Puerto Vallarta: Mexico’s Legendary Escape

5 Reasons Why PV is Your Next Winter Destination

While the Rockies and Front Range are battling blustery weather and shivering cold, Puerto Vallarta shines with mid 80-degree temperatures, fabulous beaches, rockin’ outdoor excursions and some of the best golf in Central America.

PV is an astonishing winter destination—brimming with fun, history and Hollywood intrigue. What is there to do in Puerto Vallarta? Here are five suggestions that will surely tempt, heal and renew:

1. Romance! It was here that Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor had a steamy and very public affair during the filming of John Huston’s 1964 film, The Night of the Iguana. Couples can retrace Dick and Liz’s footsteps down the iconic Malecon, a 12-block, recently restored seaside promenade, then meander over to the historic Plaza de Armas main square, renown for its cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, Sunday evening street dances, eclectic shopping, luscious restaurants and blissful absence of neon signs.

2. Beachcomb! Start at PV’s original Romantic Zone sun-spot, Playa los Muertos, which runs north and south about 1.5-miles and is rife with boat and para-sailing rentals, cerveza- and tequila-infused eateries, and parading vendors that hawk everything from grilled fish on a stick to sombreros to jewelry. Just to the north is Playa Olas Altas, and to the south are a series of majestic beaches including the crystalline waters of Playa Conchas Chinas.

3. Adventure! While Banderas Bay and other locales offer splendid salt water recreation—like scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, surfing, sailing and access to deep-sea fishing—there are inland, scrapbook-worthy opportunities to mountain bike, ride horses, eco-hike, zip-line the jungle canopy and safari in a Jeep.

4. Golf! PV in particular basks in top-rated courses, including designs crafted by Jack Nicklaus (pictured below), Tom Weiskopf, Greg Norman, Robert Von Hagge and Joe Finger. Heading the class is the ocean-view Four Seasons Punta Mita, anchored by two superlative Nicklaus signature layouts; and Vista Vallarta, which offers two 18-hole challenges designed individually by Nicklaus and Weiskopf.

5. Bonus golf! About two hours south on the Costalegre is one of Mexico’s highest rated courses, El Tamarindo. The celebrated David Fleming design offers six oceanside holes, many perched on hanging cliffs and some that swing all the way to the beach. Stay over at 29-casita El Tamarindo Beach & Golf Resort, an exceptionally private and peaceful property that offers priority tee times to its well-heeled guests.

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Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.