1. Sunscreen is expensive there, bring as much as you can from home. Even the locals tell me they have their relatives ship them sunscreen from Walmart! About $12 for an 8-ounce generic brand!? I swear this is how their drug stores stay in business..tourists will always be forced to buy overpriced, watery sunscreen or BURN!
3. You will not die if you eat raw oysters sold under bridges at the beach. I did it. My friend Rachelle did it. We are still alive and have NO RAGRETS.
4. Tequila is actually really nice. Please, go tequila tasting even if you hate tequila (remember to tip if you aren’t buying any bottles). I discovered anejos, and now I’ll never look back. I checked a bag in just so I could bring a few bottles home with me.
5. There were no hot Australian surfers. In fact, there were no hot men at all. This baffled me throughout my entire trip. My least favorite thing in the world? Traveling and not meeting cute guys. Siiiiigh. Maybe some other things can be worse, like slow internet or cold coffee. #firstworldproblems. But seriously, this part was really weird.
6. Who you travel with is crucial. They will set the mood and pace of your entire adventure. Pick your travel buddies wisely-going on a trip with someone can be like an intense, dramatic, short-term relationship. Sometimes it’s better to travel alone than with the wrong person. Luckily, I picked a friend who said YES to everything as much as I did, and still managed to not leave me passed out on public Mexcian buses. Yes, we were in a constant cycle of being hungover, intoxicated, or hungry so we did get on each other’s nerves, but now we can laugh about everything and I love her more than ever.
7. Hostels are seriously the best idea when you first arrive into a new town. They’re cheap, centrally located and you will almost ALWAYS meet cool people that will go on adventures with you the next day or point out some good ones. That’s how we found out about Sayulita, and when we got there, we got invited to beach parties by our hostel mates too. However, by the end of the week we were beyond thrilled to check into our luxurious poolside Airbnb.
8. There is an abundance of WiFi. I think that was the main attraction of Puerta Vallarta, cause it certainly wasn’t their nightlife or beaches. We never found whatever nice beaches there were to be enjoyed there. Still, I like WiFi so I wasn’t miserable.
9. It’s okay to splurge a bit on touristy day trips/adventure packages. One of my favorite days was going on a party catamaran to Las Marietas, a natural beach/cave reservoir. It was about $80 USD but we were picked up from the city center, served breakfast and lunch, they had an open bar the entire time, music, water slides, stripper poles, kayaks and paddle boards, snorkeling gear, the whole shebang. The journey was just as fun as the destination, and the tequila probably made it all a bit more magical.
10. I’ll have to go to a different part of Mexico if I actually want to experience Mexico. Any pointers?