Thursday, July 25, 2013


Trip Dates: February 2008 & March 2009

We decided it was about time for another warm vacation, while the depths of winter were upon us in Canada.  The last one I went on was in 2005 when we traveled to the Dominican Republic.  This time we decided on Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  Christine's whole family was going and so was my brother, Kyle.  I was really looking forward to this trip, not only for the great weather, but getting the chance to see a different city in a country I'd never visited before.  We enjoyed it so much, in fact, that we ended up going back to Puerto Vallarta again in 2009, but with ten people in total!  Both of the trips were filled with tons of fun and good times.  I guess it's not hard to enjoy yourself when you're travelling with great people.  Mexico is such a big country though, so if I get the chance to go back I would really like to see the east coast and hopefully visit some of the Mayan ruins.  

Mexico, officially known as the United Mexican States, is almost two million square-kilometres in size, making it the the fifth largest country in the Americas by size and the thirteenth largest independent nation in the world.  The official language is Spanish and there are over 117 million people living there.  The capital is Mexico City.  Puerto Vallarta is a city located on the west coast of Mexico and is located within the state of Jalisco.  The city has just over 255,000 people, making it the second largest city within the state.  

Our 2008 resort was the Meliá Puerto Vallarta
The resort as viewed from our room
The pool
The resort and Banderas Bay as viewed from our balcony
Great-Tailed Grackle
The Marigalante is a pirate ship tour boat that sails around Banderas Bay
Adam, Christine, Me, and Kyle
Old Town Puerto Vallarta complete with cobblestone streets
Primera Iglesia Bautista the Baptist Church at Parque Hidalgo
The Malecón is seawall/boardwalk that is close to 2km in length
Sculpture of the Millenniums is one of many along The Malecón
A small market in Old Town
Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Sunset over Banderas Bay
Time for an off-the-resort excursion.  Today we would get to do some snorkeling and see a couple of small towns that are only accessible by boat.
The Sarape would be our boat for the day
Boarding the boat and guess who gets to be the captain!
A massive yacht complete with their own personal helicopter!
Black-Headed Gull
Puerto Vallarta's coastline
A couple of Bottlenose Dolphins came racing over to the boat
Los Arcos is a series of five islands in Banderas Bay that are part of a National Marine Park
The Devil's Rock.  This is where we snorkeled, but the water was so choppy we had to get back in the boat too soon
Quimixto is a small village that is only accessible by boat
An Iguana on the beach in Quimixto
A Sea Slug on the rocks
The main street through Quimixto
An Iguana in one hand and a dead fish in the other
Enjoying a cold Corona on Las Animas; another boat accessible beach
Our second adventure would be a zip-line canopy tour.  Before leaving, a guide asked me to hold out my hand and to my complete surprise he dropped a live scorpion into it.  He thought it was the funniest thing he'd seen in awhile!
La Vista Canopy Adventures was up in the mountains that surround Puerto Vallarta
Kyle, Chris, and Sarah
Christine about to slide down the cable
Sarah's turn
Kyle's turn.  The tour was a series of long cables strung across valleys that we got to slide down!
Some of the cables were short and others were quite long
Capewell sisters sitting in a Blue Agave patch.  They use these plants to make tequila.
Dixon brothers just prior to our tequila tasting.  They make their own brand of flavored tequila here as well.
Carlos O'Brians is a popular tourist bar in Puerto Vallarta
Sarah, Adam, Christine, and I
Our last tour would be on The Marigalante
Boarding the pirate ship
We got dinner, drinks, and a show while we were on board
This was the toilet in the bathroom
The urinals
The sink
We were also very lucky to see a pod of Humpback Whales playing in the bay.  Every year the whales arrive in the Banderas Bay to reproduce and give birth.  Even though this is a yearly occurrence, the show on the boat stopped and all of the performers watched as the whales played in the water!  Although the whales are common in the bay, maybe seeing them playing like this isn't.
The setting sun
Chris and I on the pirate ship
Rosemary and Jerry
Family picture at the flea market
Café Roma.  This was one of the neatest pubs I've ever been in.  They've got a webcam and a free phone so you can call your friends/family back home and get them to visit the website while you're enjoying a cold Corona.  You get to sign your name on their walls.  They also have delicious pizza and some of the best tequila I've ever tasted!
The seven of us at Café Roma
Another beautiful sunset over Banderas Bay
Me and Kyle
Sarah and Chris
Me and Chris
Our Italian á la carte dinner
The girls with Antonio and Juan.  These guys went above and beyond for us all week!
We spotted this dolphin jumping right off of our beach
Capewell siblings
Kyle and I doing a little kayaking
The snorkeling on our beach wasn't great, but we did see this Concentric Ray swimming along the bottom
The boys enjoying a cold one at the pool bar
The three amigos on our last day.  Sarah and Kyle would pay dearly for this on the flight home.  Jerry was lucky he had another week to enjoy Puerto Vallarta and didn't have to experience a hangover mid-flight!
The slightly inebriated travelers are all smiles now...not so much later on!
We had such a good time in Mexico in 2008 that we just had to go back in 2009.  I guessed we talked about it enough to convince five of our friends to tag along.  So with Jerry, Rosemary, Kyle, Christine, and myself, combined with Dan, Nath, Rob, Amy, and Mike, we had a great group of ten to kick off another week in the sunshine!

The Canto Del Sol was this year's resort
The resort as viewed from the beach
The pool area
Rob and Amy
A couple of Crabs crawling on the rocks
Me and Kyle
All of us but Amy
Me and Mike doing some boogie boarding
Dan trying his luck at skim boarding
My turn
I bought a Coco Loco, which is a mixed drink inside a coconut!
Stone arches along The Malecón
Angel statue
The Vallarta Dancers sculpture
This Pelican was dive bombing into the surf and coming up with fish
We had to come back to Café Roma again!
Another tour, but this year it was with Vallarta Adventures
We came by Los Arcos again, but we didn't snorkel here this year
Las Caletas
Another beautiful beach that's only accessible by boat
We all got to hold Macaws
We also got to hold a Monkey.  Unfortunately Kyle got peed on!
We did get to do some snorkeling at this beach
Round Ray
Guineafowl Puffer Fish
King Angelfish
Jagged rocks at the end of the beach
Rosemary and Jerry on the boat ride back
Christine and I on the boat
The eight of us decided to do some deep sea fishing
We all caught multiple fish.  In fact I think we caught about 20 in total.  This one was a Snook.
The majority of the fish we caught were young Barracudas
A close-up of a Barracuda.  Check out those teeth!
One of the fish we caught was an unknown species, even to the guides
We were also lucky enough to see some Humpback Whales playing in the distance
A great day spent out on the water with an awesome group of friends
Christine Bar.  Of course we had to go!
Nath and Dan
Mike, Dan, Me, Christine, Rob, Amy, and Kyle
Nath and Chris
One of the many Geckos around the resort
Rosemary and Jerry having a final drink at Café Roma
Soaking up the sun in the pool
Dan and Nath
The sun setting over Banderas Bay
Another amazing trip!  Can't wait to come back at some point.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I can't wait to read them all had to stop at this one first of course :) Great idea. We should definitely do another trip like this again!