Traveling IQ is published in EDGE

Bay of Banderas, Puerto Vallarta

Doomsday predictions, economic woes and natural disasters got you down? Take a breath, relax and try to remember that you will never be as young as you are right now. So stop texting, disconnect the Blue Tooth, and activate your “Out of Office” reply. It’s time for a well-deserved break in a place where Blackberries are fruits, not handhelds; and handholding a fruit is a Public Display of Affection not a Personal Digital Assistant. Welcome to Puerto Vallarta!

Mexico’s premier gay destination is booming with new restaurants, fresh sights and revamped classics. In Puerto Vallarta you can relax by the beach, explore the great outdoors, savor gourmet meals and party all night long.

You like these options, don’t you? Come on. Stop and smell the flowers and discover why this sweet, sexy town is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Charm and Sophistication

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Madre Mountains, Puerto Vallarta combines the charm of colonial Mexico with the sophistication of a cosmopolitan, gay destination.

Start with a tan at the Blue Chairs Beach, truly the gay hotspot of the Mexican Riviera. Enjoy food and drinks served chair-side while you sizzle with the beauties of gay Vallarta.

Wind down your beach day with an unobstructed view of the sunset, hot strippers and zany drag queens on the rooftop deck of the Blue Chairs Hotel.

For those looking to explore the outdoors, Puerto Vallarta offers a little something for everyone. Take a walk on the wild side with the new GO GAY! Jungle Adventure Tour . Feel that heart pumping as you soar 250 feet above the jungle terrain on a 500-foot long zip-line. Perfect for both Tarzan AND Jane, this full-day expedition revs you up and cools you down.

After your adrenaline rush, chill with a tequila sampling, traditional Mexican grill lunch, and a splash in a private waterfall and swimming hole. Created by My Own Concierge, Vallarta’s premiere gay concierge service, this tour will leave you a little wet and dirty – just how you like it.

“You will leave happy and come back.”

Too intense for you? Unwind on Diana’s Tours full-day gay cruise. Your morning starts with continental breakfast and continues with an open bar as you glide on the Bay of Banderas and through its hidden coves. Later, debark on a snorkeling excursion and lunch on shore before heading back from your sun-soaked day.

I hope you are hungry because Puerto Vallarta’s restaurants are cooking up some of Mexico’s best meals. First, say yes to the new kid in town: No Way José delivers on a simple promise, “You will leave happy and come back!”

Winner of Virtual Vallarta’s Reader’s Choice Award for “Best New Restaurant 2010,” José serves contemporary Mexican cuisine that combines tradition and ingenuity. Savor the secret family recipe of Sopa Montezuma, a cactus soup with deliciously seasoned shrimp, before enjoying the grilled Mahi Mahi Carlotta, served on a bed of sautéed pumpkin flowers with a creamy mango sauce.

“Best Mexican Restaurant” Five Years in a Row

A quick-climbing classic on the Puerto Vallarta dining scene, gay-owned El Arrayán has won “Best Mexican Restaurant” five years in a row!

El Arrayán’s authentic Mexican menu blends pre-Hispanic ingredients (chile, cactus paddles, bean and corn) with European-introduced elements (pork, beef and cheese) now considered to be Mexican staples. Embark on a culinary tour of the country’s regions – Plantain Empanadas from Veracruz, Chapulines Tacos from Oaxaca, Cochinita Pibil from Yucatan – while sipping on their trademark margarita, made with tangy arrayán fruit.

It’s party time. Find some romance in the thriving gay nightlife of Zona Romantica. Ease into the evening with a martini at the relaxed lounge, La Noche, before hitting the dance floor at the new and improved, Paco’s Ranch.

That’s right, after fifteen years, Paco has moved across the street to an exciting, renovated location. Mingle with the locals on the dance floor or enjoy the show from the upstairs mezzanine.

Like things a little bigger? Club Mañana, the largest gay nightclub in Puerto Vallarta continues to expand with its latest indoor “Barcito,” providing a cool, air-conditioned break from your steamy Mexican night.

Don’t stop till you get enough: If you are craving a more personal encounter, make some new friends with the dancers at Picante and Anthropology strip bars.

Casa Cupula

You must be exhausted. It’s time to retire to your suite at Puerto Vallarta’s premier gay luxury boutique hotel, Casa Cupula. Yes, Puerto Vallarta has many gay guesthouse options, but none are as fabulous as Casa Cupula.

Just a ten-minute walk from the Blue Chairs Beach and the nightlife hot spots of Zona Romantica, Casa Cupula is close to all the action while providing the exclusivity of a hillside hideaway. It’s rare to find a gay hotel with five-star amenities. Enjoy the Cupula classics: chill by any of the three pools, snuggle in the seven-man (or woman) hot-tub, sweat in the full-service Pump Gym, or delight in a sunset-lit dinner at the newly unveiled Taste restaurant.

Serving American, Asian, Mexican and Italian specialties, in both entrée and tapas-sized portions, Taste is Casa Cupula’s latest temptation for a satisfying vacation.

Beware: once you check-in, you may never want to leave. And with free WiFi, delicious meals, spectacular sunsets, and the best accommodations gay Vallarta has to offer, you may wisely choose to make Cupula, your casa away from home.

Feel better? Recharged? Ready to conquer the world? Good. A little break in Puerto Vallarta does the body a lot of good. Now get back to work so you can plan your next visit.

This article was originally published in EDGE.  Click on photo below to visit their website. 

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