There are many magical places to visit surrounding Puerto Vallarta that require only a short bus trip. Down the south coastline, Boca de Tomatlan is at the end of the city route. From there, one can catch a panga (boat) to Yelapa, Las Animas or Quimixto for a very reasonable fare. Day trips are perfect for those not interested in spending a night in the actual jungle.
Mismaloya, about 20 minutes south, is the original village where The Night of the Iguana landed back in the early ‘60s and has not been the same since. A onetime campground and trailer park, it is now the location of a huge luxury hotel. Palapas remain on the beach, most owned by families who have been there for decades.
In the above locations there are activities galore, including SCUBA diving, snorkeling, hiking and horse riding; jet skis, ziplines and parasailing. For many of us, simply lazing on the beach, soaking up sun and margaritas, will suffice.
Closer to town is the small settlement of El Nogalito, once a primitive village with typical languid dogs in the street, children kicking a ball around and fresh laundry hanging on trees and bushes. Not much has changed over the years in this small community nestled in the foothills approximately twenty minutes south of Puerto Vallarta. Over the years, as Puerto Vallarta has grown, so has El Nogalito and yet it has kept its quaintness and charm. El Nogalito means little oak and earned the name due to the small jungle oaks that spill down the Sierra Madres above and around the village. This is also a major hiking destination for those so inclined, with a wonderful array of flora and an abundance of fauna.
The jungle immediate to Puerto Vallarta consists of canopies of trees, palms, orchids, gigantic ferns and tropical flowers. Bright green iguanas and chameleons lounge on branches, appearing to be sleeping until they spot a tasty morsel, race up a tree limb and disappear with their prey. Black and blue jays, flocks of green parakeets and the colorful Cacique with its bright yellow wings flutter around squawking as if something is
happening, though likely nothing is. Floating dragonflies and butterflies add to the heavenly ambience. Waterfalls with refreshing natural swimming pools can be discovered at varying levels or one can settle on relaxing at lower cascades.
Mother Nature’s architecture exhibits trees growing in and out of granite cliffs, huge growth jutting out horizontally and plants sprouting out of others. These are sights that don’t change no matter the influx of commercialization.
Que es cómo es.
Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article!
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