Rick and I will celebrate 15 years of marriage next week. When we got married we said that we would go on a Mediterranean cruise for our 15th, but instead we found a great Groupon for an all-inclusive resort in Puerta Vallarta and spent 3 relaxing and fun nights there!
We stayed at the Vamar Vallarta at the marina instead of in the usual touristy areas of PV. This particular resort is one where many of the locals come for their vacations and time off. We felt like we were at a Mexican family reunion where nobody noticed that we weren't really in their family. Everyone was so nice and we were blessed by all of the families who were vacationing together and enjoying each other! Smiles were all around!
When we arrived we were greeted with mimosas and escorted to our superior room on the 7th floor. Wow! It was really a studio apartment with full kitchen, dining area, couch, and bedroom with a balcony view of the main pool, the mountains, and the marina. It was beautiful!
On the first day we just walked around the resort, got something to eat, had some margaritas, and took a nice nap at the pool. We did walk over to the beach side of the resort where there were two more pools, but it was busier over there and we liked the quieter vibe of the main pool near our room.
On Day 2 we did the touristy things of walking on the Malecon and taking photos in front of the various statues. We rode the city bus ($1 for the two of us) from the marina to the Malecon, walked around for a bit, and ate the BEST guacamole ever on the 3rd floor Vieja Vallarta with a breezy view and refreshing Coronas! We opted for taking a taxi back to the marina ($10 total) because we were unsure of which bus we should take to get us properly dropped back off at our resort, and we were carrying two gallon jugs of bottled water for our hike we had planned the next day.
That night we had dinner at the Italian restaurant at the resort and turned in early for some television and a good night's sleep. We had a BIG day planned for the next day.
We were up at 7 a.m. and out the door catching the first of two city buses to our destination ... the beginning of the trailhead from Boca de Tomatlan to Las Animas. Let's just say that riding the city bus was an adventure, especially when you were hoping the bus driver knew the intersection you needed to go to in order to catch another bus that you think is supposed to be orange. Thankfully he notified us of our stop and we saw some orange buses. We were instructed by the locals in line to get in the back of it and then we loaded up. It was crowded and hot and we had no idea what we were doing or where we were going. Rick loves this stuff. Ha ha!!
We travelled with the locals to the drop-offs at their places of employment and by the time we got to Boca de Tomatlan we were about the only ones on the bus. We were told to "get off here" so we did and headed down into town to find the trailhead. It was about 9:30 a.m. when we started our hike.
The first part had us walking right by people's houses, enjoying the beautiful view of the water, and dodging crabs and lizards.
Then we started the ascent up into the hills. It was not an easy hike, but we just moved right along over rickety bridges, up rock paths, and hoped we were going in the right direction.
After about an hour we arrived at our first stop .... Colomitos Beach. Oh. my. word. Paradise. We enjoyed the secluded beach for about a half an hour while we waited for our reservation time at Ocean Grille, a literal seaside restaurant. You can only get to this restaurant by water taxi or by hiking and you have to make reservations. I had actually made ours for the next week (today, as a matter of fact!), so we just lucked out when they had enough room to take us.
After a relaxing lunch we continued on our journey along the seaside, up treacherous hills, through the jungle and back out again onto secluded beaches. It was breathtaking, in more ways than one!
We only had one hiccup ... We took a wrong turn right on the water and went up the trail .. and up ... and up .... and up ....... and up ........... and up .................. ! A couple of times I told Rick, "This doesn't seem right." We knew that we were supposed to be fairly close to Las Animas and since we were now way up the mountain and Las Animas is a beach, we knew were were on the wrong path. So we started the dangerous descent.
When we got back to where we had taken the wrong turn, we walked along a plank around the corner of the hill and BOOM there was a seaside resort and beach. IT WAS RIGHT THERE!! This one tops our off-the-beaten-path-wrong-way-hike-to-the-Bermuda-lighthouse by a mile! (Literally, probably by about a mile!!) Rick wasn't laughing, but I sure as heck was!!
This particular resort was a private one so they would not accommodate us even a drink, so we trudged on just for a very short while more. The beaches were so amazingly beautiful that we gladly walked on.
And then there was Maraika. Oh dear God, thank you for Maraika! I want to live at Maraika!
The beach was AMAZING! The fish tacos were AMAZING! The Coronas were AMAZING! The rest on the comfy chairs on the beach with the complimentary beach towels and the swim were AMAZING!
We want to take our family back here for a vacation someday soon. Seriously.
We enjoyed the hospitality of Maraika for about an hour and then knew that we had to leave and continue on. It was only a short remaining hike to Las Animas.
From here we hired a water taxi to take us back to Boca de Tomatlan to catch the orange bus to take us the hot 30 minute trip back to the bus that would take us back to our resort. But it didn't .... We were hot, tired, and so ready to be laying down somewhere. But the closest we could get to our resort was about a half-mile or so away, so we had to walk remainder of it.
All total that day my Fitbit said we walked over 7 miles with elevations of the equivalent of over 100 flights of stairs. I don't doubt that for a minute.
We were literally asleep by 8:00 p.m. and slept in on our last morning there. We grabbed breakfast, packed up our stuff, and headed to the airport for our trip back home.
I couldn't have asked for a more perfect vacation with my husband. What a fabulous way to celebrate 15 years with the one you love.
I can't say it enough. Get out there and enjoy your life with your loved ones! Experience things that you would not normally experience! Step out of your comfort zone and live your life! Get off the beaten path because that is were true adventure lies.