Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Puerto Vallarta Travel Guide

Puerto Vallarta is a charming port city, with quaint buildings and cobble stone streets, situated on the "Bahia de Banderas" in the state of Jalisco on the eastern coast of Mexico. Surely it is the pearl of Banderas Bay, the second biggest bay in the world and known for its beautiful weather as well as its unique and natural qualities.

Each year the big sea turtles come out of the bay close to Puerto Vallarta, to deposit their eggs in the hot sand, whales make a stop to mate and bear their young and the dolphins also like to stay in the area. Several organizations offer famous whale watching tours.

Because of its nice atmosphere, beautiful weather and climatic conditions and unique natural surroundings, Puerto Vallarta has been chosen by famous Hollywood stars like Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and John Huston as their second home. When Tennesse Williams wrote his theater masterpiece "The Night of the Iguana" he surely did not think that later it would be filmed in Puerto Vallarta with Richard Burton, Ava Gardner and Deborah Kerr. But also other movies like "Predator" with Arnold Schwarzenegger, now California´s governor, or series like "Acapulco Heat" had been filmed in the selvatic nature around Puerto Vallarta. Today you can still see the old helicopter from predator in the trees in the middle of the Puerto Vallarta jungle.

There are a many things to do in Puerto Vallarta including Puerto Vallarta city tours or surfing Nuevo Vallarta beaches for starters. Depending on the tourist's interest, Puerto Vallarta offers golfing on world class courses, water sports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing and surfing.

You may take tours on a sailing ship to the close Banderas Bay islands starting at the Puerto Vallarta Marina or at the pier at Puerto Vallarta downtown. And for the one who knows everything and really needs a new experience, there are tours to see the whales and dolphins in Banderas Bay or the last giant turtles at the beaches. If you like fishing here you will find marlin, flying fish or swordfish. Competitors from all over the world come to Banderas Bay for the yearly fishing competition in Puerto Vallarta and Nuervo Vallarta.

If you are looking for accommodations in Puerto Vallarta you will find many choices. From safe and affordable family vacations rentals in Puerto Vallarta to luxury vacations in oceanfront villas to cheap all inclusive hotels there is accommodation for every budget. There are also charming small apartments to rent at reasonable prices close to the Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta beaches.

We hope that our travel guide to Puerto Vallarta has been useful for you. Please don't hesitate to leave a comment and share some of your favourite things to do in Puerto Vallarta.

Many thanks to Claudio from Puerto Vallarta for contributing content for this blog.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Maui on a Budget

They say "The Best Things in Life are Free" and Maui has plenty of wonderful activities to offer if you are on a tight budget.
Walking the beaches in Maui is one such treat. The sand is clean, and on many of the Maui beaches, you can walk barefoot for miles and miles along the shoreline. From November through March you can watch the humpback whales right from the shore, as they come in very close when they are giving birth and training their new born calves. Don't believe it when people say you have to pay money to go on a whale watching tour. We have seen the most awesome displays of breaching and tail waving with our feet planted firmly on the ground. Add snorkeling and good old swimming and you have a fantastic day, especially if you are fortunate enough to meet up with "Honu" the Hawaiian green sea turtle. Since Honu, stands for luck the rest of your day is guaranteed to be spectacular.

Maybe after your swim in the warm tropical sea you might head for the old whaling village of Lahaina and explore the many shops and restaurants. Or take in the free Whaling museum at Whaler's Village and learn about bygone days of whaling ships and Missionaries.

A trip to Hana is a must, and it will only cost you the gas for your car. As you wind your way through spectacular tropical scenery and beautiful waterfalls along Maui's east coast, you will reach the charming town of Hana with its quaint general store, and a small selection of shops. If you keep going past Hana you will see the Seven Sacred Pools, a series of fresh water pools which go right down to the ocean. You may want to stop and take a dip to cool off before you take the road back to Kahului. If you want to make the trip a little more enjoyable and yet still affordable, consider staying in a Hana vacation rental, where you can cook your own meals.

The next day, you can pack a picnic lunch and head off to Haleakala, the dormant volcano. The summit rewards you with great views of the crater, and if you like hiking there are many trails to explore, where you can enjoy the flora and fauna of the area.

Another great day trip is to the last lava flow on Maui. To get there drive through Kihei and Wailiea and keep going until you find yourself surrounded by lava fields. If you drive to the end of the road you will come to Le Perouse Bay, a great snorkeling spot.

Maui does not have roads clogged with cars, trucks, and huge vehicles, so you can bicycle in safety if that's your bag. Untold millions of Maui lovers have returned to this paradise island for unforgettable vacations. Fabulous people, fabulous climate and affordable activities, add up to an unforgettable holiday for you and your family.

If you want to have self catering accommodations on Maui, you can share costs and save money by choosing from Maui Vacation Rentals.