FISHING: All manner of marine life inhabits the surrounding waters: marlin, sailfish, dolphin, red snapper, yellowtail and a score of others can be caught within the bay or just outside. Deep-sea fishing boats, equipped with tackle, bait and beer, are available on the waterfront. Mexicana Airlines has a fleet of three trim boats for charter. Rates are $50 a day. Smaller craft, including sailboats, are for hire at rates of $1.60 per hour and up. Surf casting is generally good in the coves south of town. A popular local sport is harpooning the huge (3,000 pounds) devilfish, or manta ray, that inhabits the bottom of the bay. Once speared from a native dugout canoe towed behind an outboard, the winged monsters are good for a thrilling ride and sometimes jump as high as 20 feet in the air. Jack Cawood, a one-time journalist who owns and operates the Playa de Oro Hotel, will arrange a manta ray hunt on request.
HUNTING: In the jungle there are jaguar, ocelot, deer, boar, ducks, turkeys and iguana, to name a few. (Iguanas, which can be cooked into a tasty ragout, with skin left over for shoes and belts, are best caught on the rocks, with rod and reel, baited with a tasty hibiscus blossom.) Angelo Gutierrez will arrange hunting expeditions into the selva at the rate of $8 per person a day. HORSES: Next to the jeep, horses are the principal means of transportation around Vallarta. They are for hire everywhere in town, for a breezy canter down the beach, or a dreamy ride through the jungle trails under a canopy of palms, orchids and screaming parrots. Rates: 40� an hour.
SHOPPING: The boutique thrives like the bougainvillea—a harbinger of creeping civilization. Nelly's (see page 39) is the most stylish shop in town, with a branch on the beach. She also exports her resort clothes to New York's Henri Bendel. Fun Clothes, on Los Muertos beach, has vivid and nutty muumuus, which are de rigueur for the chic turistas of Puerto Vallarta. Along Avenida Juarez there are shops that purvey fine products of gold, silver, leather and other native crafts at bargain prices.
DINING AND DANCING: The local cuisine—especially the seafood—is superior to the best in Acapulco. All of the hotels and a handful of good restaurants—Del Mar, Los Jardines, La Margarita and, on the beach, La Palapa—offer fine food at about $2 for dinner. Night life is limited, but lively. Some of the bar-restaurants have acts from Guadalajara, and the mariachi bands are all over the place. At La Palapa it is worth the price of a drink to watch the enthusiastic young aristos dancing the tweest.