Puerto Vallarta, #Mexico Part 3, Fun, Sun, Shopping and Friends

Welcome to Part 3 of my winter away in Puerto Vallarta. Today I’m going to share more photos and a few video clips to give you the vibe and describe a bit more about interesting facts and observations about vacationing in PV.

Bartering

I’ll start with shopping. In stores, the price is the price. But when visiting outdoor markets or buying from beach vendors, don’t forget to bargain or I promise you’ll be paying too much. Typically, when a beach or market vendor offers you prices for their wares, I’ve discovered that they will usually double the actual price of what they will eventually accept. They are crafty sellers and they know there are many new tourists who they can snag in at too high prices, often not taking into account the many repeat visitors who know the game.

Often the vendors that peddle their wares along the beach aren’t always selling their own hand-crafted goods, but they are selling for other people’s stores. They have a price they must get to both, pay for those goods and make a small profit. I know this game well, especially as a seasoned shopper. I may not always be buying, but I look and always check prices. Let’s say someone is selling beach covers on the beach. Typically, if you go downtown to markets and such you will see these same covers going for $250 to $400 Pesos (range of $12-$25 US dollars) but you can be sure if you ask ‘Pedro’ on the beach, how much, he’ll ask you for $800 Pesos. That’s when I laugh and joke around and say things like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ And I’d say I can get the same thing downtown for ‘x’ amount. Then the negotiations begin as ‘Pedro’ will rebutt with asking how much would I be willing to pay. It’s just the way the game goes. I know that if they are asking $800, it’s really valued around half. If I want the item I’ll offer $400, usually never accepted right away. He’ll come back at around $600 and I’ll say I don’t need it that bad for $600 but I’ll take it for $400. After all is said and bartered, I’ll walk away with the item for $450, $500 max. I get what I want, and I know he got to make some profit without ripping me off.

Le hat

Above is the perfect demonstration of waiting for the right price. I saw this unique hat downtown in an over-priced store near the beginning of my trip and fell in love with it. It came in various colors and the brim was all hand embroidered. When I first saw this hat, the store wanted $60 US dollars for it! And they didn’t even care to bargain so I left it and kept my eye out for it in my many travels, but everywhere I did manage to find this style I found it too over-priced. Until I went out for the day with my friends Jamie and Pat to Bucerias and we walked through the market, and there they were again. The goods were cheaper up there than downtown PV. I didn’t even bargain when I found this beauty, the young girl was so sweet sitting outside her little kiosk in the sun. I asked how much and she told me $380 Pesos – equivalent of about $25 Canadian dollars. Sold!

My friend Shelley and I went on a few shopping jaunts together, but we also went grocery shopping together a few times too. I can tell you that grocery prices have gone up there like everywhere else. The food in PV is delicious and freshly made in restaurants, and to my knowledge and taste buds – without preservatives, a refreshing change from North America. I felt my grocery bill had gone up about ten percent since 2020, and definitely noticed the upcharges in restaurants and bar drinks. I used to be able to eat a dinner out for $12 that became $15, and sometimes upwards of $20, depending on where I went out to eat at. Fish is relatively cheap in PV and brought in fresh daily to many restaurants. Shrimps are cheap and plentiful on every menu and marlin, mahi mahi and snapper are always on menus.

Shelley took this at the upscale supermarket – La Comer. In this section they make fresh tortillas daily

This is a glimpse of this huge, well appointed supermarket, fresh meat and fish section

The bar drinks went up quite a bit too, considering alcohol is relatively cheap to buy there. Drink prices almost doubled for the most part in most restaurants and at the pool. Beers were typically a dollar, now three dollars. Mixed drinks that used to cost about three dollars became six, seven and eight, depending where you went. I used to like to order the odd Pina Colada at the pool in the afternoon (a little easier to handle during the day than margaritas), until they doubled the price while I was there. Instead of paying eight dollars for a drink I decided to replenish my own bar in my condo and bought a bottle of rum, crema de coconut and pineapple juice, all for under $18 and made myself many afternoon drinks for less than a dollar.

Best Pina Colada with authentic recipe. Malibu Rum, Crema de Coconut, Pineapple Juice and a splash of lime

Shelley and I went downtown to the factory where they sell all the beautiful blown drinking glasses and accessories. I wanted to buy so many things but wound up only buying two giant martini glasses and two shot glasses because the glass is heavy and I had no room to spare in my carryon bag. The margarita glasses weighed more than the martini glasses. They do the safe wrapping there too. The only danger were the rows and rows of shelving full of glassware we’d walk up and down through the aisles looking at. I had my big beach shopping bag slung over my shoulder and had to hold it close to avoid being a bull in a china shop.

Beautiful blown glass

Of course we had to stop for a libation in between shopping.

Me and Shelley (Shelster) stopping in a watering hole

This a photo of the famous ‘Our Lady Of Guadalupe’ church near the center square down by the boardwalk/malecon. Many church-going folk tourists go there for Sunday morning service, and it is often referred to as a meeting point when people make plans to meet downtown.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Below is a short veryyy amateur video I took of me, Shelley and our new girlfriends from Alberta, Carol and Sharon. The four of us were crazy together and somehow we had created alias names for ourselves. Carol became Pat McGuilicutty, Sharon was Marge Simpson (because she piled her massive hair two feet high on her head most days at pool, except it wasn’t blue. I dubbed Shelley, Shirley Shelster, and I was named Sheila Tequila. We went downtown for Happy Hour and a pub crawl.

Pub crawl in PV

Here’s a small sampling of downtown Malecon. Me, Shelley and John spent the day downtown one day, walking, shopping and of course a few drink pit stops.

Downtown boardwalk

Here’s an interesting picture I took while we were at a red light on the way back from downtown. You never know what you will see in PV for a hand out.

Guy on a unicycle right in front of our cab

They come in all shapes and sizes there, geckos, lizards and salamanders

This guy was hanging out near the pool steps to lobby

On my last night in PV, Shelley and John, Wendy and Jerry, had already left the day before. Brenda and Saul were already home. Thankfully, Jamie (Ukranie) and Pat were leaving the next day also, we were the last of the diehards left and we went downtown for dinner. Jamie left early because he had to attend to a Zoom conference, leaving me and Patty Girl to our own devices. So we walked over to the Margarita Grill our favorite landing spot when going downtown for a good margarita.

Margarita Grill

Last night in PV drinking our medium sized margaritas

After margaritas and a tequila shot, Patty and I walked across the street to the always busy Dolce Vita restaurant and sat down at the bar and finished off our night with Spanish Coffees before heading home.

This vacation started off as a slow burn as I was apprehensive in going solo, discovered friends who I thought were friends, weren’t really, then ultimately, meeting some fantastic new friends who made my time in PV very special. These are not just PV friends, these are all new good friends that I keep in touch with and will not only be meeting up with again next winter, but I plan on taking Patty and Jamie up on their offer to visit them in Vancouver this summer, as well as my pals Shel, and John because they live right here in Ontario about an hour and half away. I will also be visiting them this summer. A great gang of people and blessed to make all their acquaintenances.

My Winnipeg girls, Wendy and Brenda

Dakotas
My North Dakota Girls Jackie and Kathie

Sharon, me, Carol and Shel

Wendy and Jerry (the artist)

Shelley and John

Bobbie and Shawn also from Ontario

Me, Patty, Jamie, Shelley and John

Thank you all my new wonderful friends for making my trip so much fun!

I hope you all enjoyed reading and watching slices of my winter escape to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico!

Β©DGKaye2022

73 thoughts on “Puerto Vallarta, #Mexico Part 3, Fun, Sun, Shopping and Friends

  1. Thanks for sharing the pics and the videos, Debby. I’m very happy you’ve made such great friends, and I look forward to hearing more about them when you meet them again. Stay safe and thanks for the tips as well!

    Like

  2. WOW, what a barrel of fun – and so many photos and videos to seal the memories into a compartment you can return to anytime you want a cheer-up. I remember bartering in Mexico and in other places like the Bahamas. Bartering feels counter to my nature, but it’s expected in some countries, so I “went” with it.

    I’m guessing the most important part was hobnobbing with new friends. Thanks for the colorful show & tell here, Debby! πŸ˜€

    Like

    1. Thanks so much Marian. And I know a few like you who don’t like bartering, but seriously, if you don’t, you are guaranteed to pay too much. πŸ™‚ x

      Like

  3. I love all the photos and videos in this post! The ocean is so blue and gorgeous and there’s color everywhere. I’m so happy for your new friendships! xo

    Like

  4. I bet you drive a hard bargain at the markets! We learned to do this in Spain too. At first bargaining doesn’t feel natural as we don’t do this in the UK, but we got used to it by the end of the holiday. Great post, Debby. x

    Like

    1. Thanks so much Stevie. Like I mentioned to Marian here, if you don’t bargain, you will be paying too much. But if money is no object then hey. Lol. It’s just the lay of the land and how the game goes. πŸ™‚ xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What fun, Debby! Beautiful sights, matched only by the beautiful smiles. I’m so happy you had this adventure. πŸ€—

    Like

  6. I’m so glad that you went and made some marvelous new friends, Debby. It had to be much-needed therapy for your soul. When is the ideal time to travel in terms of climate (we don’t like it too hot) and fewer people? It looks like great fun. The videos added to this post as it gives a flavor of the vibe.

    Like

    1. Thanks Pete. So glad you enjoyed. People go there all year, but not this girl. By April it begins to get reallllllll hot, and the summers there are extremely hot and humid. I suggest fall through March. πŸ™‚

      Like

  7. This post makes me smile, Debby! You look so happy in the photos and I’m so glad you made lifelong friends – and quite a few! – on this trip. It will be wonderful to meet some again this summer. Cool photo of the iguana as well.

    Good tips about bargaining in Mexico. Being savvy as a tourist helps. I used the same practice to buy a handmade Mexican blanket. We checked the price in several stores (where they didn’t bother dropping the price), passed on a few, and eventually bought one from a vendor who swung by our beach in Bahia Conception. He started at 1,200 pesos (it’s quite big), the same price of the stores, and we eventually bought it for 500 pesos. πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Thanks so much Liesbet, yes, I surely met up with a lot of interesting, funny and kind people. I know you are diligent with your money, and you got a fantastic price for your blanket. Where else can you buy a beautiful handmade blanket for less than $30? πŸ™‚ xx

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t know how good I’d be at bartering πŸ™‚ great deal on that pretty hat. I enjoyed the videos and pictures. I have to get there someday.

    Like

  9. Hi
    I visited your site. I can read some your blog post. So interesting & beautiful written you blog.
    Wonderful share your trips photos & video. So beautiful place. I like.

    Like

  10. My goodness, this was your best trip, and the most important connection of friends. You have so many fun times to look forward to. I have a feeling when all of you hook up next year in PV, it will be the best reunion and friends for life.

    Like

  11. Why do I think you did a lot of drinking margaritas and shopping? LOL. What fun. The tips on haggling at the markets are great. I’ve never done that, and it sounds like fun with the right attitude. (I love that hat, btw!) And wonderful smiling faces, Debby. It looks like you connected with some fun-loving souls – friends to connect with on your next trip. Thanks for sharing your fun in the sun! ❀ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Diana. So glad you enjoyed. And lol, okay, yes, there were many margs, but not daily. I had a two a day limit lol. I’m a cheap date, doesn’t take me much. LOLOL ❀

      Liked by 2 people

  12. First, great hat, DG, and I know you look fabulous wearing it! Great tips too! Personally, I love to bargain but sometimes the competitive spirit existing within me resulted in losing out on some fabulous deals. (Like walking away from an Italian inlay wood tray surrounded by gold for $12 in Sorrento. Geez!!! But at least I didn’t buy that camel in Tunesia.) I have wonderful memories of PV. Especially enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere while strolling along the ocean walkway and indulging in a huge shrimp lunch. So happy for you sweet friend. ❀

    Like

    1. Lol, thanks Ellie. Yes, you have to have a bottom line in mind when bargaining – if you really want it. πŸ™‚ And yay, so glad to hear you’ve been to PV ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I love the hat! And the rainbow dress. And the drinks. I love all the photos! This trip was just what the doctor ordered, eh Deb? As I read this, I felt like I was right there with you ❀️

    Like

  14. You sure know how to party…safely, Debby! I’m glad you got that gorgeous hat for a great price–worth the wait. I hate bartering but you bring up good points about how it’s done. You look tanned and rested in your photos and I am so glad you went and did this for yourself, and made some new amigos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Terri. Oh yes, I used to be quite the party girl, now just a little more cautious as the brazenness of the heydays has mellowed a bit, lol. Glad you enjoyed. ❀

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Thanks Debby for sharing your photos and experiences for part three, Mexico! It looks like you had a lot of fun. I love how you passed on the hat but then found it someplace else. It was meant for you πŸ˜‰
    Many Blessings to you my friend,
    Lisa xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s