Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco

Population: 350,000

Time zone: Central Standard Time

Airport: Gustavo Diaz Ordaz Intl. (PVR)

Elevation: Sea Level

For many, Puerto Vallarta is Mexico’s finest city, combining a cobble-stoned, small- village ambience with a modern and efficient infrastructure. Located on the large Bahia de Banderas between the tropical hills and the warm Pacific Ocean, Vallarta is a very friendly town, appealing to all ages.

Bisected by the Rio Cuale, the town’s neighborhoods and commercial areas are dominated by white-washed, two and three-story buildings, capped with red-tile roofs. Most of the town provides either a sea or jungle-view, with an array of accommodations available from five-star resorts to family-run pensiones. With over 275 restaurants, ranging from international gourmet to the wonderful aroma of the street-taco stands, Vallarta has some of the best food in Mexico. And, of course, there are the beautiful beaches, buffered from the large ocean surf by its bayside setting.

Visitors to PV are encouraged to spend some time exploring the region, both to the north, south and east. South of town the highway runs along the coast to the small villages of Mismaloya and Boca de Tomatlan, before continuing down the Costa Alegre (Happy Coast) to Barra de Navidad and Manzanillo in the state of Colima. To the north lies the state of Nayarit, with a succession of ideal hamlets: Bucerias, Sayulita, San Pancho, and Chacala. A new road has been completed into the mountains to the east, leading to the old, fascinating mining towns of San Sebastian, Talpa de Allende and Mascota. Local bus transportation provides a cheap means of exploration, as do reasonably priced rental cars.