Many will say how Puerto Vallarta owes its fame to Hollywood, especially after John Houston’s 1964 film Night of the Iguana. Richard Burton, who starred in the film bought a house in Puerto Vallarta, and the turbulent love story with his wife Elizabeth Taylor attracted much media attention. It wasn’t long before tourists started arriving in that small Pacific town. Today, Puerto Vallarta is one the most desirable vacation spots on the Mexican Pacific coast, with beautiful resorts attracting mostly rich people.

Before visiting Vallarta, I have already visited very popular and worldwide known Acapulco, and a hidden gem of Puerto Escondido, both located south on the Pacific coast. Comparing it with Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta is more charming, beautiful and secure place. It lines the shore of Bahía de Banderas, one of the world’s 10 largest bays, so if you’re a swimmer and not a surfer this is a place for you. Huge Pacific waves could be dangerous for non-surfers on the beaches of Puerto Escondido and Acapulco.

I visited Puerto Vallarta while living in Mexico City. My boyfriend and I wanted to escape the city for a weekend, and have found a great offer at an amazing Hotel Presidente Intercontinental. The weekend was like a dream, or like in the Hollywood movies. Located in a perfect spot outside the city centre at Zona Hotelera, a little bit hidden in a small and calm bay, with sand beach and beautiful outdoor pool where you can spend all day relaxing, sunbathing and drinking cocktails. An ocean view from the room balcony was simply breathtaking. As Mexicans would have said, a breakfast on the balcony was muy rico (very delicious).

One of my favourite moments in Puerto Vallarta was drinking a glass of wine in the evening, watching the sun “falling” into the ocean and listening to the sound of waves.

In Puerto Vallarta I really enjoyed the vivid colonial architecture, long walks down the promenade, interesting souvenir shops and various delicious foods and drinks.

The Mexican state of Jalisco, where Puerto Vallarta is located is a home of the most familiar Mexican drink Tequila, and various plant species. So it doesn’t surprise how we found the Botanical Gardens just 30 minutes drive down the beautiful coast south of Vallarta. It is a very peaceful place where we were able to enjoy pure nature. Even though it looked a bit like we were in the jungle, after walking down the marked paths we came to the river. I think we were the only tourists at the time, and that fact made it even better. If you’re brave enough, you can take a swim in the river. I wasn’t, it was too cold.

I will always remember that special weekend in Puerto Vallarta and one day I will hopefully come back.