Activities and Pampering at the Vallarta Palace

Jennifer Stern October 28, 2010 No Comments

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Puerto Vallarta Palace Pool MexicoThis is the third installment about my family’s recent trip to the Vallarta Palace in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  

Part 1: Getting the Royal Treatment at the Vallarta Palace
Part 2: Puerto Vallarta Palace – Living Like Kings and Queens

The boys woke up early in anticipation of the exciting day they were going to have. My father was going to take them on a ziplining excursion at Canopy Nogalito, in what is essentially the Mexican rain forest. It would be the first time they’d set foot off the resort grounds in three days.

Mexico Puerto Vallarta Palace Pool

Perfectly-pedicured and living the good life at the Vallarta Palace

Meanwhile, my mother and I, who are not exactly daredevils, decided to leave the adventuring to the men and have a little “girl time” at the resort’s luxurious salon and spa. On tap for us: one-hour-long full body massages, a manicure and pedicure. Hey, it’s a rough job, but someone has to do it! 

After another bountiful breakfast, the family and I were able to enjoy a little bit of pool time in the morning before heading off in our separate directions. We even decided to have a little bit of fun and sneaked into the back row of the daily water aerobics class for a few minutes. 

The class, which was led by a very enthusiastic and fit young man who kept chanting “Uno…Dos…Tres…(etc.)!!” had us wildly flailing our arms about (out of the water), but didn’t have us work up anything vaguely resembling a sweat. And honestly, as a fitness professional who sweats for a living, I was perfectly content that way. There was a REASON I avoided the resort’s fitness center like the plague…it would have been like going into the office!! Having said that, I must comment that for those of you desiring to keep those extra pounds at bay while on vacation, the Vallarta Palace’s fitness center is very nicely appointed. It is very clean, and has a good selection of cardio equipment including treadmills, elliptical trainers, and recumbent bikes; plus an assortment of weight machines and free weights. 

Puerto Vallarta Nogalito Zip Line

Tristan zips through the trees at Nogalito Zip Line

Late in the morning, my boys and father boarded the van which would transport them to their ziplining adventure, located about 20 minutes away. And mom and I headed off to be pampered. 

We were greeted immediately when we walked into the spa, located on the second level of the resort, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a sweeping view of the beautiful beach. After checking in and waiting for perhaps five minutes, our smiling therapists appeared and escorted us into our massage room, where soft New Age music was playing. We were directed to undress to our level of comfort and lie face-down on the massage tables. From there it was an hour of sheer relaxing bliss as the therapists worked away. We even had hot stones placed on our backs, which felt wonderful, and cool compresses placed over our eyes…it was absolute heaven. I almost fell asleep on the table and really had a hard time getting up when it was all over! 

Alas, move we must, for it was time to move on to our manicures and pedicures (I told you it was a rough job…). Mom and I were directed to sit in a couple of ultra-cushy overstuffed white pedicure chairs facing the glass wall that overlooked the ocean. The chairs massaged us (again!) as we sunk our feet into a hot bubble bath. It was hard NOT to feel completely and utterly spoiled since we each had two manicurists working on us…one on our feet and one on our hands. 

Puerto Vallarta Nogalito Forest Zip Line

Ben zipping through the forest

We each emerged with perfectly-manicured hands and feet, and left each of our manicurists a generous tip for a job well done. Since the boys weren’t back from their ziplining excursion yet, Mom and I decided to go back down to the pool for yet more relaxation and sunning. 

In about an hour, the kids and my dad returned, happy and full of tales about their “jungle” ziplining excursion to Canopy Nogalito. They told us about the van trip up to the top of the mountain, how they were served an alfresco lunch beforehand, and how they got hooked up to a variety of ziplines and zoomed their way back down to the bottom of the mountain. They spotted some really cool sights in the forest, such as giant iguanas clinging to the sides of trees. They had also met and made fast friends with a family from the San Francisco area who accompanied them in the van–Diana and Rich Kim and their two young children, Tyler and Samantha. Ben, in particular, simply fell in love with little Samantha and became sort of a protector/babysitter to her for the rest of the trip. They played together in the pool and had a great time. In fact, we still keep in regular touch with the Kims. 

Puerto Vallarta Nogalito Forest Zip Line Mexico

It's a looooooooong way down!!

The most difficult decision of the day awaited us…where to go for dinner? Tonight, we chose to try out the Brazilian restaurant, which, if you are a vegetarian, is DEFINITELY NOT the restaurant for you. It is a “churriscaria,” a Brazilian steakhouse. Essentially, you sit down, and an unending procession of meat parades by your table. Waiters come by with skewer after skewer of filet mignon, roast beef, chicken, chorizo, lamb chops, duck, pork loin…until you flip over your coaster from the “green” side (keep it coming) to the “red” side (stop!), the meat will just keep on coming. Thank goodness none of us were vegetarian, and thank goodness we all knew when to say “when!” 

There were also some lovely side dishes and desserts, and the meal ended with some delicious strong Brazilian coffee. It was, as my father grew fond of saying, “muy bueno.” 

Following dinner, we went to the ballroom to enjoy another one of the Vallarta Palace’s top-notch shows, this one a circus-themed performance. There were jugglers, acrobats, sword-swallowers and fire-breathers, and it was a wonderful way to top off another fabulous day of vacation in Puerto Vallarta.

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avatarAbout the Author:

Jennifer Stern is a mom of three teen boys, who provide her with constant inspiration to write. She is also a fitness professional/junkie who teaches everything from Spinning to Zumba. A New Jersey native, this is her second time living in Southern California. She loves the L.A. lifestyle, but does miss eating decent pizza and bagels--so she consoles herself with excellent Mexican food. She and her family live in Burbank.

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