In the real estate industry Puerto Vallarta is considered pure gold, being melted down in order to turn into the most valuable and appraised treasure. Here the pieces of land and the properties are habitually desired like in no other place in Mexico. There are many factors contributing to making this the reality of our region and it is important to distinguish that the fundamental base of this achievement has primordially been the confidence with which all those that visit this paradise decide to invest in order to increase the level of quality of life for everybody.
described as "the hidden paradise" and acknowledged as the "friendliest city in the world", Puerto Vallarta is located on the same latitude as Hawaii, in the middle of Mexico's Pacific coastline. Vallarta is within easy reach of the US and Canada. Encircled by the rugged, tropical Sierra Madre mountains to the east and fronted by the Bay of Banderas, Mexico's largest natural bay, the city covers 670 square miles and has a population of over 300,000.
At the center of the coastline of Banderas Bay, the second largest bay in the Americas, it boasts 25 miles of sheltered beaches. It is bordered by the majestic Sierra Madre mountains to the south and east and by the fertile Valle de Banderas ( Valley of Flags) to the north. To the west is Banderas Bay and the popular boardwalk where residents and visitors stroll day and night.
Just north of downtown are found most of the hotels, the marina with slips for 550 boats of all sizes, the Maritime Terminal and the airport. Just down the coast to the south are villas, hotels, more beaches and the settlement of Mismaloya, where Night of the Iguana and Predator were filmed.
Puerto Vallarta, with its cobblestone streets winding lazily around mountainsides, its traditional white shops with red tile roofs and its sunny beaches with beautiful blue waters, where whales come to mate and give birth and dolphins frolic all year, has come to be the sixth most popular travel destination in the world.
Brief Historical Review
There are records mentioning that since the 16th century the bay has been considered a place of incredible beauty with fertile lands, a safe and key place for resting and supplying provisions for various merchant and pirate ships. Most certainly since a long time before that, the first inhabitants of the area had been agreeing with this.
In the 19th century the place where Puerto Vallarta is located at present was known as Las Peñas and was used as a harbor for loading and unloading supplies and material extracted from the mines of the villages of Cuale and San Sebastián del Oeste. Around that time Mr. Guadalupe Sánchez, native to Cihuatlán, Jalisco started to make salt deliveries to the mines that needed salt in order to refine the extracted silver. The demand for this product grew very quickly and with the help of his collaborators Mr. Guadalupe started to establish a village. He was in need of more support and generating the arrival of new families, he thus initiated the growth of an economy that has not stopped since then.
At the end of 1851 the Sanchez Torres family established itself completely. By that time agriculture and cattle raising – in addition to providing salt for the mines - were already strong economic activities.
It is mentioned in the records that during that period Las Peñas was also a very popular place for resting and for the enjoyment of the passengers and the crew members of the ships. Thus another activity started to be generated that throughout the years turned into the main source of income for the city.
It has been told throughout generations that Puerto Vallarta started as a fishing village and there are some notes published in books written by local people confirming that before a small village was founded, there were some inhabitants of close-by villages who enjoyed coming to the place where the Cuale river flows into the ocean in order to catch big specimens. Since then the fame of being a harbor with abundant fishing started to spread.
By 1880 the number of inhabitants went up to one thousand five hundred. Five years later on July 14th, 1885, the harbor was opened for the traffic of national ships and officially was given the name of Las Peñas.
In March 1914 the first post office was opened and in September the telegraph was installed.
On May 31st 1918 the port was raised to a municipality by an act of congress and the name was changed to Puerto Vallarta, in memory of the distinguished citizen Mr. Ignacio L. Vallarta, lawyer and governor of Jalisco.
In 1925 the Montgomery Fruit Company purchased 30,000 hectares in the surroundings of the village of Ixtapa with the purpose of developing banana plantations. Immediately the offer of labor grew and a railway was built to transport the fruits. In addition to bananas, other products like corn, beans, tobacco and coconuts, valued for its oil, were also exploited and distributed nationally. By 1935 the Montgomery Fruit Company had to withdraw from Mexico as a consequence of the new agrarian law.
By 1930 some national and foreign tourists began to visit Puerto Vallarta more frequently during their vacation appreciating the tranquility of the place and its natural beauty. Little by little the word was passed and every year more tourists were coming. Some of them started to purchase properties as an investment for the future while others did so to settle down. Puerto Vallarta seriously began to attract attention. The first plane landed in 1931 and since then things have changed quite a lot.
In 1951 Puerto Vallarta showed itself to the world while celebrating the 100th anniversary of its foundation. In order to have a commemorative event, a war ship was sent from Acapulco firing 21 cannon shots to greet the bay. For this occasion Mrs. Margarita Mantecon de Garza wrote the first document that reported the history of Puerto Vallarta.
In 1963 the filming of the movie “The Night of the Iguana” brought fame and popularity to Puerto Vallarta, thus completely opening the doors to progress. Thousands of tourists arrived unexpectedly at the town, anxious to observe the scenes where the movie had been filmed, hoping to meet some of the stars of the movie.
Since the publicity that Vallarta obtained through the movie, as well as due to the improvement of roads and the better offer of transportation means, the village grew gigantically. Puerto Vallarta started to be accessible by air, sea and land, while first class hotels were built. Agriculture which had been the main economic source until that moment, was displaced by the tourist industry.
At present there are flights arriving at Puerto Vallarta every day offered by the principal airlines based in the most important cities of the United States of America, Canada and Europe.
By sea various cruise ship lines disembark dozens of thousands of tourists every week throughout the whole year. By land broad and safe highways are connecting Puerto Vallarta with the cities of Tepic and Guadalajara and from there with the rest of the Nation. At the same time hotels are offered for every budget with an emphasis on impressive luxury and five star hotels.
The population grew from 12,500 in 1964 to more than 350,000 at present. A huge colony of foreigners stands out which is mainly made up of Americans from the United States followed by Canadians. Many of these foreigners participate actively in the life of the community. As a matter of fact thanks to the work of some of them the city continues to cross borders consolidating its presence as a tourist destination at the same level as the best in the world.
In the surroundings of Puerto Vallarta there is an impressive natural beauty which is also the home of other villages sharing the bay with the port. Some of these villages rely on a hotel infrastructure and due to their tranquility are excellent places to visit during a short excursion or even to stay there to live. Amongst these villages are Las Palmas, Bucerias, Cruz de Huanacaxtle, San Ignacio, Sayulita, San Pancho, Lo De Marcos, Boca de Tomatlán, Yelapa, Quimixto, El Tuito and others.
There have been many events, people and their actions that have contributed so that Puerto Vallarta today is a world-wide center of tourist attention and at present this place offers a huge range of services and activities satisfying even the most demanding travelers and/or investors.
Puerto Vallarta has everything!.....an abundant nature with spectacular sceneries where adventure activities are carried out every day, exceptional weather which is enjoyed by visitors and locals throughout the year, wonderful people openly manifesting their customs and traditions revealing their familiar values, an atmosphere full of joy infecting young and old alike, tranquility and romanticism making you fall in love, a captivating sensuality, an inspiration which is perceived in the air, an intellectual growth that can be easily observed right away, first class comfort and service, extreme adventure and much more.
All this is contributing every day so that Puerto Vallarta is consolidated as a favorite destination of international travelers as well as of visionaries and investors.
In addition to sport fishing which for a long time has been a very popular activity, at present it is golf and art, that are attracting a market of travelers and investors with a high purchasing power to Puerto Vallarta.
If there is something that can be guaranteed for Puerto Vallarta, it is the imparable economic growth which has always been achieved without losing much of what is called “its provincial essence”.
Welcome to Puerto Vallarta!
Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful village filled with romance and adventure! Located on the Bay of Banderas on the same latitude as Hawaii, Puerto Vallarta enjoys a year round tropical climate. Enjoy the enchanting town where cobblestone streets are lined with quaint whitewashed houses, century old churches, and an inviting array of restaurants and shops. The night life sizzles, deep-sea fishing is excellent, tennis, four golf courses, go carts, and a full range of water sports are all nearby, with many more activities and sights of interest to explore while enjoying your stay.
It was here that the motion picture "The Night of the Iguana" was filmed, starring Ava Gardner and Richard Burton. It was in "Gringo Gulch", located in downtown Puerto Vallarta that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton began their legendary romance that turned a once sleepy Mexican village into a world famous resort.
Puerto Vallarta is completely different from any other destination in Mexico. It is geographically diverse, boasting mountains, jungles, beaches, rivers, waterfalls, and much more. Plus, while it is a modern city, Puerto Vallarta is quite simply one of the most beautiful, cultured, luxurious vacation spots in all of Mexico, and indeed in the world. Here you will find the ultimate fusion of traditional Mexican culture, from bullfights to grilled marlin served beachside; and the finest of resort living, from spectacular sportfishing to all-inclusive resorts that cater to your every whim.
One great side trip to take is to Tequila, a short drive away, where the agave plants that give us the liquor that takes its name from the area are grown. Hidden treasures like that abound in the area, seen by many of last generation's moviegoers in the Richard Burton/Ava Gardner masterpiece "The Night of the Iguana ."
Art and music abound in the city, with live concerts of all types, beachfront sculpture displays and hundreds of other exhibitions and performances both large and intimate. The local Indian culture is prominent, with an abundance of crafts and local wares available for purchase.
Golfers will find courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf among the 7 championship layouts in the area. Puerto Vallarta's climate makes golf a year-round option!
If romance is in the air and the ultimate destination wedding is your goal, Puerto Vallarta offers many wedding coordinators who will effortlessly handle the paperwork and arrangements to make your ceremony (and honeymoon) the ultimate in romance, beauty and tranquility.
For family vacations, you won't find a finer destination. There are abundant activities for all ages and interests, from beachside fun to craft and sports gatherings for kids and adults. You'll never hear, "Mom! There's nothing to do!" while you're here!
Vallarta still maintains its traditional Mexican roots!
Puerto Vallarta Overview
The small, quaint fishing community of Puerto Vallarta, with its cobblestoned streets that seemed to climb straight up to the jungle behind it, was recognized as a city of Mexico in 1918 but was largely unknown to the rest of the world. But in 1963, during the filming of John Huston's "Night of the Iguana," the sleepy town was invaded by reporters hoping to catch a glimpse of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, who were carrying on their illicit love affair -- and a tourist industry was born.
Located on one of the largest natural bays in the world, Bay of Banderas, the region offers 25 miles of enjoyable beaches with the rugged, jungle-clad Sierra Madre mountains as a backdrop, and city life by day and night. The second-most-visited resort in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta now attracts almost three million visitors a year and has a permanent population of over 350,000.
The colonial "old town" is a favorite of history buffs, photographers and bargain hunters, while burgeoning areas such as Marina Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta attract beach-goers, boaters and those looking for an all-inclusive resort or a reasonably priced time share. These areas, north of the city, are also where visitors can kayak through lagoons and swim with dolphins. The southern coastal areas of Mismaloya, Yelapa and Las Animas Quimixto are scenic wonders of coves and gullies, ideal for snorkeling; the latter two are reachable only by boat.
Because of its warm waters, the Bay of Banderas is a breeding ground for hundreds of humpback whales during the winter months. Pacific dolphins can be seen year-round, jumping alongside the bow wake of the many cruise ships that call here. Many tour operators offer eco-tours and photo safaris to take advantage of the abundance of marine life in the region; jungle tours, horseback treks and visits to tequila factories are some of the other excursions offered. But for those who choose to just wander around the city during a day in port, Puerto Vallarta offers a rich, rewarding experience.
The downtown area is crowded with shops, restaurants and lots of traffic. The main street along the water, the Malecon, has a seawall walkway that is flat and easily negotiable by wheelchair-bound visitors and those with difficulty walking, and is notable for the many sculptures that line the path. The streets a few blocks off of the main thorough way, though, are steep and cobblestoned, difficult for even the most intrepid explorers. And it gets hot and humid in Puerto Vallarta, especially in the summer, so dress accordingly for your day in town.