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By Griffin Page
Naturalist ~ Eco-guide

When planning a vacation or just treading along in life, haven’t we all often said: “I think I’ll go on a hike this week, see some nature and breathe some fresh air.” or “Let’s go on a snorkeling tour this time.” or “It would be nice to see something more than the city, bars and restaurants.” Or even, “Let’s see more of the culture and mingle with the natives.” But what often happens? Either we get lazy, forget, have a hangover or get side tracked, perhaps by all the time share people who have other plans for us. And then, it’s our last day here and we say to ourselves: “Oh Cripes! We didn’t do or see anything we had planned on.” What a shame.


This particular affliction, I do believe, is a close relative to the New Year’s Eve resolution syndrome. Don’t let it happen to you. This time around, like NIKE says, JUST DO IT! Be firm with yourself, stick to your guns and allow yourself the pleasure of discovery. Step out of your security bubble and be a little more adventurous. Pretend, even if for just one day, to be Magellan, or even our own local heroine Pat Henry..…..whichever you choose. You know, in all honesty, I’m sure they were a little apprehensive when they left port and began their journeys into the unknown, but rewarding it was. This time around, have a little more to report on than just a good restaurant or a story of how so and so got soooo smashed one night. Although, I will admit that there are exquisite restaurants in Puerto Vallarta and one should experience them also.


So here it is; your chance to redeem yourself for all the other times when you said…..and you didn’t do. And let me tell you, you couldn’t choose a better place to heed Nature’s call!


Puerto Vallarta and its environs, offers so much for everyone, big and small. There are beautiful trails to hike, wonderful islands to see and snorkel around, soft sandy beaches to rest on and watch the waves roll in, indescribable mountains to visit, rivers to follow, spectacular birds to see not to mention some wildlife and of course, some unusual flora as well.


You can see and do just about anything here in Puerto Vallarta. From scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, bird watching, kayaking all the way to canopy tours and dolphin encounters in the wild. Just pick one or do them all. Either way, you will most definitely enjoy yourself and have memories and maybe some great pictures to show and tell. You’ll also feel that for once, you didn’t let yourself down, and that in itself, can be quite rewarding. It may also positively affect all your future trips, vacations or time off as you just may catch the bug, the one that makes you want to do it over and over again. And who knows, in time, you may even become the next Jacques Cousteau! Ok, ok, let’s not be so grand, but regardless, like my mom used to say when I said I didn’t like such or such food before even trying it: “You won’t know until you try it. So try it!” Hmmm… why are moms so wise?


Whether you decide to make bubbles underwater, dance with the most color fish in the sea, tune your voice to the rhythm of a bird song, play hopscotch from rock to rock along a river, glide along the ocean in one of those floating plastic containers with oars or even duck sideways to avoid a guano bombing sea gull, the point is, you’ll have fun.


And there’s some even better news. You don’t even have to be apprehensive about any of it, as qualified and knowledgeable guides are available to show you the way and teach you all about this mesmerizing beauty. The only important decision you’ll have to make concerning your adventure is when choosing which company to deal with. There are quite a few respectable tour operators in Puerto Vallarta but also a few tricksters. So, ask around and get the feel of things before buying or giving a deposit to anyone. Some are more conscientious about preserving nature as well. If you care about the nature that surrounds and sustains us.




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