Monday, February 19, 2018

Puerto Vallarta: Best Beach for New Year's

Mexicans bring the fun!
The scene is palm-tree adorned, sandy beaches - where the sun sets in the west, late into the evening, over beautiful mountains – providing the perfect light for those beach pics. Plus you’ll find all your favorite latin foods – and demasiado tacos (who doesn’t like tacos?). Yet what sets the “Fire-Island” or more apt, “Rehoboth of Mexico” apart is its fun loving (and looking for fun) people. Whether it’s Mexican families from all over meeting together for the holidays or packs of friends from Guadalajara – they are smiling, open and ready to share in the celebration of the New Year. And share they will with tourists from the DF to DC, Los Angeles to London, and Vancouver to Venezuela all ready for fun and relaxation. Puerto Vallarta provides an escape – and its Zona Romantica provides a gay ghetto bursting with boys from all of the Americas’ biggest cities (and even Europe!).

I’m writing this after my second trip to PV for New Years – and I don’t plan to stop going. One major motivation is getting to a beach to escape the cold – and of course United’s direct flight from Newark this time of year helps! Sitting on a beach nearly naked is simply no my go-to option now. And I’m also overjoyed to plant that fleeting new year’s kiss on a cute Mexican of the moment. But one major help is also that this trip, once the flight is booked (as early as possible) can be very inexpensive. Both of my adventures fully cost about $1000 each (all inclusive) for nearly a week each – if you go with a friend or a group this is very doable.

You can even bring your drone...
Be warned – the old-city infrastructure isn’t perfect. Stairs are often misaligned and mis-measured – and if you stay up from the gay beach (with some incredible views) plan to ascend to get home. Your best bet is to book early on AirBnB – but be warned sometimes there’s only one set of keys and often in Mexico you’re locked in without those keys! Be sure to clarify with your hosts and know what to expect (this goes the same with groups in hotels!). If you’re going all-out (or a daddy is paying) for sure stay at Mantamar – but I like visiting Mexico to be in Mexico – and practice my Spanish – so I prefer keeping a more local company, at least focusing some time away from los gringos. It’s best if you remember and expect to be going to a dusty beach town – because the old part is the most fun – unless you really want more secluded resort life up to the north of the city center.

Sunset brings the best light to the gay beach...
Nothing can be better than stepping off a plane from the frozen north – to tropical heat – and thinking about the polar vortex you’re escaping – as you sip mojitos on the sand. Of course, it all comes down to who you’re with – but in Puerto Vallarta – you can always easily find friends. If you don’t want to practice your Spanish with the locals, there are people from all over the world in town to enjoy the weather too. But it’s always fun to do the trip as part of a group, as you all compliment each other – and plan activities you can opt-in or out of. 

Of course, I’m the social director/party planner – always seeking out the best group to hang with and the best party to attend. That’s why you should keep tabs on my weekly news brief - subscribe to GAYography

Though I have to admit, for daytime, I’m a beach bum – happy to spend each day laying in the sand, so I don’t need extra activities to fill the day. Of course, at the beach you can ride the “banana,” try your luck on the precarious-looking parasail, take out a jet-ski – or do the gay (very gringo) booze cruise. I choose to just float in the water – and sometimes ride the waves in. My activities include drinking, socializing, and maybe even doing a little work on the sand. But of course, there are Art Galleries, a fair number of museums, horseback-riding in the mountains, even zip-lining and just walking along the Malecon.

Dancing on platforms at CC's!
When you want to go out at night – you have a plethora of differing venues. Of course, its always fun to hang out street-side at Flamingo – with it’s fruity drinks and blaring music, you will be forced into the fun-zone. Amigos is the more local Mexican scene – along with Paco’s as the Mexican dance club – with Drag shows in Spanish and English depending on the time (12:30 and 3:30am). CCs is the more upscale dance club where you’ll find everyone – from circuit queens rolling to Mexi-twinks and their girlfriends. My favorite spot is the bar along the street at CCs – and when it’s really crowded you can always just hang outside on the street. For view with a small group of friends, head into La Noche – I never stand downstairs for the shows, but I go up to the roof for the nighttime vista across the dilapidated, but energized old town, including a view kitty-corner of the Sauna.

Love at first sight...
If you’re looking to relax – in different ways - Spartacus Sauna will surprise you, it’s not very big – so lines are long on wild nights like New Years – but it is clean and modern-looking (a contrast with the look of the building). Of course, it may be more fun to take that special guy home with you – but sometimes there are no other options for you and a local boy who has limited time (and is with his friends…). For a fun quickie (or a romantic walk) there is also the beach – but there are often guards about and it is a little too quiet. Whatever you do, don’t lose your wallet or phone in the sand (both happened to friends of mine; yes, you’re going to get a little messy)!

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