Posted by: Gary Guertin | November 29, 2010

10. Panama Canal Cruise–Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Hi All,

We’ve started home and our first port of call is Puerto Vallarta.  This Mexican resort town was a quiet hideaway for the rich and famous until 1963 when John Huston made the film “Night of the Iguana” starring Richard Burton, Deborah Kerr, and Ava Gardner.  If you were expecting Elizabeth Taylor in the film you were wrong, but she was here during the entire filming with her suitor, Richard Burton.  She bought a 9 bedroom, 11bathroom villa, which, even though she has long since sold, remains a tourist attraction.  Her affair with Burton was the start of the areas boom and became a haven for Hollywood stars.  It is still one of the most popular resorts on the Mexican Riviera, with more than 2 million tourists visiting each year.

Before we leave the boat let’s take a look at a map of the area:

PTDC0002 (2) 

Looking at the marina in the right hand corner of the map the view from the ship was first off the port (left)

IMG_1122 Stitch

then the bow (front) of the ship:

IMG_1130 Stitch

and finally the starboard (right) side:

IMG_1122 Stitch Stitch

In the background of the first two pictures you can just make out the Sierra Madre mountain range which makes a beautiful backdrop for Puerto Vallarta and the 25 mile long Banderas Bay (Bay of the Flags) which it sits on.

Have to show you a picture of two old sailing ships which were beside the Statendam because it seems unbelievable that the discoverers of America sailed the oceans in such small ships.


Susy and I got up early so we could drive into the “Old Town”, which if you look at the map is the whole area along the Bay about a mile or two from the ship’s dock. As usual when we left the ship you see the ship’s port sign:


After taking a taxi into the main part of town we started a long walk along the bay:


It was just shop after shop, with restaurants and nightclubs in every block.  Up the side streets you could see the cobble stone streets and the white stucco buildings with the mountains and the villas in the background:


Oh, in case your wondering Susy did stop in a shop or two, like this one:


and we did stop for our Corona beer:


even Gagu got his picture taken:


We don’t look to bad for just coming off colds from the San Diego weather.  It was 77 degrees today and we felt we were back in heaven.

Along this boardwalk we found several parks such as this one:


All and all it was a fine day and we rated Puerto Vallarta as an OK port, but not as pretty as Cabo San Lucas or Huatulco, more in the class of Acapulco.  For example, doesn’t this shot remind you of Acapulco:


Day after tomorrow we return to Huatulco (Dec. 1st already).  We hope to see some parts we didn’t see the first time, until then:

Love You All

Gary (alias Gagu)


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