Puerto Vallarta Takes Off in a Record-Breaking Year

Vallarta boomed in 2023. More cruise and plane passengers than ever swayed hotels to near-full. But beware: fake drugs cast a shadow — check meds carefully. Still, paradise beckons — soak up the sunshine and let Vallarta's magic work its charm.

Puerto Vallarta Takes Off in a Record-Breaking Year
Los Arcos de Mismaloya, the undisputed king of Vallarta boat tours, welcomes sun-seekers with open arms (and turquoise waters).

2023, it seems, was the year when Puerto Vallarta went full-on mambo, with tourists pirouetting in record numbers and cruise ships swaying to their own salty beat.

Let's start with the sea sirens. Over 540,000 cruise passengers sashayed onto Vallarta's shores in 2023, a 30% pirouette compared to 2022. Sure, the number of actual ships dipped (174 vs 186), but hey, quality over quantity, right? Think of it as a conga line where each passenger throws down more pesos than the last.

January was the undisputed king of cruise-a-palooza, with 90,000 sun-seekers boogieing ashore, while December moved in with almost 38,000. Of course, Mother Nature occasionally threw a wrench in the nautical fandango, forcing port closures like that time Hurricane Lidia cha-cha'ed its way through October, cancelling two ships. But hey, even the ocean needs a mamba break occasionally.