All of the reasons why we love Puerto Vallarta

These are the most incredible reasons to love Puerto Vallarta, what it tastes like, what it feels like, and what it is like to live in this beautiful port.

All of the reasons why we love Puerto Vallarta
Reasons why we love Puerto Vallarta. Photo by Taylor Beach / Unsplash

Puerto Vallarta was not originally created for modern tourism, it turns out that the original population was made up of several Aztec Indian tribes. They were dedicated to making cultural and commercial relations along the Pacific coast. Banderas Bay and the Banderas Valley were named by the Spanish when Hernan Cortes' nephew was traveling in this area.

The city that is now Puerto Vallarta began when businesswoman Guadalupe Sanchez set up a trading post on the banks of the Cuale River to supply salt to the gold and silver mines in the mountains towards Guadalajara. Puerto Vallarta was named in honor of Don Ignacio Luis Vallarta, a well-known governor of the state of Jalisco.

The Night of the Iguana

International attention first set eyes on Vallarta after American director John Huston decided to shoot the movie "The Night of the Iguana" in Mismaloya. The film starred Richard Burton, Ava Gardner and Deborah Kerr. Based on a drama by Tennessee Williams, the filming of this movie was the initial impulse that would place Vallarta in the eyes of the world as a fashionable place at that time, and more than for its story, for its protagonists and for the presence of Liz Taylor in Vallarta.

The great romance between Liz and Richard, which began in 'Cleopatra', was by then known by all, "and brought the actress to Vallarta to be near him. He bought the Kimberly House in Gringo Gulch and moved in. Later, Burton bought the property across the street and later they joined them with the famous bridge over Zaragoza Street".

Why Puerto Vallarta? John Huston in his book 'An Open Book' wrote that while looking for locations for the film he met in Los Angeles, California, the engineer Guillermo Wulff, who proposed that the filming be done in Mismaloya; the director had already been in Puerto Vallarta on two occasions, so he decided to shoot the film after visiting the site.

The film was shot almost entirely in Mismaloya, except for some scenes that were filmed in the Paraíso Hotel and in a street in Puerto Vallarta. The protagonists had rented luxurious residences in the port and every morning they would meet at Los Muertos Beach to go to the set in a boat because the road had not yet been built.

After the film

John Huston, after finishing the film, decided to settle in the primitive Las Caletas, within an ejido of the Chacala Indians, about 15 minutes by sea from Boca de Tomatlan. He leased the land for ten years, with an option for ten more years, and after that period, both the land and everything he had built would pass to the indigenous community. Huston enjoyed the many years he lived in Puerto Vallarta.

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton also stayed in the town, made friends, enjoyed the party, loved the privacy of the place. They had a little more freedom than in other parts of the world, they could walk around the town, go shopping, bathe at the beach without so much siege from fans and journalists. They became part of the local community and participated in community work, donations and also in actions as volunteer promoters of the city.

Reasons to love Puerto Vallarta

The beaches. There are more than 26 beaches in Banderas Bay. One of the most famous is Los Muertos beach. If you are looking for a beach with more privacy there is Garza Blanca. For water sports fans there is Playa de Oro. For scuba diving you can visit Los Arcos National Marine Park.

The Malecon. It has a beautiful row of sculptures in bronze, iron or resins. It has many works of art that various artists have worked to decorate the landscape. For shopping there are many stores. And the malecon has some of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta.

The food is a mixture of international haute cuisine with the typical delicacies of the area. Among the dishes you must try is the "pescado embarazado" (pregnant fish), which is nothing more than a play on words to refer to grilled fish on a stick. They have a great variety of fish and seafood dishes, such as ceviches, the local attraction is the mojarra ceviche, zarandeados fish, and fish meatballs.

Since this is Jalisco, you can also find the typical tortas ahogadas (drowned cakes).
In addition, the International Gourmet Festival attracts chefs from all over the world who, together with local gastronomic gurus, create great works of culinary art.

Sports and adventure. From kayaking, jungle trekking, snorkeling, water skiing, horseback riding, skydiving, rappelling, zip lines, safaris and much more. The Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden has 3,000 different species of plants, home to an incredible variety of birds and butterflies.

On the other hand, crocodiles, turtles and many sea birds are in the labyrinth of canals in La Tobara, a must for nature lovers. Boats sail slowly along the canals and mangroves of El Conchal Bridge, on the outskirts of San Blas, approximately three hours from Marina Vallarta.

Finally, the Puerto Vallarta Zoo, in Mismaloya, has more than 100 species of animals along its five hectares: the coyote, the jaguar and the puma, and others from the rest of the world, such as lions, leopards, camels, zebras and Bengal tigers.

Downtown Puerto Vallarta is one of the most beautiful, as its colonial architecture makes it very picturesque. There are bars, restaurants and antique stores. One of the big reasons why people always come back and fall in love with Vallarta is because of its people. Vallartenses are super friendly, cool, respectful and warm. Puerto Vallarta is a Gay Friendly city and one of the best LGBT destinations in the world.

Due to its strict compliance with preventive protocols, Puerto Vallarta was awarded the Safe Destination seal, granted by the World Travel and Tourism Council. The priority is to keep visitors safe, which is why all measures indicated by health authorities and filters necessary for travelers to return home healthy and safe are respected.