The DARK SIDE of PUERTO VALLARTA


What do you have to say? ROH you want. Doggy I got it. Roh you need, roh roh roh roh roh Rawl I’m asking, is for a little Roh-spect just a little bit.
Laska, don’t lick the camera. Laska, do you want to be in the video? So we are still here in Puerto Vallarta and today we’re talking about something that, for a while we considered
not bringing up, because we like to really highlight the most positive
things that we can about any place that we are traveling, because there’s no
sense thriving on anything that’s negative. When it comes down to it,
complaining doesn’t really do anything. But, since being here we’ve noticed a few
things that we really strongly don’t like. And coming here wanted to loved
Puerto Vallarta because we heard so many great things. We watched a bunch of
videos from the Kinetic Kennons. Really, really wanted to love this place.
But it’s realistic to you talk about how we’re actually feeling about a place,
rather than just paint everything with rainbows. So today we’re talking about
why we kind of dislike Puerto Vallarta. To give you a little landscape of
our situation, because I think that really affects why we’re feeling this
way. First of all, we’re here during the busiest time of the year. Peak time
during spring break. Neither of us are a huge fan of big crowds and lots of
people. Another thing is, we’re trying to travel
on a budget. We’re not like your typical vacationer staying at one of the
resorts or right in the most sought after part of town, like in
the old town area. We’re staying at an Airbnb. It’s a gorgeous house, but it is a little
bit of a walk. To walk away from here we’re going down a really steep
cobblestone hill, and then get back up it’s a bit of a climb. So if
we need to get any groceries or anything, it’s difficult enough to do it on your
own two feet but let alone with a bunch of heavy bags. But at least we get free
exercise every day so that’s cool. We were gonna get a gym membership while we were here. Immediately, we were like nope, we don’t need that. Also, part of our
situation is that we have a Siberian husky named Laska. This is our Siberian husky, who
whenever we’re taking a video, seems like she really hates being held like this.
That’s not the case. In this neighborhood There are a lot
of, wait for it, cats. cat. Really? We’re gonna redo that and you’re gonna act
interested like you always are. So we can’t really take Laska for w-a-l-k-s. She
knows that word too. Without the fear of her trying to get one, pull us down the
really steep hill. That’s just an accident waiting to happen. It’s not
really ideal. For her, she needs a lot of exercise every day. We couldn’t take her
for the exercise that she so badly needs to not be psycho. She’s been psycho. What do you have to say about Puerto Vallarta? Roh Roh Vallarta. Puert-Roh Vallarta. I keep seeing C-A-Ts everywhere and you won’t let me eat them. I know.
Also, we’ve been learning Spanish for quite a while and we’ve been trying to
continue learning Spanish as we travel through Mexico. Leading up to this point, we have been doing 30-minute daily lessons through either Pimsleur or Rocket
Languages. That was in preparation to come to Mexico and we’ve been really,
really diligent about continuing to do that, even on days when we’re just like
not having it. So coming here it was a little bit of shock. We’ll get into that
a little more later in the video. So those are the things that kind of make
up our situation. First, we’re gonna be talking about what we absolutely love
about Puerto Vallarta and then we’re gonna be talking about the things that
aren’t quite is desirable, or don’t really suit our situation, and might not suit
your preferences either. Okay, so first. Why do we love Puerto Vallarta?
The produce is amazing and full of Fs. Fs? Yes. Fresh, flavorful, fragrant, fun, fantastic and felicious. Felicious. Jordan’s favorite word to describe food is delicious. so
but if going with the Fs, Felicious. And that’s been really great, go to into the
local markets. I cut my first ever papaya I’ve never handled the fruit before. You
don’t even know what it looked like before coming here. I honestly didn’t. If you showed
me, presented me with a papaya, I would have wondered if it was a giant mango
maybe? But it’s a tropical fruit so it’s not something that I’ve ever had at my
disposal in Phoenix. And then you go to restaurants and then get a lot of this
local fresh produce, which is just overflowing with flavor, and it’s amazing.
Speaking of restaurants, we’ve found some real gems here. Yeah. Select restaurants
that have really affordable prices, big portions, with great service. Yeah,
for instance Freddy’s Tucan, Pancake House, oh Pipi’s, that’s another one. And yes,
I can’t say that name without feeling like an idiot but that’s what it’s
called. Although we haven’t eaten there, all
of the Oceans Bay, you’ve hopefully seen our ridiculous $1 Margarita tour. Those
margaritas are strong and really really good. So lots of good restaurants. And we
really love the ocean here. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Yeah, it’s really
clear. You look out there, every time I’m just amazed at how many hues of blues
and greens there are. We haven’t been to the beach yet cuz we were a little bit
turned off by our one experience. This guy asked us every single day, come in
and get margaritas, I’m finally like “Okay.” And in like, I don’t know, 90
minutes that we were, There’s probably different
vendors that were asking us to buy different things, and it was kind of
exhausting after a while to be like no gracias, no gracias, no gracias. That
really takes away from the experience. I think there’s a little part of me that’s
kind of like “Do I really want to go to the beach?” A few other things we really like, the
surrounding landscape, including the mountains, all the nature around us is
beautiful. And the drive into Puerto Vallarta was the most spectacular that
we’ve ever experienced. Driving all the way from Phoenix, Arizona to here in
Puerto Vallarta. We came from Tepic before this and the drive here was
through these mountainous rainforests, and just amazing. To have that just a
short drive away, that could add a lot to the experience for fun day excursions.
Ziplining and stuff through the rainforests. And now, BUM BUM BUM. What don’t we like about Puerto Vallarta? Why is it not for us? What is it about this delightful city that makes it
a little bit less desirable? Probably the big glaring feature that we’ve noticed,
especially because, like we said before, we came here in probably the most busy
time of year, is that it is way too touristy for us. It doesn’t feel like an
authentic local feel of a Mexican experience that we’ve gotten in a lot of
the other cities and towns that we’ve gone through. And even comparing it to
Mazatlán, it’s just so many more people here.
You’re having to fight the crowds and wait a long time to get into restaurants. And that also probably contributes to the next thing, which is the prices. If
you’re coming from the US, yeah things are probably still going to be a little
cheaper than you were paying. But, if you’re like us and you’re trying to travel on a budget,
you can’t live anywhere near the most desirable spots, it’s, it’s just too
expensive. The city is very walkable if you’re living right there, and if you
never leave that area there’s tons of restaurants and stuff around there. But
if you’re like us and trying to spend a little less, then you have a 30 minute
walk every time you want to get to the places you want to go. And then, something
else in terms of prices are that if you look up a place online. And I’m even
talking about the restaurant itself, has its own menu listed online with certain
prices, and then you go to the place, the prices are 50% more than that. Or even
more. We’ve noticed a little bit of dishonesty happening, or at least maybe
they’re just not updating their websites, and those are the prices for the off
season or something. But if you’re coming at this time of the year, like we are, the
prices are just like skyrocketed. That’s been a little bit discouraging. Of course
we walk down the cobblestone streets and risk our lives crossing my busy roads
where the busses just literally, oh my gosh, if there’s ever a time when we were
gonna get hit by a bus, it’s here. But then you get to a place and you’re expecting a
breakfast to be 59 pesos, and all of a sudden it’s 129
pesos. It’s kind of a little bit of a shock. Cobblestone streets. That’s
something else, it might seem like no big deal, and cobblestone streets are pretty.
Or at least that’s what I thought before coming here. But they are a paid to walk on, or drive on. Driving on
this, I just felt like I was gonna rattle my car apart, and we take Ubers. It just
does a number on your car. We’ve spent on our travels so far, the most time in
Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta, so those are the two main places we have to
compare to each other, and compared to Mazatlán, uber costs almost twice as much.
What do you think of the overall cleanliness of the city? Mazatlán is another
pretty touristy destination. There”s a lot of traffic from the US a people visiting
Mazatlán. But comparing these two cities, it is almost night and day in terms of how
clean the cities are. People do still take pride in sweeping, and kind of like
scrubbing the sidewalk in front of their businesses, but the cleanest. It’s time to wake up saws that rooster. The cleanest spot that we’ve found is the malecon area and that
old town romantic district. Here in Puerto Vallarta. Here in Puerto Vallarta. Everywhere else, it’s a little bit more grungier, the
streets aren’t as nice, and that’s maybe partly to do with the cobblestone
streets. Like how do you clean those? I mean, where’d you even begin? But in general, if
there’s practices like instead of bins that people put their garbage in, every
night there are just piles of garbage in the middle of the street, and then
at some time the garbage fairies come and pick it up and take it somewhere.
When they do that, it creates a whole bunch of trash all over the place because stuff blows around, some stuff might not get picked up if it’s not properly
bagged. I need to put a little disclaimer on this one because I do prefer this over
the U.S. Here there’s lots of people who are always trying to earn a buck. They’re
always trying to sell you something I prefer that over the US, where so many
people are just asking for money and not trying to sell you something. But, with
that said, the vendors here in the places we’ve been in Puerto Vallarta are relentless! Relentless! When we were in Mazatlán, we had a lot of
vendors there too, but here it’s twice, three times as often you’ll get asked to
buy their blanket, buy their weed, buy their pipes, buy their fruit. By the way,
I’m pretty sure that just about anyone selling something here,
whether it’s fruit, or blankets, or purses. Taxi rides. Taxi rides. It seems like that’s
just the front that they have in order to ask you if you want to buy a pipe, and
then if you say no you don’t want to buy a pipe, suddenly that means you want to
buy some weed then. And we have had to tell people multiple times.
Weed (“we had” drug pun) had to tell people. Weed had to tell people “No fumamos, no fumamos” “we don’t smoke, we don’t smoke.” Yeah, we don’t smoke and even though we say no fumamos, they’re like how about weed? Like “No fumamos nada” we don’t smoke
anything, so kindly go along your way. But yeah, like Jordan said, it’s just absurd
how many people are trying to sell you something. Just walking down the
malecon you’re being offered tequila tastings, no thank you,
come in and look at my shop, no thank you. Have dollar margaritas. Look at my menu. Look at my menu. I mean, we get it, that’s how people need to make a living. And there have
been times that were like, oh we’re hungry, how about we try out this place?
We wouldn’t have done that if they weren’t standing out there and promoting their
business, or promoting whatever they were selling. Where the tours, the activities,
it just goes on and on. On and on. We’d noticed after a while of being here
that we were starting to get kind of short with each other, and have these
little stupid arguments over pretty much absolutely nothing. Like what side of the
sidewalk we were walking on or just like really dumb stuff like that. I had
to think about it for a little bit, and something that I really strongly truly
believe is that you have a finite amount of energy to give to anything during a
day. All these interactions that we’re having where we’re having to just
constantly say no gracias, no gracias. No, I’m not interested. All those are taking away little pieces of this finite amount
of energy that we have to give. So at a certain point, you’re spent. And that’s
when these dumb little bickering arguments start to happen. If we were
living here, we would have to be very, very careful about where we’re putting
our energy because the energy that they’re taking away, each of these little
interactions, are something that comes from the creative energy that we have to
spend on writing blog posts, or creating these videos, or really anything that we
enjoy doing. That’s something that is a really big turn-off,
one of the biggest I would say about this city. And you don’t get as much of that
as you get off the malecon, but then it gets pretty dirty, and also walking down
the streets, bus fumes are horrendous. We’ve obviously been walking to pretty
much every single place unless it’s really late at night where we don’t feel
like it’s safe to do that. Going down one of the main roads here, it was maybe like
ten minutes into this walk, and I started feeling like it was burning my
throat to breathe, and so I was noticing taking shorter and shorter breaths. It was
starting to get really painful. I feel bad for the people that are living along
this street, because not a lot of houses here have air conditioning. If your sole
way to get fresh air is by opening your windows and stuff, which is what our
host does, the windows are open all the time.
That’s really unhealthy and I just feel bad. I feel like I should be wearing a
mask all the time. Especially when we’re on the main roads, but even when we’re
not, and we’re just on your average neighborhood street with the cars
driving by, their emissions are terrible here. It’s not as terrible today to see behind us what the smog looks like, but from our Airbnb here, we can always
see a layer of smog across the city. And I think because today it’s a lot windier, it
looks a lot more clear because this is so populated, and there’s a lot of
tourism, that’s something that you have to deal with. Comparing it to Mazatlán,
once again, I didn’t notice any pollution there. No. But the pollution alone would
be enough to keep us from living here. We want a city that’s clean. That doesn’t
just mean clean streets, but also clean air. As we mentioned in the beginning,
leading up to our time coming to Mexico, we were doing 30-minute daily lessons to
learn Spanish. Jordan had started doing it without me.
What was your experience? These lessons, you need to do them every single day,
otherwise you experience a lot of setbacks. They’re not gonna be nearly as effective,
and you’re going to have to backtrack. Also, you have to be extremely diligent
about doing them every single day. When I started doing them, I really wanted to
learn Spanish. I was pretty good about it for the first month or two, and then I
would either forget, or just get lazy, get lazy, complacent, exactly. And then I take two weeks off
and then have to backtrack a bunch of lessons, and it just went back and forth
like that until I had this lovely lady start doing that with me, and we held
each other accountable. It was a lot of hard work, and even on the days just were
dragging, and you didn’t have the mental clarity, we still pushed through that
because we are committed to learning Spanish. Because I think that’s an
important thing for us being here in Mexico, and being involved, and immersed
is being able to speak the language, and not just expecting that everyone speaks
English. That was really important. And then when we came to Puerto Vallarta, an
interesting thing happened. We started speaking Spanish to people and they
would speak back to us in English. And we would continue to speak Spanish in the
conversation, and they would continue to speak English back to us. They put
this awkward deal where we’re like “Do they want me to speak English? Am I being
disrespectful by speaking Spanish?” Or we just didn’t know. The more we’ve
talked to people, the more we’ve noticed this. We greet them in Spanish and they just go
off talking in English. And even when we get away from the more touristy areas,
that still seems to be the case. Even to the point where we were at this bar and
the bartender actually got mad at us for speaking Spanish. He was like you guys
don’t have to speak Spanish to me, speak English here. It’s like, oookay. Where are we? With all the
tourism here, we find ourselves in a restaurant, and every single person in
the restaurant is speaking English all around us. We felt like being here is
actually setting us back on our progress of learning Spanish. And it’s sort of
like an interesting situation to be in, where we feel like we’re trying to be
immersed, and be respectful, become part of Mexico. And we’re kind of getting pushback, almost, for doing that. So that is the final reason why we don’t think
Puerto Vallarta is for us. Now all this being said, we know that this is not
everyone’s situation. Maybe you are just coming here to vacation and it’s a
beautiful place to do that! The ocean’s are great, the hotels are nice. And if you
don’t speak Spanish, that’s perfect. It’s fine because almost everyone speaks
English. So we can see why this is a desirable ideal place to vacation or
visit for certain types of people with different situations than ours, but for
these reasons, we’re out. Is this a peace sign? Like this? Peace. Pizza. Get it? A piece of pizza? [Inaudible]

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