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As soon as you touch down in Puerto Vallarta, in Mexico’s Jalisco state on the Pacific Coast, you’ll find yourself accosted by offers of “complimentary” tequila shots and greeters trying to sell you timeshares. But Puerto Vallarta was once a very different destination. Even its name was different. Known as Las Peñas in the 1800s, it was renamed after former state governor Ignacio Vallarta in the early 1900s. As a fishing town, Puerto Vallarta’s main source of pesos, in addition to fishing, was agricultural exports such as bananas, coconuts and corn. These days, it relies on importing tourists, hypnotized by the green turquoise seawater.
Blame Hollywood. Stars such as Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Ava Gardner descended on Banderas Bay to film John Huston’s “The Night of the Iguana.” Soon enough, the paparazzi caught a whiff of Taylor and Burton’s blossoming love affair with each other — and their new second home. Others followed suit, including investors.
Flash-forward several decades later and cue the mariachi bands that tame tourists with exotic festive sounds, all-inclusive resorts with sandy beaches and watered-down drinks. But the Puerto Vallarta that Burton and Taylor fell in love with is so much more – if only you look beyond the confines of your resort when you travel here.
You may read more about Puerto Vallarta’s history here.
Immigration Services Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit
Restaurants in PV
La Chingona: awesome hamburgers and burritos; Lucerna #142; Phone: 322-246-1264;
Martini en Fuego Grill Bar: local cuisine, Mexican, Latin, seafood, ribs, Spanish, vegetarian friendly; #4 on TripAdvisor; Francisco Madero #260; Phone 322-228-0088
Salud Super Food: smoothies, salads, wraps; vegetarian and gluten-free options; breakfast all day, lunch; number 1 restaurant on TripAdvisor; inexpensive. Oltas #534A; Phone: 322-139-9398
Medical Services in PV
Please never go to a medical professional (dentist, doctor, nurse practitioner, chiropractor, etc) who does not have a cedula, or a professional license to practice medicine in Mexico. There are some (both Mexican and expats) who say they are medical professionals who have no credentials to practice in Mexico and maybe nowhere. The same applies to lawyers, accountants, notarios, architects, engineers, etc.
CMQ Premiere 226-6500
San Javier 226-1010
Red Cross Ambulance 222-1533
Ambulance Aura 209-0622
Dental Avant Garde; Cerrada de Cardinal No. 227 Interior 5 (Rancho Ojo de Aqua) Fracc. Aralias, C.P. 48328, Las Aralias, 48328 Puerto Vallarta; Phone: 322-224-0243
Other Services in PV
Police 911 / 178-8999
Fire Department 178-8800 Emergency: 222-1527
Canadian Consulate: 293-0098 / 293-0099
After Hours: 01-800-706-2900
Tourism Bureau 222-0923
Tourism Protection. 223-2500 Ext. 230 / 232
Consumer Protection (PROFECO) 225-0000 / 225-0018
Water / Sewer (SEAPAL) 223-1516
Ministerio Publico #4 222-1762
Handicap parking permits are available in Puerto Vallarta including for temporary and permanent residents. Please contact Teresa to assist. Teresa@soniadiazmexico.com
Servicios y Llantas Michelín; Río de La Plata 166-B, Lázaro Cárdenas, 48340 Puerto Vallarta; Phone: 322-223-5338
Jose De Jesus Ruiz; Plaza Neptuno; Blvd; Francisco Medina Ascencio Km. 7.5, Local F 10/11, Marina Vallarta, 48335, Puerto Vallarta; Phone: 322-226-9060; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Real Estate Closing Coordinator: Jessica Riedesser; Email: email@example.com; Phone: 322-221-0724
Plumber / Air Conditioning
Edson Lopez Lezama; bilingual, prompt; knowledgeable; cell: 322-109-6794
Sabuesos Colombia; 1198, 5 de Diciembre, 48350 Puerto Vallarta; Phone: 322-222-5775
Pet’s Estetica; Melchor Ocampo 109, Díaz Ordaz, 48310 Puerto Vallarta; Phone; 322-224-0319
Wolf’s Veterinary Clinic; Calle Milán 301, Versalles, 48310 Puerto Vallarta; Phone: 322-293-4474
There are many great activities for those spending time in PV. Catch a bus to take a taxi to the beautiful Malecon, the boardwalk that runs parallel to Banderas bay.
Then take your time strolling past the unusual statues and intricate sand sculptures found there, stopping for pictures or adventuring inside one of the many art galleries along the way.
You’ll probably end your walk at Los Arcos (above) or the Church of Our lady of Guadalupe – two of the most iconic images of the city. If you have more time to spare, plan on visiting the amazing Botanical Gardens of Vallarta or the northern seaside town of Bucerias.
Puerto Vallarta is rich in unique folk art, much of which won’t set you back as many pesos as you might think. You can discover its art scene on your own by stumbling across galleries and boutiques, or via Puerto Vallarta’s ArtWalk.
A most impressive botanical garden provides an opportunity for our community to share the wonder of the vast diversity of Mexico’s plant species with the world. They have assembled botanical collections in a safe environment with viewing trails and have already built the most-visited public collection of orchids in all of Mexico.
Markets / Shopping
Plaza Galerías is a large mall located just north of Walmart and Sam’s in the Northern Hotel Zone. Many of the most important stores and restaurant chains are located here, along with shops, banks, movies, etc. Av. Francisco Medina Ascencio 2920 Col. Educación, Puerto Vallarta
Olas Atlas Farmers’ Market Lázaro Cárdenas Park, Zona Romántica, Emiliano Zapata, Open Saturdays.
Macroplaza, in the hotel zone, with a Walmart supermarket, Office Depot, Muebles América, a large movie complex (Cinemex) and dozens of smaller stores, restaurants and more. Av. Francisco Villa No. 1526 Col. Los Sauces, Puerto Vallarta.
Plaza Caracol is located in mid-town (Colonia Versalles), in the hotel zone. It includes a Soriana Supermarket, many small shops, banks and boutiques, along with some ice-cream and fast food outlets. Ampliación Av. Los Tules 178, Zona Hotelera Las Glorias, Puerto Vallarta.
Sierra Madre Tours; horseback riding, snorkelling, canopy. adventure, etc; Phone: 322-320-3640; FaceBook: