This trip was sponsored by the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board. As always, all opinions are my own.
I’ve taken you through a slice of paradise with my Puerto Vallarta Outfits and detailed review of the Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa so today, I’ll be finishing up by sharing my Ultimate Puerto Vallarta Girls Getaway Guide, a complete look at where we went, what we did and where we ate!
Traveling has always been one of my favorite pastimes! In the past, I’ve planned many trips for my family, my husband and I as well as trips just for myself but I’ve always had a special place in my heart for girls trips. There’s just something so exciting about a girls getaway – a time to unwind, connect and have fun with like-minded people! I think that travel typically brings about a lot of excitement and inspiration but when you travel with others, it creates a special bond that you don’t find anywhere else. The Puerto Vallarta tourism board hosted a handful of friends (Ramona, Stacey, Caitlin, Megan) and I for the most amazing girls getaway and it was the seriously trip of a lifetime… I can’t wait to go back! 😀
Ultimate Puerto Vallarta Girls Getaway Guide
What to Do & Where to Go
Malécon Art Walk / Historical Tour
We started off our Puerto Vallarta Girls Getaway with a beautiful and informative Art Walk with Vallarta 101 on the famed Malécon, a stretch of path that extends along the bay. We learned about various sculptures and the stories that went along with their creation. My favorite piece was an abstract couple (the second photo in this post). At first glance one might think that’s it just a sweet representation of love (which it is) but once you hear the story behind it, it means that much more.. it just touches your soul. The story of this particular piece was about two lovers that never quite got the timing right. They were forced apart when they were younger and married other people. When they got older, they finally came back together … what a beautiful testament of true love! I’d be lying if I said I didn’t shed a tear 😉
Aside from learning about the artwork that lines the Malécon, we also learned about the history of Puerto Vallarta and the traditions of the people, which really touched my heart. One place in particular that really spoke to me was the local church, a place that had been built by hand from the people of Puerto Vallarta. It was the most beautiful place and you can tell that it has such a special meaning to it’s residents.
Many of you may not know this, but my mother-in-law is from Guatalahara which is just a short distance for Puerto Vallarta. I’ve heard many stories about how she grew up as the oldest of many siblings and about what she sacrificed for her family and believe me when I say that she is one of the sweetest and hardest working people that I know. Her story is not that far off from the people of Puerto Vallarta and I felt like I connected to this location on a deeper level because of this. I can see how important family is to them and as someone who has never quite had that connection with her own family, I think it’s such a special thing.
The Local Market
I loved visiting the local market! It had such an authentic flair and I loved that you could find beautiful and colorful things handmade from local artisans. We didn’t have much time to walk around and shop but this is something that I’d love to check out more when I go back as I could easily spend hours perusing all of these beautiful items.
Sheraton PVR Maiavé Spa
Not only was the Sheraton property beautiful, but the Maiavé Spa was an incredible experience! I’ve never gone to the spa on vacation but this might be something I incorporate moving forward. The spa was so beautifully designed and incredibly relaxing! We started off with an hour long massage. This is actually only the second massage I’ve ever received and it was perfect in every way! We then went to the hydro-therapy portion of the spa and to be honest, I had no idea what to expect since I had never done something like that before! We started off by taking a cool shower and went into the sauna for a few minutes. This was followed by another shower and a few minutes in the steam room. After another shower, we entered the most beautiful pool area! We made our way across the first pool which was ice cold and then followed up with a smaller shallow pool of water that incorporated smooth stones and jets to massage the bottom of the feet. The third pool was probably my favorite! It was warm and had many, many jets a long with three waterfalls with different pressures to massage your neck and shoulders. The final pool was for relaxing, but of course I stayed in and floated/swam back and forth just taking everything in. Next to the pool was a gorgeous lounge area!
Discover more of the Maiavé Spa here:
What I loved about this trip was that we went off the beaten path when it came to excursions. Each item on the agenda was something that I probably wouldn’t have planned myself or even thought about planning due to lack of knowledge. The Choco Museo was one of these places – it sounds like a great excursion but it’s not something that you’d typically plan for yourself but I have to say that this was one of the highlights of this trip and if you love chocolate as much as I do, it’s not to be missed!
We started off our class with a brief introduction to how chocolate is made and where it comes from. I was so surprised to find that a large majority is actually grown in Mexico! After the introduction, we created three historical drinks with various parts of the chocolate. The first drink was a tea I loved so much that I ended up buying some to take home 😉 Then came the really fun part… making our own chocolates! The chocolatiers walked us through each step of the process from roasting the beans and grounding them up to mixing the chocolate and creating our very own unique chocolates! The whole process was absolutely incredible and I had no idea just how much went into making chocolate! If you watched my Instagram stories, then you got a first hand look and if not, make sure you check out my Puerto Vallarta highlights! For our chocolates, we made the filling with Kahlua and it was delicious! They boxed them up for us to take home but if I’m being honest, they didn’t last that long haha!
This may surprise some of you but I LOVE adventure! I’ve been skydiving seven times, went zip lining on top of the Swiss Alps and always ride the biggest and fastest rollercoasters 😉 Vallarta Adventures offers so many different excursions that there’s no possible way you could ever get bored! Some of their excursions include:
- Luxury Sailing
- Dolphin Adventure
- Las Caletas Beach Hideaway
- Extreme Zip Lining
- Islas Marietas Eco Discovery
- Offroad Adventure
- ATV Tour
- Scuba Diving
- Whale Watching
- Sea Safari & Horseback Riding
- Rhythms of the Night Dinner Cruise
- And more!
We opted for the Luxury Yacht retreat and this could not be any more perfect for a Puerto Vallarta Girls Getaway. The yacht staff was super attentive and ensured we had food, drinks and good music for our adventure. They took us to an island where we were free to explore, relax in one of their many hammocks, lounge chairs or cabanas or bring out our adventurous side with snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, or banana boat rides. I got to check off a lot of things on my bucket list during this outing, which was super exciting!
They provided flippers, life vests and masks for the snorkeling excursion and gave us instructions on how to make the most of our time. I had so much fun swimming around and looking at all of the fish! I felt safe the whole time and had such a blast! Once at the island, I resorted to relaxing in a hammock. I did get quite sea sick on the way over and had forgotten my Dramamine (I highly recommend bringing some just in case) but after a few minutes I was ready to hit the open sea…with a banana boat ride! They took us on a high speed adventure which ended up with me nearly falling off the boat and hanging on for dear life haha! It was quite a sight 😉 I ended my time at the island by checking off another bucket list item… paddle boarding! You guys, I did not realize just how hard paddle boarding is! I did cheer for many years so I think that helped with me standing and keeping my balance but even then it was such a leg workout just to stand up, something I had no idea about. I’m definitely not a paddle board master quite yet but it was a really fun experience!
El Dorado Restaurant
The location of the El Dorado Restaurant could not be more perfect! It’s nestled along the beautiful Muertos beach and we were lucky enough to watch the most gorgeous sunset as we ate the most amazing four course meal that they had prepared for us. This restaurant was also very aware of my dietary restrictions and made me feel so welcome. This is definitely an area I’d like to explore more of next time!
The Iguana at Casa Kimberly
As a fan of old Hollywood, visiting Elizabeth Taylor’s old residence was a dream! This was a home created for Liz as part of a love affair with Richard Burton. The architecture is stunning and every single inch is just a magical masterpiece! I especially loved her bedroom which had the most beautiful decor along with an expansive balcony with a private pool overlooking the lush jungle-lined mountains with a view of the ocean and city of Puerto Vallarta. The Casa Kimberly is now a boutique hotel and restaurant with stunning suites and equally delicious food!
I have said it many, many times bit this was honestly the most life changing trip! I’ll admit that I shed some tears when I left 😉 The itinerary was amazing and unique. I honestly loved every destination we visited, all the food we ate and all the activities we took part in. Before this, I had only visited Ensenada (this May on our cruise!). I was made to believe that Mexico was unsafe and that if I were to visit then I would be kidnapped or end up sick. This could not be further from the truth! I never once felt unsafe in Puerto Vallarta – in fact, quite the opposite! I was surprised to find that it was actually a very romantic city full of kind-hearted, proud people. I didn’t have any issues with the language barrier and it wasn’t a full-on party city. It was perfect for our Puerto Vallarta Girls Getaway and would be equally perfect for a family or couples trip!
- Bring a waterproof cover for your cell phone – This is something I WISH I had when we went snorkeling and paddle boarding! (Ramona had one and I never realized how much I needed one too haha!)
- Bring hats, sunglasses and sunscreen – this should be obvious 🙂
- Bring hair ties – if you come during the off season like we did ,just know that it’s very humid! I normally wear my hair down but I was pulling it back into braids constantly just to keep from getting too hot.
- Bring extra clothes – for the same reason as above… you may be showering multiple times a day if it’s really humid ( or just take the afternoon off to relax!)
- Bring an umbrella – luckily, it only stormed a couple nights we were there but I was very thankful that I brought my umbrella just in case!
- Bring good walking shoes – although you can easily get around, you’ll definitely want to “get lost” in the city and explore a bit by foot!
- Bring cash – you’ll want a little extra if you plan to go to the market (plus you can negotiate a bit too!)
- Have fun! – don’t plan too much and just take in the moment <3
Which activity would you most like to do for a Puerto Vallarta Girls Getaway?
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