What to see in Puerto Vallarta?
On the shores of the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by the jungle covered Sierra Madre mountains, Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations. Surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, Puerto Vallarta combines modern comforts with the colour and authentic flavour of a traditional Mexican village.
Puerto Vallarta was practically unknown until 1963 when it became the setting for the 1963 John Ford film “The Night of the Iguana” starring Richard Burton, Ava Gardner and Deborah Kerr. Since then its idyllic beaches and stunning scenery have become one Mexico’s most sought after destinations.
Starting with its sublime beaches to its whitewashed houses with their red tiled roofs, there are many things to see in Puerto Vallarta. These are just some of the highlights:
EL MALECÓN– Lined with beautiful statues “el Malecon de Puerto Vallarta” is one of the cities most important monuments. Offering magnificent ocean views as the sun sets it is a meeting place for artists, musicians and dancers. During the day it is a great place to eat, have a Tequila or buy a souvenir, at night it becomes the place to party.
LAS CALETAS– Of all the beaches around Puerto Vallarta, Las Caletas is the most touristic. An authentic virgin paradise, only accessible by sea, it is well worth a day trip. Once there you can choose to relax in a hammock under the shade of the coconut palms or take part in some aquatic adventure sports such as diving and kayaking.
CHURCH OF GUADALUPE – Built at the turn of the 20th Century on the remains of an antique chapel, the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the must see sights of Puerto Vallarta. Its crown topped tower and the richness of the paintings in its interior are a definite highlight.
MUNICIPAL MARKET– Another must see is Puerto Vallarta’s Municipal Market. Located in the heart of the old city, where the roughly paved streets guide our way, the Río Cuale market is the perfect place to buy typical Mexican food and vegetables and homemade Mexican arts and crafts.
MARINA VALLARTA– Presided over by a Whale Sculpture, Marina Vallarta provides moorings for luxurious yachts, antique schooners and traditional sailing vessels. The Port provides the perfect place to take a stroll, enjoy a romantic dinner at the many restaurants or play a round of golf at the 18 hole course.
LOS ARCOS MARINE PARK – Made up of stunning natural formations such as caves, reefs and submerged tunnels the National Marine Park “Los Arcos” provides a home for a great diversity of bird and marine life. Located in Banderas Bay in front of Mismaloya beach it is a magic place to dive or snorkel.
BOTANIC GARDEN– Surrounded by imposing native flora a few kilometres south of Puerto Vallarta lays the Vallarta Botanic Gardens. The garden contains more than 3000 different plant species including palms, carnivorous plants and ferns. Rating a special mention are the more than 60 varieties of orchids on display.
There is a lot to see and do in Puerto Vallarta: endless beaches, Punta Mita, the Marietas Islands, unfortunately we don’t have time to explain them all in our small tourist guide. The only thing left to say is Puerto Vallarta is a perfect destination for those looking to spend the days soaking up the sun on pristine beaches, relaxing under the palms with a fresh mojito, checking out the marine life either snorkelling or from a kayak and enjoying Puerto Vallarta’s exceptional nightlife..
What better way than to experience it for yourself!