The Experience: We set out from Bucerias to visit Mismaloya, south of Vallarta, with our goal to visit a Tequila distillery. We required three busses and two hours to reach our destination. (Scroll to the end for all the specifics.)
Bus One: From Bucerias, board an “ATM” or a “Compestela” bus to PV. Disembark anywhere past the Walmart in PV.
Bus Two: Board any bus that says “CENTRO”
Many streets in PV are cobblestone and it seems that some drivers are in training for NASCAR. Shocks on the bus apparently are optional, as are springs and padding on the seats. Enjoy the view passing the Malecon, and using your handy map from the Vallarta Tribune, pick a spot to disembark and find your way to Bus three.
Bus Three: Corner Basilio Banderas / Constitution
Leaving Vallarta you embark on a winding narrow road into the Sierra Madre Mountains, with views of magnificent, luxurious hotels and properties overlooking the ocean and hanging from cliffs.
We disembarked in front of the Barcelo Hotel, the signs for Tours and Guides and Mister Tequila beckoning us.
Jungle village to the left, beach to the right, wallets to the ready!
We headed into the village, awed by the view of the jungle with the stream beside the road lending an air of tranquility to this magical moment; I did though have to fight off a crocodile on the way.
We chanced upon the Mama Lucia distillery, where a guide explained how the agave plant is harvested and turned into tequila, as well as the distinction between a distillery and a factory.
The best part was sampling the various tequilas, with numerous toasts including one “we are men, we are not children”, followed by an “EEE YII YIII”.
This was before lunch on an almost empty stomach. It worked as we all bought several bottles and never made it to the other distilleries in town (that trip).
On to the Beach!
We returned to the highway, crossed and followed the road to the beach and restaurants.
We stayed for several hours, making friends with local dogs, and beach vendors, eating, drinking and enjoying life. No effort to snorkel, rent a boat or swim. Just sat and enjoyed the view.
Time to head home!
This experience occurred on an earlier excursion, since then we hardly ever, except sometimes, make mistakes.
We caught our return bus two in Vallarta, but were instructed wrong on where to get off and we had a thirty minute tour through Pitillal before my wife asked the driver if the bus went to Walmart; Good thing she did, my friend and I weren’t about to ask for directions, after all “We are men, we are not children”. There was no “EEE YII YIII”.
The driver said no! Stopping his bus, he flagged down a bus traveling the opposite direction and motioned us to get on. Thank goodness everyone understands “Walmart” or, as you see on some buses “WaltMar”
We arrived at the Walmart, caught an “ATM” Punta de Mita bus and were home in no time at all with a lifetime of memories, Tequila and Raicilla.
All accomplished using local transportation and no driving on my part.
Attractions: – Riding a bus into PV and thru Old Town
– Beach, restaurants, vendors, panga rentals, snorkeling
– Jungle village, restaurants, lodging, surrounded by mountains
– Local area tours available
– No OXXO
Walking Distances: Highway to village and Tequila distilleries – ten minutes
Highway to beach – ten minutes
Travel Time: Bucerias to Mismaloya- 90 – 120 minutes
Puerto Vallarta (Bus three)- twenty minutes
Buses Required: Bucerias to Mismaloya; three
PV to Mismaloya; one
Bus one: Bucerias to PV
- on the lateral in Bucerias or the highway outside town, look for “PV or Vallarta” on the front window; can be “Compestela” or “ATM” bus
- Disembark along the lateral once past the PV Walmart, or go to the end of the line at the Mega
Bus two: PV to Old Town
- Board a bus with “Centro” on the window, travel over the bridge into Old Town (read fast, lots of destinations). Using the map of Old Town provided in the Vallarta Tribune, locate your next bus; corner of Basilio Banderas and Constitution
Bus three: PV to Mismaloya
- Usually an Orange bus with Mismaloya / Boca on the window. Corner of Basilio Banderas and Constitution
Travel Expenses: Bucerias to PV- Thirty four pesos return for one
PV to Old Town – Fifteen pesos return for one
PV to Mismaloya – Sixteen pesos return for one
Total: Sixty one pesos return for one