Before John Huston’s 1964 film, The Night of the Iguana, Puerto Vallarta was a just sleepy fishing village on the Pacific Coast where the states of Jalisco and Nayarit meet. But Liz Taylor came to keep an eye on her lover Richard Burton while he was filming with the voluptuous Ava Gardner. The publicity buzz about Burton and Liz’s torrid affair and the movie put Vallarta on the tourist map.
Puerto Vallarta’s renowned Malecón (seaside promenade) runs from the Romantic Zone to the start of the Hotel Zone. Here you’ll find a whimsical collection of bronze sculptures, including the town’s iconic seahorse.
Further north are the Hotel Zone and Marina where many resorts and restaurants are located. Traverse a modern bridge and you move from the State of Jalisco into Nayarit, home to the rapidly developing Riviera Nayarit with charming towns such as Bucerias and Sayulita and a host of resorts.
Puerto Vallarta enjoys a tropical climate. During the sunny dry season, from November to May, daytime temperatures hover at 27˚ to 30˚ C (80˚ to 85˚F) and there is virtually no rain. At night, the temperature drops to 16˚ to 18˚ C (55˚ to 65˚F), which is ideal for sleeping, but you may want to pack a shawl or light jacket. The hotter, humid rainy season lasts from June to October.
Sharing the same latitude as the Hawaiian Islands, Puerto Vallarta sits prettily in the middle of the Bay of Banderas, Mexico’s largest bay, measuring 42 km (26 miles) from tip to tip. North of the city of Puerto Vallarta, the Ameca River forms a natural boundary between Jalisco and the state of Nayarit where newer resorts and developments form the Riviera Nayarit.
Today, Puerto Vallarta reigns as one of Mexico’s most popular winter destinations because of its great diversity and almost perfect climate. Along with golden beaches, mountains and jungles you’ll discover modern amenities and creature comforts. In short, Puerto Vallarta is a very simpatico and affordable paradise that will appeal to just about everyone.