During my recent trip to Puerto Vallarta I took the opportunity to venture up north to the lovely village of Punta de Mita. While the beaches and colors of the Caribbean Sea are unmatched, the Pacific has a special draw to me with its rugged coast lines, dramatic rock formations, mystic tropical flora and the picturesque sunsets. Once off the main highway toward Tepic I followed a winding uphill road until I reach the sleepy town of Punta de Mita. But do not be fooled, while sleepy this is where surf and sun meets ultra luxury. The town was originally set directly upon the shore but was moved due to the construction of the Punta de Mita Peninsula complex, now home to the Four Seasons, St. Regis and private luxury villas. The resorts are nestled in a lush tropical setting of palm trees and jungle and are divided by 2 Signature Jack Nicklaus golf courses.
While sighting the Four Seasons Punta Mita, I was shown wonderfully luxurious and spacious casita-style accommodations some with breathtaking ocean views. I imagined sitting on the terrace and following the sun while slowly disappearing into the ocean to say good morning to the other side of the world. The grounds are vast and very well “manicured”. The resort is an oasis and exudes rest, pampering and rejuvenation. The staff is gracious and eager to please with such natural friendliness. I love that about this area, the genuine friendliness and kindness.
Next I went to visit the St. Regis Punta Mita, touched by a captivating scenery of alluring beaches and lush tropical gardens. The resort has a bit more modern Mediterranean-Mexican ambiance to it. I loved the idea of their family style dinner theme. Once a week the St. Regis offers a dinner on the beach set on long tables where guests can meet and exchange while enjoying the divine cuisine of the resort. The spa radiates tranquility and relaxation, creating a sanctuary to escape the day to day stress while indulging in the most sumptuous treatments.
Both resorts have a Children´s Club dedicated to “awake” the creative side of their young guests with exciting activities whilst ensuring a memorable vacation.
The word Punta de Mita supposedly means “gateway to paradise”, and I agree! There is evidence of prehistoric human settlement. On the Punta de Mita peninsula, a hilltop archaeological site known as Careyeros Hill has been dated to circa 800 AD.
Little known fact, Punta de Mita is at the same latitude as the Hawaiian Islands. It is comfortable year round with its gentle sea breezes, averaging temperatures around 85 °F (29 °C), and 75 °F (24 °C) during winter months. Because of its temperate, tropical climate and respectively quiet and private setting, Punta Mita is a popular vacation spot. Hollywood celebrities such as Demi Moore, Orlando Bloom and Vince Vaughn have vacationed in the area.
In the village one will find tradition blended with a touch of modernism. Fishing and agriculture are predominant, along with artisanal craftworks. One of the indigenous peoples in the area, the Huichol, are revered for their brilliantly colorful artwork and crafts, many of which are available in the local marketplaces.
I am so happy that neither the Four Seasons nor the St. Regis are all-inclusive resorts. It so worth venturing into town to explore the many eateries. I wish I have had more time to experience them all.
At night our Student Journey Manager, Miia, and I went to Si Señor. What a night to remember. I am a “foody”, and this is on my top 20 list of dining experiences around the world. Whilst Si Señore is a chain, the owner, Gustavo, however has turned this restaurant into a sublime first class dining experience with his personal touches, beautiful beach setting, 5 star service and not to forget the food. He surprised us with a 6 course tasting menu. All ingredients are fresh and local. The catch of the day was presented “handing off” a bamboo bough – Tuna, Grouper and Mahi-mahi.
Back to our tasting menu consisting of Peruvian Ceviche, Hand-made Totopos with Pistachios and Chipotle Chile, Tamales (one with Huitlacoche, and the other one with Mushrooms and fresh cheese from Oaxaca), a Seafood Platter with Lobster and grilled Blue Shrimp in Garlic Butter, Mahi-mahi in a Lemon Caper Sauce, Mandarin Orange Sorbet y al final…. a duet of Pistachio Flan and Home-made Brownie.
What an amazing finish to my over-night trip to Punta de Mita.
Things to do around Punta de Mita:
The Marietas Islands beckon with natural beauty and outdoor adventures. Situated at the northern end of Banderas Bay, the Marietas Islands provide a sanctuary for diverse marine and bird life. Whales, dolphins, giant manta ray, tropical fish, and indigenous birds such as blue-footed boobies and red-billed tropic birds form a unique and complex ecosystem in the shelter of these islands. Other Activities around the area include: Whale watching (seasonal), snorkeling, diving, fishing, hiking, canopy, jungle excursions, sailing and of course not to forget…. surfing.
We are more than happy to arrange for an unforgettable time in Punta de Mita.
This is a guest post by Susanne Prenzel.