We have been living in a delightful neighborhood in Puerto Vallarta for the last three weeks called Colonia 5 de Diciembre. It’s just north of the Centro neighborhood, where the town square is located at the famous Catholic church. We can see the dome of the church at night from our balcony in the distance. Our neighborhood was the first developed north of the Centro area. All of the neighborhoods are relatively small here, and can change within a half mile or less. Colonia 5 de Diciembre has captured my heart.
Here are random things I love about this neighborhood, in no particular order.
- It’s quiet and tranquil here, unlike parts of Colonia Emiliano Zapata, or the Romantic Zone. We stayed in the Romantic Zone, also called Old Town, near Los Muertos beach during December. We had a great time. The Diciembre hood just has a calmer feel. Fewer tourists on a days-long party before they go back to the daily grind.
- The municipal fields that I walk to nearly every morning so I can jog on the track and use the resistance machines. Incredible city planning gives everyone the green space to work out at this wonderful free spot. There are several fields for different sports such as soccer and baseball, there is a great track, a skate park, a boxing ring and more. (This is actually in the next neighborhood over from Diciembre. It’s called Colonia Lazaro Cardenas. It’s about a half-mile from where we are renting.)
- I pass the same people each day on my walks and not only are they pleasant – some of them know my name! Mexican people are, generally speaking, kind-hearted, including everyone I’ve met here in this ‘hood.
- This hood has its own church and square with events, although much smaller than the main Catholic church in the Centro neighborhood. There is entertainment like dancing and singing on Tuesday and Friday nights on a stage in the park across from the church, and there are several vendors set up for meals and snacks.
- Colonia 5 de Diciembre has its own wonderful grocery store with incredible prices. It’s called Ley’s and we would rather shop here than Walmart any day of lives.
- The malecon starts on the north end about four blocks from where we are renting. We enjoy sunsets and evening strolls on this end of the malecon, heading towards Los Muertos. The malecon is only about a mile long, so it’s not long before you have totally changed neighborhoods and hit the Romantic Zone.
- Playa Camarones (Shrimp Beach) is three blocks from our place, and I’ve grown to love this beach. It’s far less crowded than Los Muertos. Yes, it does have many rocks, and yes, the waves till can crash violently against the shore – but you’re on the Pacific, not the Caribbean. (‘Calm’ beaches are around, but you have to travel outside PV proper to beaches like Mismaloya or Playes Gamellas.)
- The views from the hills in this neighborhood – and others – are stunning. I’ve walked up to top at a few spots just to see what I can see. And we met a woman who lives in a home at the top of one of the hills, and she invited us into her home where we enjoyed the view and some refreshments. It’s inspiring. She’s more proof of great people living in this area.
This is not an all-inclusive list. These are just off the top of my head and they came to me as I was reviewing some of the pictures I’ve taken over the last three weeks. We are staying her another nine days, so I’ll sure make the most of it. And if you are coming to Puerto Vallarta and want to try something other than the Romantic Zone/Old Town, give this cute neighborhood a look. I’m sure glad we did!