Lay of the Land
“[They] explored the countryside of Mexico in all its splendor and distress. They felt the change of season on their skin as they drove through shorter days and cooler evenings. By end of September, the edges of whatever road they took were lined with tall pink grass, which, as the sun sunk, bordered their passage in light. ”~Harriet Doerr
Punta Mita, like the Riviera Maya’s Mayakoba, is an upscale enclave of luxury hotels, spacious villas, fine dining and two world-class golf courses. As groomed and guarded as a gated community in Santa Barbara, the area feels more like a posh country club than a destination south of the border. For many, the exclusivity and security provides the kind of haven needed for a restful retreat; it’s popular with well-heeled families and celebs for a reason. For those who find the development too sterile, funky Sayulita sits twenty-five minutes north and offers a more authentic Mexican vibe.
Punta Mita is a 45-minute drive north of Puerto Vallarta. In season, direct flights connect Puerto Vallarta to Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles and Denver. Most visitors to the area – with the exception of villa renters – do not need automobiles. Hotels can arrange transportation to and from restaurants outside the resort, as well as from the airport. (There are many taxi companies offering services from the Puerto Vallarta airport, but the arrival is chaotic and a pre-arranged driver is easier, more comfortable and more reliable.) Those renting villas, however, may find a car useful for getting to the beach clubs since many are not directly on the water. Have the rental agency arrange for it to be dropped at the house to avoid the hassle of picking it up at the airport upon arrival.