Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Ups and downs of a tour day

This morning we took a tour up into the mountains to visit the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens. In typical Mexico fashion we spent more than an hour on the bus picking people up from different hotels and then transferring to another van with concomitant mixups about who was on which tour. Then we stopped at a jewelry store to use the bathrooms, along with fairly high pressure sales to purchase fire opals and silver. By then Jan wasn't feeling well after sitting in the back of the van with no outside view as it bumped over cobblestones, which obliterated any meaning from the guide's spiel.  She ditched the tour and headed back to the hotel.

After that though, things got better. We wound around the old road to Mismaloya where Night of the Iguana was filmed int he 60s. Now it's home to many famous people who have holiday homes there. It's a stunning location. Then we headed up into the mountains to the very beautiful botanical gardens. This place is the real deal. It's affiliated with other gardens all over North America and has a stunning collection of orchids and bromeliads.

Here are few photos.

The restaurant served hand made tortillas.

And had stunning outlook and decor.

I took the stairs down to a lovely, clear river.

The gardens were the highlight of the tour. After that we were taken to a restaurant in a tiny village and served a mediocre seafood lunch for which we paid through the nose. That was followed by a visit to an artisan tequila makers, where we were treated to tastings of several kinds of flavoured and aged tequila. I think this was the real deal, but it's hard to know.

The tequila is apparently made in very small batches from blue agave without any additives. The product tasted very good, not harsh at all and left no weird feeling or hangover. We're told that it's because it's very pure.  I might even have purchased a bottle, had I not spent all my money on the mediocre lunch.

Here's one of the owners extolling the virtues of their product.

Overall I'd give this tour a 5.5 out of 10. The gardens and the tequila tasting made it worthwhile. But I was really ticked off when the admissions desk at the gardens refunded Jan's share of the admission, 100 pesos, which the tour guide pocketed even after I suggested that I could return it to her.


  1. I have been here but I never take the tours stuff like this happens all the time.
    So glad you enjoyed the gardens. The Tequila was the real deal. Good tequila
    is very smooth. Or so Albert keeps telling me.
    I hope Jan feels better soon.

    cheers, parsnip

  2. Gloriously pretty flowers. And a cute dog!

  3. Juanita! Sorry to hear about Jan's wrist. I hope she's finding ways to manage the day to day stuff in a sling. :( Better the wrist than the least she can still get around. Your pictures from the botanical gardens were wonderful, and just what we needed to convince us to book a trip to Mazatlan. Thanks for that. Mucho mucho mas! Watch out for that real deal tequila! And the sharks on the beach! xo Linette and Mark


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