A Getaway in Mexico–PART TWO: PARADISE VILLAGE

PV is a resort with condo-size apartments in three buildings, two eight stories high and the other five. The first two are situtated along the beach, the latter faces a huge marina that’s opposite the beach.

The Paradise Village complex as seen from a tour boat

The Paradise Village complex as seen from entrance to marina

pv-marina3

Marina as viewed from our balcony

The major draws for us are that they have a beautiful stretch of palapas-lined beachfront and three pools—one for families and a “quiet” one for adults beachfront, and a small one near the marina next to some tennis courts. Additionally, there are some excellent restaurants along the beachfront and one next to the marina.

Also, it is part of an actual village with a shopping center that includes retail establishments, a supermarket and pharmacy, and some restaurants; additionally, a casino, and a hospital are nearby. There is also a golf course and several residential complexes that are a major semi-retirement/retirement sites Americans and Canadians.

PV beachfront

PV beachfront

Member/guest palaces on the beach

Individual member/guest palapas on the beach

"Quiet" pool with spa at the end

“Quiet” pool with spa at far end behind bridge

View of El Tigre golf course from on-site restaurant that serves a fabulous brunch

View of El Tigre golf course from on-site restaurant that serves a fabulous brunch

While staying at PV, we often take off-site tours. This trip we did a boat trip to Las Caletas, and a mini-bus tour to the Botanical Gardens.

Las Caletas

Las Caletas was once the private home of film director John Huston who considered it one of the most beautiful places in the world. Nestled in a secluded nature preserve on the southern shores of Banderas Bay, Las Caletas is now a tropical beach hideaway accessible only by sea on a day cruise.

It is an all-day adventure that includes a  buffet on tables set up along the beach. Kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, and other beach activities are available; there are jungle paths for dicovering flora and bird life; or one can just sit on the beach or lie in a hammock enjoying the sights and sounds of the sea and the surrounding jungle.

One of Las Caletas beaches--there's also a "quiet" adult beach and a kids

Las Caletas’ activities beach–there’s also a “quiet” adult beach and one for kids

Great way to relax...

Great way to relax…

That was fun

That was fun!

This was the second time we’ve taken this trip, and will certainly do it again.

Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden is deep in the jungle, a long and windy mini-bus ride. On the way there’s usually an opal store stop (to get a free drink, but with an emphasis on buying something) and a view stop about half way up. We were surprised to learn that the garden itself is actually privately owned and maintained. The tour we took only allowed for an approximate 45-minute guided walk–we would have preferred more time just on our own.

garden-pic2

garden-pic

After the garden tour, the bus stopped at an out-of-the-way up a long windy dirt road restaurant that was attached to a tequila factory. The tequila demonstration was interesting and the tastings good; the restaurant food was pretty good–the menu consisted of selecting a dish from a catch-of-the day tray so it was certainly fresh. From there we wound our way back down to Puerto Vallarta, with stops along the way to drop off guests at their hotels.

This was our second trip to the Garden–the first was during a torrential rainstorm so all we did was eat there. This tour is a been-there-done-that for us, though certainly worth taking if you’re new to the Vallarta area tour scene.

We ended the day enjoying another awesome Mexican sunset….

pv-sunset

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