Puerto Vallarta hotels

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Puerto Vallarta Rundown

Puerto Vallarta is a premier resort vacation spot in Mexico that caters to tourists, and it is no surprise that this town's economy relies heavily on tourism. The people there are friendly, speak English and will go out of their way to help guests feel at home and truly enjoy their stay.

Most people will visit Puerto Vallarta for its beaches and resorts. One of the more fun family-oriented beaches to visit is Playa de los Muertos, or ‘Beach of the Dead’. The name may appeal to the Goth in you, but do not be fooled. It is just as sunny and upbeat as the rest of the beaches in Puerto Vallarta, and it is one of the best places to listen to Mariachi bands or do some unabashed people watching.

Puerto Vallarta is number six on the list of the most gay-friendly vacation spots with its very rowdy and welcoming gay scene. There is an exclusive Gay Beach and artists’ community that caters to visitors within this niche. There are also many venues offered by resorts, cruise lines, bars and hotels in Puerto Vallarta that roll out the rainbow flags specifically to target gay tourism.

Puerto Vallarta Top 10

10. Whale Watching/Sea Turtles Many companies offer eco-tours with whale-watching or kayaking and hiking excursions to see sea turtle hatching sites.

5. Cuale Museum The exhibits in this museum are mostly ancient historical relics such as pottery, figurines and utensils, but there are also rotating art exhibitions in Museo del Cuale.

9. Golfing Puerto Vallarta has some of the most beautiful courses in the world, including La Marina Vallarta, Los Flamingos, El Tigre and Vista Vallarta, which was the host course for the World Cup in 2002.

4. Sea Life Park by Dolphin Discovery A water park in Puerto Vallarta where you can ride dolphins and watch them perform along with other sea mammals.

8. Yoga Take a sunset or sunrise yoga class in one of the lovely yoga studios in Puerto Vallarta, such as Davanna Yoga or Yoga Vallarta.

3. Snorkelling, scuba diving, and para-sailing: These are top water activities among a host of other aquatic pastimes in Puerto Vallarta.

7. Splash Parque Acuático This is a great water park for kids to play on the water slides and see some dolphin shows.

2. Explore the Sierra Madre Book a fun, guided off-road tour or excursion and take an ATV up mountain trails to see this majestic range.

6. Church of Our Lady Guadelupe Cathedral Also called ‘Templo de Guadelupe’, this landmark is a revered icon of Puerto Vallarta.

1. Canopy Tour/Zip-line adventures You can ride zip lines or gondolas to see an aerial view of all the natural wonders in Puerto Vallarta.

Puerto Vallarta History

  • Old Vallarta – The streets of the oldest section of this Mexican city are paved with cobblestones and lined with vendors of various crafts.
  • The Church of Our Lady Of Guadalupe – Finished in 1952, this is the focal point of the 12-day celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe in December, featuring mariachis and Aztec dancers.
  • Mismaloya – The Puerto Vallarta beach captured in the 1963 film, "Night of the Iguana."
  • Gringo Gulch – This neighborhood is the location of the first settlement of foreigners in Puerto Vallarta.
  • La Presidencia – City Hall is located close to all the major sights of Puerto Vallarta.

Puerto Vallarta Art & Culture

  • Teatro Saucedo – This theatre once housed a casino and is still home to dramatic performances of all sorts.
  • Friendship Fountain – This sculpture was a gift from the American city of Santa Barbara.
  • The Art Walk – Every other Thursday, the art galleries stay open late to allow free entrance and the chance to speak with real artists.
  • The Manuel Lepe Museum – This gallery features the art of Lepe, whose work represents the essence of the Puerto Vallarta style.
  • Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe – The Stations of the Cross inside this cathedral were crafted by the sculptor Jesus Ramirez.

Puerto Vallarta Shopping

  • Mercado de Artesanias – This market sells traditional Mexican tourist items, such as sarapes, blown glass and leather sandals.
  • Tienda de Muebles – A furniture and housewares store that sells merchandise made in Mexican styles.
  • Bazaar Artes Indias – The store is well-stocked with inexpensively priced Mexican jewelry, clothes and other décor.
  • Libros Libros, Books Books – Sells a wide selection of English-language books.
  • Olinala – Authentic Mexican art and antiques are sold here.

Puerto Vallarta Gay & Lesbian

  • Blue and Green Chairs – This section of the Playa de los Muertos is a well-known gay beach.
  • Boana Thermal Springs – This men-only cruise begins at 5 pm on Tuesdays and returns at midnight.
  • Gay ATV tour – A gay-friendly ATV tour goes up the Cuale River every day from 9:45 am to 1:45 pm.
  • Diana’s Whale Tours – This gay-friendly whale tour includes refreshments and snacks.
  • Go Gay Jungle Adventure – This specifically gay tour involves tequila-tasting, ziplining and a hike through a waterfall.

Puerto Vallarta Outdoor

  • Whale Watching – Hear the songs and watch the breaches of humpback whales at this ancient breeding ground for the massive mammals.
  • Majahuitas – The beaches of this remote cove are accessible only by boat.
  • Boca de Tomatlan – The river Tomatlan reaches the Pacific Ocean here amid jungle splendor.
  • Amphibious Tours – Ride over the mountains and through the rivers around Puerto Vallarta on amphibious vehicles.
  • Aquaventuras Park – This water park offers family fun and outdoor recreation for all.

Puerto Vallarta Sport

  • Eco Ride – This outfitter caters to experienced bicyclists who want to try the varied terrain of Puerto Vallarta.
  • Marina Vallarta - A convenient 18-hole golf course situated near the Hotel Zone.
  • Punta Mita – Gentle winds and varied surf breaks make this locale perfect for surfing.
  • Banderas Bay – Race a catamaran over the Pacific waves.
  • Los Muertos Beach – Pay by the hour or for a whole day of parasailing along this beach.

Puerto Vallarta Events

For the past decade Puerto Vallarta has hosted the annual Copa de Golf Vallarta Tournament, which offers many luxury prizes for golfers who hit a hole-in-one at specific points on the course. Most of the prizes are brand new vehicles or nice chunks of cash.

The May Cultural Festival offers free artistic and cultural performances in Puerto Vallarta such as dance, concerts, films and theatre productions for 10 days in May.

The Vallarta Wine Festival takes place every February in Puerto Vallarta, and visitors can enjoy a week of events from a film festival to a boisterous community dance.

The PEACE nonprofit wildlife, cultural and environment protection group hosts many charity events in April in Puerto Vallarta to include movie screenings, dinners and beach clean-ups.

Beginning on the first of December there are constant processions in honour of the Virgin of Guadalupe that take place at the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe at Puerto Vallarta. People from all over Mexico come to the temple dressed in white, and they hold candles, ring bells and sing all day until the church holds its nightly mass.

From May until September the sea turtles migrate to Puerto Vallarta to lay their eggs. Since the turtles are endangered, volunteers will collect eggs each night during this time to place them in incubators.

The annual Old Town Art Walk lasts from 28 October to 30 May in Puerto Vallarta. Several art galleries play host to this event, and guests can enjoy cocktails while browsing through special art exhibits in the historical centre of town.

The Annual Sailfish Tournament in Puerto Vallarta is a sporting tradition spanning more than a half-century.

Dance with the City Band on Sundays and Thursdays at the Puerto Vallarta Arms Plaza from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. You pay nothing to enjoy the music and dance like no one's watching.

The annual International Gourmet Festival takes place in the middle of November in Puerto Vallarta. There are a number of delicious venues with world-class guest chefs serving international delicacies.

When to Go

Puerto Vallarta is a tropical area with consistent temperatures all year long. There are no extreme seasonal changes, which is why it is perfect for resort living.

The temperatures are hottest in Puerto Vallarta from the months of June to October with average high temperatures around 32°C and the average low around 23°C. The temperatures are more mild in January than any other month with the average high being 26°C and average low of 16°C.

The rainy season for Puerto Vallarta is also June to October, and it is not particularly severe. During the rest of the year it rarely rains at all.

Getting There

Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airportis located between Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta and Aeromexico and most of the major airlines from the US service it. If you decide to rent a car at the airport to get around, most of the roads are in good condition for driving.

Boats are a major transportation mode in Puerto Vallarta. You can book cruises, excursions, and boat tours at most resorts. There are also party boats that offer day trips to a variety of different islands.

Buses are a great way to get around Puerto Vallarta whether you are just wandering around in town or sightseeing. You can book luxury bus tours through a variety of companies. There are also city busses for regular vicinity travel, and these will take you to local attractions for very cheap fares.

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Hotels in Puerto Vallarta

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