Puerto Vallarta Information
Start Planning Your Mexico Vacation
Paradise Found: Puerto Vallarta
Tucked between the crystal-clear waters of Banderas Bay and the rocky terrain of the majestic Sierra Madres, Puerto Vallarta is Beach Eden. This escape haven is one of the most dynamic locales on the Gold Coast aka the Mexican Riviera. This dramatically beautiful area has inspired movies and has been the escape for ex-pats, artists and surfers. Generally, it's one of the best places on the planet to escape reality. It's also overflowing with gourmet cuisine, as well as music and culture. Whether it’s chic, thrilling nightlife that serves up all the flavor and color of traditional Mexican culture, the hypnotizing beauty of the region, or the quaint, rustic ranch towns with shops galore, vacationing in Puerto Vallarta is nothing less than sunsational.
Other Destinations in Mexico
The Swiss Army Knife of Destinations: Mexico
Let’s start with the east coast: Cancun’s got an epic party scene. Cozumel is the mecca for diving and snorkeling. Moving to the west coast, if you’re into adventure, head to Mazatlan to explore historic ruins or hit Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo for a similar vibe, but a bit more upscale. For those who want to escape into the wilds of nature, Huatulco and Mazanillo are your places to explore. Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos have majestic mountains that kiss their beachy shores along with aahmazing golf courses, breath-stealing resorts and delicious beaches. But Los Cabos, situated at the tip of Baja, where the shimmering Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific, not only has a hip party vibe, it also has the iconic Los Arcos, where you can slow down and let the beguiling magic of Mexico wash over you.
El Awesome: El Malecon
During waking hours, the "Malecon" or boardwalk, is bursting at the seams with lots of activities, vendors, and fresh sea breezes flowing through the palms. You’re smack dab in the heart of the city, which is a fun place to just hang, grab a cocktail–chillax. However, when the sun goes down on Sunday, get ready because things are about to get crankin’. The Sunday Night Festival is about to kick in. The promenade becomes electrically alive with vibrant street performers, a variety of vendors, hoppin’ music and much more. Put on your party flip flops and join in.
Star Struck: Hollywood on the Gold Coast
It might seem a bit odd, but the Puerto Vallarta you see to today owes much of its roots to Hollywood. Here’s why: Before the all the hoopla–the excitement, thrills and swanky resorts–Puerto Vallarta was just a small fishing village. It didn’t offer much as a tourist spot, but it did have an aesthetic appeal because of its primitive, natural beauty, something that would look smashing on film.
Enter Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and the famous filming in 1951 of “Night of the Iguana.” It also didn’t hurt that John Huston, the director, had a love for Mexico. Put all this together and bing, bang, boom, Puerto Vallarta became a thriving spot for silver screen darlings to vacay, as well as all the other gente the world over.
Nectar of the Gods: Tequila Time
Before the national beverage of Mexico became a party fav for raucous, booze-loving Spring Breakers, the rich heritage of tequila could be traced back to the ancient Mayans. Back then, tequila’s milky-like predecessor was used to fuel their most sacred of ceremonies. Lucky for those who live in the region (and like to party), Puerto Vallarta has the ideal climate for the blue agave plant, so it’s not surprising that the region is considered to be the birth place of tequila. With such a rich, tequila-drenched heritage, Puerto Vallarta attracts visitors who are psyched to tour the farms and distilleries, from which the cherished drink of Mexico is derived. Here's to you.
Ready Your Plastic: Shop ‘Til You Drop
While Playa Los Muertos–Beach of the Dead–received its name from the many ancient battles between pirates and the native tribes, it’s anything but scary or lifeless. These days, Playa Los Muertos is one of the most happenin’, rockin’ beaches in Puerto Vallarta and it has a little something for everyone. Want your hair braided or bargain jewelry? Got that. Local art or fresh seafood? Got that, too. Bring some cashola or your plastic and treat yourself. You only go around once.
Climate Cousins: Hawaii and Mexico
If you’ve ever been to Hawaii, you might have to pinch yourself when you arrive Puerto Vallarta to make sure you’re really in Puerto Vallarta. The sub-tropical climate is often compared to Hawaii’s. But it’s not a freak accident. Puerto Vallarta is located on the exact same latitude as the Hawaiian Islands, so it’s safe to say their climates are like sisters or cousins. With 300 sunny days a year, and that’s a lot, this Mexican gem on the Pacific is a safe bet for peeps who don’t want their much-deserved vacay to be rained out, and who want to stay a little closer to home base.
Puerto Vallarta Quick Facts
The main language in Puerto Vallarta is Spanish, but many in the tourism industry speak English.
The official currency is the peso, but USD is also accepted.
The standard electricity supply is 110 volts with two-prong outlets
All U.S. citizens must have a valid passport when traveling to and from Puerto Vallarta.
To be safe, it is recommended to drink and brush your teeth with bottled water ONLY.
Central Standard Time (UTC/GMT -5 hours)
The peak travel season for the Puerto Vallarta runs from December to April.