Katie DiDonato

Punta Mita, Mexico

Getting There

Imagine lounging by the pool after a pleasant day of golf or whale watching. Punta Mita, Mexico is a perfect relaxing luxury vacation. Punta Mita is located on the beautiful Banderas Bay, a 45 minute drive from the Puerto Vallarta airport. The Four Seasons Punta Mita Resort is located in Puerto Vallarta's Riviera Nayarit region which stretches 180 miles from the town of Puerto Vallarta in the south to Playa Novillero in the North. Along the way there are dozens of miles of beautiful beaches.


The Four Seasons Punta Mita resort is a 1,500 acre property with two golf courses, three pools, two private beaches, four restaurants and tennis, snorkeling and whale watching opportunities.


To reach the resort, you must arrange transportation from the Puerto Vallarta International airport. Plan for a 45 minute drive time.

http://www.fourseasons.com/puntamita/


Flight Information:

Flights to Puerto Vallarta International Airport are about 3 hours from Denver International Airport.

Flying United the total cost is $1,228 for two people round trip with no layovers (according to a search on kayak.com, traveling in February of 2015).


Transport from the airport:

After arriving at the airport, arrange for transportation to the resort. Taxis cost from $100 to $300. The hotel can also give rates for limousine services.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g150793-c68873/Puerto-Vallarta:Mexico:Airport.Taxis.Zones.And.Fares.html

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Where to Stay

The resort offers exquisite views of the ocean and amazing choices for activities and food. Open since 1999, the Four Seasons was the first luxury resort built in Punta Mita. The resort includes three pools, two private beaches, and two championship golf courses. It is known for impeccable service. Most suite rooms have plunge pools and some oceanfront rooms are set atop cliffs while others open right onto the beach. It's an ideal resort for both couples and families offering massages on the beach and a family game room and children's center.


Golf enthusiasts will love the Jack Nicklaus-designed course which includes the "Tale of the Whale" hole. This hole is the world's only natural island green.


The resort also includes 10 tennis courts, a spa and fitness facilities. Golf carts are the mode of travel across the sprawling resort property.

http://www.cntraveler.com/hotels/north-america/mexico/four-seasons-punta-mita-punta-mita-mexico


www.lonelyplanet.com

Activities

This luxury resort offers a plethora of amazing activities for couples, singles and families.


Golf

The resort offers two amazing golf courses with ocean views and undulating greens and fairways. The Bahia Golf Course offers difficult areas for practicing your putting technique and a unique playing experience.


The other course, a Jack Nicklaus design, includes multiple water views and water features. Imagine teeing off while watching whales or surfers gliding in Banderas Bay.


http://www.fourseasons.com/puntamita/golf/bahia_golf_course/


Pool

Some of the most stunning photos of this resort include pictures of its pool. The heated infinity pool offers marvelous views of the Pacific Ocean. There is also a shallow pool for kids and a hot tub.


http://www.fourseasons.com/puntamita/services_and_amenities/?c=t&_s_icmp=mmenu


Surfing

The resort offers surfing guided tours who will take surfers to the best wave locations. The guides determine the best place for you based on your ability and goals. Guides take you by boat on half-day tours to various beaches in the area. Extra fees do apply.


http://www.fourseasons.com/puntamita/services_and_amenities/on_site_activities/surfing/


Resort Activities

This extravagant resort offers many complimentary activities. Guests can borrow snokel or scuba gear, kayaks, boogie boards and head out into the glistening ocean. Beach goes can enjoy volleyball or Frisbee or head into the hotel to shop in the boutiques.


History and Culture

About 15 years ago, visitors to Punta Mita found a small village marked by a lighthouse. The lighthouse is still there today, but the landscape has markedly changed. The northern tip of the Banderas Bay (Bay of Flags) is now home to many exclusive hotels including the Four Seasons Resort.


In Punta Mita there is evidence of prehistoric human settlements. One site has been dated back to circa 800 A.D. Punta Mita is literally surrounded by ocean and beaches and coves.


It is the same latitude as the Hawaiian Islands and has pleasant weather year round. Average summer temperatures are around 85°F (29 °C). Celebrities such as Vince Vaughn and Orlando Bloom have vacationed in Punta Mita.


Originally, this area was a traditional Mexican fishing town. The Marieta Islands are a short boat ride away and are a Mexican national park.


http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g499443-s2/Punta-De-Mita:Mexico:Background.html


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punta_Mita

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Weekend Explorer- Punta De Mita, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico Overview

Problems/Solutions

I anticipate two possible problems while traveling to Punta Mita, Mexico. First of all, there have been some instances of travel to Mexico being unsafe. The U.S. Government has issued some travel warnings for travel in Mexico. Some U.S. citizens have been the victim of violent crimes such as kidnappings and robbery. My solution to this problem would be to not wear anything expensive and to stay with my travel partner at all times. the U.S. government encourages travelers not to wear expensive jewelry and not to wear overtly American apparel. I would just remember to be aware of my surroundings and to always stick with someone I know.


http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/mexico-travel-warning.html


Another problem is Mexico uses a different currency than the United States. Mexico's currency is the peso. The peso is made up of 100 centavos. Travelers can use debit cards or credit cards to exchange money at ATMs. It gives you a better exchange rate to pay by credit card instead of cash. To exchange cash you normally have to pay a commission or fee. To avoid issues, I plan to pay for most expenses on my credit card, but I do plan to take some spending money in dollars and have this exchanged at the hotel. It's safer to have the money exchanged at the resort than an ATM in town.



Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/mexico/practical-information/money-costs#ixzz2yE2bOHyF

Conclusion/Reflection

I decided to visit Punta Mita because I was looking for a golf resort outside of the U.S. that was highly rated. Conde Nast Traveler rated the resort number 4 in its list of top 20 foreign golf resorts. This resort had everything I wanted - a relaxing vacation destination with challenging golf courses. I thought about traveling to Scotland for more traditional links-style golf, but the weather was the factor really holding me back. I wanted both a vacation spot to unwind in and a place where I could hit the links.

This resort has every high-end offering including luxury rooms and amenities. I also love traveling to Puerto Vallarta because it still holds some old-world charm such as cobblestone streets and quaint fishing villages. I plan to visit the village near the resort and see its lighthouse.

About the Traveler

Ms. DiDonato has travelled to Puerto Vallarta more than 20 times, but has never stayed at the Four Seasons Punta Mita. A Colorado native, Ms. DiDonato has lived in Colorado her entire life except a year where she studied abroad in college in Norwich, England. She loves golf vacations with her husband and family trips to the beach or the mountains with her two young children. She and her husband proudly display flags from their golf trips in the home. Recently they've travelled to Bandon Dunes in Oregon, Kapalua Bay in Maui, Hawaii, and the Boulders Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona to play golf.
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