Our last day in Mexico was spent touring the Sierra Madre South which is a part of Puerto Vallarta’s southern region that takes you from the palms to the pines in the upper elevations. After a 30 minute boat ride across the bay we were driven in 4x4 Mercedes Benz Unimog’s to Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens. Because of the elevation the gardens are a unique tropical dry forest with everything from cacti to orchids. One element to be aware of are the “NoSeeUm’s”, an almost invisible fly with an unbelievable bite and terrible itch that lasts for days!
After finishing up at the garden we drove up the road higher into the mountains and made a quick stop at a local bread making stand setup along the highway. The ovens used to bake were built directly into the side of the mountain and was absolutely unbelievable! They had multiple types of breads filled with various fruit and even chocolate for only $0.50 each which was highly marked up for tourists but would have been much more expensive in the states. Our next stop brought us historic El Tuito where we had the opportunity to tour the center of town and main church during a walking tour. A delicious stop at the areas famous Panella cheese tortilleria allowed us to sample some delicious food in a very quaint setting.
Heading back down the mountain we stopped at one of the local cemeteries but due to time we didn’t have a chance to tour and learn about its cultural significance unfortunately. We did however finish the tour with one last stop at the Hacienda and Raicilla Distillery seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Ancient petroglyphs created by pre-Hispanic indigenous people were on the grounds for us to view following yet another fantastic Mexican lunch complete with tequila made from the fine agave plants.
Vallarta Adventures was a perfect way to view Mexico extending well beyond the typical tourist areas and would highly recommend them if in the area!
© A Picture To Remember