Running from the Law: Puerto Vallarta - Mismaloya & Malecon

Monday, January 31, 2011

Puerto Vallarta - Mismaloya & Malecon

Well, I'm almost finished with our Mexico vacation recaps.  I hate to see them end, just about as much as I hated for the actual trip to end.  Guess this means back to reality and back to snow, ice and a bitter cold Winter.  We're supposed to get 15 inches of snow in the next couple days.  FIFTEEN INCHES!! Oh, to be back in Mexico.

So, on our next to last day in PV, we decided to hit another beach - Mismaloya, just south of town.  We braved the Mexican public transportation system and hopped on a bus to get there.  It was quite an adventure, since none of us really spoke Spanish, nor had a clue what we were doing or where exactly we were going.  Thank goodness for the tiny old man in the back of the bus that told us where our stop was.  Otherwise, we might still be on that damn bus.
Mismaloya is most famous as the site where the 1963 film The Night of the Iguana was filmed. The set and crew quarters rise up the hill on the south side of the Mismaloya cove. Sadly, the set is only ruins now, and the once-famous John Huston Cafe is an empty shell on top of the hill.  On the other side of Highway 200 from Playa Mismaloya is El Eden, a jungle setting where parts of the movie Predator were filmed.
The beach at Playa Mismaloya is located in a lovely cove, with a full view of Los Arcos sea rocks and is a great place to snorkel and scuba dive. There are boats which tourists can hire, and the beach is home to several restaurants and trinket peddlers, as well as to two large hotels. 
The beach was relatively crowded with kids and locals - not too many tourists.  Maybe that's why we got so much attention from the peddlers and vendors.  It seemed like every 2 to 3 minutes we were approached by someone else selling random crap - everything from swim trunks to souvenirs to shrimp skewers.  However, who are we not to take advantage of such good deals - they were pretty desperate after all.  Kirsten and I bought a couple swimsuit cover ups dirt cheap and Jacquie got a gorgeous silver ring for next to nothing.  Score!
The best part about the beach was our beachfront chairs and umbrellas right in front of one of the local restaurants.  You would have thought we were celebrities the way we were getting waited on hand and foot.  A girl could really get use to service like that.  We enjoyed a lunch of boat drinks and fresh ceviche, chips and salsa, while relaxing and reading our books.
Kirsten made a friend.  We named him Pablo.  And he LOVED her.  We were all a little worried that this smelly beast might decided he liked us too much and follow us home.  As far as I know, he stayed behind.

Definitely not a bad way to spend the day!
On the way back to our hotel, we got stuck in a torrential downpour.  I have never in my life seen so much rain in just a few minutes.  I thought our bus was going to get washed off the road.  When we got to our bus stop, the streets were completely flooded and there was no possible way to even cross the street without getting swept away out to sea (Iris can attest to this).  We finally flagged down a taxi, which basically turned into a boat to take us back home.  I kept waiting for the car to fill up with water and we'd have to escape out the sunroof.  Crazy.  Way more excitement than we had expected.

That night we decided to hit up Pepe's, our favorite little neighborhood hole in the wall taco shop, for dinner.  This place might not look like much, but they had some of the best food any of us had ever had.
They roasted the meat on a spit right in front of you and would shave off the meat (and pineapple, above the meat) with a huge knife and catch it in your taco shell.  Delish!
We also noticed that Pepe's caters.  If he'd be willing to make it to Vegas, Kirsten may be in the process of working something out with Pepe to cater her wedding!  It'd be worth it!
After dinner we headed into town to spend some time on the Malecon.  We'd heard that the Malecon really came alive at night with vendors and street performers and all kinds of people, so we had to check that out.  On the way, I took a couple pictures of the city - Puerto Vallarta is really adorable.
(The streets were very clean after the flood that afternoon!)
The statue below is called Caballeo del Mar (The Seahorse) and is a very famous statue in Puerto Vallarata.  I didn't intend for this picture to be a silhouette, but I love the way it turned out against the sunset!
As we walked along the beach, we found this guy, stacking rocks.  4-5 rocks high!  It was unbelievable.  I think we stood there and watched him for at least a half hour in complete awe.
How does he do that?
The whole Malecon was bustling with energy.  Even the dogs were entertained.
Vendors were selling everything from toys to clothes to paintings.

And then we found the FOOD.  Oh my goodness, I couldn't get over it.  I was kicking myself for eating so much at Pepe's, because I wanted to try one of everything here.  I'm pretty sure the vendor ladies were calling me a silly gringa (or probably something worse) for taking all these pictures of their food without buying something, but I couldn't help it.  Look at all of this!
Fresh fruit!  Mango, watermelon and honeydew.
Roasted corn on (and off) the cob.
Every type of hot sauce you could imagine.
Some kind of franks and chips.
Seafood ceviche.
Grilled shrimp skewers.
Roasted bananas with fresh fruit and strawberry yogurt smoothies.
Chocolate and caramel flan.
Are you drooling yet?
If I ever go back to Puerto Vallarta, I'm eating here every night.

It was almost time for sunset, so we picked out a table close to the water and ordered some drinks so we could watch the sun go down.
Puerto Vallarta had the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen. 
I think they were even prettier than the sunsets in Hawaii. 
Gorgeous colors.
The water and beach looked like lava.
The sun was so big.
And then it was gone.

Has anyone else been to Puerto Vallarta?  Did you love it as much as we did? 


  1. Remind me why I'm friends with you again? KIDDING. I love you.

    Such pretty pictures!!

    I've never been to Puerto Vallarta but one of my friends is from a little town just north of there, so, she and her husband go "home" for a week every Christmas. Totally unfair!

  2. The pictures look so beautiful & it seems like such a fun trip!!

  3. I wish I could snap my fingers and be in Puerto Vallarta right now! It looks like so much fun. And the food - YUM! I want one of everything pictured!

  4. As always, your pictures are amazeballs. But, shut up with all those pictures of food! I'm so hungry now!!

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