Puerto Vallarta is a synonym for picturesque romance. Your Puerto Vallarta vacation will be full of excitement, fun, relaxation, tranquility, good food, friendly people, and especially, close contact with pure nature. The Night of the Iguana was the night that lit up the future of Puerto Vallarta with stars in 1964 when a beach south of this coastal town was chosen as the natural setting to shoot the Tinseltown classic.
From downtown's cobblestone streets to the most sophisticated services in luxurious hotels, Vallarta is a place that offers the perfect mix of rest, fun, activity, and tranquility. Today it is simply the sixth most popular resort in the world.
The beauty of this place is revealed from the air as a small, colonial city surrounded by a tropical jungle, nestled on the shores of Bay of Banderas, the largest bay in Mexico and second largest in North America. Puerto Vallarta seems to climb from the blue Pacific into the jade mountains of the Sierra Madre, the mere view of which inspires the deepest feelings. The downtown area centers on the town plaza and the landmark Church of Guadalupe with its famous filigree crown.
You will notice that Puerto Vallarta is a magical place with a gorgeous touch that not just any other beach venue has. It combines the essence and warmth of a colonial village reflecting ancient Mexico with the great comfort and technology of a modern tourist venue.
This becomes clear when you see Marina Vallarta, the most modern and sophisticated zone in Puerto Vallarta. Practice your swings on championship golf courses, rent a slip in the luxurious marina, or be a guest in one of the most chic hotels in Vallarta. Visit El Faro, take the crystal elevator, and at the top, drink a delicious cocktail while admiring the beauty of Marina Vallarta.
The other side of the coin is the Romantic Zone, or Old Vallarta as you may also have heard it called. Take a walk along the exquisite, cobblestone Malecon and contemplate the little houses with their tiled roofs and balconies full of multicolored flowers.
You cannot leave this place without a memento from your marvelous vacation. Like everything else here, merchandise is varied and from different places but many of the items you find are crafted by locals who have produced their wares with methods that have not changed much for hundreds of years. You will find small stands with artisans proudly selling their hand-made merchandise. Because of all this and more, your Puerto Vallarta vacation will become an amazing, life-long memory.
Playa los Muertos is the liveliest of the beaches despite its name. ("Muertos" means "dead.") By day it is packed with tanned bodies, and at night it is crowded with party seekers. This is due to its convenient downtown location and because it is the best spot to catch one of those famous Vallarta sunsets. Besides many hotels, there are dozens of restaurants, cafes al fresco, and bars worth visiting.
Playa de Oro is a wide, sandy beach north of town, with outcroppings of rocks here and there. Due to the water sports it offers, it is frequented by locals as well as visitors. Heading north towards Bahia de Banderas, beaches are more and more tranquil until you reach Punta Mita, from where many tours depart in winter for humpback-whale watching. Destiladeras is one that you will greatly enjoy.
Farther ahead are the Islas Marietas, which have been declared a Bird Sanctuary. Activities like bird watching and snorkeling are magnificent in these surroundings. Excursions can be hired from most of the beaches in the north bay. That was the night of the iguana; the next day is all yours. Enjoy it in Puerto Vallarta!