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Puerto Vallarta is an oceanfront city on the west coast of Mexico. The area began as a collection of sleepy fishing and pearl-diving villages. Today, the city and surrounding parts of the Bay of Banderas (Bahía de Banderas) are popular with tourists as a resort destination. You will find a range of outdoor family activities here, from water sports to secluded beaches and botanical gardens.
The Bay of Banderas is a 62-mile (100-kilometer) stretch of beach with rocky outcrops, white sand and clear water. Puerto Vallarta is the largest community here, and is home to the elegant Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Snorkel or scuba dive off the coast and see manta rays, sea bass and dolphins.
Las Caletas is a small, private beach accessible only by water. Take the Vallarta Adventures catamaran to go on hikes in the jungle, visit a small zoo and enjoy a fresh seafood lunch. The beach is the former private residence of Hollywood director John Huston.
Take an evening stroll along the Malecon, the pedestrian promenade that lines the Puerto Vallarta coast. The area is a popular meeting place for locals and tourists and is lined with restaurants, street performers and food vendors. Enjoy a cool tejuino, a local drink made with fermented corn, or buy grilled fish by the skewer.
The Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens give insight into the local wildlife and vegetation. The gardens include conservation areas dedicated to the blue agave plant, used in tequila production, as well as native vanilla orchids.
Puerto Vallarta is particularly popular between January and March. Gostavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport is a short bus trip from the city center. Get around the city on foot or by local buses, which are cheap and run frequently. Try taco stands for cheap street food, or the cafés and restaurants in the old town for sit-down meals.
Accommodation in Puerto Vallarta
The Expedia Puerto Vallarta hotels guide features as many as 277 opulent and low-budget hotel and apartment options, so there is a wide range to choose from.
The Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, at Bahía de Banderas, and the Marival Residences Luxury Nuevo Vallarta All Inclusive, at Paseo de Los Cocoteros 53 are just a couple of the premium hotels in Puerto Vallarta where you are likely to discover the best guest amenities and hotel features around. The Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit All Inclusive and the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort are worth considering as well.
While you are spending time in Puerto Vallarta, you won't want to miss Malecon and you might prefer to stay nearby. the Hotel Playa Fiesta is just 5 kilometres (3 miles) away. Another popular choice is the Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta - All Inclusive, which is 2 kilometres (1 mile) away.
Situated on the boardwalk, this hotel is 0.5 mi (0.7 km) from Marina Vallarta and 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from Bay of Banderas. El Faro Lighthouse and Marina Golf Club are also within 15 minutes.
This family-friendly Puerto Vallarta resort, across the street from the Marina Vallarta resort/residential community's golf course, includes a Japanese/Thai restaurant and a big sports bar.
Situated near the airport, this hotel is 0.8 mi (1.2 km) from Vallarta Casino and 1.6 mi (2.6 km) from Bay of Banderas. Marina Golf Club and Marina Vallarta are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Situated in Puerto Vallarta, this hotel is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) from Vallarta Casino and 1.5 mi (2.4 km) from Bay of Banderas. Marina Golf Club and Marina Vallarta are also within 15 minutes.
Nestled on the beach, this Conchas Chinas hotel is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) from Conchas Chinas Beach and 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Malecon. Playa de los Muertos and Los Muertos Pier are also within 1 mi (2 km).
This family-friendly Puerto Vallarta hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of Los Arcos Amphitheater and Malecon. Plaza Principal and Museum Rio Cuale are also within 5 minutes.
Overlooking the Banderas Bay with direct beach access, this Puerto Vallarta resort is in the Romantic Zone, a 5-minute walk to downtown and about a 20-minute drive to 3 golf courses.
Located in Gringo Gulch, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of La Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe and Malecon. Museum Rio Cuale and Plaza Principal are also within 5 minutes.