Dog lovers looking for a Mexico destination that offers everything from fiesta to siesta can’t miss Puerto Vallarta and its surrounding environs. It’s a city we’ve visited on assignment numerous times as a destination for both romantic and convention travelers but today Puerto Vallarta is also drawing an increasing number of dog travelers.
The bayside community began as a small fishing village but quickly fell into the spotlight in 1963 with the filming of John Huston’s “Night of the Iguana.” The press followed Elizabeth Taylor to the bougainvillea-lined shores of Puerto Vallarta to record her not-so-secret romance with star Richard Burton, focusing the eyes of the world on this coastal city as a destination for the rich and famous.
Since then there’s been no looking back. The setting itself sets the scene for a memorable getaway. Puerto Vallarta is tucked around the picturesque Bahía de Banderas or Bay of Flags; sand the color of toasted coconut is lined with high rise hotels including many that welcome dogs: the Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta, Holiday Inn Resort PUERTO VALLARTA, Puerto de Luna and Emperador Hotel & Suites all offer packages for dog travelers.
Mornings are perfect for a jaunt into town, with its cobblestone streets and whitewashed buildings in contrast to red-tiled roofs. Take your dog walk along the Malecón or seaside promenade, stopping for a little shopping along the way.
Puerto Vallarta also means plenty of chances for ecotourism fun including diving, whalewatching from mid-November through mid-March and snorkel trips to Los Arcos, located south of town, known for its iconic arched formation.
For other travelers, there’s nothing more enjoyable than a day spent lying along a stretch of toasty sand. Several luscious beaches line Puerto Vallarta’s coast. Golden Beach is known for its clear waters and, at half a mile long, offer chances for horseback riding and even surfing in its clear waters. Las Estacas Beach is considered of the best in Puerto Vallarta because of its fine sand. And don’t miss Mismaloya Beach, the site where “The Night of the Iguana” was filmed.
Flying to Puerto Vallarta
Over 2,000 direct flights connect the US and Canada with Puerto Vallarta; carriers such as Aeromexico Airlines and Delta Air Lines accept pets.
Shopping & Veterinary Care
Puerto Vallarta also has a number of resident veterinarians in case of an emergency.
While we always recommend traveling with your food, we know how easy it is to run out on the trip. Puerto Vallarta is home to stores such as Soriana, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club which have many pet food brands found in the US and Canada.
Mexico Entry Requirements with Your Dog
Mexico does not quarantine cats and dogs arriving from the United States or Canada. Pets must, however, travel with two original copies of Mexico Health Certificate stating that they are healthy and free of internal and external parasites. The pet must be vaccinated against rabies and dogs must be vaccinated against hepatitis and distemper. A copy of the Rabies Certificate should also be included, and they should also be tested for ticks and tapeworm prior to traveling to Mexico.
For more information, visit www.visitpuertovallarta.com.
Photo courtesy Puerto Vallarta Tourism