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Mexico: Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit

Puerto Vallarta is a glittering resort situated on the curve of the Pacific coast’s striking Bahia de Banderas (Bay of Flags). Backed by jungle-clad mountains and flanked by dozens of golden sand beaches, Puerto Vallarta is ashamedly focussed on filling the leisure time of its many Mexican and foreign visitors, and is certainly regarded as a party place. Nevertheless, compared to other resorts elsewhere on the Pacific coast and on the Yucatán Peninsula this is a more authentic Mexican destination, with plenty of effusive references to the country’s kaleidoscope of culture.

In fact, there seems to be some kind of event – parade, foodie fiesta, musical performance, art exhibition - every day throughout the season. The attractive palm-lined malécon (seaside promenade) is chock-a-block with bars, little shops and companies offering zip-lining, dolphin-spotting and boat tours. The marina bulges with luxury yachts overlooked by classy hotels. Variety is the key here – beyond the razzle of the Hotel Zone and the gay-friendly, youthful vibe of the Romantic Zone, you will find the atmospheric cobbled streets of the Spanish colonial heart of the old city, exclusive upmarket hotels, gourmet restaurants, peaceful coves – especially on the Punta Mita peninsula and north of the city on the Riviera Nayarit, featuring the hippy-chic surf village Sayulita and discreet luxury resorts.

Puerto Vallarta has a long history – like so many modern-day destinations for visitors it started life as a fishing and pearl-diving village, grew in importance as a port serving the mining areas of the hinterland, and then was put on the map internationally when favoured by north American retirees and when it served as the sparkling location for the 1964 Hollywood film Night of the Iguanas when Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor launched their not-so-secret affair.   

Whatever you are looking for – lounging on sun-baked, unpolluted beaches, bubbling entertainment and night life, heart-stopping active adventures, water-sports, visits to nature reserves and marine life; or a calm retreat to relax in luxury, we can guide you to the right spot in “PV” or the more natural, less developed Nayarit.

Our insider tips for Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit


Jamie Swan

Even if you aren't staying there, don't miss a trip down to the marina to ogle the luxury yachts and super glamorous hotels and restaurants.

Alex Walker

Alexandra Walker

Splash out at Punta Mita, a tranquil private gated community  with  top end hotels and two world class golf courses. Definitely a hangout for the rich and famous!

Ben Line

Ben Line

Head out to the Marietas islands, a protected reserve with an amazing 'underground' hidden beach, for snorkelling and marine wildlife spotting including hump-back whales and dolphins..

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