Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta – a Parent Getaway

Puerto Vallarta has been on my radar as an alternative for those who want an all inclusive experience but also want to feel like they are in Mexico.  It is also a great alternative for those who want an all inclusive experience without worrying about the seaweed that plagues the east coast of Mexico.  It seems most people here are from the West Coast with a sprinkle of western/mid-western states.  It has a completely different feel to the Cancun area.  
The second we arrived at Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, I was greeted by the sales manager.  Somehow she knew when I was pulling up and took me by surprise when she said, “Hola, Jen!”.  My head shot is in my email signature, but I still wasn’t expecting her to be there the second I stepped out of our transfer to the resort!
A little aside for you … back in May, I sent clients to this resort.  I had been working with the sales manager to make the trip extra special because they were celebrating a delayed anniversary and a milestone birthday.  I wanted to make it special for them.  The day before they left, their flight was canceled and there were not many choices for them.  They asked me to cancel their room, so I did.  Overnight, they decided to purchase flights on another airline and proceed to the airport.  When I woke up the next day, there was a text saying they were en route to the airport.  Having a relationship with the sales manager allowed me to get the reservation reinstated instead of having to make a new reservation at prevailing rates.  These are the kind of relationships that make using a travel advisor invaluable.  
I was given a site tour of the entire property as soon as we arrived.  I wanted to go ahead and cross it off our list so we could enjoy the rest of our stay. It was really nice to get an overview to know what to see and do during our stay – but also what else there was that we would not experience so I can advise my clients properly.  It was because of this tour that I learned about the sea turtle nursery on site that I wrote about last week (more on that below).
The first thing we did was EAT!  We were starving as our day had started before 4 AM.  (Side note, all the coffee joints in the airport were closed at 5:30 AM on a Saturday which was so confusing because I have never not been able to caffeinate prior to an early morning flight.  I was so confused.)  We decided to eat at the buffet so we could quickly get food in our bellies.  We were impressed at how seriously Hyatt Ziva PV took COVID precautions.  There were large pieces of plexiglass separating guests from the buffet staff.  Guests were not able to touch any shared utensils.  Everything was passed to us through a small opening in the plexiglass.
We also enjoyed all the other restaurants during our stay, but ate most of our meals at Blaze which is perched above the rocks on one end and Pureza which was literally on the beach.  The lunch and dinner that is normally served at Blaze was being served at Pureza during our stay because they were repairing the palapa above Blaze during daytime hours.  We actually really liked sitting right on the beach.  It would be the perfect place to dine with kids as they can play in the sand instead of going stir crazy at the table waiting for their meal to arrive (although everything did arrive in a timely manner).  
Yesterday, I featured our Mexican food experience at Casa Grande on social media to Celebrate Taco Tuesday.  We really liked the tacos al pastor offered at Casa Grande. Our waiter was so funny the way he kept telling us how to eat everything – for example, “it’s not really a taco unless you use this sauce”.  He was right, the sauce really made the taco and his other suggestions were spot on too.  Here’s to bossy waiters!

The entire resort is located in a very private cove.  There are mountains on each side so you really feel a world away.  The setting looks more like Costa Rica than Mexico. 

I love being at the beach, but I tend to seek out the shade.  I don’t like being hot (which is why I now live in a place that experiences fall – like how I brought newsletter full circle?!).  Since the sun sets on the west coast of Mexico and the resort is surrounded by mountains and comprised of two towers, it is very easy to find shade here.  We settled into our loungers in the water on the ledge of the pool each day until 1 pm when the sun started to finally hit us. 

Then, it was time to go to lunch.  Afternoons were spent in the palapas on the beach, then a final splash in the pool before heading back to the beach for sunset.  It’s a rough life!

Turned out I didn’t need my beach hat because there was so much shade, but my hat sure did seem happy soaking in all the views!
The most active we got was our waterfall hike behind the resort.  It was not an easy hike, and we were not prepared with proper attire.  We knew there was swimming at the end so we wore our bathing suits.  We also wore the sneakers we wore on the plane not realizing we would have to completely submerge our feet at various parts of the hike!  The rainy season had just ended so if you are visiting in winter, you probably won’t get as wet as we did!  I wonder if you visit during the dry season if there is more of a path than what we experienced.  It seemed we were basically climbing over rocks to make our way to the waterfall.  I don’t have a photo of the actual waterfall because the water was deep and I did not want to ruin my phone.  It wasn’t massive, but the hike really wasn’t about the waterfall – it was about the adventure, which it definitely was. 

Sea Turtle Experience

Can you believe I lived the first 38 years of my life at the coast, yet had never seen a baby sea turtle.  Our hotel had a baby sea turtle nursery to protect the eggs that were laid each night.  The security team watches for sea turtles and then marks the spot where the turtle laid her eggs.  The next morning, guests can join Miguel and help retrieve the eggs.  Miguel said usually the eggs are not being retrieved this late in the season, but we got lucky because there were two different sea turtle nests to relocate to the nursery.  Rob had the honor of carrying all 103 eggs back to the nursery, and we dedicated the eggs to Bryson & Connor since they are not here (and are not happy about it, may I add!)  We are following Miguel on Instagram and will be able to see when our turtles are born, likely in December!
Miguel also checked on some of the nests that were due soon.  He found a baby turtle that was just born, so we were able to witness that.  We also got to see other new babies frolic and play with each other prior to being released back to the sea.  They were released later that day during sunset so that the birds and other predators would be less likely to see them.  Being able to witness them making their way to the sea during sunset which was magical.  I created a little video for you (of course I did!) for those who want to get a peek into the overall experience.  For everyone else, enjoy the photos below!

Are you longing to take a peek at baby sea turtles or take in the beauty of a waterfall?  Whether you’re traveling on a romantic getaway or with your entire family, contact Explore More to see how we can help!

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