Do you know the best places to sleep in Puerto Vallarta? The Romantic Zone, the Downtown, the Hotel Zone, or Nueva Vallarta are some of the most recommended. We will explain to you how these and other highly recommended areas are so that you can make an informed choice.
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Puerto Vallarta is a wonderful city that is gradually gaining worldwide attention. It has a very uniform semi-warm climate. Its temperatures remain constant throughout the year, which means that cold is practically non-existent.
The main attribute of this destination is its beaches. Along the Vallarta coastline, there are different sandy areas, each of them with peculiar properties. Some of them are ideal to practice water sports, whereas others invite more relaxation.
Besides the sun, the sea and the sand, Puerto Vallarta delights your palate with the best dishes from the sea, offers you a variety of options when shopping and offers different tours for the whole family.
Being such an attractive destination for national and foreign tourists, it has a very wide and varied offer of accommodations for all budgets and demands. In this article, we help you identify the best place to sleep in Puerto Vallarta, according to your expectations.
This part of town, also known as Old Vallarta, is full of life. There are many small hotels and bed & breakfasts to stay in Puerto Vallarta, mostly between Olas Altas and the beach. It is an area that you can and should explore on foot.
One of the main attractions of the Romantic Zone is Los Muertos Beach, the busiest beach in all of Puerto Vallarta. It is the ideal place to enjoy an exquisite meal of fresh fish and seafood or a refreshing drink by the sea.
In addition, the pier is a good place to take pictures, especially at sunset and at night, when the candle of its central rotunda is illuminated with multicolored lights, giving us a unique show.
Water taxis depart from here to the paradisiacal beaches of Yelapa and Quimixto, and cruises travel all over the bay.
Another good place to get a beautiful postcard of the coast and the sea is El Púlpito. This is a rocky mound about twenty meters high, located on the same beach. It has a path that allows you to climb to the top.
On weekends, thousands of people gather at the Tianguis Cultural in Lázaro Cárdenas Park. In this informal market, you will find a varied selection of fresh products and typical sweets. Paintings, jewelry, bijouterie and other pieces made by Vallarta craftsmen are also common.
If it’s lunchtime, you can enjoy delicious local dishes right here. The “tianguis” is set up every Saturday from November to April, from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm.
You will understand why this area of Puerto Vallarta is known as the Romantic Zone when you walk down Calle de los Cafés, a corridor of international restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy a delicious dessert accompanied by a hot drink.
Downtown Puerto Vallarta
The oldest area of the city, the original Puerto Vallarta, is considered a cultural heritage of the state of Jalisco, which shows the value it has for the region and the country. Its cobblestone streets give it that typical town feel that you will love.
It is mandatory to set aside time for a quiet walk along the Malecón. As the boardwalk is a place where the urban mixes with the natural to give us a charming landscape, do not be surprised if, on more than one occasion along your tour, you feel the urge to take out your camera or your mobile device to capture the moment.
The sculptures are very prominent attractions of this walk. The Seahorse is one of the most emblematic. It is a bronze representation, three meters high, of a child mounted on the back of the mentioned hippocampus.
Also famous are the works The Subtle Stone-Eater, The Unicorn of Good Fortune, In Search of Reason, The Roundabout of the Sea, The Millenniums, Nostalgia, Origin and Destiny and Newt and Mermaid.
If you want to stop for a break and enjoy an ice cream or other local treat on your walk along the Malecón, then you can sit in the Plaza de Armas, popularly known as El Zócalo.
It is a space that is especially lively in the afternoons from Thursday to Sunday, when the Municipal Band and other musical groups perform in the central kiosk.
As far as the sandy areas are concerned, we would like to highlight one in particular: Camarones beach, one of the cleanest beaches in the bay. It is accessible from any street perpendicular to Mexico Avenue that leads to the sea. It is the perfect place to swim, fish and enjoy fish and seafood under the shade of a palapa.
If you are looking for a unique souvenir to take home, you will find it at the Cuale River Municipal Market. The first floor is full of shops where all kinds of handicrafts and souvenirs are sold. On the other hand, the second floor is full of Mexican food shops.
The list of things you can buy includes bottles of tequila and liquor, leather goods with artistic engravings, T-shirts with legends alluding to your stay in this destination, woven or hand-embroidered dresses, ornaments and key rings made of shells, stones and sand, and silver accessories.
The options for staying in Puerto Vallarta in this area are similar to those of the Romantic Zone. It should be noted that hotels are even more affordable if you stay a block away from the sea.
As you can imagine, some of the main hotels and resorts to sleep in Puerto Vallarta are located here. We are talking about those belonging to large national and international chains. Most of them are four and five stars, and are located at the beachfront.
Beaches and shopping malls are the hallmark of the Hotel Zone. First of all, we have Playa de Oro, a spacious sandy beach almost a kilometer long, between the port and the Pitillal River.
It has the Blue Flag certification, which positions it as one of the best beaches in the country. Playa de Oro offers you several entertainment options: a banana ride or a parachute pulled by a boat, tours on board of local taxis and more.
Los Tules, Las Glorias and Playa Tranquila are also worth mentioning. The latter is not suitable for swimming, but you can walk around it.
In the Hotel Zone there are a lot of cafes, restaurants and night clubs. In addition, the Hotel Zone also has interesting options for shopping and family fun.
In the Galerías and Península squares you will find shops selling clothes, accessories and fashion accessories, technology; children’s games, spa rooms, restaurants, cafeterias and a cinema.
On the other hand, you have to come to Plaza La Isla. More than a shopping mall, its outdoor area resembles a city square, beautifully decorated with fountains and water channels. Enjoy a delicious meal or dessert while listening to live music or watching a lively show presented by talented artists.
Puerto Vallarta Marina
This is one of the most exclusive residential and tourist areas of the port. In terms of accommodation in Puerto Vallarta, the largest number of luxury hotels and resorts are concentrated here. It is advisable to visit the marina as a couple or as a family, even if you do not choose this area to sleep in Puerto Vallarta.
The magnificent hotel complexes, the boats, yachts and even cruise ships docked at the docks and the beautiful countryside offer you an unforgettable panorama.
You can also climb the lighthouse to access the bar at the top. In the evenings, it is the favourite place to enjoy an excellent drink while you contemplate the marina in all its splendour, with the mountains and the sun setting on the horizon. A very romantic scene, don’t you think?
On the marina’s boardwalk, as the corridor around the docks is known, there are restaurants with different gastronomic offerings, cafes and clothing and souvenir shops. The Plaza Marina is another place to shop and eat.
Do you like to watch or play golf? Then this is the perfect place for you. It has first class courses. In fact, two of them have hosted professional events of international stature: the Jack Nicklaus and the Tom Weiskopf.
Since both are located in an uptown area, players and visitors get a privileged view of the rest of the marina, the bay and the city. The fields are beautifully decorated with palm trees, trees and natural streams.
This is one of the most fascinating beaches in Mexico. The name comes, it seems, from the undulations of many of the shells here. It’s located just a few minutes from the city center. Many hotels, restaurants and shops are around it.
The coast is surrounded by mountains with abundant tropical vegetation. The result is a one-of-a-kind beach. Conchas Chinas is another of Vallarta’s Blue Flag beaches, thanks in part to the efforts made to protect the local flora and fauna and to build environmentally friendly human settlements.
The geographical conditions also favor the coexistence of birds and reptiles of the tropical climate with the crustaceans, mollusks and fish that thrive in the natural pools closest to the sea.
Dive into its waters to contemplate the marine ecosystem and have a good time with your loved ones. In fact, this is a good place to start snorkeling.
Conchas Chinas is also a gastronomic paradise. The surrounding restaurants have a varied menu whose star ingredients are seafood. We especially recommend roasted, pregnant or breaded fish, shrimp or marlin tacos, octopus ceviche and seafood.
Unlike other places in Puerto Vallarta, at Conchas Chinas you’ll find all kinds of accommodations to stay in Puerto Vallarta, some rustic and simple, and others more elegant. As a result, the price variation between some lodgings and others can be considerable.
Just twenty minutes from Puerto Vallarta’s International Airport is Nuevo Vallarta, an important residential and tourist development on the rise. Most of its visitors and residents come from the United States and Canada.
The most modern and luxurious hotels to sleep in Puerto Vallarta are here. Almost all of them are five star and super luxurious. Away from the hustle and bustle of downtown and the Hotel Zone, the beaches of Nuevo Vallarta are the place to be to relax and enjoy the scenery.
They are distinguished by their soft, clean sand and thick vegetation. And as it happens in Conchas Chinas, the buildings are not very invasive with the ecosystem and harmonize with the environment.
Would you like to rent a boat to tour Banderas Bay? You can do it in one of its two perfectly equipped marinas. Also, in Nuevo Vallarta you will find golf courses, sports clubs and haute cuisine restaurants.
The best places to do your shopping are the Paradise Plaza Shopping Center and Nuevo Vallarta Plaza Business Center.
If you are traveling with your family, you should come to the Mini Zoo or go to one of the centers that offer swimming with dolphins. The more adventurous can set aside a day to visit the Marietas Islands National Ecological Reserve, a magnificent ecosystem.
Get your diving equipment ready to explore the underwater caves, which are home to a wide variety of marine species. And don’t miss the opportunity to visit the fascinating Playa Escondida, as well as the areas of La Corbeteña and El Morro, where it is possible to spot humpback whales between December and March.
Bocas de Tomatlán
This fishing village is located less than 20 kilometers from Puerto Vallarta. You can get here by car or bus. Bocas de Tomatlán is on the way to the Botanical Gardens of Vallarta, only five kilometers from the town of Mismaloya.
It is also possible to arrive at this destination aboard one of the water taxis that depart from the Puerto Vallarta Marina and Los Muertos Beach. Water taxis depart from here to Banderas Bay and the beaches of Colomitos, Las Animas, Majahuitas, Quimixto and Yelapa.
A small boardwalk borders the final section of the Horcones River, allowing you to see the exact point where it flows into the sea after completing its course through the Sierra Madre. The river reaches its highest flow in the rainy season, between June and early October.
As the waters of Bocas de Tomatlán beach are very calm, sea swimming, snorkeling, diving and kayaking are ideal. And, as in most of the beaches we’ve mentioned so far, here you’ll also find restaurants where you can enjoy a tasty plate of fish and seafood, accompanied by a cold beer.
This is an interesting alternative to sleeping in Puerto Vallarta, especially for those looking for peace and quiet or to save some money. Its accommodation offer includes modest and quiet apartments, villas and bed & breakfast.
As you can see, there are many alternatives to stay in Puerto Vallarta. Regardless of which one you choose, you have to get to know the main points of interest in this city. Take a trip to this fascinating Mexican Pacific destination.