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On to today’s blog post…
Last week, I was in Puerto Vallarta for the 2nd #FitInParadise trip. You can read more about my partnership with the Caribbean and Latin America Marriott Resorts here.
We arrived Monday afternoon from Los Angeles and holy hell it was hot! It was in the 90’s but felt at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Thankfully our room at the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa was well air conditioned.
Since this was in fact a work trip, I had a property tour first. We checked on the turtle eggs getting ready to hatch. They are protected while they grow right here and then are released into the ocean making for quite the educational and adorable photo opportunity.
There is a marine biologist who works overnight to observe where the turtles lay their eggs on shore. They then bring them to be kept safe from natural predators and unknowing tourists. However, even though the turtle may lay 100 eggs, only about 5% will actually hatch. On the back of these cards it is written what day and how many eggs were laid.
Turtle season is from the beginning of August into September. Guests can expect to see them released at sunset on a regular basis during this time. We were early so we got to release only two on our final morning but it was quite special.
We then visited the gorgeous Ohtli spa. It was large, calming and serene. I don’t think a beach vacation is complete without a trip to a spa even if you just pay the small fee to use the tranquility amenities like the hot and cold tub, whirlpool, steam room, sauna and relaxation room.
It’s hard to disconnect when you are sitting at a pool all day with wifi all around. The spa forces you to slow down. After our tour, it was time for a quick meeting and then dinner at Las Casitas. Unlike other resorts, they had a complete gluten free menu already!
We started with the table side guacamole.
The guacamole was served with homemade tortillas! All week the tortillas were homemade in fact.
I ordered the Shrimp Escabeche, which is topped with a jicama tortilla salad. The bottom is a fried banana with roasted cactus, onions and peppers. The sauce tasted like a light Mexican salsa broth. I loved my meal and had zero order envy – which is rare at group dinners! With the exception of the fried bananas, it was pretty healthy too!
Most of the meals on the menu seemed very healthy unintentionally. However, we did finish with a little dessert because while it was work, the atmosphere felt like vacation.
Just as we finished the sun also set. I was shocked to learn sunrise was around 7:30am while we were there and sunset was after 8:30pm. There were a bunch of families still at the pool when we finished so Roomie and I grabbed our swimsuits and went for a quick swim before bed.
Tuesday morning was dedicated to shooting our videos. One fitness and one lifestyle. In between we grabbed breakfast at Las Casitas breakfast buffet. Like Cancun, I was obsessed with the fresh fruit and guacamole options. I had a veggie omelet with guac and tons of fresh fruit. On my way out, I grabbed a mini blueberry muffin, too.
For our lifestyle video, we shot a skinny margarita recipe using tequila that is grown on property! The CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta grows their own agave which is then used to make tasty tequila for drinks. They serve drinks in these two cute fruit cups. We also show how to make them in the lifestyle video.
After shooting, it was time to relax for a bit at least. Roomie and I headed down by the pool to enjoy lunch. I ordered the fresh fish tacos by the pool. The tortillas were still warm and the fish was cooked just right. The pico de gallo added the right touch in my opinion.
Later we went to the gym for a short workout and before heading to Downtown Puerto Vallarta. The gym was larger than I expected with new machines, plenty of treadmills and ellipticals and natural light! It is free for guests to use.
Downtown, there was a beautiful old boardwalk lined by retail, restaurants and bars. From fun dive bars to your Spring Break special, there was something for everyone.
We stopped to have a drink at La Palapa and watch the sunset which was vibrant and incredible.
Wednesday morning, we slept in, enjoyed another buffet breakfast to die for and then used the stand up paddle boards. They were $25 for 2 hours of use. This was my workout of the day. I sadly lost a pair of sunglasses when I fell in, but loved every second other than that! I love SUP workouts and tried some of the moves I featured in my video for Grand Cayman’s workout video.
Afterwards, I had an appointment at the spa. I signed up for the Hydrating Tequila and Coconut treatment. It was a very interesting experience! I’ve never had an exfoliation and wrap session but my skin felt really smooth and hydrated afterwards. I almost tried the Rebirth Therapy and kinda wish I had in hind sight. Performed in a pool of warm water, this therapy focuses on the healing power of water, meditation and relaxation. The therapist guides you through a series of rhythmic movements that relax your mind, muscle tissue and joints, allowing you to gradually drift into a meditative state. Regular sessions allow you to have better flexibility and a strengthened immune system. It’s done in the pool pictured above.
We had a quiet dinner just Roomie and I. We both love Mexican food and did not get sick of it one bit. The food was delicious at the two restaurants we ate at. We didn’t eat at the sushi or sports bar, because when in Mexico – you want to eat Mexican especially if it’s your favorite! I had crab enchiladas the last night.
I woke up early our last morning and went for a 3 mile run around the Puerto Vallarta Marina. It was clean, I felt safe and loved the pretty scenery of large resorts, gorgeous boats and cute retail shops. I wish we could have explored the marina more.
Before leaving for the airport, I released a baby turtle into the wild. It was an experience I won’t soon forget. It is crazy to think these creatures have never been in water but know instinctively to run towards it and then to swim and breath. I was nervous but the biologist assured me, the baby was OK.
What I loved about Puerto Vallarta is how affordable everything was! Roomie’s coronas were like $3 by the pool, the mixed drinks were roughly $10. The food was very reasonable as well. Our lunches were around $10 each, and dinner was never over $50 for the two of us with appetizers and main courses usually consisting of fish. For comparison, in Grand Cayman a mojito was $17 and the fish tacos at least $15. The hotel rates are even crazy low at PV! Rooms start at $129/night.
After 7 hours of travel back to Boston, we were home and asleep in our beds. Only two more resorts to go on my #FitInParadise tour – Aruba and Curacao at the end of the month. I can’t wait! Check out my other recaps from Cancun, St Thomas, Grand Cayman and St Kitts.