We love Puerto Vallarta. We like the area in the heart of the old city, with cobblestone streets, not the high rise hotels just south of the airport, all white and glossy, nor the new development called Nuevo Vallarta. We stay at Los Arco’s, named for the famed monolithic rock formations out in the bay. We return yearly because we like the familiarity of the hotel, the staff with warm welcomes, the beach attendants and the vendors.
We spend our time on the beach. The beach has its own cadence, its rhythm of waves lapping or crashing onto the shore. Birds chirping, pigeons strutting with jerking heads cooing, and gulls shrieking in the sky. But on the beach in Puerto Vallarta there is also the sound of the vendors calling out and seeking attention for their wares. Some are bold, some are meek. We have developed a close attachment to many and look forward to seeing them on each return.
Jose stops by at 8:00 selling pastries, Pedro, a jewelry vendor stops by to show his tray of glittering silver and later Salvador with pescado on a stick. Other vendors come with mangoes on a stick, and cups of cucumbers, watermelon, or jicama. There are women, their arms garlanded with beads of varying colors and men, their shoulders loaded with blankets. A woman walks by with a rainbow array of scarfs displaying them in the breeze. A gentle old man, his face creased with wrinkles, quietly presents handmade sparkling crystal rosaries in muted pastels. Each calling out for attention.
“How many?” or “Almost free.” And there is humor from the vendors too. New to us this year some vendors responded with “Nada, nada, limonada.” “Hola, hola, Coke a Cola.” or “Nada, nada enchilada.” The lingo from the vendors is endless and entertaining. And, of course, from the vacationers, “No, gracias.”
Toward 5:00 people begin to disperse and return to their rooms, there to rest. We are tired after a day of relaxing in the sun. How lovely it is to relax and do nothing afterwards.
We mull over possibilities of where to eat. Whether to have Asian, Italian, Mexican, or bring fish and chips back to the room and have it on our balcony over-looking the ocean.
Some might like the pristine neat chain hotels, the Sheraton, Hilton, Holiday Inn, but we enjoy the local color, the charm of a hotel that has its quirks, but is loaded with personality.