We love New Year’s Eve in Puerto Vallarta. Everyone gets in on the act and the fun goes on all night long, with dancing in the streets and endless fireworks. There are so many great venues where you can hang out to say goodbye to the old year and greet the new. The beach at Los Muertos has always held a special draw for us, whether we go fancy, all dressed up, or jeans and t-shirts with tacos on the street for dinner. We’ve gone both routes, and from year to year, it can be a difficult decision, because both are a lot of fun. Many of the local restaurants on the beach have fixed menus and reservations are highly recommended. They plan accordingly and it’s a time of year for everyone to show off, too. Wherever you dine, you will most likely be served 12 grapes after your dinner, at midnight. You can munch on them while you watch the incredible fireworks display the entire length of the Bay of Banderas. Eat each grape, make a wish for the coming year, twelve months in all, and if you’re close enough to the church, gobble them down with the striking of the midnight bells. If you’re looking for love, don’t forget to wear your red underwear for good luck!
After the fireworks have ended, we love to walk down the Malecón with crowds who linger into the early morning hours. It will have cooled down considerably, sometimes getting as low as 60° F/15° C, so be prepared with a light jacket or wrap.
If the beach doesn’t interest you, there are fine dining establishments where reservations also are necessary, not along the beachfront, but those tucked in the back streets, away from much of the hubbub and noise. Entertainment is often the enticement for these venues and performances will be memorable.
An option we have participated in the past is the bonfires at the beach at Playa del Holi, which is adjacent to Peninsula, across the river, down a long dusty road. Locals set up canopies over tables, which are covered with elegant lacy cloths. Fine china and crystal are carried into the site during the daylight hours; candles and lanterns are lit after dark, and a New Year’s Eve feast ensues, usually around midnight. Barbeques dot the area
with low flames and delicious odors, music from portable devices mix with laughter and singing. Iceboxes full of beverages arrive full and depart empty.
The spirit of camaraderie that exists in Puerto Vallarta begins at the unfolding of each New Year with ringing bells, raised glasses and voices, dancing and singing, and a pyrotechnical show that few can rival. Enjoy, don’t drink and drive, and tip generously.
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Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article! (opinions expressed are his own)
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