Equal parts small town and cosmopolitan city, charming Puerto Vallarta is located on the famed Bahía de Banderas on Mexico's Pacific Coast. The long stretch of golden beach found here is what turned this former fishing village into one of Mexico's most sought after retreats, with over a million visitors a year to its shores. Just 15 minutes north, you'll find the long expanse of soft golden coast continues along the shores of Riviera Nayarit. The area is an oasis for visitors keen on ultra-luxe resorts, specialty boutique hotels and opulent private villas that feature the next degree of pampered service and modern amenities.
The beauty of a Puerto Vallarta vacation is that you can choose the pace that suits you best. Want to slow it down, focus on family and relaxation? There are resorts and activities designed to please. Looking for sunny days and sizzling nights? Well, in addition to that glorious coastline, the city is well-known for its festive nightlife. Want a picture perfect setting for your destination wedding? Puerto Vallarta not only offers sea views but a stunning backdrop with the Sierra Mountains off in the distance and a lush landscape further inland. Whatever your pleasure, you'll find it here. Spend days lounging on the beach or head out to some of the smaller islands to snorkel in calm waters. Celebrate your nights in town or have a quiet evening on the beach, under the stars. Puerto Vallarta is ready to please.
After a comprehensive lesson, you'll be ready to tandem skydive above the bay overlooking the glorious Sierra Madre Mountains. Safely harnessed on to an experienced instructor, and freefall for an exhilarating half-minute, then spend the rest of your time floating amongst the clouds in utter tranquility as you take in the incredible mountain views, the ocean and the heavens above you.
Charter a private sailboat for a memorable day or to celebrate a special occasion on the remarkable Bahía de Banderas. Swim and snorkel amongst the fish or just float on your paddle board. Catering and a full-service bar can accompany the party also, so get to work on your invite list.
Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit's many esteemed larger resorts feature modern facilities perfect for hosting larger international events such as conferences and conventions. Weddings in Puerto Vallarta tend to stay beachside as the backdrop is tremendously beautiful and receptions will echo the lively atmosphere of the region.
Puerto Vallarta is a foodie's paradise. With over 250 restaurants serving exemplary regional Mexican dishes and international cuisine, the culinary scene is strong and vibrant here. This city loves its food, which is proudly showcased in its restaurants and festivals (if you visit in November, check out the annual gourmet dining celebrations).
The Malecón is the main strip for shopping, dining, socializing and nightlife. Home to a wide array of energetic bars, nightclubs and lounges which regularly feature a rotation of world-renowned DJs. It is the heart of the life at any time, day or night. Viejo Vallarta (or the Old Town) offers a slightly different, more 'Old World' vibe that comes complete with tasty cantinas and traditional live music acts.
For quieter nights, head to the upscale tequila bars that can be found closer to the bay area, or take a romantic seaside stroll along the southern end of Plaza Morelos. To pack on the charm, the weekends here often see cultural performances put on by locals.
There are several excellent oceanfront golf courses in the area, including two Jack Nicklaus signature courses. All the links here assert they're the best in Puerto Vallarta, so the competition to offer the most challenging bunkers, elongated fairways, and scenic beauty is high. Truth be told, any of these courses will impress even the most avid golfer.
Charter your own fishing excursion and tailor the day to your liking. Small boats to larger trawlers are available as well as private staff (captain, first mate) to do the sailing. Just concentrate on the line and your catch.
Puerto Vallarta offers great sun and sand with a jubilant atmosphere. This is the perfect place to celebrate a milestone birthday, graduation, an engagement or a bachelor/bachelorette celebration as the festive mood can't be beat anywhere else on the Pacific Coast.