PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico – Puerto Vallarta’s Cruise Port Terminal has been rated the top Mexican Riviera & South America Destination at the Cruise Critic first-ever Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards. The world’s leading cruise reviews site and online cruise community, based its ranking on consumer ratings submitted with reviews on the Cruise Critic website. The awards name award-winning destinations across 15 regions, worldwide.
Puerto Vallarta was ranked number one in the region, followed by Buenos Aires and Cartagena. The port city is one of Mexico’s leading tourism destinations because of its stunning Bay of Banderas surrounded by the lush Sierra Madre mountains and rich colonial architecture of its city center. Today the 98-year-old Mexican city is a world-class destination where cruises are welcomed with Mariachi bands and can enjoy a wide array of activities.
Puerto Vallarta’s Cruise Port Terminal is currently undergoing an extensive three-year renovation with an investment of over 320 million pesos (About 17 million dollars). Construction will be done during off seasons and new to the port will be a Tequila Factory, an aquarium and a Welcome Center.
From January to August of this year, 83 cruises have made calls upon the destination compared to 72 calls for the same period in 2015. 199,565 cruise passengers visited Puerto Vallarta compared to 173,978. It is estimated that Puerto Vallarta will receive over 350,000 cruise passengers by the end of this year.
One of the most popular activities in Puerto Vallarta for locals and visitors alike is strolling along the destination’s Malecon, a lively 6-mile pedestrian-only boardwalk that connects Puerto Vallarta’s Downtown with the Romantic Zone and is surrounded by many shops and restaurants. Visitors can enjoy an art walk stopping in many of the city’s galleries, such as Sergio Bustamente’s gallery and shop, the artists who made many of the statues located in the Malecon, as well as shop at the arts and crafts market, ceramic and tequila shops and high end boutiques located along the cobble stone streets. For lunch or dinner, there are over 360 restaurants in the area to choose from.
Adventure seekers will find that Puerto Vallarta has it all, from paddle boarding to rappelling down a waterfall. Tour Operators such as Canopy River offer unique opportunities to Zipline across rivers and ride mules down the Sierra Madre Mountain range while others can speed down the country side with Wild Treks Adventure’s ATVs. Vallarta Adventures incorporates cultural, adventure and ecological activities in its tours that range from visiting a ghost mining town in the middle of the jungle, sailing across the bay and relaxing on a secluded cove or trying the fastest zip-line in Mexico.
Those looking for a more relaxing time can opt for Puerto Vallarta’s many high end beach clubs, including Mantamar Beach Club and Casa Velas’ Ocean Club or obtain a day pass to enjoy the beach or pool at many of Puerto Vallarta’s hotels, including Secrets, Westin or Fiesta Americana. Spa treatments are also a big favorite at CasaMagna Marriott Ohtli and Villa Premire’s Spa.