For most people, the transition from a work lifestyle to a retired lifestyle is often a difficult one. Work often helps fill up eight hours of our day, so when we retire, how are do we continue to fill them, productively? Below are some ideas that other Puerto Vallarta and Nayarit retirees are engaged in and you may enjoy as well. We’ll keep adding to the list as we think of more.
Golf is a favorite pastime for many in Puerto Vallarta. There are three courses in Vallarta and six in Riviera Nayarit on the north side of the bay. Although often challenging, it happens to be a sport that can be enjoyed at any age and at any level of expertise. And one is never too old to learn, or to get better as there is always room for improvement in golf. So now that you have a little more time on your hands, maybe you want to improve your chipping, putting or driver. It’s also a great way to meet other people as there are numerous tournaments or weekly golf get togethers held throughout the year. Click here for a directory of golf courses in Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit.
Surfing has traditionally been viewed as a young person’s sport, but that is no longer the case. Today you’ll find many in the line-up at a break that are well over 50 years of age. Surfboard improved design has made it easier, but the transition to stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) has brought many back to enjoying surfing, and many to begin enjoying surfing for the first time. Approaching a wave when you are already standing up, and having a paddle in your hands, can make it much easier to not only catch a wave, but also to get back out to catch the next one. You can begin with a longer and wider board, so balance is not a problem, and as you improve you can make your way down to shorter and narrower board. So if you’ve always dreamed about learning to surf, SUP can make that a reality at any age. There are people doing it well into their 80s.
Paddle boarding or Kayaking
But you don’t have to surf to enjoy getting out on the water, paddle boarding in itself is a fun activity that is like going for a walk but on water. Banderas Bay’s waters are usually calm and not windy, so it is perfect for paddling. And there are so many great places to do it around the bay. Favorite locations are Los Muertos, anywhere along the Hotel Zone, in front of Marina Vallarta, Boca de Tomatlan, Mismaloya, Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerias, La Cruz, and El Anclote. Enjoy it with a group of friends and enjoy a breakfast/brunch afterwards at one of the many beachside restaurants. Many beach clubs now have boards, but if you are interested in taking lessons (one is enough, you’ll be up for sure on your first one) and perhaps getting a board of your own, visit Pacific Paddle. And again, it can be started and enjoyed at any age.
Yoga is now enjoyed by people of all ages and gender, and it is a great exercise and practice to ensure we remain flexible and supple. There are numerous places that offer classes, and most become very active social places as well. My favorite is Davannayoga.
Boating - fishing, diving, snorkelling and more
A big part of Vallarta is the ocean and bay. To really know Vallarta you have to get out on the water. There is just so much going on as the bay is teaming with life and there are places to explore that are only accessible by boat. There are a number of ways to get out on the water and activities to enjoy, such as diving, fishing, skiing/boarding, swimming and snorkeling. The most practical way is to just rent for the day one of the many “pangas” (those boats you see continually passing along the shoreline), that will take you wherever you may want to go: whale watching, Las Animas, Quimixto or Yelapa, or the Las Marietas Islands. There are also sailboats available to rent, or luxury yachts. If you are interested in having your own boat, there are three first-class marinas to dock it, and excellent boating facilities for dry dock and repair. Get a copy of Vallarta Nautica for more information.
Tennis has been popular in Vallarta for many years, before there were any golf courses around the bay. The most popular tennis club is an Canto Vallarta, which offers regular play and memberships for locals and visitors. Many hotels as well offer access to outsiders, you just have to ask around which one’s do so.
For those who enjoy horseback riding, there are great options and great prices, following streams through the jungle of the Sierra Madre, or even overnighting it on a three-day tour to Mascota. My favorite is Rancho El Charro, who’ve been offering these tours for as long as I can remember.
Vallarta Adventures Activities
Vallarta Adventures is the largest supplier of tourism activities in the region and they offer locals a 20% discount if they want to participate in any of their tours or activities. Canopy tours, swimming with dolphins, snorkeling and diving, boat trips, paddle boarding, and much more. Visit their website to see all they have to offer and when contacting them by email or phone, let them know you are a local.
There are many reasons for one to want to learn or improve their Spanish when living in Puerto Vallarta. First, most obviously, it is the language of the land. Knowing it will make it easier for you to make your way around town, and converse with locals, but it will also allow you to understand the culture better. There are many places that offer language classes, but in group format or private lessons. A good place to start online is with Duolingo.
Learn to Paint or Write
Is there an inner artist within you, or an inspiring writer? Art classes are available and there’s a writer’s group that meets regularly. They can provide guidance and inspiration. Check out ArtVallarta and the Puerto Vallarta Writer's Group.
Go to the Movies
Going to the movies in Puerto Vallarta is extremely inexpensive, and if you're a local and can prove it, you get a discount which makes it all the more affordable. $30 pesos per person with your discount - compare that to what you pay back home in the USA or Canada.
Join a Club
There’s garden clubs, and books clubs, and many other associations where people with similar interests get together to share time and expertise with their hobbies. These tend to be a little more personal and private, with most invitations coming via word or mouth or invitation. If you’re interested, best thing to do is start asking around.
Get involved with a Non-Profit Organization
There’s numerous NPOs that are always in need of support. This is a great way to give back and there's a number of options to choose from. Not only are you helping out those in need but it can be personally rewarding, as well as a wonderful way to meet new people. Banderas News has a great list with contact information.
Theater and Cultural Events
In the past few years Vallarta has become more and more active with live theater and cabaret-type acts taking place, primarily in the Emiliano Zapata/Los Muertos area. They are not only worthy of supporting, many are first-class acts that you will very much enjoy.