The first acquaintance many people have with Puerto Vallarta is through movies or TV. A frequent stop on ‘The Love Boat’, Puerto Vallarta has grown and matured from its rustic beginnings as the village of Las Peñas to a major international resort destination.
Located on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, Puerto Vallarta’s tourist trade began in the 19th century, when the beautiful beaches, mild tropical climate and gorgeous scenery started to attract visitors. In the 1970s and 1980s, resort hotels began to rise and, when the peso was devalued in 1982, Puerto Vallarta became a bargain destination overnight and “The Friendliest City in the World”, especially for US tourists.
This friendly atmosphere, together with breathtaking views and warm sandy beaches, are what makes Puerto Vallarta such a unique and dreamy destination for tourists. The resort city is especially popular with couples planning exotic and unique destination weddings.
The golden beaches, crystal-blue water, beautiful scenery and the rich fragrances of the local flora combine to make great settings for the perfect wedding. Add in tons of activities, from adrenalin-rushes to archaeological wonders and it’s easy to see why Puerto Vallarta is such an appealing destination.
Attractions around Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta has a plethora of attractions to satisfy the tastes of almost every vacationer. Visitors can explore the many markets selling local wares, souvenirs, produce and foods from the surrounding regions. An evening walk along the paved boardwalk, the Malecon, draws large crowds during the evenings, particularly on Sundays.
Flora and fauna abound in the Puerto Vallarta Zoological Gardens, which are set in a forest in Mismaloya and are home to 350 animals. Follow that up by a stop at the Vallarta Botanical Gardens to check out the native plants, including agaves, cactus, orchids and palms.
Puerto Vallarta is world-renowned for its beaches, but some stand out as not to be missed. Legend has it that pirates once battled on Playa Los Muertos, the Beach of the Dead, which continues to be filled with activity to the present day, albeit of the less-deadly variety. At the mouth of the Mismaloya River lies Playa Mismaloya. More developed than some of the other Puerto Vallarta beaches, it was featured in John Huston’s ‘Night of the Iguana’; the main set was situated on a southern hillside, which now has several restaurants.
When to visit and how to get there
Weather plays a major role in selecting when to visit Puerto Vallarta. The climate is typically tropical, with a pronounced variation between the wet and dry seasons. Average temperatures range from between 86°F (30°C) and 70°F (21°C), with the average humidity hovering around 75%.
The rainy season begins in mid-June and extends through until the middle of October; the wettest month during the rainy season is August. November is generally dry, though tropical storms may bring some thunderstorms; however, hurricanes are very rare. February, March and April generally have the highest number of sunny days and the least amount of cloud cover.
Getting to Puerto Vallarta is possible by land, sea or air. Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport handles flights from around the world, operated by most of the major airlines, including Air Transat.