Puerto Vallarta – Not just Sun, Sand, Surf and Margaritas
If you always thought that going to Puerto Vallarta meant only sun, surf, sand and margaritas then think again. This area is now one of Mexico’s newest hotspots for excellent golf.
Puerto Vallarta golf can best be divided into three locations: Puerto Vallarta the city, east of town in the Sierra Madre foothills and north of town in the Nuevo Vallarta and Punta Mita areas.
In the marina area of downtown Puerto Vallarta is the Marina Vallarta Golf Club. This par 71 layout by Joe Finger is a championship style track hard by Banderas Bay with excellent views of the Pacific shoreline. While it may lack the varied topography of the Vista Vallarta courses it makes up for it with lagoons, lush vegetation and native wildlife. Its close location to town makes this a convenient and playable option for all.
Vista Vallarta is home to two championship layouts: The Nicklaus Signature Course and the Tom Weiskopf golf course. Located in the Sierra Madre foothills just east of town, both of these designs feature dramatic rolling terrain and wonderful vistas throughout the round.
The Weiskopf course is a bit tighter than the Nicklaus eighteen and is set in a denser more jungle like setting than the Nicklaus counterpart. It rolls over hills, through arroyos and along ridge tops that offer exciting elevation changes and plenty of challenges for golfers of all abilities.
The Nicklaus course is a bit more forgiving from the tee but features more undulating greens that will surely test your short game. As with the Weiskopf course, rolling foothills of dense forest dominate the amazing vistas.
To the north of town lies Neuvo (new) Vallarta with its array of all inclusive properties, shops, restaurants and golf. This newer development is a self contained community about 25 minutes from town. It lies along the Pacific ocean and features the El Tigre and the Mayan Resorts Nuevo Vallarta courses. These courses will remind you of many layouts in southern Florida as they are more open, have less elevation changes but do feature plenty of watery challenges. Factor in the potential for wind and you will be faced with enough challenges to test any level of play.
The Nickalus private course at the Four Seasons Resort in Punta Mita is probably the tops in the area. The 25 mile drive from the international airport circles Banderas Bay and leaves you wondering where thus all leads to. The answer is a very private and magical destination with a hotel, spa and an amazing golf course set in a 1500 acre natural reserve.
The Pacifico Golf Course features eight sea or bayside holes with white sand beaches, the Sierra Madre foothills and the occasional migrating whale thrown in to distract you.
All in all, Puerto Vallarta is an amazing destination for sun, surf and championship golf with enough variety to keep you coming back for years to come.