Viva la Puerto Vallarta!

A family friendly trip to remember

If you have read other entries on the blog you may already know that the travel bug bit me quite young! I am super lucky to have a family that sees the value in traveling, and this has certainly helped me be curious about the world around me. My Grandparents and Grandma in particular were no exception to this! The only thing my Grandma talks about more than her plethora of cats is how she loves to travel (and she talks about cats A LOT). I now live in a city with no family, so travel is involved when we want to visit.

End of vacation, swollen from excessive Margaritas and sun

End of vacation, swollen from excessive Margaritas and sun

Because of this, it was not super easy to introduce them to my boyfriend, Cam, as no matter what it would involved a 4-5 hour flight. So when my Grandma mentioned meeting him for the first time and all of us taking a 4 hour flight to their time share in Mexico (in February!!) instead of heading to Ontario it was a no brainer! It was also a little nerve wracking… most times when you 'meet the parents' it's over a dinner or perhaps a coffee. A week in Mexico is not exactly conventional and could be nerve wracking for all parties involved. I was confident that the personalities would get along and I was right! 

As mentioned above, my grandparents have a time share on a huge resort. This is not my preferred way to travel (I much prefer to pretend to be a part of the community and 'blend in' often utilizing AirBnB) but was feeling quite stressed so a resort with margaritas around every corner sounded real nice!

We landed in Puerto Vallarta and took off to the resort in Nuevo Vallarta. The resort is huge! It featured a lazy river with waves, a rooftop pool overlooking the ocean wherein you can order margs from the pool, cabana beds for the taking, and some great food. The size of the resort was great as we would go on runs every morning through the pathways and down the beach. For our grandparents it was great as the resort also features (eco friendly!) golf carts which came in handy for my fabulous grandma. While there are enough activities on the resort to keep you entertained for more than a week we are not the types to be able to stay on the resort by the pool for more than a couple of days - we need some adventure!

“Cam, will you take a Instagram photo for me?!”

“Cam, will you take a Instagram photo for me?!”

We took off for a day trip to Sayulita and would highly recommend it and do it again (will have another blog soon about that!) and we also went on a tour to Islas Marietas

Islas Marietas is a national park in Mexico about an hour boat ride for Puerto Vallarta (or 15 minutes from Punta de Mita) and are protected islands which no one is allowed on. It is also home to the (very instagramable) "love beach" which unfortunately we did not make it to this time! We did end up making it to snorkeling around the islands, in caves, and through some sea arches which was absolutely incredible! The tour we took also included stand up paddleboards which you were able to use to paddle around the islands. It was absolutely incredible!

After the islands we took off to a private beach… it was something out of a dream! Hopping off of a catamaran, swimming to shore, and being greeted by gentleman holding tray fulls of beer right on the beach is how I wish to live out the rest of my life as it turns out. My Grandma was taken to shore by a smaller boat and was able to fully enjoy the private island feel as well!

While the ride to Islas Marietas from Punta de Mita is much shorter than from Puerto Vallarta, I would recommend going for the longer boat ride! The ride itself was half the fun as there was a TON of whale watching we did on the way there and on the way back. All in all it was a great family adventure.

Islas Marietas, where we snorkeled and Stand Up Paddle Boarded

Islas Marietas, where we snorkeled and Stand Up Paddle Boarded

Obviously you know to wear sunscreen (and especially so on the boat) but I will say it is ESPECIALLY important to remember to do so in the morning. It is not hot/can be quite cool and it is easy to forget. Let's just say I was in a LOT of pain…. It hurt to exist the next couple of days. Always good to come prepared with sunscreen that smells nice and for me it is important to find cruelty free… I prefer Sun Bum (https://amzn.to/2D6ELXw). Naturally, I ended up purchasing 3 bottles of after sun in the following weeks (this one to be exact https://amzn.to/2UJ4cZf although I have always loved Maui Island also I found it a bit pricey - here it is if you're interested https://amzn.to/2U7cDt6). My legs turned into a nice tan a week after departing Mexico so I suppose that is the 'bright side'?

Living the high life, but please note HOW RED those legs are!

Living the high life, but please note HOW RED those legs are!

Even with the severe leg burn the trip was no doubt a success! When we left we were already planning our return back to Mexico in the winter (this time doing a family swap and enjoying Mexico with Cam’s fam!).

I would love to hear from you! Have any Family Trip stories or tips to share? Have you been to Mexico? Any great vacation adventure stories to share? Sound off in the comments below as our adventure complete with Margs begins!

Cheers,

Courtney

FYI: This post features affiliate links where available, which means I get a tiny bonus if you get yourself something new. I can assure you that all items were personally chosen by me while watching RHONY and drinking a glass of white wine. All opinions — as always! — are my own. (I’d never lead you astray!)