The Mexican Riviera—Ixtapa and Puerto Vallarta

On Monday we visited pre-drug war Acapulco aboard the Norwegian Star back in December of 2006.  Today we move on to Ixtapa and Puerto Vallarta.  These areas are much safer than our last destination, and I still feel perfectly safe strolling around even at night.

Zihuatanejo is a quaint little village situated right next door to the Ixtapa.  Together they are often referred to as Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, but I prefer to separate the two as they represent entirely different cultures—the sleepy little fishing village versus the more recent mega-resort.  As you can see from the pictures below, I trend toward the traditional over the contemporary when it comes to Mexico.

The same applies for Puerto Vallarta.  A mega-resort area has sprung up (or sprawled out, depending on your point of view) to the north of the old city center.  Skip that area and head on into town.  Enjoy the statuary.  Chow down on fresh seafood from a second-floor restaurant overlooking the streets below.  Sip a cold one at one of the many colorful bars vying for your business.

Whatever you choose to do, don’t miss the Parish Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  It’s a photographic gem.  Indeed, this is a great subject upon which to try your hand at black and white photography.  But take your pictures in color and post-process for filtered black and white.  You’ll get much better results that way.


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