This post is a bit delayed but I figured it’s better late than never! If you follow along on Instagram, you might already know we took a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico last month. And it was pretty wonderful. It’s somewhere I’ve been going the last 5 or so years ever since my parents bought a condo there. Fun fact, they actually honeymooned in Puerto Vallarta almost 40 years ago, so it’s always been a special place for them. Now, it’s a special place for all of us—my sister and her husband even got married there!
We feel incredibly grateful to have a wonderful home to stay there but, because of this, I unfortunately don’t have hotel recommendations. However, I’m always happy to try to help in any way I can, so feel free to reach out with any questions in that realm and I’ll do my very best.
Their building is located in Zona Romantica (the Romantic Zone), which is where we spent mostly all of our vacation. It’s filled with plenty of boutique hotels, art galleries, cafes, global restaurants, cute cobblestone streets, beaches and more.
The majority of this post is dedicated to what I wore but I’m also sharing a list of some of our favorite places to eat, plus things to do and see. I hope you enjoy!
Our first night in Puerto Vallarta started off wonderfully. We actually had my parents there for our first two days, so we enjoyed dinner out with them at Daiquiri Dick’s. I’ve been there before and their food is very unique. They classify it as “Mediterranean-Mexican with subtle Asian influences” and that’s spot-on. Honestly, to me the food is just ok but I think it can be a good option if you’re looking for somewhere with more Americanized food choices. Definitely do go to enjoy a margarita with a beach view. Just be careful—they are STRONG!
My biggest outfit tip: I ended up living in my lightweight linen pants during the daytime and wish I’d brought more. This was the first trip I realized I’d rather choose easy-breezy, longer length bottoms over denim and other shorts. Don’t get me wrong, definitely bring a great pair of denim shorts but after a few days, most likely a slight sunburn and maybe a few bug bites, you’ll want comfy, lightweight coverage. Lightweight pants are the perfect comfy bottoms to toss on with a tank or tee or even with your swimsuit to head to the beach or pool. You can just as easily dress them up with a cute crop top and strappy heels for evening.
These Madewell sandals also had zero break-in period needed and truly went with everything. I brought other sandals but ended up wearing these the majority of our vacation. I can’t recommend them enough!
Full disclosure: most of my outfits shown here ended up being dinner looks because it was just too hot/sunny to take outfit photos during the day. Plus, Tariq (my Instagram boyfriend) was much more open to taking photos if they were at night after he had a drink. 😅
Our first morning we woke up and went to breakfast at Cafe de Olla, which I highly recommend. When I’m in Mexico, I pretty much always order either huevos rancheros or chilaquiles and I had the huevos rancheros. Tip—order the hash browns, too! I don’t know what they do to them but they’re crisp yet creamy and it. is. heaven. Their Mexican Coffee is also delicious and tastes like cinnamon.
For dinner on our second night, we went to Joe Jack’s because it’s one of my favorite places for fish tacos. It’s not on the beach but it’s a cool atmosphere and their fish is delicious. I wore a navy midi dress from Vici Dolls which is unfortunately old and no longer on the website, so I linked some similar breezy styles for you.
This all-white outfit may have been one of my favorite looks. It was just easy and effortless and I find myself feeling most comfortable in classic outfits over trendy styles, even on vacation. This is something you could just as easily wear all summer long for casual days or backyard bbq’s. Size down in the white linen pants, as they do run a bit big.
I wore this outfit for dinner out at El Mole de Jovita. I had the Tacos Dorados with mole sauce which was so yummy. When you arrive, they give you chips with three different types of mole and you choose which mole sauce you like best for your entree. This is another place that’s not directly on the beach but you’ll love the ambiance and family feel. Each night, this young man plays his guitar and sings on the street and he’s incredible. I feel like I’ve “known him” for a few years and only just learned he’s in school for music. You’ll love him.
For an easy little day-to-night dress, I wore this polka dot number from Goodnight Macaroon. I love how it’s still classic in silhouette and print. I’m not huge on polka dots but this one is done right and almost gives me Julia Roberts “Pretty Woman” vibes with the color. I’m 5’6” and it does run a little short. I’d wear boy shorts or swim bottoms underneath for added comfort/security.
This is the night we went to Langostino’s on the beach. I’ve been there before and remember I wasn’t impressed with the margaritas but they were great this time and the food was really good. We had lobster and a cheese dip I can’t remember the name of but it was delicious.
About halfway through the trip, we realized (to get the most out of our vacation) we wanted it to feel like a true vacation: relaxing, rejuvenating and stress-free. We don’t get to spend nearly enough time at home together with absolutely nothing on the agenda. So, we decided hanging out at the pool all day was just fine.
I usually bring two swimwear styles with me on vacation: something strapless for sunbathing and something with a little shoulder coverage for when I get sunburned.
The olive bikini is from Goodnight Macaroon and it’s a great price at just under $50 for both pieces. I was happy with the quality and fit, though I could have used a little more room on the bottom and a little less on top. I have the small and am usually an xs on top and small on the bottom. If it helps, I’m a 34A/32B and size 25 in jeans.
The white ruffle bikini I bought last summer and I’m still so in love with it. It’s truly such a sweet style and I absolutely love the flutter sleeves. They added just enough protection and sun coverage and it’s a really flattering silhouette on the arms. I bought this directly from Shopbop and it’s unfortunately sold out but I did find it on Amazon in select sizes. The top can be found here and the bottoms here.
We went to Pancho’s Takos for one of our last dinners out, which is hands-down my absolute MUST-GO every year. They kind of blew up from a Trip Advisor review, so they d fill up fast! They’re only open from 6pm-2am and usually I recommend going before they open to get in line. We went at 6:15pm and luckily snagged a seat right away, so I guess you never know!
This midi skirt was another style I loved for easy, breezy effortless coverage. I loved it with a jersey tee, again for coverage.
For my days in denim shorts, I wore these Levi’s wedgie shorts. I also love these Levi’s shorts, which are a great length. I made sure to bring along a couple easy and pretty white tanks to pair with them like this lace peplum from BB Dakota and this linen button-down from Everlane.
I also swore by this Supergoop sunscreen brush—I put it in my hair part!
Lastly, these are the pajamas I brought with me and they were the perfect comfy, easy style. They’re a great weight for the season or if you just run hot at night—which I do, so I’m still wearing them. The top runs a little big and the bottoms run a little small.
Here’s a little recap of some of our favorite restaurants for convenience…
Where We Ate
Cafe de Olla - Try the huevos rancheros, hash browns and Mexican coffee
Coco’s Kitchen - We ate here at least 3 times. I love the chilaquiles and it’s a really cool indoor/outdoor vibe
Andales - Sit Outside. Can be a little busy but the food is good
Agrodolce - The white shrimp pizza here was SO good!
The Blue Shrimp - Food is okay but it’s an easy place on the beach to enjoy a late-afternoon cerveza
Daquiri Dick’s - Go for the margaritas
Joe Jack’s - I love the Fish Tacos
El Mole de Jovita - Tacos Dorados with Mole
Pancho’s Takos - Go early, try everything! My favorites are chorizo tacos, beef & bacon tacos, quesadilla
What to Do
Like I said, we quickly realized we wanted the majority of our trip to consist of having nothing on the agenda but we usually try to do at least one new excursion on each trip. Our favorite travel team is Vallarta Adventures by far. They’re friendly, fun and you can usually book online to take advantage of a deal—like 3 excursions for the price of 2. This trip, we did Rhythms of the Night, which was a night cruise to a remote island for a show and dinner. We did the VIP offer for the best seats in the house but I wouldn’t say it’s necessary. We really enjoyed the show and would love to go back for a day trip. This one looks amazing.
A few more favorite Vallarta Adventures we love:
Islas Marietas Eco Discovery
Outdoor Zip Line Adventure
Snorkeling at Los Arcos
More To Do in Puerto Vallarta and Surrounding Areas:
Visit Sayulita - Cutest beach town for shopping and more
Walk the Malecon (boardwalk)
Rent a Cabana on the beach. Most of the hotels on the beach offer towels and cabanas for rent even if you’re not staying there
I hope this post is helpful but please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions at all and, as always, thank you so much for reading!