Cool Breeze

Cool Breeze

Marietas Islands

The Marietas Islands are best known for having one of the most unique and beautiful beaches in the world - the “Hidden Beach”. The beach was created by a collapse of the volcanic rock that makes up the island. As you can see from the pictures below, the island boasts distinct scenery, making the Marietas Islands one of the world’s most popular tourist sites.

Canon EOS 5D MKII

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS25

To reach the Hidden Beach, visitors are required to swim through a tunnel. If there are high tides near the islands, it is unsafe for visitors to swim through the tunnel. The tour guide didn’t guarantee our access to the beach until we got there.

At first, everything was great. The boat crew provided us with excellent service and we enjoyed an entertaining crew show while having our continental breakfast. But as the tides began to grow stronger, the boat began to rock very hard. We were on the boat for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, and most of the passengers on the boat became very sea sick.  By the time we arrived at the island, more than half of the passengers were severely nauseated, and the captain informed us that we would not be able to access the Hidden Beach, because the tides were too strong. He proposed that we should do some activities around the island, such as snorkeling and kayaking, as an alternative.

All of our family members, including my wife and daughter, were severely sea sick –so we had to remain on the boat. We were disappointed and the mood was very gloomy. Although I felt like throwing up, I thought that because we came such a long way, it would be a shame to leave without partaking in any of the activities. So I forced myself to try snorkeling and kayaking. The waves however, were extremely strong and the water was too deep to properly enjoy any of the activities. Most of the passengers went back onto the boat because they were feeling too sea sick.

Thinking back, although we weren’t able to enjoy the highly anticipated Hidden Beach due to the strong tides, the Las Caletas Island tour package was much more suitable for our family. If we get another chance to come back in the future, I would definitely like to visit the Hidden Beach again with my wife.

City Tour

We also booked a complimentary city tour provided by the resort we were staying at. We thought the guided tour would be the most ideal way to experience the authentic vibe of the city. 

The tour guide led us to the typical tourist attractions in downtown Puerto Vallarta. First, we witnessed a bronze statue of a little boy riding a sea horse, which was approximately 3 meters tall. We learned that the statue has become the symbol of Puerto Vallarta.

Canon EOS 5D MKII

This man appears to be a local celebrity. He offers you a free drink sample – and if you want to drink more, it costs 5 USD. 

Canon EOS 5D MKII

Next, we were taken to ‘The Church of Our Lady of Guadelupe’ – a cathedral that is considered to be one of the most endearing landmarks of the city. The cathedral is open daily, with services in English that are available on Saturdays, and mass in both Spanish and English on Sundays. 

 

Canon EOS 5D MKII

We strolled through the unpaved streets of downtown Puerto Vallarta. It reminded me of the rural areas in South Korea during the 1970’s and 1980’s.  

Canon EOS 5D MKII

Our next stop was the local tequila factory where 100% pure tequila brands are produced. We were greeted by some local tequila experts who explained how the tequila is made. It was interesting to learn about the traditional method of how to make tequila. According to an expert, the traditional method is no longer used due to high cost and low efficiency.

Canon EOS 5D MKII

Canon EOS 5D MKII

We also visited a location where the film ‘Predator’ was shot. I was a big fan of the film, so it was a very exciting opportunity to witness the particular area of where the film was produced. However, I was a bit disappointed when I found out that the area was turned into a restaurant to serve tourists. The vast natural environment that we once witnessed through the film was now replaced by a mere restaurant with a good view. 

Canon EOS 5D MKII

Canon EOS 5D MKII

Canon EOS 5D MKII

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS25

Overall, the city tour was a mediocre experience and I wouldn’t recommend the same tour package to anyone else. We booked it because it was a complimentary tour provided by the Crown Paradise Club resort. Although it was free, we were lured into spending more money than our planned budget. Our first washroom break was half an hour long, and took place at a local jewelry shop. We then went to the tequila factory where most of the visitors purchased a bottle or two. Last, but not least, we had a late lunch at the restaurant where ‘Predator’ was filmed. Unlike the ‘Las Caletas Island’ and the ‘Marietas Islands’ tour packages, lunch was not included – we spent 300 Mexican Pesos which is equivalent to 25 CDN.

This sums up part 3 of our Puerto Vallarta trip. My next post will focus on some camera tips and photograph examples using the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS25. See you soon!

감사합니다. 

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