24 Hours in Puerto Vallarta

Collecting moments is one of the few things I hold close to my heart. Moments, however, get confused with the arrival. For me, it’s everything that happens a long the way.

4am: I recently took a trip to Mexico City, which completely shattered all of my expectations of Mexico related travel. On my way back from Mexico City I found myself in quite the pickle – arriving at 4am to MEX (Mexico City International Airport / Mexico Benito Juárez) wouldn’t guarantee me a standby flight back to Dallas. Much to my hunch, I waited at the airport until about 2pm attempting flight after flight to get home. Stressed, I found out I could get a standby flight from Puerto Vallarta much easier than in Mexico City.

4pm: Quickly scouring the internet, I found a 1-way ticket to Puerto Vallarta on VivaAerobus for $50 USD; and 2 hours later, my travel companion and I were on our way to what we would find out is paradise.

Surprisingly, I’ve barely heard anyone talk about PVR. It’s rich in the history with well preserved historic district and in a beautiful way, it’s beginning to clash with modern development. Before you snap at that comment, I’m from San Antonio, TX – I know all about historical preservation. When done right, the blend between new and old can be done very tastefully – much to what I experienced during my 24 hours in PVR.

5pm: Our flight to PVR was anything but magical. Turbulence was in full force, causing one of the flight attendants to come off the floor and hit the ceiling as we went over the mountains and began our descent to the coast. When we arrived the sun was going down and a storm was rolling in. We quickly made our way to a heck of a steal on Airbnb, and our host Isabel was nothing less than welcoming.

6pm: After settling in, we made our way to the jacuzzi on the top terrace / sundeck and took in the view of the storm rolling in.

After the 4am start date we had at the airport in Mexico City, this was the perfect way to end the day. Nothing says destress like a jacuzzi on a terrace, overlooking the beautiful PVR as a storm rolls in.

7am: The next morning we took a stroll into the historic district of PVR, and ended up snagging some breakfast at a place called La Chata. The service offered was to be expected of a beach destination – everything is done with a nice and relaxed pace. Who can blame them? I wanted to sit here for a while eating breakfast for the view alone and ocean waves crashing a the sidewalk.

8am: After breakfast, we began our way to the inner city where we saw street vendors, tourists, boats out in the water, and people relaxing on the beach. We didn’t come prepared to get in the water,  but when in PVR…

You need to explore the colorful coastline. It’s full of beautiful scenery. You may even find a pup hanging out by its lonesome, catching some rays. You know, what beach pups do best.

Noon: After spending a few hours at the beach, we went walking around for what we craved the most in Mexico – Elotes. Much to our surprise, Elotes was hard to find in Mexico City, but we quickly spotted it on the boardwalk in PVR.

12:30pm: Once we were in food heaven, we decided to head up hill for a better view of the city.

Along the way to the top, we stopped and took in the scenes a long the way. In particular this heart on a random door really stood out – I mean, talk about Instagram photo opportunities.

2pm: Of course, It would be amiss to not mention one of the most iconic landmarks in all of PVR – The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe.) The church itself, has been built up around with restaurants and intersecting walkways that take you to bars and straight to the beach – but you definitely can’t miss it sticking out amongst the array of rooftops. The church tower is topped with a wrought-iron crown supported by angels that appear to be the same as the one worn by Empress Carlota of Mexico.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to go inside, but made it a point to get over in its general direction.

4pm: To end the day, we headed back to our Airbnb and hung out on the rooftop terrace taking in the last few moments of paradise.

Now that you’ve got to know what an unexpected layover in Puerto Vallarta for 24 hours can look like, you can now be prepared if it ever happens to you (and I hope it does, because it’s beautiful AF.)


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