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Puerto Vallarta Travel Guide


Puerto Vallarta Introduction


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Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, masterfully plays the part of a remote tropical getaway, even as it grows into a larger city that's connected to the outside world by multinational chain stores and a steady stream of jets and cruise ships.   Click here to see the full Puerto Vallarta travel guide on Travel42 »

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Puerto Vallarta Geography


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Puerto Vallarta lies at the coastal center of Banderas Bay, a large semicircular inlet on Mexico's Pacific coast. The oldest part of the city is El Centro (also referred to as Viejo Vallarta, Old Town or downtown). The malecon, a bustling mile-long promenade, runs along the waterfront from the Hotel Rosita at its northern end to the South Side's Plaza Lazaro Cardenas. It passes the Plaza Principal (Main Square) and one block east of that is the city's main church. West of the church and several blocks inland, in the hills, is the neighborhood known as Gringo Gulch.  Click here to see the full Puerto Vallarta travel guide on Travel42 »

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Puerto Vallarta History


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The area around Puerto Vallarta was originally inhabited by Tarascans, Chapalas, Huichol and members of the Aztec confederation of tribes. The first European to visit Puerto Vallarta was Francisco Hernandez de San Buenaventura, a nephew of conqueror Hernan Cortes. As the story goes—we suspect it has been embellished over the years—the Spanish explorer and his party were met on the shore by 20,000 Indians, each carrying a flag made of bird feathers. In turn, the Spanish produced four banderas (banners), including one that depicted the Immaculate Conception. This display supposedly subdued the natives, who laid aside their feather flags, while a Spanish priest prayed for their souls. Banderas Bay takes its name from the event.   Click here to see the full Puerto Vallarta travel guide on Travel42 »

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Puerto Vallarta Sightseeing & Things to Do


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As a resort town, Puerto Vallarta's best offerings are recreation, restaurants and seaside relaxation rather than pure sightseeing. The city is expanding at a horrific rate, and in the rush to add more malls and shopping venues, much of the quaint old town and the Zona Romantica have been made over. However, there are a few sites and areas worth visiting.   Click here to see the full Puerto Vallarta travel guide on Travel42 »

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Puerto Vallarta Nightlife


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Tourists flock to Puerto Vallarta for its gorgeous beaches and cobblestoned streets, but when the stars come out, this resort town turns into one of the liveliest nightspots in Mexico. It has all of the bars and nightclubs one would expect—or demand—of a tropical resort city, ranging from the truly awful to the truly chic. A word to the wise: Especially in a party town like Vallarta, choose your destination wisely and ahead of time. Never allow a taxi to take you to a "recommended" spot, and always know exactly where you're going before you set foot out the door.   Click here to see the full Puerto Vallarta travel guide on Travel42 »

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Puerto Vallarta Restaurants & Dining


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Thanks to the talents of local and expatriate chefs, Puerto Vallarta stands out as one of the most food-savvy cities in Mexico. Travelers with a yen for a fine Continental, Italian, Indian, French, Asian, Spanish or (of course) Mexican dish will be surprised by the options. In the more innovative establishments, traditional Mexico is artfully blended with the cuisine and flair of foreign lands, making for an exceptional and exotic dining experience. Adding to the roster of Vallarta restaurants are home-style American joints, vegetarian cafes, pancake houses and good seafood eateries serving what the local fishermen bring in that day.   Click here to see the full Puerto Vallarta travel guide on Travel42 »

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