This a more realistic orientation to where hotels are relative to the city or the ocean. These images do not identify all the different neighborhoods but the most visited by new visitors or long term residents. You may visit our other articles with direct areal of a neighborhood and the local streets. Soon we will cover other areas like: Mismaloya, Boca de Tomalan, Yelapa and the North side of the Riviera Nayarit
The greater Marina
Marina Vallarta, a modern waterfront haven, presents a stark contrast with its sleek marina, upscale resorts, and premier golf courses. This sophisticated neighborhood caters to luxury enthusiasts, boasting an array of high-end boutiques, upscale restaurants, and a picturesque boardwalk adorned with yachts and sailboats. The marina itself serves as a nucleus for water-based activities, from sunset cruises to sport fishing charters, captivating those drawn to the allure of the open sea. Its tranquil ambiance, coupled with top-notch amenities and a relaxed pace, entices travelers seeking a refined escape amidst Puerto Vallarta’s breathtaking scenery. Whether strolling along the marina’s promenade or indulging in world-class dining, Marina Vallarta offers a sophisticated retreat for travelers seeking a blend of elegance and leisure.
Marina Vallarta is home to dozens of luxury beachfront condominium developments such as Porto Fino, Bayview Grand, Shangrila, Tres Mares, and Velas Vallarta. All recently built, these condos boast luxury facilities and amenities that appeal to the more discerning individual, but at a fraction of US and Canadian prices for comparative properties in those Northern markets. Many of the condos feature exquisite views of the marina and the comings and going of the yachts and sailboats.
Marina Vallarta Golf Course
Golf lovers will enjoy Marina Vallarta`s challenging 18 hole par 72 golf course, which was designed by Joe Fingers and is surrounded by lush vegetation, lagoons, and a mix of tropical wildlife. Common sights you’ll see while walking past the natural lagoons of the golf club are iguanas, herons, and crocodiles.
One of the most prized landmarks in Marina Vallarta is the lighthouse, which is located along the marina promenade. Make sure to stop at the bar located at the top of the lighthouse where you’ll be treated to impressive views of the marina, Sierra Madre mountain range, and the city. Two additional favorite activities in Marina Vallarta are fishing and sailing, and should you decide you want to give either a try, there are plenty of tours available for both.
The Hotel Zone mainly consists of high-rise hotels catering to vacationers. However, several luxury beachfront condominium complexes have been constructed over the last ten years, allowing retirees and investors to enjoy full time luxury living with all the required amenities. These exclusive condos are exquisitely designed, and the owners enjoy manicured tropical grounds, infinity swimming pools, state-of-the-art fitness centers, spa facilities, concierge services, underground parking, and almost every amenity under the sun.
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It’s easy and fun to integrate into the fun and laid-back Puerto Vallarta lifestyle. Simply walk its colorful and historic streets, mingle with other visitors, and strike up interesting conversations with locals. We encourage you to reach out and engage with rhythm of life in this beautiful, enchanting city. Those who visit Puerto Vallarta make memories that last a lifetime.
The Hotel Zone is a prime Vallarta area that runs along Francisco Medina Ascencio Avenue, which is the city’s main road that runs parallel to the coast and extends from the Maritime Terminal to the Sheraton Buganvilias Resort. It’s appropriately nicknamed as it’s where you can find the largest concentration of high-rise hotels in Puerto Vallarta.
The majority of Puerto Vallarta’s Hotel Zone was developed in the 70’s. Today, new development is somewhat limited, however, older hotels are consistently updated and, in some cases, torn down to make way for new hotels or luxury condominium buildings. National hotel chains such as the Hilton, Holiday Inn, and Sheraton, as well as luxury condominium buildings which include Icon, Peninsula, and Grand Venetian, line the beach and the main avenue.
Downtown North of Rio Cuale
The River Cuale divides downtown Puerto Vallarta into two distinctive areas: the south side and the north side. While the former has a cosmopolitan vibe, the latter has a more traditional and local feel.
Puerto Vallarta`s Malecon.
Many of the low-rise condominium buildings in centro north face the bay and allow for stunning ocean and sunset views from their private balconies. Almost every street in this sector leads to Puerto Vallarta`s Malecon (Boardwalk), one of the pride and joys of the area. A few years ago, the Malecon was rebuilt to feature exquisite pebble designs, and beautiful trees with colorful flowers were added onto the sidewalks.
Many bronze sculptures from famed artists adorn the Malecon. Just a few of the most notable include Ramiz Barquet’s “La Nostalgia”, Adrian Reynoso’s “Naturaleza como Madre”, Alejandro Colunga’s “La Rotunda del Mar, and Sergio Bustamante “In Search of Reason”. Simply sitting in one of the many benches near the palm trees will give you a sense of this city’s rich human landscape: honeymooners, young couples, retirees, joggers, dog-walkers, and the rich and famous mix in harmony in one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico.
Restaurants and Colorful Shops
Wherever you are in Puerto Vallarta, you’ll find numerous colorful shops that contain everything from crafts to clothes. You’ll also find taco stands, bars, restaurants featuring local and worldly cuisines, and well-known international franchises. Those looking to experience top notch fine dining shouldn’t miss The River Café, Trio, and Vitea. There’s also Café des Artistes, which features the cuisine of internationally acclaimed Chef, Thierry Blouet. Inexpensive bars and international restaurants take advantage of the sunset views, drawing crowds of locals and foreigners every evening when the sun goes down. You’ll have perfect views of the local surfers and paddle boarders who take on the waves in this serene stretch of Banderas Bay.
Centro north is the heart of Puerto Vallarta. The homes in this area offer the ideal dream location that’s within minutes of every attraction in town. Historically, properties in this key Puerto Vallarta area have always shown substantial appreciation due to their privileged location, so it’s an excellent option for those who are looking to buy investment properties, a vacation home, or their full-time home.
Tradition and creativity can be found everywhere in Centro North, and in conjunction with the incredible ocean in such close proximity, the area consistently reminds us of all the small pleasures that life has to offer. If you’re interested in purchasing a property in downtown Puerto Vallarta your vision of tropical bliss.
Downtown Gringo Gulch and Mountain Side
Gringo Gulch is a fairly recently settled Puerto Vallarta neighborhood that dates back to the 60s. Those who established the community were enchanted with the pristine rivers, jungle, mountains, clean beaches, magical sunsets, and the Mexican vibe of Old Vallarta. The charm and natural beauty of the area inspired the pioneers to build their second homes here as tropical getaways.
Famous Movie Stars and Celebrities Foreign Community Connection
Many of the initial residents were noted film stars. Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, John Huston, and award winning news broadcaster Charles Collingwood had homes along the river or on the hillside of Gringo Gulch. Several of their famous friends, including Rock Hudson, Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Leonard Bernstein, Peter O`Toole, John Wayne, Roddy McDowall, Deborah Kerr, Barbara Bach, and many of the other Hollywood elite flocked to this area for visits with their friends. To this day, Hollywood stars still have a keen fascination with the Puerto Vallarta area.
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Numerous vibrant colonial-style homes were constructed behind the Guadalupe Church and along the Rio Cuale in the Gringo Gulch section in an area known as El Cerro. The first, wise foreign visitors who had the foresight of investing at the time were, without a doubt, the visionaries that planted the seeds of inspiration for a bright and prosperous future for the Puerto Vallarta real estate market. The streets behind Guadalupe Church were the natural place to build their homes in this unspoiled tropical paradise. Today, the owners of these properties still enjoy a panoramic view of Banderas Bay that would leave anyone speechless.
Now part of Puerto Vallarta`s historic area, the Gringo Gulch and El Cerro sections are where you’ll find cobblestone streets, original homes, panoramic bay views, and steep, flower-lined walkways that lead from the downtown hillside into the center of town. Should you plan on visiting Puerto Vallarta, make a point of exploring these incredible neighborhoods..
Puerto Vallarta boasts a tapestry of vibrant neighborhoods, each exuding its unique charm and allure. The Romantic Zone, or “Old Town,” stands as an eclectic and beloved district, characterized by its cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and an effervescent atmosphere. Here, art galleries, lively bars, and tantalizing eateries dot the landscape, inviting visitors to explore its rich cultural offerings. The area’s crown jewel, Los Muertos Beach, serves as a focal point, where locals and tourists converge to soak up the sun or relish in the dynamic beachfront ambiance. Its welcoming vibe and bustling energy make the Romantic Zone an indispensable hub for those seeking a blend of authentic Mexican culture and a vibrant social scene.
Compared to most of the bay area, Puerto Vallarta’s Old Town offers an exquisite show of art, crafts, Mexican designer clothes such as the Myskova exclusive beachwear, leather goods, handmade jewelry, and more precious stones and Taxco silver than you could ever hope for. As if that isn’t enough, visit the beachfront at Playa Los Muertos, which offers fine dining, inexpensive watering holes and the most spectacular sunsets imaginable. Just a short walk away is Puerto Vallarta`s Malecon (Boardwalk), which has a unique mix of boutiques, tequila shops, ice-cream stalls, restaurants, bars, and some of the greatest nightclubs you will ever have the opportunity of visiting.
Make sure you don’t miss the Saturday morning Farmers Market in the Romantic Zone, where locals and foreigners alike offer locally grown produce and freshly baked offerings, play and listen to live music, and debut unique arts and crafts. Puerto Vallarta`s Farmers market is not only a shoppers delight, but can also be a very sociable event where you’re able to make new friends with the locals and expats.
Cobblestone streets force you to watch your step and to slow down, but who cares, after all you are in Puerto Vallarta to take it easy and relax! The ocean is always in sight, and if you stroll down in the mornings, all you can hear are the breaking waves and the chirping birds greeting each other at the beginning of a new day. When the sunsets and the night owls come out, many clubs and bars open their doors for more self-indulgent pleasures.
With all of its markets, street vendors, boutiques, galleries, live music, and friendly faces, downtown Puerto Vallarta thrives with life. It’s a sheer pleasure to walk about the area leading to Los Muertos Beach, mingle with the locals, admire the colors of the flowers lining every street, or stopping for a freshly-squeezed juice or a tamale in one of the many stalls in the area. The neighborhood has a unique vibe. Puerto Vallarta`s Romantic Zone is home to hundreds of international and Mexican restaurants which are well-known for their exceptional dishes that cater to all budgets.
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