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A Wellness-Inspired Guide To Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

India Edwards
Author:
February 09, 2024
India Edwards
mbg Updates Editor
By India Edwards
mbg Updates Editor
India Edwards is the updates editor at mindbodygreen. She earned her B.A. in writing and English from The University of Texas at Arlington and is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Journalism from New York University.
Well Traveled to Puerto Vallarta (mini)
Image by visitpuertovallarta.com
February 09, 2024
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Travel can restore your well-being. We're here to help you on that journey with Well-Traveled, a go-to destination for travel recommendations and tips. Here's a (mini) guide to Puerto Vallarta.

If you're yearning for a getaway with breathtaking views, warm hospitality, and a rich cultural experience, Puerto Vallarta is the perfect place for you to visit. Allow me to explain.

I recently got to flee the frigid temperatures of Texas and travel to the warm waters of Puerto Vallarta. The city is a beautiful beach town nestled on the western coast of Mexico, right off the Pacific Ocean. 

Often flying under the radar compared to its more popular counterparts, the city is quickly becoming a favored destination due to its natural beauty and proximity to the Sierra Madre mountains (pictures to follow).

In this mini guide, I've compiled the best places to stay and eat and even included a list of the best wellness activities to do on your next getaway. 

Where to stay: The Westin Resort & Spa

I stayed at the luxurious Westin Resort & Spa, which sits right on the beach (literally). If you'd like, you can even take a quick dip in the Pacific Ocean, just a few steps away from any room on the property. 

A former palm tree farm (and is still home to over 600 of them), the resort is truly a lush, serene family and pet-friendly spot that aims to provide a complete wellness experience for its guests. 

To take in the blissful views of Banderas Bay and the Pacific Ocean and try the complete wellness spa and fitness studio, you'll need more than just a couple of days to experience everything this place has to offer.

To eat

Choose from a variety of delicious and healthy meals at the El Palmar Restaurant (I recommend the grain waffles for breakfast!), or sip on tropical drinks from the wide-ranging menu at La Cascada Restaurant & Bar (the Vallarta Fresh is super delicious).

Additionally, enjoy fresh, daily-caught seafood while beachside at the Arrecifes Seafood & Steakhouse.

Puerto Vallarta food and drinks
Image by mbg Creative / India Edwards

To do

In short: the spa. In all seriousness, the on-site spa at The Westin Puerto Vallarta was one of my favorite amenities. It features a variety of services and treatments including, but certainly not limited to, facials, massages, manicures/pedicures, and waxing. Take it from me, the massage was nothing short of spectacular. 

You can also break a sweat at the on-site WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio. The gym has a variety of cardio and strength machines, free weights, treadmills, and more to squeeze in a quick workout while on vacay.

To top off your stay, experience the tranquility of yoga by the sea, paddleboarding or kayaking in the Pacific, or dedicated seaside meditation sessions.

Puerto Vallarta yoga & spa
Image by mbg Creative / India Edwards

What to do: Tour the botanical gardens

Take a drive into town with a tour guide to explore the gorgeous Vallarta Botanical Gardens. Visiting the botanical gardens was a feast for the senses!

Nestled in the heart of the mountains, the breathtaking views feel like you've stepped into a postcard. I recommend taking a guided tour so you can be educated on the thousands of different plant and animal species that live on the property. A truly must-see experience. 

puerto vallarta botanical gardens
Image by mbg Creative / India Edwards

To taste: Rancho Verano Distileria de Tequila

This distillery provided a completely immersive experience into the art of crafting tequila. Upon arrival, guests get a detailed tour of the tequila-making process, including the steps involved in transforming agave plants into delicious tequila.

Folks also learn about the unique varieties of tequila plants cultivated on-site.

The highlight, of course? The tequila tasting session (see below).   

To eat: Birrieria El Tio Tono

If you want some authentic birria tacos, there's no better place than Birrieria El Tio Tono. The menu has a variety of birria-based meals, and if you're lucky, nearby locals may enhance your dining experience with a soulful song and guitar.

Bon voyage

If I'm being completely honest, Puerto Vallarta is one of the most beautiful cities I've ever visited. The stunning landscapes, rich culture, and wellness-inspired stays truly make this city a hidden escape. Trust me when I say, you will want to return as soon as you leave.

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