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Get an Insider’s View of Puerto Vallarta

Couple enjoying encheladas, Puerto Vallarta Walking Tours!-

This review was posted recently on my Trip Advisor page by one of my clients who took my El Centro Walk. I am so grateful for what she says that I just had to post it!

“My husband and I loved Sandra’s Learn Vallarta Walking Tour. It was a small group which made it feel so personal – we didn’t have to fight to hear what she was saying and we could ask as many questions as we liked. She took us on an easy walk around the city, reviewing the history, the art, and local shop vendors. It was so neat being able to see behind the scenes of local shops and their owners. We visited several very cool spots and it really set the rest of our trip up for success! The best part about the tour (besides the amazing city itself) was Sandra! She was so much fun! She knows the city and the local people so well – you really feel like you are getting an insider’s view of the city! Not only did she show us amazing native art, but she also gave us the insight on the best ceviche and candy to die for! We couldn’t be happier with our tour! Everyone should do this on their trip to PV!”

Robyn M.
Anaheim, CA

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Car Talk

So what’s it like driving a car here you ask? The streets are narrow and cobblestones offer opportunities for some of the largest potholes in the world. Then there are those crazy “laterals” where you have to decide if you are turning left from the left lane or from the right lane of the lateral which means you have to know this before you get there! And what about the buses and taxis who drive as if they own the road? And there is barely such a thing as a yellow light…green slides into red in seconds so you best stop on the green or find yourself facing oncoming cross traffic while still in the cross lane. The traffic cops love to catch those who do this…a ticket for sure!


And then there is the question of a mechanic. I bought a very old 1995 Geo Tracker with a good engine partly because it sits high enough to drive the streets of rushing water during the summer rains and the top comes off for breezy driving and better views…and to help dry out the inside from the summer leaks! I know it’s time to do this when the grass starts growing on my floor mats! I can also carry stuff like beach chairs, umbrellas, coolers, groceries, and the occasional piece of furniture. Works for me.

So about the mechanic…I have tried many on the advice of both Mexican and American friends…results vary depending on what type of work you want done. For straightening my tailpipe that was loudly knocking against the frame, I used the guy across the street who stuck an iron rod into it and just bent it until it wasn’t touching anymore! Cost…50 pesos for his time. On the other hand, for brakes I went to a brake specialist with good results. Tires? Many choices from average to expensive. You can get a deal at Costco if you have all four replaced at once but I only needed two so again to the local tire man. All these guys have become good contacts and are very friendly for the most part. Helps to speak some Spanish or take a friend with you. I like the fact that, being a woman who doesn’t know too much about cars, I can still get it done and learn something while going through the experience. After all, it’s part of the adventure of living here.

Buy a car here with Mexican plates or bring yours from home? That’s a whole other discussion for another time as the opinions continue to vary. I decided to buy mine here, from a Mexican, with Mexican plates just to avoid the hassle. And I also waited three years before I did so, choosing to walk and take the buses until I knew my way around so well that driving and knowing the road signs was easy.

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“Puerto Vallarta – Tropical Paradise”


Warm and dry during the winter and humid in the summer, Puerto Vallarta has the perfect location as it is the same latitude as Hawaii. Puerto Vallarta combines the lushness of the jungle with the beauty of the Sierra Madre Mountains and the wonder of the Pacific Ocean. The ocean breeze and the fresh mountain air combine with unrivaled sunny days to create some of the best weather in the world.  Vallarta boasts three hundred sunny days a year.  November to June is the dry season.  June to October is the rainy season with fantastic thunder and lightning storms that bring daily refreshing relief from the humidity.  This is when the jungle is at its best.

Tropical paradise, deserted beach, quiet, sandy, Puerto Vallarta Walking Tours!

Great value for your money

While it is commonly known that the peso is worth less than the dollar, be it US or Canadian, you never truly appreciate it quite as much as when you see that your hard-earned money can buy you so much more than it can back home.  If you are living here, you know the dollar allows you a life equal to or better than what you had back home.  Getting more for less is good in anyone’s book, especially when it comes to looking for a home or rental.  A beautiful home here can be found for the price of a studio in New York City. Puerto Vallarta has a large array of both first class real estate developments and economical apartments for purchase or rent.

Stunning beaches

Here are a plethora of enchanting beaches that offer something for everyone. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking to do some kite surfing or simply someone that likes to lay by the water being tended to, Puerto Vallarta has the right beach for you. Many of these beaches have been certified by the Mexican Government for their cleanliness and beauty. At the north end of the Bay you can find fine sand beaches that extend for kilometers. On the south end you find tranquill inland coves accessible only by water taxi.

Amazing mountains

This is what puts Puerto Vallarta in a completely different league from other vacation destinations.  The Sierra Madre Mountains and their tropical forests with lush jungle vegetation, give Vallarta a completely different atmosphere.  Here is one of the few places on earth where the mountains come down to completely touch the sea. There is nothing that compares to watching the sun rise in the mountains every day and set in the Pacific Ocean. During the summer season the rains make the surrounding mountains glow an emerald green of a hundred shades that is difficult to explain with mere words. A hike up the mountain trails will take you to a time long before when mankind was one with nature.  You will feel its beckoning. The vegetation and beautiful flowers along with the many bird calls combine to give you the mystical feeling only a tropical paradise can give you.

Mexican Culture

The mixture of indigenous traditions with Spaniard customs has produced an amazingly rich culture, an explosion of color, spirituality, flavors, images and sounds that will never stop impressing you. Slowly discovering little idiosyncrasies of this beautiful culture is one of the best rewards for visiting and living here.  There are colorful celebrations and festivals every month of the year.  A photographer’s paradise.

The people

You have to travel a lot in order to be qualified to compare people and cultures. Well, I have done it, and I can tell you that, there are no warmer people in the world.  Mexicans always smile, they always say “please” and “thank you”, they will kiss and hug you, so be prepared; they will touch you all the time; they are a happy people and they like to show it. Family and friends are most important. You will have a lot of fun around them; they will make you feel at home.  You just have to let go and learn from their laid-back and unpretentious attitude towards life. This way of approaching life, where people work to live and not live to work, might be arguable, but for a place like Puerto Vallarta, where people  come to forget for a while about the problems of daily life, it’s just perfect.

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