About Puerto Vallarta

by SmarterTravel Staff
Puerto Vallarta (Photo: Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board & CVB)

Cobblestone streets and sandy beaches? Puerto Vallarta blends the charm of a small town, the dining scene of a big city, and the sun and surf of an ideal beach vacation into one Pacific Coast destination. Perched on hills that hug the vast Bay of Banderas, Puerto Vallarta offers an appealing blend of the cosmopolitan and the relaxed. Whether you stay downtown or in the high-rise Hotel Zone, it's easy to take advantage of all Puerto Vallarta has to offer.

Stroll the Isla Rio Cuale, browsing the crafts stalls and stopping for a drink at a riverside restaurant. Get lost admiring the architecture and views along the steep streets of Gringo Gulch. Head down for a barefoot lunch on the beach at one of the waterfront restaurants. At night, walk the famed Malecón, a beachside path decorated with fantastical sculptures and bustling with street performers, tourists, and locals. Bars and clubs line the Malecón and offer a great spot for people-watching or dancing the night away.


Day trips are a great way to enrich a Puerto Vallarta vacation. Snorkeling, diving, and whale watching are just a few of the many reasons for joining a boat tour. Landlubbers can find excitement inland on nature walks, canopy tours, and at jungle restaurants. Puerto Vallarta is part of the thriving Riviera Nayarit, which includes destinations like exclusive Punta Mita, laid-back Sayulita, and the remote mountain village of San Sebastian.

Many airlines offer direct flights to Puerto Vallarta. And with flight times between two and five hours from departure cities around the U.S., Puerto Vallarta is never far.

Read comments or add your own insight!