Puerto Vallarta is... a day at the beach under
a palm-friged palapa, fine food in a secluded cortyard restaurant,
a tour by jeep into the forested foothills of the Sierra Madre,
cobblestoned streets, red tiled roofs and adobe houses, lazing
by a hotel pool being served cool drinks, a boat ride on Bahia
Banderas watching whales and matas play, shopping for handcrafts
and clothes and curious, mariachis in the plaza serenading, moonlight
walks, sunset strolls, fiestas, festivals and fireworks, fishing,
diving, sailing, traditional and modern, Magic!
Vallarta has been on the international tourism map for over 50
year. Many feel it is the one vacation area where a destination
in a single locale: the culture and traditions of old, and new,
Mexico combined with a sun, sea and sand resort ambience.
Here, in capsule
format, are the key elements of Puerto Vallarta's attraction and
Puerto Vallarta is on Central Standard Time
· Bahia de las
The magnificent bay, one of the world's
largest, that runs from Punta de Mita in the State of Nayarit
in the north to Cabo Corriente in the State of Jalisco in the
· Las Peñas.-
· A Variety of Villages.-
The three offshore rocks along the
bay's southern coast, an early landmark for ships and source of
the original name of Puerto Vallarta. Also known as Los Arcos.
Around the bay and inland are a number of intriguing
villages. North in Nayarit : Rincon de Guayabito, San Francisco
(San Pancho), Sayulita, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, the Valle de Banderas'
three towns and Bucerias. In Jalisco: Las Juntas, Ixtapa, El Pitillal
on the north side of PV and Mismalolla and Boca de Tomatlan on the
south side. Two major visitor villages behind the mountains : San
sebastian del Oeste and talpa de Allende. Most of these see an influx
of longer stay winter visitors.
|How do I get around? - Tip
Visitors can choose from many forms
of transportation once they are in Puerto Vallarta. Car and jeep
rentals offer independence and mobility in sightseeing and beach
excursions. Taxis are also a viable option. Remember to negotiate
taxi fare up front. For the more adventurous, public buses are available.
· Beaches .- Just too numerous
to list, and all around the Bay. The liveliest, perhaps, is Los
Muertos in Puerto Vallarta, just south of the Rio Cuale and the
most tranquil along the north shore along the road to Punta Mita.
· Jungle Spots .- South of town from Mismaloya:
Chino's Paraiso, Chico's Paradise and El Edén (food services
in all three). Also, via horseback into the hills.
· El Centro .- Old Town, or Viejo Vallarta,
popular for its traditional red-tiled roofs, whitewashed buildings,
cobblestone streets and hillside homes. Center for restaurants,
shops, galleries and government.
|Currency - Tip
The peso is the Mexican form of currency.
It is suggested that you exchange small amounts of U.S. dollars
for pesos. Major credit cards are also widely accepted. A pocket
calculator can also be helpful when you shop to help convert U.
S. dollars to pesos. Bartering when shopping outside of the resort
areas is practiced. U.S. dollars are accepted in the resort areas
but keep in mind any change that is due back will be in pesos. One
recommendation is to use a credit card which will present the daily
currency exchange on your next billing statement.
South of the Rio Cuale.- Something
of a continuation of El Centro. More shops and restaurants, especially
along the "Calle de los Cafes" (Basilio Badillo).
Plaza Principal.- The main
square of Puerto Vallarta, flanked by Presidencia Municipal (City
Hall) in the heart of El Centro.
The Malecon .- A sweeping
seafront promenade in the very center or town, a preferred spot
for strollers. Site of three symbolic statues: Caballito de Mar
(seahorse), La Fuente de los Delfines (fountain of the dolphins)
and Neptune and Serena (Neptune and the mermaid). Another promenade
lies along the inner Marina.
Los Arcos .- Open air amphitheater at the south
end of the Malecon.
Museo Manuel Lepe .- Dedicated to Vallart's famous
whimsical painter. South of the Rio Cuale (ask for directions.)
Cristo Resuscitado de El Pitillal .- Church in El
Pitillal village, 20 minutes from Vallarta. Noted for its five
meter cedar wood statue of Jesus.
Isla del Rio Cuale .- A botanical park along the river
separating downtown into north and south sections and dotted with
restaurants, shops and galleries.
· Mercado Municipal .- Sometimes
called the flea Market, a real Mexican market adjacent to the
Rio Cuale populated by souvenir and food vendors.
· Museo Rio Cuale .- A small, attractive museum
on the Isla de Rio Cuale.
· La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
.- Puerto Vallarta's unique landmark, the central church in
the center of town topped by its one-of-a-kind crown.
· Gringo Gulch .- Colorful name given to an
area over looking the River Cuale in the central district. Site
of some of the first homes of resident foreigners.
|· Casa Kimberly .-
Former home of Elizabeth Taylor in Gringo Gulch, purchased during
the filming of "Night of the Iguana" Richard Burton's home just
across the street. Now open as a B&B and for home tours.
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|Conchas Chinas .- A major
seaside area of villas and condominium apartments just south of
.- Small cove area well south of town. Location site of the
film "Night of Iguana." Restaurants and hotels.
Boca de Tomatlan .- Spectacular
cove eight miles south of PV, below Mismaloya. Restaurants; also
boats available to Las Animas, Quimixto and Yelapa.
Las Animas, Quimixto and Yelapa .- Three delightful
isolated beaches accessible only by boat (tours from the PV Port
and by boats available at Los Muertos beach and Boca de Tomatlan.
Restaurants at all three; overnight accommodations at Yelapa.
Ixtapa .- Small town just to the north of Puerto
Vallarta. Site of new archeological discoveries of pre-Columbian
San Sebastian del Oeste .- Interesting
old mining town in the hills beyond Puerto Vallarta. Most easily
accessed by air. Restored hacienda accommodations.
Talpa de Allende .- Picturesque town south of
San Sebastian and site of an important annual pilgrimage to the
"Walking Virgen of Talpa." Hacienda accommodations available.
Night Life .- After dark in Puerto Vallarta
just gets better and better. At the Marine, the major hotels offer
fiestas, and discos and a new entertainment complex is something
not be missed. Live rock and jazz are featured at over a dozen
high-activity pubs and discos in El Centro and South of the Rio
|Proof of Citizenship - Tip
Acceptable forms of proof
of citizenship for U.S. citizens traveling between the U.S. and
our International Destinations are a valid passport, OR a certified,
state issued birth certificate with raised seal AND a valid government
photo ID, a naturalization/citizenship certificate, Armed Forces'
ID or discharge papers stating place of birth. It is the traveler's
responsibility to provide proper documentation. Married women
traveling with any documentation in their maiden name must supply
a marriage license (a copy is acceptable).
Special Events in Vallarta:
"Torneo de Pez Vela." Annual
international sailfish tournament in November. 1993 marks the
"San Diego to Puerto
Vallarta Annual Regatta", Starts off the yachting season in
late fall and heralds the arrival of ocean racers and fancy motor
"Tributo a la Virgen
de Guadalupe" Tribute to the Virgen of Guadalupe the first
12 days of each December. Daily evening processions to the church
from various "colonias" or residential sections, of the town.
"Fiesta de Puerto
Vallarta" Parades and other events for visitors in December.
"Charreadas" Mexican-style rodeos
throughout the Bahia de Banderas on weekends. Lively and fun,
especially in the towns in Valle de las Banderas.
"Mariachi.: The typical, lively gusty musical groups
of Jalisco. Most evenings about town in various hotels and restaurants.
Semana Santa (Easter)
Fireworks, dancing and food
Fiesta de Mayo (May)
A celebration with sports contests, music, art shows
Independence Day (September 15th)
Celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe (December)
A fiesta honoring Mexico's patron saint
Typical Products of Puerto Vallarta Include
hand-made huaraches (sandals of leather),lamps and other blown
glass works, artifacts of the Huichol indians and wood carvings.
Other traditional Mexican items readily available
include sombreros and other hats; sarapes and carpets; equipale,
rustic and colonial furniture; various potteries and ceramics,
jewelry - especially silver and clothing ranging from sports and
beach wear to creative designs of daily and evening wear.
|Attractions - Tip
- Vidafel Aqua Park
Water slides, family fun
- Museo Rio Cuale
A museum housing a small collection of paintings and pre-Columbian
- Los Arcos
The area's signature landmark
- Club Internacional de Amistad (Friendship Club)
Conducts seasonal tours through some of Puerto Vallarta's showplace
- Take a walk down the malecon (waterfront promenade) to
get a taste Mexican architecture and culture.
|Recreation - Tip
- Horseback Riding
- Scuba Diving
- Jet/Water Skiing
|Shopping - Tip
- Mercado Municipal. An open-air market with
clothing, handicrafts, food, more
- Pueblo Viejo
- Cuale River Island
- Along the malecon (waterfront promenade)
- The Marina
- Along Juarez and Morelos streets
- Marina Plaza
- Villa Vallarta
- Plaza Caracol
|Nightlife - Tip
Hard Rock Café
No Name Café
Restaurant Café des Artistes