amazing, can’t wait to go


      Oh thank goodness we were not the only ones who made that mistake at LAX! Sorry you had to go through that too.
      I hope you have the chance to experience an All Inclusive resort. If its a good one you can get absolutely hooked on them!

  3. I’m traveling to Puerta Vallarta with a girlfriend at the end of September, so this post was quite timely! I can almost taste that ice cold margarita! Thanks for this detailed account…I cannot wait for my trip to experience this beautiful place in person! Any suggestions on excursions?


      Oh Sarah, You are going to love it there and hopefully at the end of September you won’t have quite as hot weather as we did. Would love to hear about where you are staying! A hint about the margaritas there, find a place that uses fresh mango’s in the mix they are soooooooo good! I have all kinds of suggestions on tours but will give you a few of my faves. Since Puerto Vallarta is a virtual jungle I would suggest to do a tour that takes you into some of the villages especially if you can do it with an ATV. Of course there is plenty of tequila tasting tours, those are fun. We didn’t have time but I would suggest the Los Arcos snorkel tour. We drove by and saw the island full of caves and it looked awesome. Have a good time in PVR, would love to hear your thoughts!

  4. Well it looks like after a few snags your on your way to having a great. Having nice digs is always top for me. Let us know how you like the beaches and the food there!


      Have to agree, nothing is better than a good hotel when traveling! I can tell you now that the beach is perfect, the water is somewhat warm but makes it easy to get in and the food, well its way better than I was expecting. I’ll write more about the food in my next post.

  5. Hope you enjoy the rest of your time in Puerto Vallarta!

  6. It looks like you had a good time and the entertainment seems like it was fun. I would have been singing and dancing along with him. lol.


      We really did have a wonderful time. Have to admit we were dancing while watching the show and a lot of Heee, Heeee’s were spilling out of our mouths too!

  7. I’ve never been to Puerto Vallarta. Looking forward to the hotel review, as I’ve wanted to try out an all-inclusive resort.


      Thanks Lara and I hope you have the chance to experience an all-inclusive resort sometime.

  8. Looks like such a fun trip! I’d love to visit Puerto Vallarta. Thanks for sharing and happy travels 🙂


      Thanks Carmen it was a fun trip. There are many luxurious places to stay and see in PVR. Maybe sometime you will make it there to see for yourself! 🙂

  9. I’d love to visit! Great post, thank you for sharing 🙂

  10. I’ve never been or heard of Puerto Vallarta. The resort sounds absolutely fantastic! Thank you for the warning about thre restaurant as well as I will be in LAX later this year!


      Living in Australia I’m not surprised that you never heard of Puerto Vallarta. It’s a seaside city in Mexico that has been popular with American’s for many years. Hope I didn’t scare you too much about the restaurant, I can’t ever recommend it but there are others throughout LAX that are much better and less expensive too.

  11. I really would love to go to Puerto Vallarta, it looks so interesting with those buildings and houses. Glad it went smoothly for you, great tips too. That room just looks so relaxing, have a great time!


      Thanks Nicola, and there are so much better looking buildings than the pictures I posted. I’ll have more in another post soon. I can’t say enough about how great PVR is and the people too. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a friendlier place. Hope you get to travel there sometime!

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