About Puerto Vallarta

Nestled along the panoramic shores of Banderas Bay at the foothills of the verdant Sierra Madre Mountains, the vacation destination of Puerto Vallarta is the ideal setting for a romantic tropical getaway. This bustling tourist mecca was once a sleepy little fishing village and port town for the state of Jalisco. This Pacific coast paradise allows visitors to explore both the lush jungle landscape in the nearby mountains as well as the amazing cerulean waters of Banderas Bay. This busy Mexican port is a standard stop for the big cruise lines as well as the United States Navy and Mexican Navy. This vacation oasis attracts couples, college students on spring break, and wealthy jet-setters as well. Vacationers can enjoy a wide range of fun-filled activities in Puerto Vallarta, from ecological adventures, to party cruises, to romantic escapes, and so much more. Puerto Vallarta has become so popular that it has expanded north into the neighboring State of Nayarit, where Nuevo Vallarta has become a thriving area unto itself.

This fabulous vacation paradise was not always named Puerto Vallarta; it was once called

Pierto Las Penas or the English translation: "Port of the Rocks." Founded in 1851 by Don Guadalupe Sanchez Torres, Pierto Las Penas served as the region's main port for transporting silver from the local mines in the nearby Sierra Madres. The town became known as Puerto Vallarta in 1918 in honor of local governor Ignacio Vallarta.

This tranquil village first gained the world's attention after the award-winning movie director, John Huston, filmed his celebrated picture, "The Night of the Iguana," on location in Puerto Vallarta. Awarded a Best Picture Nomination by the Golden Globes in 1965, the movie featured Ava Gardener and Sir Richard Burton. Huston as well as Burton and his wife Elizabeth Taylor purchased estates in Puerto Vallarta. The appearance of Hollywood movie crews, as well as marquis stars, resulted in the flourishing of resort development in this previously sleepy port village.

Now an extremely popular resort destination, Puerto Vallarta gives vacationers a sample of colonial charm (with cobblestone avenues and Spanish-style architecture), gorgeous beaches and coastal panoramas, and the magnificent background of the Sierra Madres reaching into the tropical sky. World-class dining establishments flourish in Puerto Vallarta. Outstanding restaurants, with Mexican, American, and global menus, highlight fresh locally-caught seafood straight from Bahia de Banderas and the Pacific.

If you love outdoor activities, Puerto Vallarta offers a surplus of activities for both terrestrial tours as well as aquatic sports. You can trek into the verdant Sierra Madre Mountains on horseback, by foot, or on an off-road vehicle. But, the large quantity of water sports on the Bay of Banderas really draws vacationing tourists to Puerto Vallarta; Snorkeling, Scuba-diving, Sailing Whale Watching and Off-shore Fishing are just some of the thrilling activities that you will enjoy in Bahia de Banderas.