The beginning of fall brought the last of our visitors to Puerto Vallarta. Dan’s oldest brother and his wife joined us at Paradise Village to share the sunshine and take in the sights. We put in a lot of miles on the bus and in a rental car, and made a point of trying as many different food stands and restaurants as we could fit in.
We took the bus to the Botanical Gardens on the south side of the bay and were delighted to find an abundance of butterflies as well as the best shrimp tacos we have had so far. Turns out September and October are the best months for butterfly viewing as the garden is in full bloom following the last 4 months of near-daily rain – there were literally thousands of them. We visited the Sunday morning flea market in Bucerias and stocked up on fresh fruit and veggies.
We headed out to Sayulita for a stroll on the beach and another entry into our quest for the perfect taco. We rented a car and drove to San Sebastian, the colonial mining town in the hills east of Puerto Vallarta. On the way we stopped at Carmen and Jesus’ bakery on the canyon rim where we enjoyed homemade pastries and Mexican coffee with hints of cinnamon. In San Sebastian, we were treated to cool temps and fog – a relief after the sweltering, steamy coast.
We drove north and visited numerous small towns with perfect beaches north of Punta Mita. We stopped for lunch at the Km 5 Surf Shop and Bar where we enjoyed another great lunch – burgers this time.
We drove south to the tiny beach town of Mayto, on the south side of Cabo Corrientes. We headed there following a tip from our waiter at the Botanical Gardens, and we weren’t disappointed. The beach was absolutely pristine and undeveloped. We had lunch at the lone hotel on the beach which looked like the ultimate secluded beach hideaway. It was somewhat of an adventure as the last 20 kilometers of the road were unpaved, and we had to dodge cows, washouts, and loose gravel.
As a perfect end to their visit, we were fortunate enough to see a nest of sea turtles emerge from the sand. We had gone to the beach early before the sun was up in hopes of seeing females laying eggs as this is the time of year they return. On the walk back, tiny turtles began to erupt from a spot in the sand – a group of spectators gathered, and we formed a line on each side of their path, to protect them from foot traffic and hungry birds. We watched mesmerized until all had emerged and made it to the surf. It was an amazing experience.