Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - So much of what you are able to experience of a destination comes down to the timing of your visit, and this is the perfect week to be in Mexico as cities across the country celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The festival is in remembrance of when the Virgin Mary left her image imprinted upon a cloth as a way of revealing herself and her identity to a Mexican peasant back in 1531 - the cloth is currently housed at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in México City, where one of the largest fiestas takes place.
Across the country, Mexican Catholics participate in parades that symbolize pilgrimages, making the journey from their homes to the church on foot as an offering to the Virgin Mary. Although religious tourism isn't exactly everyone's thing, you will be very pleased to be in town during this time because of all the other things that come along with it.
The official feast - and biggest party - is tonight, December 12th, but the streets of Puerto Vallarta have been festive every night for the past week, including food vendors (think tacos and tamales on every corner,) parades, music, singing, and dancing. Not only does it make it easy to get some street grub, but it gives visitors a chance to experience a very local side of the city.
Vallarta is a big tourist destination, but these two weeks after Thanksgiving and before the Christmas holiday are pretty thin. Walking the streets at night, this celebration is clearly for the locals - not tourists - and you will feel that you are truly getting an authentic view of how the Mexican people throw down in the name of the Lord. It is also a great time of year weather-wise, as the humidity of the summer has passed and temperatures sit in the 80s with a nice breeze.
While the hustle and bustle of the city is definitely a good thing, keep this in mind when you are booking a place to stay. If you find a hotel or room for rent downtown, don't plan on going to bed early or sleeping late, as the noise from the street continues well into the night and the church bells are rung what seems like on the hour, every hour.Original Story