Mexicans like to eat late and holidays are an excuse to stay up as late as possible, children included.
In Puerto Vallarta, there are so many choices for New Year’s Eve, it’s hard to know where to start. Plan a place for dinner, the priority of the evening, either at home or out on the town. Keep in mind that traffic will be snarled, to put it mildly, and taxis will be running fewer and farther between from about 11 pm on. If you want a table down on the beach at Los Muertos, you might consider eating dinner there, too, as they are very popular.
Our first New Years Eve in Puerto Vallarta, we learned how to eat twelve grapes at midnight and make a wish on each one, marking the coming year and all the months. We started our tradition sometime later and instead of eating the grapes, which are very filling, we bring a bag of popcorn. About ten minutes before the bell begins to ring at the Cathedral, indicating the midnight hour, we pass them out to our group of friends, who have been previously informed of the event.
The fireworks last almost longer than one can lean back and stare at the sky but not a burst of sparkles should be missed. The inventiveness and creativity are incredible, becoming more so with each passing year. We love the fact that firecrackers aren’t generally part of the celebration. Fireworks shows in Puerto Vallarta are very well controlled. For an entertaining pastime, we recommend going to the Malecón a couple days before New Years Eve to watch the construction of how the fireworks displays are made.
Please, don’t take your dog to the beach. The fireworks are incredibly LOUD. Fireworks are packed in a shell that launched from a mortar. When we hear the boom-boom-boom as a continual noise, it’s because well-timed fireworks are exploding in designed compositions. Our pup would likely keel over with heart failure if exposed to such a racket. Do Fido a favor and leave him home, preferably crated or shut behind the bathroom door, with a thunder vest on, like he’d wear for lightning storms.
When the festivities have ended, there is usually a street dance on Olas Altas with hoards of people. It’s fun but crowded. Bars stay open later, and taco stands are swarming. DON’T DRIVE. There will be checkpoints at both ends of town, and it’s simply not worth the consequences of being pulled over, under the influence. Arrange or a ride, have a designated driver or wait for taxis to come back on shift.
Have a fantastic night, and we wish you the very best in the New Year!