Nuevo Vallarta

Nuevo Vallarta is one of the fastest growing beach destinations of Mexico and has the second-highest number of hotels in the country. The countryside is composed mainly of vast golf courses, exclusive condominiums, luxurious restaurants, marinas, and miles of golden beaches. This is a great place to try all kinds of water sports such as surfing, scuba diving, kayaking, and paddle- and kite surfing. The hotels and resorts in the area also hide world-class spas and renowned restaurants.

The golf courses of Nuevo Vallarta are among the best in the world. El Tigre (par 72), designed by Robert von Hagge, has 18 holes, 144 sand traps distributed over 7,329 yards of Bermuda 419-covered terrain, and nine artificial lakes. Even the most experienced golfers find it challenging.

The Grand Mayan development has the Nayar Golf Club, another spectacular course designed by Jim Lipe and redesigned by Jack Nicklaus. Here you get 6,936 yards with nine holes and fine Bermuda 417 grass.

Two marinas, Nuevo Vallarta Marina and Paradise Village Marina, are also worth a visit. They can accommodate around 500 vessels and the latter is certified as the cleanest marina in the country. Beautiful ships, natural surroundings, and luxurious properties alongside should be enough to attract your attention. But if not, the marinas are home to numerous species such as herons, ducks, pelicans, and seagulls, as well as enormous crocodiles that swim freely between boats. If you don’t disturb them, you shouldn’t be disturbed either.

Nature lovers can also enjoy turtle releases. Olive Ridley and leatherback turtles come to the beaches of Nuevo Vallarta to lay their eggs, spurring the development of a turtle sanctuary near Bahia del Sol Resort that guarantees their protection. From August to January nightly releases are organized if any eggs have hatched. To participate, ask the reception staff at Bahia del Sol (322/297–9527) for details.

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Fodor's Puerto Vallarta: with Guadalajara & Riviera Nayarit

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