Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Coastal Town Yelapa
Kick back and enjoy the crystalline waters of Yelapa Beach, a seemingly undiscovered stretch of sand in Puerto Vallarta's Bahia de Banderas, only accessible by boat. Don't leave without heading to a street vendor for freshly baked beach pies (coconut is quite popular), which go for just $2 per slice.
Ancient relief art on pyramid in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Just outside the village La Chloe is the Xihuacan Museum and Archeological Site, a 3,000-year-old site is believed to have been a cultural ceremonial center used by different tribes, including the Aztecs, Toltecs, Zapotecas and Olmecs. Here, you can see a wealth of ancient artifacts, including vases, figurines and jewelry.
Visit Vallarta's Zona Romantica, also known as Old Vallarta, famous for ancient streets dotted with beautiful, candle-lit restaurants, bars and cafes like Cafe de Artistes, all under colorful garlands hanging from colonial balconies. Cruise to Puerto Vallarta and shop the local markets, bookstores and galleries in the zone, and take a piece of romance with you.
Puerto Vallarta's cuisine is deeply rooted in the traditions of Jalisco, the state where Vallarta is located. Try pescado embarazado, charcoal-grilled fish marinated in lemon and slathered with salsa huichol, a distinctive sauce made with cascabel chili peppers, cumin, salt and vinegar. Or fill up on birria, a traditional stew of tender, slow-cooked goat meat spiced with guajillo chiles. And don't forget to sip some Jalisco tequila or mezcal.
Puerto Vallarta is renowned for its hand-blown glass, earthy pottery and chunky silver jewelry. Head to the town's markets of Mercado Municipal Rio Cuale or Pueblo Viejo Mercado de Artesanias, where you'll find shops brimming with the famous pottery and jewelry. Pick up your own handmade serape (shawl) or some traditional toys and masks before going back to the ship.
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