Framed by the Sierra Madre Mountains, this characterful resort town on Mexico's Pacific coast is a kaleidoscope of colour. Mix in friendly locals and a quieter, boho side for a truly irresistible getaway
Nestling high above Banderas Bay lies pin-drop peaceful hideaway Hacienda San Angel. Beguiling and beautiful, its suites are dressed with magnificent carved oak beds, gilded mirrors and scores of oil paintings, while the oh-so-pretty courtyards burst with vibrant bougainvillea. Add in stunning views – you can gaze out across Puerto Vallarta's russet rooftops to catch glimpses of whales playing in the Pacific – and the whole experience is mesmerising. The gentle trickle of water from the fountains provides the soundtrack for your stay and even without a spa on site, you'll have no trouble unwinding here.
Make like the locals and go to El Campanario for a lunch of crispy tacos washed down with agua de piña. Much-lauded Café des Artistes serves inventive, indulgent combinations in a peaceful courtyard setting, while Joe Jack's Fish Shack is a must for seafood fans. Rooftop restaurant Hacienda San Angel Gourmet gazes out over the ocean and dishes out impossibly good international cuisine.
Head to the Old Town area, also known as Zona Romantica, for quirky little boutiques selling local artworks, homeware and handmade clothing in rainbow hues. Lucy's CuCu Cabaña offers a great selection of Mexican folk art and handcrafted jewellery, while Mundo de Cristal is a must for beautiful hand-blown glassware.
If you tire of kicking back on the silky white sands, then saunter along the colourful streets and soak up the local art scene on a guided tour. The neo-baroque church La Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe dominates the downtown skyline and is well worth seeing up close.
Rooms at Hacienda San Angel begin at £232 per night on a bed and breakfast basis; visit mrandmrssmith.com to book online or call Smith24 on 0330 100 3180. Aeromexico flies from London to Puerto Vallarta from £337 one way via Mexico City.