Vallarta was just another humble village until 1954, when planes filled with tourists first landed on a dirt airstrip in Emiliano Zapata, an area that is now the center of Vallarta. A decade later John Huston chose the nearby deserted cove of Mismaloya as a location for the film of Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana. Hollywood paparazzi descended on the town to report on the tempestuous romance between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Vallarta suddenly became world-famous, with an aura of steamy tropical romance. Travelers have been pouring in ever since.