Somehow four years snuck by between the last time I visited Puerto Vallarta and my recent visit to this beautiful place. It didn’t take me long to remember why I love it so much though. From the friendly, welcoming people to the stunning vistas, it makes for an ideal vacation spot.
I was eager to touch down at Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport to see firsthand how this popular tourist destination was handling the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
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With limited flights available from MKE to PVR, I was forced to fly on American Airlines instead of my preferred airline, Delta Air Lines. I was quickly reminded why I choose to fly Delta and what makes the company stand apart: the continuation of blocking middle seats, boarding the plane from back to front and the extreme cleanliness of all areas in the cabin. In addition, the customer service with almost every Delta employee I’ve come in contact with is unmatched.
When I arrived at the airport in Puerto Vallarta, it was busier than I expected. The line seemed longer than it actually was because travelers were spaced out following the floor markers as best they could. I did speak with other travelers upon arriving at the resort, and they saw an entirely different scene – an almost completely empty airport – so it really just depends on when you fly in.
Denise Canon, President and CEO of Travel Concepts Inc., along with a few members of her team, recently spent a week in Puerto Vallarta touring a handful of resorts. She was impressed with the protocols implemented at the airport.
“I was super impressed with the Puerto Vallarta airport – both at arrival and departure. They have designed and implemented a system without any roadblocks – only seamless processes,” Canon said.
Enjoyable memories flooded back to me during the drive from the airport to Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, the resort I was staying at. The cobblestone streets and glimpses of the various shops and restaurants near the Malecon reminded me how charming this destination is.
I was excited to see downtown bustling with both locals and tourists. The nice thing about this area is that there is so much to do outdoors, so travelers don’t have to worry about being in close quarters with others.
John Frazier, Franchise Partner with Expedia Cruises, stayed both in the downtown area at a hotel and at an all-inclusive resort in Puerto Vallarta and saw consistency in the health and safety protocols.
“Even off the main drags masks were being worn, temperature checks, foot sanitation mats, and hand sanitizer were consistently utilized,” Frazier explained.
My arrival at Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta was similar to recent arrivals at other resorts in various destinations. I was of course met with friendly faces; my luggage, shoes and hands were sanitized; my temperature was taken, and everyone was wearing masks.
I noticed several other health and safety measures in place throughout my stay at Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta. Sanitizer dispensers are located everywhere. Masks are worn. Social distancing is a breeze, as the resort is not booking to full occupancy. Guests can access activities, menus and any other information they need on their personal devices by simply scanning a QR code.
Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, along with several other resorts, offers complimentary COVID-19 testing for tourists returning to the United States. The process was seamless, and the documentation of results was ready within a few hours.
Overall, both Cannon and Frazier, in addition to myself, were impressed with how Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding areas are handling the current situation.
“I feel this destination is rock solid with all protocols they have embraced to ensure safety for all visitors and with their residents and businesses. Each hotel I stayed / visited did an amazing job – hotel staff and guests complied, and it was noticeable that guests were enjoying their vacation experiences,” Cannon shared.
Frazier agreed: “I would not hesitate to go back. Health and safety protocols were on par or even a little better than the ones that are in place in my hometown.”
All in all, those looking to step outside of the U.S. for a vacation experience shouldn’t hesitate to book a trip to the lovely Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.