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PV On the Cheap

Just outside the airport exit, budget travelers can hop a bus to the center of the city for under a US dollar. Book into Hostal Vallarta Suites just two blocks from the Malecón (boardwalk). Its rooftop terrace comes with views.
Spend the morning getting your sightseeing on. Stroll the Malecón with its monumental sculpture and busy street life. Tuesday mornings during the winter, there's a free guided tour

Take the self-guided tours of old town with its Our Lady of Guadalupe church, the Naval and Historical Museum (free admission) and Los Arcos, four striking arches and outdoor performance space. Check to see if any free concerts are scheduled.

Pick up lunch from a street vendor or check out the second-floor eateries at the Municipal Market
Head to the southern end of Los Muertos Beach. where you'll find the gay beach and two distinct sections known as the Blue Chairs and the Green Chairs. Ritmos Beach Café with the green chairs is a great spot for sunning, cruising or lounging under palapa umbrellas. You can claim a chaise by ordering a drink or plop down a towel for free. Stick around to watch the sun settle into the Pacific.

Take advantage of the many happy hours. Some bars have two a day; the gay-friendly La Fiesta has one pretty much all day with 15-peso beers and daily specials. Look for chalk boards advertising specials. Stop by Bella Napoli for an authentic wood-fired pizza.


As midnight approaches, hit the gay clubs like old standy-by Paco's Ranch, which goes until dawn. CC Slaughters, another popular late-night spot, has no cover; others have free entry before midnight. Also check for flyers wit special offers.