New Year’s Eve in Puerto Vallarta
Our first visit to Puerto Vallarta was during the holidays. This time of year brings back the best memories. We’d never heard of some of the traditions observed here and now love to celebrate year after year, learning our way as we go.
We still have trouble making twelve wishes while eating grapes as the clock strikes the midnight hour on New Year’s Eve. We started our own tradition of bringing a bag of popcorn to the beach on New Year’s Eve. Instead of eating grapes, which are very filling (after consuming a huge dinner), we pass the popcorn to our group of friends, who have been previously informed and can get a little head start. About ten minutes before the bell begins to ring at the Cathedral, we think about those twelve wishes, count out the same number of popped-corn kernels, one for each month and by midnight, we’ve achieved our goal!
Mexicans like to eat late and holidays are an excuse to stay up as long as possible, children included. In Puerto Vallarta, there are many choices for New Year’s Eve. Plan a place for dinner, which is the priority of the evening, either at home or out on the town. Keep in mind that traffic will be snarled to put it mildly; taxis and Ubers will be running fewer and farther between from about 11 pm on. If you want a table down on the beach at Los Muertos, you might consider making reservations for the entire evening.
At midnight, the fireworks go on for well over half an hour. The inventiveness and creativity are incredible, becoming more so with each passing year. Firecrackers aren’t part of the celebration and are, in fact, illegal in Puerto Vallarta. We do recommend going to the Malecón a couple days before New Year’s Eve to watch the construction of how the fireworks displays are made.
Please, don’t take your dog to the beach. The fireworks are incredibly LOUD, packed in a shell that’s launched from a mortar. To a dog, it sounds like a war zone.
When the festivities have ended, there’s a street dance on Olas Altas with hoards of people. It’s fun but crowded. Bars stay open later, and taco stands are swarming. DON’T DRIVE if you are drinking. There will be checkpoints at both ends of town, and it’s simply not worth the consequences of being pulled over, under the influence. Arrange for a ride, have a designated driver or wait for taxis or Ubers.
Have a fantastic night, and we wish you the very best in the New Year!
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