Tranquil Places for Clearing the Mind

Not long ago a neighbor invited me to breakfast at his beautiful restaurant located on the Island of the River Cuale where the river flows into the bay. The large elegant restaurant sits in the middle of a luscious garden overlooking both the river and the sea.  I have passed by so many times and admired the beautiful grounds as an incredible location for events and special celebrations since I am always thinking of music and great places to hear it.  I guess I thought it too intimidating for me for a simple breakfast or lunch.  Not so.

My table on the open covered patio overlooked the lawn on the riverbank and the service was gracious and friendly.  I arrived with thoughts of a good Mexican artisanal chocolate and fresh sweet bread baked in the Mexican style. The soft jazz playing in the background with the sound of gentle waves from the sea created exactly the atmosphere I was looking for in my particularly introspective mood on that early February Monday morning.  The chocolate was perfect and the breads delicate and delicious.

This time of year is so full of possibilities for entertainment that sometimes I need to distance myself a tiny bit and find tranquil places to spend a morning or afternoon.  Where do I go?  One of my favorites is the botanical gardens south of the city just past Boca de Tomatlan, where besides strolling through the incredible grounds, I can relax on their restaurant’s deck over looking the canyon sampling their wonderful menu while nature absolutely glides by me in the form of exotic birds, butterflies and the river below.  I enjoy going for a swim in the cold waters when the day is warm enough or just finding a quiet corner in the gardens, and there are plenty, to read a book.  You can get there by bus, taxi or auto.

Another sweet hideaway is Eden just east of Mismaloya reached by a rustic unpaved road. For me it is

somewhat of a challenge to get there as I don’t have a car, but when I go, I completely relax swimming in the numerous ponds the river forms as it cascades down the mountain through the jungle. A hike up the river, while difficult in places, is also rewarding.  These are definitely Thoreau moments that inspire and cleanse.

Then there is the sea itself.  When my family visits we hire a boat and after some snorkeling, explore the beautiful shore from the silence of the bay viewing sea life along the way.  Sometimes we pull in to a secluded beach like Colomitos or Quimixto and pretend we are Robinson Crusoe.

The excitement of the Puerto Vallarta area is enthralling but taking an hour, a day or more out to discover the tranquil side, away from the crowds, is invigorating and well worth the effort.

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