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Cities of the Bay - About Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta with a population of just over 350,000 people is in the state of Jalisco directly on the pacific coast directly in the center between Acapulco and Mazatlan. It boasts the largest bay in Mexico called Banderas bay (Bahia de Banderas) which is known to be one of the most beautiful bays in the World. The distance is 26 miles from east to west and 20 miles from north to south. On the Northern end of the bay you have Punta de Mita and on the southern end you have Yelapa which is the last fishing village in the Cabo Corrientes area that tourists visit. There are a few other small villages south of Yelapa however not very many people make it beyond Yelapa bay which happens to be the second largest bay in Mexico. 

Puerto Vallarta has grown to be the most popular tourist destination in Mexico with over 4.5 million visitors each year not to mention the many expats that now make Puerto Vallarta their home permanently. So many people have made this great city their retirement home and thousands more every year. It has been voted the best place to retire by so many travel magazines and organizations including the American Association of Retired Persons.

Puerto Vallarta has so much to offer anyone looking to ex-patriot from the USA or Canada or someone that wants a great option for retirement even someone that is looking to start a business or work and just looking for a change in their life. The city has temperatures of 75 degrees year-round with very little humidity with exception of the summer. This is why so many are choosing Puerto Vallarta in the winter and cooler places in the summer. It is also much cheaper to live in Puerto Vallarta than other warm climate destinations around the globe. You can expect huge discounts on housing, eating & drinking, activities and shopping. The dollar has stayed strong against the peso running from 15-20 pesos to 1 dollar.   

There is so much history in Puerto Vallarta, the boom really started back in the 50's when Tennessee Williams and Ray Stark started to film the movie "Night of the Iguana" and since that time this city has seen several explosions in growth. Puerto Vallarta has gotten so popular because there is so much to do and with 50 miles of villages, shoreline and beaches around the bay.

The bay offers visitors an endless array of things to do such as whale watching, scuba & snorkeling, hiking, nature & bird watching, fishing, exploring and just hanging out on the beach. You never will run out of things to do in Puerto Vallarta because this city is quite diverse and has tremendous history dating back for 100's of years. In addition to all the outdoor activities that Puerto Vallarta has to offer, there are plenty of things to do along the world famous Malecon too. Of course, you also have homes of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in a small community just above downtown Vallarta.  

Sleepy fishing villages along the bay that emulate Vallarta of the past - Punta Mita, La Cruz, Bucerias, Mismaloya, Boca de Tomatlan and Yelapa are part of the scenery along the coastline both to the north and to the south of PV.  Even though Puerto Vallarta is no longer a small town, there are plenty of these towns that bring you back in time and maintain the Mexican culture longer in a small town, you can travel back in time when visiting these locations.

The warm weather and friendliness of the local Mexicans have attracted a growing and active expatriate community from U.S.A., Canada and countries in Europe. These, in turn, make foreign vacationers feel right at home. Keeping up with the times of today, Puerto Vallarta has adapted and improved to the needs of the more demanding travelers of today by adding plenty of luxury resorts and hotels, modern day shopping malls, spa & wellness centers and world class restaurants. The unfortunate part is that with all this growth, it also brings much higher prices for even the locals. Housing prices have seen some extreme price hikes, especially those looking in the high demand gringo areas.

Despite the growth & changes over the years, Puerto Vallarta still maintains areas Mexican historic charm. In the downtown Puerto Vallarta area, you'll find beautiful colonial and historic buildings that have been turned into shops, restaurants and galleries. The roads are a beautiful cobblestone and red Spanish tile roofs really add flare not to mention the lush vegetation and fruit trees that are along the streets help make PV a totally different experience when comparing it to any other destination in Mexico or around the world. Dead center of town is Puerto Vallarta's landmark "Lady of Guadalupe Church" which was originally started at the end of the 14th century with many starts and stops the main building was finished in 1952 with the current red brick tower but without the crown which was added some years later and was designed by the priest Rafael Parra Castillo who also designed the tower that holds it as well. The cross and sphere on top of the crown were designed by another artist, Esteban Ávalos Haro.

Hundreds of flights per week arrive at Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR) from airports throughout the U.S.A., Canada, Mexico and the world. More than 4 million passengers made their way through the gates of the new renovated Aeropuerto Internacional Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz during 2016 and 2017 was a record year with over 4.5 million visitors passing through this incredible city.

If you are planning a trip to Puerto Vallarta, then here are some tips to make your trip more enjoyable.

  • Plan early to get the best selection and deals
  • Get out and explore
  • Respect the country and the people
  • Watch the sunsets daily
  • Get out on the bay
  • Have fun

Have a wonderful time during your visit to this fantastic city of paradise "Puerto Vallarta" !!