1. SAN SEBASTIAN DEL OESTE
In the center of town and next to the public square, there is a small church built in the 18th century. It is the parish of San Sebastián Mártir, patron saint of the town. Inside, a striking aquamarine color contrasts with the quarry pillars and their vaults colored in light blue and pastel pink, a combination that, far from seeming daring, contrasts with the uniform exteriors of their houses.
If you have time, explore its streets and contemplate the balconies of its houses adorned with bougainvillea, take a walk across its stone bridge and inhale the aroma of its pines, oaks and capomos while breathing pure mountain air.
If you pay attention, high in the sky you will see the hawks flying over towards the forest and at night you will probably hear the howls of the coyotes, because in San Sebastián del Oeste, the fauna is part of the environment.
From Puerto Vallarta it will take you about an hour and a half (68 km), if you are located in the Riviera Nayarit, the road will be 2 hours 15 minutes (110 km) and from Guadalajara it will be 4 hours 15 minutes (270 km) , all by car. Being nestled in the mountains, the humid climate predominates and its average annual temperature is 19 °C, which makes it an ideal destination to visit at any time of the year.
CERRO DE LA BUFA OR HILL OF THE BUFA
You cannot leave without climbing the Bufa hill aboard your scooter, it will take you around 45 minutes and you will see the best sunset of your life over the mountains.
Its privileged altitude, 1,480 meters above sea level, gives the municipality intangible treasures that are revealed as soon as the capricious clouds dissipate to reveal them. But if we go a little further, we will be able to reach new heights that, bordering on 2,500 meters above sea level, expand the panoramic views in total expectation of our amazement.
We refer to the Mirador del Cerro de La Bufa located on a hill that bears the same name and from where you can appreciate the greatness of the Pacific Ocean, a good part of the Bay of Banderas, and Puerto Vallarta looking out at the meeting between the sea and the mountains. .
Some travelers find the viewpoint the perfect place for a romantic confession, while others see it as inspiration in its most intrinsic state, making it ideal for capturing photographs immortalizing the 360° panorama of San Sebastian del Oeste.
Nestled in the southernmost cove of the world's 7th largest bay, lies the peaceful village of Yelapa, Jalisco, Mexico. Although there is a road which leads to the pueblo, it is most easily accessible by boat. Transportation to the village departs daily from various locations in the Puerto Vallarta area. Yelapa's tranquillity is ideal for those looking to stay, for that entirely laid-back vacation. The beach is covered in a blanket of golden sand, and is a superb place to swim, snorkel, or parasail. If you are not that energetic you can just relax in one of the numerous beach chairs, soak up the sun, and enjoy a cold drink.
3. BOTANICAL GARDEN
From a world-class facility in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Vallarta Botanical Garden provides an unprecedented opportunity to share the wonder of the vast diversity of Mexico’s unrivaled and unique plant species with people from around the world. The assembled botanical collections are housed in a safe environment, and the Garden maintains the most-visited public collection of orchids in the country of Mexico.
Additionally, The Vallarta Botanical Garden has focused on protecting endangered species and habitats since its founding in 2004. In an ongoing campaign, Vallarta Botanical Garden plays a vital role in a decade-long conservation project for the emblematic military macaw (ara militaris mexicanus), which was vanishing from the area until recently. The artificial nest box project has provided a vital link in the reproduction of this apex species, and wild military macaws can be seen daily at the botanical garden.
Vallarta Botanical Garden has celebrated the gorgeous Mexican wildlife, its diversity, and its most prided flora species and birds, attracting crowds of visitors and raising awareness regarding the importance of wildlife preservation.
The Garden exists today, but the aim is to prolong the longevity of Mexican nature and ensure these wild lands and species are protected for future generations. “It is a considerable effort and one that can’t be done alone, “says Executive Director Jeremy Taylor.