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Here's why Mexico should be on your travel wishlist

FRESH: Pescado

FULL OF intimate strolls, cinematic backdrops and atmospheric dining. Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit are two destinations couples don't want to miss!

With a high of 27°C throughout February, the resort cities are perfect for exploring the warmth of Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Whether you’re on a first date or have been loved up for years, you can’t go wrong with these romantic ideas.

1. FIND UNDISCOVERED BEAUTY ON THE BANDERAS BAY

Feel like you have the whole place to yourselves in Yelapa and watch the sunrise on the beautifully bareboned beach. Then venture up and cool off in the waterfall. Visit intimate and cosy Colomitos Beach, ideal for swimming, kayaking, snorkelling and diving. Take a hike through the tropical jungle to get there and meet animals along the way!

Another beach off the beaten path is Quimixto, from where you can take a romantic horse ride to see beautiful waterfalls. The best hotels for couples in the area include Casitas Maraika and Hotelito Mio in Playa Caballo and Xinalani in Quimixto.

2. WINE, DINE AND PLAY IN ZONA ROMÁNTICA

Playa de los Muertos is the most popular and most visited beach in Puerto Vallarta. It’s known for its assortment of bars and restaurants, where you can enjoy dinner for two along with a view of Los Muertos Pier. The shoreline offers ample opportunities to jetski, parasail and windsurf, as well as land sports such as volleyball.

You can get there from many parts of Puerto Vallarta by buses and taxis or catch a ride from the airport.

3. PICNIC AT LAS AMAPAS

This small beach is located a little south of Puerto Vallarta’s Romantic Zone, away from the crowds of the Old Town. There are no services at Las Amapas, so it’s a favourite beach for couples seeking peace and privacy. Visit the original seahorse statue at Las Pilitas; then continue up past El Pulpito and have a picnic on the “hidden beach” of Las Amapas. Here, the waves are soft, gentle, and the sand a pale yellow.

4. TAKE A ROMANTIC SEASIDE STROLL ALONG EL MALECÓN

El Malecón is a mile-long boardwalk that’s the heart and soul of Puerto Vallarta.
Walk along the waterfront promenade hand in hand and see the impressive statues, street artists and vendors.

Go for a sunset stroll or get your party on when the promenade turns into a buzzing hot- spot for nightlife. Pop into one of the lovely cafes, bars and restaurants along the way, serving everything from homestyle cooking to gourmet cuisine.

5. ROMANTIC CRUISES AND CANOPIES

Enjoy both the famous Banderas Bay pink and gold sunset and deep blue Paci c ocean on a three-hour private sunset sailing excursion. The French-made, luxury sailing yacht features plump deck cushions, A-list service and plenty of premium refreshments and hors d’oeuvres.

Share the sight of the Sierra Madre jungle (and an adrenaline rush) from above, catch an aerial view of Los Arcos Natural Preserve, and fly at high speeds on Mexico’s longest and fastest zip line. You can book zip-lining in Riviera Nayarit in communities such as Punta de Mita, Sayulita and Lo de Marcos, or have pulse-pounding zip-lining experiences in Puerto Vallarta.

6. ADMIRE THE ART OF BUCERÍAS

Love is an emotion that goes hand in hand with art, and in Nayarit, Bucerías is the place to find it. While you’re there, you’ll inevitably fall for its cobblestone streets, brightly coloured homes and tranquil beaches.

For a special evening, check out the Art Walk Plaza along Lazaro Cardenas Avenue between 7pm and 9pm on Thursdays. The galleries open their doors each week, and some artists produce their work live.

7. SPEND THE DAY ON WHITE SAND BEACHES AND TURQUOISE WATERS

Explore the Unesco Biosphere Reserve of Las Islas Marietas by catamaran, snorkelling and swimming. From December to March, humpback whales come to Banderas Bay to mate, while dolphin encounters are possible all year round.

Many day trips depart from Puerto Vallarta, or you can take a shorter trip from Punta de Mita onboard a luxury yacht. And, of course,w don’t miss “Love Beach”, a natural wonder hidden below the island’s surface.

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