Besides the beach, there's plenty to see in Puerto Vallarta


December 23, 2007|By San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News

We're visiting Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, this month. Any suggestions on things to see and do? What about weather? Here are a few ideas if the beach gets too boring:

Visit the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens (vallartabotanicalgar, located about 12 miles south of town, and stroll among 20 acres of more than 3,000 species of plants. It's open Tuesday through Sunday, starting at 9 a.m.

Or see the zoo, Zoologico de Vallarta (, with more than 350 inhabitants. You can even feed the hippos and bears. The newly opened Navy Museum might also be worth a peek. It's free and is intended to preserve the country's maritime history. Located in El Centro, the gardens are open Tuesday through Sunday, starting at 10 a.m.

As for weather, think warm. Average daytime highs are in the mid-80s, average lows range from 65 to 74. Anything more than a light jacket is probably too much. You also might see an occasional storm.

A recent item said United Airlines frequent-flier miles were not transferable upon death. But my husband died this year, and I was able to get his United miles transferred to me for a $75 fee.

We heard the same thing from a couple of readers and asked United to give us a clarification.

Although the airline insists its policy does not permit spouses or heirs to claim unused miles when someone dies, it does make exceptions.

Here's what spokeswoman Robin Urbanski told us in an e-mail after we inquired about a reader who was able to claim his father's unused miles:

"The policy is that the miles are not transferable. In this case, we made an exception and transferred miles to the beneficiary of the estate as an accommodation to the member's families and loved ones."

Urbanski said the airline handles requests on a case-by-case basis.

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