Alaska Airlines’ new route from Orange County to Puerto Vallarta has gone live, with year-round service to the popular resort town. More than just fantastic beaches, Puerto Vallarta has a thriving culinary scene, bustling nightlife, nearby jungle adventures and a historic downtown that’s ready for you to explore.
Flights take off three days a week—Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays—leaving John Wayne Airport at 9:55 a.m. and arriving just in time for a drink or a siesta by the pool at 2:50 p.m. Return flights to Orange County leave on the same days, departing from Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport at 3:55 p.m. and landing at 4:54 p.m.
Alaska is flying its new next-generation Boeing 737 aircraft, with cabin upgrades inspired by Boeing’s 777 Sky Interior. The airline’s replaced the old fluorescent bulbs with colored mood lighting, added new curved ceiling panels and installed pivoting overhead bins. The cabin feels more spacious, and there’s more room for carry-on items. All classes also have charging stations at every seat, so you can power up your mobile devices while in flight.
Alaska will be serving fare that’s inspired by the Northwest, including Beecher’s Flagship cheese and Canoe Ridge wine.
Fun in the Sun in Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta is a resort town, nestled on Mexico’s Pacific coast. Once you arrive, there is no shortage of things to do, whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, experience an outdoor adventure or party all night.
The area is an ecological treasure trove, and you can go on zip-line adventures through the jungle at a number of nearby parks. For snorkeling and scuba diving, take a short trip to Los Arcos Park, a marine park loaded with reefs and sea life. It’s also known for its seabirds, so you may see penguins, parrots or pelicans.
El Malecon Boardwalk is a popular destination with tourist and locals alike. It offers relaxing seaside strolls where you can soak up the ocean view and explore shops and food stands along the way.
For many visitors, the Isla Río Cuale is a must-see, but it can be hard to find, despite its location in the middle of the city. The fact that it’s an island is the key to its elusiveness. Once you find it, you’ll discover that it’s well worth the hunt. Its market is reminiscent of times past, complete with local crafts, fresh fruits and vegetables, and other delectable treats. While you’re there, you can also check out the island’s museum, which is known for its sculptures.
Puerto Vallarta’s quaint and winding cobblestone streets are always fun to explore. And if you’re walking downtown, the city’s famous Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a must-see. The Vallarta Botanical Gardens, where wildflowers abound, offer a great break from the city and the beach. It’s just a short bus ride from town.
If you’re a foodie, you’re in luck. There are plenty of tasting tours, but you can also explore the many restaurants and cafés the city is known for on your own. After dinner, you may want to check out the local nightclubs, such as the Strana, Mandala and La Vaquita, where you can dance the night away.