Travel in Covid Times: Part 2

My husband Ryan and I continue our adventures travelling internationally for the first time in two years, with flight delays and cancellations, while also trying to keep up to date with all of the Covid protocols. It was certainly an adventure, and in this part we continue our trip!

Day 4 The Jungle

Now that Ryan and I were in our thirties, you would think we would know better than to drink excessively when we had to get up early in the morning. But, being on vacation, your body and mind can “go further” than you think.

Day four would be our first journey, into the surrounding mountains and jungle, with an electric mountain bike. The 20-kilometre journey was rather challenging … I had never been so hot and sweaty, plus I thought I might actually pass out from the lack of sleep and a hangover.

The journey was long and beautiful and the scenery changed drastically from a well-maintained tourist destination, to less-developed farmlike areas.

It was incredible, with its dense, large subtropical trees and foliage amongst the mountains. We heard macaws squawking and tried not to get hit by vehicles as we maneuvered on our mountain bikes. 

Once we completed our adventure, we decided to explore the “Romantic Zone,” with its older-style architecture and incredible street art, which made it rather quaintly cute.

After exploring for the day, we headed for dinner at Porfirio’s Restaurante. If you want good but strangely displayed food, this is your spot!

Day 5 Islands await (with a side of Covid testing)

Another adventure with Vallarta Adventures was our 30-minute speed-boat ride out to the famous Marietas Islands.

It was spectacular as we ripped out of the marina at sunrise … the jet boat launching off the wake of the waves. Everyone was wearing a mask on-board and we were safely distanced, but as things got a little wetter, it got more difficult to wear masks.

As we continued on our journey to the islands, we spotted humpback whales playing in the waves. It was incredible! What was amazing to think about was that I may have seen the same whales when I visited Juneau, many years ago!

We stopped to watch many whales on our journey and finally made it to the famous Hidden Beach. The Marietas Islands are part of a national park and, as such, require special permission to visit (only 116 people per day are allowed to visit). We were the first ones to arrive and don our life jackets and climbing helmets. The guide pointed to a small crack of light and said we needed to swim as fast as we could (we had just 20 minutes on the beach)!

Three. Two. One! (We jumped into the water and I swam!)

The waves were rolling around and I was trying to swim in a lifejacket as I approached the cave. I was the first one to make it to the beach, and the beautiful, crystal blue water and odd eeriness was overwhelming. We took photos … a lot of photos.

Once done, we had to swim against the waves, under the cave, and back out into the ocean, to reach our boat.

Next stop—snorkelling at a nearby reef where we got to see some amazing fish and marine life, before a large tourist boat arrived and, suddenly, there were about 60 people in the same reef.

After our glorious morning island journey, we headed back to rest before we embarked on an evening of Covid testing, then dinner. The ocean water and sun meant that our siesta was three hours long. But when on holidays, relax!

Once we got up, it was time to head over to the Covid testing centre, as it was 72 hours before our flight back to Canada.

There were numerous testing centres, all over Puerto Vallarta, with different prices and types of tests. Fortunately, because we were opposite a marina, the cruise ships arrived and a Covid testing centre was situated in the parking lot.

As we arrived, there were no other people there, except for a doctor and three assistants. The PCR test was 2,000 Mexican pesos. We simply scanned a QR code, filled out our information, paid, and got “jabbed” up the nose. They advised us that we would have the results by 10 p.m.

We headed off to the private marina area for dinner and to explore a different area of Puerto Vallarta. We stopped in for delicious tacos (possibly the best we’ve ever had) at a restaurant called Pezlimon.

While we were eating dinner, Ryan and I received our negative Covid test results! Approximately 90 minutes later, we had our only remaining Covid-related documentation to go back to Canada! 

Day 6 Going for a “rip,” eh Bud!

It was getting closer to the end of our trip and our quick negative Covid results gave us some relief in knowing we weren’t stuck in Mexico … so we went on a tour with Estigo Tours.

This was an ATV tour through the city and then into the mountains for ziplining. It was great fun trying to drive through the streets and up into the jungle again. Once on the dirt roads, it got very very dusty.

We made it to our ziplining place, in the jungle, at Canopy Tours. During the ziplining event, everyone had masks outside and under cover. We donned our harnesses and climbing helmets and enjoyed eight zipline adventures.

We had so much fun with this company and appreciated that the company had started as a small Mexican zipline company and then expanded to have so many activities, a beautiful restaurant, an infinity pool that overlooked the mountains, and great staff. We decided to book another adventure with them the next day.

After our zipline tour, we went back to town on an ATV and enjoyed the rest of our day eating and drinking, before our last day in Mexico.

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