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Puerto Vallarta is hands-down one of my favorite places on Earth, and it's also one of the top destinations in Mexico to visit. Puerto Vallarta has everything: beaches (both secluded and busy), a great jungle for hiking, nearby small towns to explore, beautiful resorts, boutique hotels and Airbnb's, exciting nightlife, delicious food, and wonderful culture. Not only have I visited Puerto Vallarta regularly since I was a kid, I’ve also had the wonderful opportunity live and work there during college, and I've continued to visit regularly since then -- most recently spending my honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta. PV's definitely a slice of home for me. It just so happens that Puerto Vallarta is also a very beautiful, Instagram-worthy travel destination. Here are the top places to take pictures in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
This beach spot is located on the south end of the city - just a short bus ride and you’re there. Mismaloya is far less busy than the beach areas downtown, so if you're looking to avoid the tourist crowds, this is a great place to go. What makes Mismaloya so Instagram-worthy though is how it is enveloped by the jungle and mountains that surround it. I'd also argue that the water there is bluer too.
This is another great beach that also happens to be a hidden gem in Puerto Vallarta. To get to this secluded beach spot, you have to take a bus to Boca de Tomatlan, which is a little further south than Mismaloya. From Boca, you can hike through the jungle until you reach the beach. It’ll be easy to spot since it’s the first beach you’ll get to. However, there are now water taxis that go to Colomitos, so if you're not keen on a jungle hike, you can also get there by boat.
While the actual beach at Colomitos is relatively small, the scenery is unbelievable and you’re surrounded just nature. There's one small restaurant/bar there, so they may have limited options, but this way you can enjoy a cerveza and snack while you relax by the water.
Old Town Puerto Vallarta – also known as the Romantic Zone – has more of an authentic charm to it. Photo ideas include a shot of the ocean looking down one of the neighborhood’s cobblestone streets or taking in the view from an Airbnb up in the hills to get a shot of Puerto Vallarta’s gorgeous skyline and bay.
I also recommend staying in Old Town if you get the chance. While this part of Puerto Vallarta won't have the big luxury resorts, they have fantastic boutique hotels and Airbnb options. It's also easy access to amazing local restaurants.
This town north of Puerto Vallarta has gotten very popular over the years. What was once an off-the-beaten path, quiet surfer town has transformed into a hipster destination perfect for more adventurous travelers who want a more low-key experience outside of the city that still has a decent social scene. Sayulita has been built up nicely, though, and still has a surf culture to it. Parts of the town center are also decorated with Papel Picado, which is a type of colorful Mexican folk art and shows up beautifully in photos.
About the author
Jill Zwarensteyn is a writer and comedian who has been featured on Amazon, truTV, The New York Times, Matador Network, BUST Magazine, Sleep Advisor, Tiplr, ARTRPRNR Magazine, YourTango, Thought Catalog, GoMad Nomad, Mashable, The Daily Mail UK, the Cannes Film Festival, LaughFest, Women's Lifestyle Magazine, and the Funny Women Festival LA. For more info visit: http://www.jillzwarensteyn.weebly.com