Old Town Puerto Vallarta – Dolly Travels

Published Date Author: , February 15th, 2018

Old Town Puerto Vallarta

Hola, once more.

This will be my last blog post from Puerto Vallarta this year. Next year, I hope to spend longer than a week. I love this town.

When I told the kids that I wanted to go back to explore Old Town Vallarta, Rob asked me, “What will you do there?”

“Oh, just walk around, and see what the Old Town is like,” was my reply. What I really thought was, it will be more “What can I learn by going back there:” Rather than what can I do there.

I took the bus to town again, by myself. I call it the “Chicken Bus”. Although no one here is transporting chickens, the buses look similar to the ones I have seen in other places of Mexico and Costa Rica, where cages of chickens were being carried on top of the buses.

The bus stop is on the street in front of our hotel entrance. The fare is 7.50 pesos, which is about 42 cents in US money.

After a bumpy ride, for most of the streets are made of cobblestones, and I am sure the buses do not have the best springs, I arrived in the main part of Puerto Vallarta, near the Cathedral of Guadalupe. I knew I wanted to go further east, into the old town from that church, so I followed the streets that Chef Julio had taken us on, the other day when we went to the Mercado.

There is a river that empties into the sea, at the southern end of the main part of town. This river, the Cuale River, creates an island called the Isla Cuale. Now it is a lovely park.

A staircase crosses the river on the north side, and leads to an upper affluent neighborhood, where Elizabeth Taylor lived, while she was filming the movie, “The Night of the Iguana”. That movie brought Puerto Vallarta to the attention of travelers, and as the locals tell me, that was the beginning of the town becoming a tourist attraction.

A statue of John Huston sits at the entrance to the park. That man was the director of the movie, “The Night of the Iguana”. He made the film here, as he had already fallen in love with Puerto Vallarta. In fact, his home was at Las Caletas, the beach where we saw “Rhythm of the NIghts”. He gave that property to the town of Puerto Vallarta.

As I walked further into Old Town, I saw the everyday life of those residents, going on quietly, without the hustle and bustle of the touristy part of town.

I found the Mercado again, and after a few more blocks, the streets ended, so I made my way back toward the main part of Puerto Vallarta.

At the very western end of the park, I found a small restaurant that served breakfast. Although it was almost noon, I decided to have brunch instead of lunch.

This cafe, called “Incanto”, had a guitarist playing soft music for the patrons.

On the other side of the river is another restaurant that was closed, for workmen were trimming a large bamboo tree that sat at the end of the restaurant. The roots of that tree were actually down at the river’s edge.

There was a man with a machete trimming a tree by the river. The branches fell at the river’s edge, and two more workmen went down there and piled the branches up. Then the machete man went down there and trimmed those branches into tall poles, and stacked them up . All the work was done with a machete. And it was all done while I was having my meal.

« Rhythm of the NIghts and Other Adventures in Puerto VallartaWarm Places »
Old Town Puerto Vallarta
January 16, 2018 by dollygoolsby
2 Votes

Hola, once more.

This will be my last blog post from Puerto Vallarta this year. Next year, I hope to spend longer than a week. I love this town.

When I told the kids that I wanted to go back to explore Old Town Vallarta, Rob asked me, “What will you do there?”

“Oh, just walk around, and see what the Old Town is like,” was my reply. What I really thought was, it will be more “What can I learn by going back there:” Rather than what can I do there.

I took the bus to town again, by myself. I call it the “Chicken Bus”. Although no one here is transporting chickens, the buses look similar to the ones I have seen in other places of Mexico and Costa Rica, where cages of chickens were being carried on top of the buses.

The bus stop is on the street in front of our hotel entrance. The fare is 7.50 pesos, which is about 42 cents in US money.

After a bumpy ride, for most of the streets are made of cobblestones, and I am sure the buses do not have the best springs, I arrived in the main part of Puerto Vallarta, near the Cathedral of Guadalupe. I knew I wanted to go further east, into the old town from that church, so I followed the streets that Chef Julio had taken us on, the other day when we went to the Mercado.

There is a river that empties into the sea, at the southern end of the main part of town. This river, the Cuale River, creates and island called the Isla Cuale. Now it is a lovely park.

A staircase crosses the river on the north side, and leads to an upper affluent neighborhood, where Elizabeth Taylor lived, while she was filming the movie, “The Night of the Iguana”. That movie brought Puerto Vallarta to the attention of travelers, and as the locals tell me, that was the beginning of the town becoming a tourist attraction.

Some of the homes up in that neighborhood now.

A statue of John Huston sits at the entrance to the park. That man was the director of the movie, “The Night of the Iguana”. He made the film here, as he had already fallen in love with Puerto Vallarta. In fact, his home was at Las Caletas, the beach where we saw “Rhythm of the NIghts”. He gave that property to the town of Puerto Vallarta.

As I walked further into Old Town, I saw the everyday life of those residents, going om quietly, without the hustle and bustle of the touristy part of town.

The apartments are newer, the streets are quiet. The tangle of electrical wires overhead is a bit disconcerting.

I liked this place. I think it is a restaurant below, but the tower had small tables and chairs on three levels. It must be a good place for Happy Hour, for a few people

I found the Mercado again, and after a few more blocks, the streets ended, so I made my way back toward the main part of Puerto Vallarta.

At the very western end of the park, I found a small restaurant that served breakfast. Although it was almost noon, I decided to have brunch instead of lunch.

This cafe, called “Incanto”, had a guitarist playing soft music for the patrons.

You can see the river flowing below the deck. On the other side of the river is another restaurant that was closed, for workmen were trimming a large bamboo tree that sat at the end of the restaurant. The roots of that tree were actually down at the river’s edge.

I don’t know if you can see him, but at the right side of the tree, standing on a 12-foot ladder, is a man with a machete trimming that tree. The branches fell at the river’s edge, and two more workmen went down there and piled the branches up. Then the machete man went down there and trimmed those branches into tall poles, and stacked them up . All the work was done with a machete. And it was all done while I was having my meal.

After my wonderful breakfast and the best cup of coffee I have had , I meandered back into town.

The peaceful River Cuale.

The Crown Dome of the Cathedral

One of the many sculptures along the Malecon.

I finished my day in town by walking the length of the Malecon, then I caught another “Chicken Bus” and made my way back to our hotel.

Later, as we were waiting for our dinner, at Victor’s at the marina., I had time to contemplate what a relaxing week we had enjoyed. Although we were active, we were never stressed. I enjoyed the non-stress times immensely.

So here I am, dreaming of my return to one of my favorite cities . Puerto Vallarta.

Adios, Puerto Vallarta, until next year.

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