22 November, 2021

And so the vacation comes to an end! A week in Puerto Vallarta, México City, and beautiful Acapulco … ¡Te veo el próximo año!

Puerto Vallarta was pretty much the same as last year. Bus ride down from Mazatlán still about 7 hours. Got an early check-in so I didn’t have to wander around with my heavy backpack! Workers were wearing masks, but not very many tourists were. Day of the dead was happening and there were decorations on and around the malecón. I made it a priority to walk into town and back from my timeshare … 3000+ steps each way, and a lot of uphill on the way back. I don’t think it was enough to counter the calories I ate!

Bus and plane weren’t that different in price, so I hopped on a plane to México City. Was meeting my nephew’s ex-girlfriend later in the week, so I wanted to make sure I knew what was open and what wasn’t (because of covid). Templo Mayor, Teotihuacan, Bosque de Chapultapec, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Xochimilco – open! Castillo de Chapultapec, and Tula de Allende are still closed.

Found that I was staying near an El Moro. Not having tried them before because of my (now lessened) problems with lactose, I decided to give them a shot. Not a big fan of sugar either, but I felt that if I was going to do it, I should do it right! The hot chocolate was really tasty. Churros were meh. Good, don’t get me wrong, just not something I’d want regularly. Better dunked into the chocolate!

After my friend arrived we hit the sites. Almost all of them in ONE day! I haven’t done 40,000+ steps in one day for YEARS. But I did then! Chapultapec park, Angel of independence, Monument to the revolution, the Post office, Zocaló, Templo Mayor, and a walk down Paseo de la Reforma (from Chapultapec to Palacio de Bellas Artes). Countless steps and rides in the subway as well. Next day Teotihuacan! Many more steps, but didn’t hit 40k! Then we took it easy … One day was Xochimilco, and we wandered around centro. I did the touristy things I haven’t done before like coffee at Sears to get the good view of Palacio de Bellas Artes, and breakfast in the Torre Latinoamericana building (the view really is excellent). Xochimilco was one of the ‘hadn’t done before’ items too. Difficult to get there and back as Uber kept cancelling rides, but the experience was worth it. And of course there were the trips to the Museo Nacional de Antropología as well (I visited twice). Can’t miss seeing the Aztec Sun Stone when in México City!

Decided that another bus ride would be fun, and I hadn’t taken one from Autobuses del Sur … so we threw caution to the wind and bought tickets to Acapulco on the day we wanted to go! I was still able to get a discount with my INAPAM card, but we didn’t get seats together. Five hour ride to Acapulco, so not bad. And they gave us a beverage and snack. Still not the pre-pandemic ham and cheese sandwich on white bread, but it was something!

We were going to do the zip line across the entrance to Bahia Puerto Marques, but even though they’d sold me tickets in advance, they were closed for the season (yes, a call to my credit card company is in the plans). We *did* do a turtle release/lunch at pie de la cuesta/boat around barra de coyuca tour ($40 usd – couldn’t say no). We also took the glass bottom boat to Palao on Isla Roqueta. Do yourself a big favor if they try to sell you the nature hike after you’ve bought your tickets – SAY NO!!! Our guide told us he’d be with us in 30 minutes. 120 minutes later we wandered out on our own. When we got back he said he’d give us the tour – then all he did was point in the direction we needed to go! Then, when it was time for the first boat to go back, we were the only ones who wanted to go (we had plans) and they tried to keep us on the island! They ‘offered’ to take us to Caleta (a popular local beach) – and we took them up on it since it was closer to where we were going. I’ve done the $150 peso Palao trip twice now and that’s it. From now on I’m taking the normal boat from Caleta for $70 pesos.

When we got to Caleta we walked to La Quebrada. We were several hours early for the cliff diver’s first evening jump so we parked ourselves at the Mirador’s restaurant, La Perla, and enjoyed some food and beverages while getting a little more sun. This was my one extravagant spend during the trip … it’s nice to just sit back and relax for a while. Cliff divers were spectacular, but there weren’t as many as the last time I saw them. Still well worth it, and the perfect end to the day. A little fyi – drinks weren’t very strong. Ask for the booze on the side or drink beer/wine if that’s a concern.

Shout out to the Fiesta Americana hotel. They did our covid-19 tests for us at no cost! Don’t know if they’re doing the one required by Canada or not, but this one worked to get in the USA! Views definitely not as good from the rooms as from my normal place at the Playa Suites, but the grounds are nicer. Pluses and minuses to everything in life. Spent a little time during our last night watching the lunar eclipse from the pool area … life is just so hard sometimes! Lol.

Flew from Acapulco to México City, then on to Seattle. If you are traveling in/around México by plane, you currently need to complete health attestations. There’s one for travel within México (can’t find the link right now), and one for international travel (this one is for Aero Mexico: https://formatosatos.aeromexico.com/declaracion-covid?lan=en). Fill them out and take a screen shot of the QR codes. Then, when you’re at the gate for your flight from México City, people in neon colored vests will come up to you – one verifies your health attestation, your covid-19 test results, your proof of vaccination, checks your passport and boarding pass and then puts a sticker on your passport. The other one checks to make sure your passport has the sticker and then signs your boarding pass. It’s all pretty easy if you know what’s going on – but there were several people there who didn’t and were stuck at the last minute scrambling to get it done.

And now I force myself to remember the primary reason I moved to Mazatlán. Seattle is COLD, the air is damp, and I have my lights on during the day because it’s so cloudy! January can’t come soon enough … but I’m going to get in a few good real-chinese-food eating extravaganzas before going home!

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