Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is in the state of Jalisco along the west coast of the country. It receives a fair amount of tourist traffic year-round because of its vicinity to coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean. If swimming in the salty ocean is not your thing, Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta, minutes away, have two large water parks with a number of activities at each to keep you occupied.
At Aquaventuras Park (aquaventuras.com), the whole family can find speed and excitement on the 10 water slides. When you want to relax and close your eyes, a float down the lazy river on a tube is the perfect activity. The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta (funsunmexico.com/nuevo-vallarta-grand-mayan.php) has a water park as part of its hotel amenities, although non-guests can access the water park for a small fee. It has a large slide that starts at the top of a Mayan pyramid and plunges into a wave pool. The park also has a lazy river similar to the one at Aquaventuras complete with tubes for floating.
Aquaventuras Park has "The Little Water World" for children. This smaller water park has shorter, low-speed slides and a paddling pool. Imagination goes far in this kids' area when playing on the pirate ship. Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta also has a shallow kids' area equipped with large mushrooms that shower down water and fountains that shoot up from the floor.
Aquaventuras offers close encounter adventures with dolphins and sea lions. Three levels of interactions with the dolphins are available, from simply being by them in the water to swimming with and on them. The sea lion encounter allows you to pet and hug the sea lions in the water. Book these close encounters before arriving in Puerto Vallarta to hold your spot.
When traveling to any water park, prepare yourself for the day by anticipating the sun and heat. Wear sunscreen and make sure to reapply throughout the day as you go in and out of the water. Wear other articles of sun protection, such as sunglasses and hats. If your skin feels hot to touch, shield it from the sun's rays by putting on a lightweight long-sleeved shirt. Bring extra money for food and water so you do not become fatigued because of high levels of activity. Don't forget your camera to capture all the fun.
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