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 beautiful 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 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.
Best places to stay in Puerto Vallarta
Top gay-friendly destinations
Here's our top ten list of gay and lesbian cities in the world. 1. San Francisco, USA Image by tedeytan Rainbow flags adorn apartment windows and bar entrances in many San Francisco neighbourhoods, with nearly every bar and business in the Castro catering to gays and lesbians.
Puerto Vallarta destination guides
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Puerto Vallarta Small Group Roundtrip Airport Transfer
To make the most of your vacation in Puerto Vallarta, be sure to book roundtrip airport transfers and save both time and money! Get to and from your hotel comfortably and with the minimum of fuss and stress.
Puerto Vallarta Sunset Cruise and Candlelight Dinner Show
By night, Las Caletas is transformed into a magical paradise and the perfect setting for this exclusive evening excursion. Rhythms of the Night is an amazing journey that will transport you to a spiritual land that time forgot. History, culture and natural beauty make for an unforgettable night out in Puerto Vallarta.