The laid back, small village, atmosphere still exists
in the outlying areas around Puerto Vallarta. In the Sierras behind Puerto
Vallarta are some villages and small towns that are still living the
old way. Some have not changed much in the last 100 years. Quiet, uncomplicated
and friendly, they are not too easy to reach and that's why they have
not changed much today.
Although some can be reached by small plane in as little as 15 min. from Puerto
Vallarta airport, to get to them by road can take half a day. The main reason
for this is that most are high in the Sierras, up to 6,000 feet. The second
reason is that few of the roads are even 2nd class and some bus routes do not
even run during the rainy season. In most cases, to reach these places by bus
you will have to stay overnight, since the arriving bus will arrive after the
return bus has left.
Most were established in the 16th Century by the Spanish, in many cases because
of the gold and silver to be mined there. Few of the mines remain today and
agriculture is now the main business . Most have one or two hotels and surprisingly
pleasant Haciendas are available for accommodation at some places, while at
others it maybe necessary to stay at someone's house.
Beyond Yelapa. Apart from Pizota, the
only place of any interest still inside the bay is El Chimo, a small
fishing village with some wonderful beaches to the east of it. Beyond
the bay to the south is a incredible long beach at Mayto and the fishing village of Tehuamixtle.
To the north, outside of the bay, Sayulita is know for surfing and boasts
a female surfing school. Beyond several small towns with beaches that
are far less comercialised than Puerto Vallarta. Except on Mexican national
holidays when they will be very busy. The two weeks of Semana Santa and
also at Christmas these beaches will be packed.