About Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is situated on the Pacific coast of Mexico in the northwest corner of the state of Jalisco.

GEOGRAPHY/DESCRIPTION:

Puerto Vallarta is a quaint, seaside village encircled by the rugged, tropical Sierra Madre mountains to the east and fronted by the Bay of Banderas, Mexico's largest natural bay. The center of town is divided by the Cuale River.

Diversity and contrast are common words used to describe Vallarta, as it boasts a modern infrastructure and amenities (including one of the best water treatment systems in Mexico) while having preserved its traditional small-town charm, complete with cobblestone streets, red-tiled roofs and balconies overflowing with colorful buganvillia flowers.

Our marina and yacht harbor, Marina Vallarta, is one of the largest in Mexico. Travel & Leisure magazine rated Puerto Vallarta one of the top ten tourist destinations in the world based on value and the friendliness of its people, in this year's survey.

Puerto Vallarta is known as the only beach destination where Mexico comes to life!

CLIMATE:

January to April
Average High 86/low 63
May to December
Average High 92/low 70
Rainy Season:
Late June through September, mainly afternoon showers.

ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE:

The Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (code PVR) is located four miles north of downtown (Centro). There are frequent taxi or van transfers from the airport at reasonable rates. Pay at the taxi booth and they'll assign you to a taxi/van that will take you to your destination, unless Vallarta Shores has arranged an airport pickup for you. Proof of citizenship is necessary to cross the border into Mexico. Either a current passport, birth certificate or voter's registration will suffice. Upon arrival, visitors are given a Tourist Card which must be turned in upon departure at the airport. At that time, a departure tax is charged and payable in U.S. dollars or Mexican pesos. Some airlines now include this tax when ticketing, but check ahead to make sure.

CURRENCY:

Pesos, although U.S. dollars are widely accepted in businesses throughout town. Major credit cards are also accepted in most establishments. Now, many ATMs accept US bank cards for cash withdrawal.

ELECTRICITY:

Mexico operates on the same 110-volt-60 current as the United States so no electrical adapters are needed.

POPULATION:

Puerto Vallarta is home to 350,000 residents and attracts more than 2 million visitors annually.

SPORTS/RECREATION:

Golf:
Puerto Vallarta offers two challenging courses: Los Flamingos Country Club: Jungle-lined fairways located in the neighboring State of Nayarit, and... Marina Vallarta Country Club: Joe Finger designed 18 hole, par 71, championship links with scenic lakes, ponds and lagoons.

Watersports:
Blessed with 25 miles of golden beaches and spectacular Banderas Bay, Puerto Vallarta presents limitless possibilities for enjoying the Pacific. Look for water-skiing, wind surfing, deep sea fishing, sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, catamaran and yacht excursions and parasailing.

Hiking, Mountain Biking and Jungle Tours: Energetic visitors can stretch their legs while exploring the lush, tropical terrain of the surrounding Sierra Madre mountains or by signing up for one of the several hour-long escorted horseback tours through rural villages and spectacular scenery.

SHOPPING:

Puerto Vallarta boasts fine shopping and eclectic treasures. Along its charming cobblestone streets and Malecon (the city's waterfront walkway) are literally scores of establishments offering everything from designer fashions to casual sport wear, fine jewelry to hand-crafted leather goods, one of a kind embroidered skirts and blouses to colorful souvenir T-shirts.

ART & CULTURE:

Puerto Vallarta's fine art galleries are internationally acclaimed and present, among others, the work of such renowned local artists as Marta Gilbert, Rogelio Diaz, Evelyne Boren, Sergio Bustamante, Manuel Lepe and Javier Niño,. Vallarta is increasingly becoming a center for fine indigenous and native art works, especially those created by the neighboring Huichol Indians. In addition, regular classes are held at various locations in town for those wanting to study painting, sculpture, pottery, beadwork or other artistic endeavors while on vacation.

RESTAURANTS:

When it comes to dining, dancing, and late night romancing, Puerto Vallarta does it con gusto. Whether the call is for sunset margaritas at a quiet cliff side terrace or piña coladas at a boisterous "gringo bar" its wide variety of bars is unsurpassed along the Mexican Riviera. Dozens of restaurants in town and at the various resorts serve up a gamut of international cuisine, from Mexican to Italian, French to Argentine, Cajun to Japanese, in settings ranging from funky beach palapas to elegant candlelit dinner houses. And when the sun goes down, the fun really begins at nightclubs and discos that rival those in any cosmopolitan city.

ECOLOGY:

During the winter months, Puerto Vallarta is a virtual playground for migrating Pacific Humpback Whales, who come to the Bay of Banderas to breed. Additionally, dolphins live here year-round, and the summer months are filled with the return of four distinct species of endangered sea turtles, who come to these beaches to lay their eggs. Puerto Vallarta's municipal government even has a Department of Ecology for protecting its natural resources, and extensive educational programs in local schools, to foster ecological awareness.