Southern Comfort

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The US and Canada has an interesting relationship with Mexico. I think it’s actually not fair. All too often people associate traveling to Mexico as either being a business trip to Mexico City or a Spring Break debauchery in Cancun. But the truth is that there is so much more.

Mexico can have it all, great weather, beautiful beaches, friendly people, authentic culture, gourmet food and luxury accommodations. For me Puerto Vallarta is almost perfect. Down on the Pacific side of Mexico, this town definitely shines with ample sun, sea and great foodare.

Puerto Vallarat can be an easy holiday getaway. You can fly direct form many US and Canadian cities and also with just one hop for those coming from Europe via Cancun.

The Grande Luxxe, part of the hotel Grand Mayan is a great place to call home for a week or two. The hotel is Disney meets luxury. The Grand Luxxe is just like a hotel but the suites are time shares so you can book week by week at diane@GrandLuxxeResidence.com.

These rooms are out of this world. If you have a family then it’s worth every penny. A week in a 3 bedroom suite can run from US$2,500 a week. The modern designs are smart, clean and opulent… huge living room with a kitchen, friendly service and a plunge pool on the balcony are just the start. The resort has around 8 restaurants and service is top notch. It’s a hotel you don’t feel ripped of at. Pool side they come around with complimentary Popsicles in the afternoon and happy hour cocktails from noon-1pm and 5pm-6pm. Internet is free though out the resort and all this adds up to fantastic value.

When you have done the resort, head into Puerto Vallarta downtown. There’s always lots to do and the food is great. The restaurants are really authentic and you so you actually feel like you are in another country. Sometimes places in Mexico can feel like it’s a US extension with outlets like Outback and Bubba Gump Shrimp. Avoid the US chain restaurants and you’ll have great authentic fare.

Have the hotel book a sunset cruise, bring along a bottle of wine and take in the breath taking views of the sea and mountains. It has a real Spanish vibe to the place and people are wonderful.
Another great day trip is Zip Lining. Race through the mountains in jungle-like terrain where you buckle up and ride along the cables at great speed. The movie Predator was shot at some of these locations so you know it feels remote and dense.

Taxis are pretty cheap and easy to find. The only downside I found was getting through the airport. If you come at peak times be prepared to wait in line and arrival is a bit of a zoo. When you do get to the Grand Luxxe it will be all behind you, kick off your shoes, have no plan for the day and chill. That’s the Mexican Way.

20110708_1571Daniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.

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