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Puerto Vallarta

Introducing Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta – referred to simply as ‘Vallarta’ by its many aficionados – is one of Mexico’s liveliest and most sophisticated resort destinations. Stretching around the sparkling blue Bahía de Banderas (Bay of Flags) and backed by lush palm-covered mountains, one couldn’t ask for a better place to while away a cosmopolitan vacation. Each year millions come to laze on the dazzling sandy beaches, browse in the quirky shops, nosh in the stylish restaurants and wander through the picturesque cobbled streets or along its enticing malecón. If the pretty town beaches aren’t enough, you can venture out on cruises, horseback rides, diving trips and day tours – and be back in time for a late dinner and an even later excursion to one of the many sizzling nightspots on offer. Puerto Vallarta is also the gay beach capital of Mexico.

The ‘old’ town center, called Zona Centro, is the area north of Río Cuale, with the small Isla Cuale in the middle of the river. The city’s two principal thoroughfares are Morelos and Juárez, which sandwich the Plaza Principal. Many fine houses, quite a few owned by foreigners, are found further up the Río Cuale valley, also known as Gringo Gulch.

South of the river, the Zona Romántica is another tourist district with smaller hotels, restaurants and bars. It has the only two beaches in the city center – Playa Olas Altas and Playa de los Muertos. We’ve concentrated most of our listings in these eminently walkable downtown neighborhoods, which remain the heart and soul of Puerto Vallarta.

North of the city is a strip of giant luxury hotels, the Zona Hotelera; Marina Vallarta, a large yacht marina (9km from the city center); the airport (10km); the bus station (12km); and Nuevo Vallarta, a new area of hotel and condominium developments (18km). To the south of the city are a few more large resorts and some of the area’s most beautiful beaches.