My stay at the Riu Palace, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico was out of the world the accommodations exceeded my expectations. We arrived in a taxi that we hailed from the airport (where a cabby ripped us off for the first time) an array of water fountains and fresh flowers were placed beautifully throughout the vestibule. The hostess greeted us with fresh mimosas, then we received our key immediately and were on our way up to our room. Our view was perfect, gorgeous blue ocean with mountains in the background and a little tiki hut in view, life couldn’t get better. Then we noticed the four bottles of rum, whiskey, vodka and gin and guess what.. life got a little bit better and things continue liked that throughout the trip.The amazing pools, beautiful beach, outstanding restaurants, shows and spa kept us busy, most of the time.
Until we decide to go to downtown Puerto Vallarta. Mistake you’re thinking.. just wait..The host called us a taxi and sent us downtown. The taxi zipped and zoomed all over the road as we hung on for dear life in the back seat. Finally, downtown we tumbled out of the taxi looked up and what we saw was a lively boardwalk (El Malecon) full of people of all different ages, street peddlers, club promoters along one side and on the other side a gorgeous view of the ocean. The bars were electric and enticing, but what drew our attention first was the flame thrower performing in the amphitheater in the center of downtown. Wow! We decided it was time for a cocktail with the neon lights and cage dancers practically calling our name from every bar we decided on ZOO which was packed out with people dancing everywhere. From there we cruised the Malecon popping in ROO and Senor Frogs, before hopping in a cab. There was a terrible language barrier between us and the taxi driver. The very little Spanish I knew was not coming in handy and the driver was not accommodating. He made a turn into a small alley street heading up the mountain away from the people. I knew this wasn’t right demanded him to stop which thankfully after a few too many seconds of begging he did. He told us it would be $40. What? We went two blocks. Out of the taxi now I tried to negotiate a price, but he kept yelling “policia, policia, policia” and since I didn’t want to go to jail Mexico I gave him the $40 and we ran a block back to the Malecon. From there we found the “policia” and ask them which cab to take back to our hotel. Fortunately, they were very helpful and far from “corrupt” as we had heard prior to our trip to Mexico. It was a great night of dancing and people watching, but I was happy to arrive back at the hotel.