Located on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, where the states of Jalisco and Nayarit meet, at the heart of Banderas Bay, Puerto Vallarta offers the best of two worlds: tradition and the vanguard, making Vallarta a window to the world.
Puerto Vallarta has received many global accolades that are a testament to the uniqueness and warmth of the city. It has been voted the friendliest city in the world by Condé Nast Magazine (2003), the best place to retire globally by The American Association of Retired Persons (2010) and the best Mexican Vacation destination by USNews.com (2010), beating out Cancún and Los Cabos for the top prize.
Since its beginnings, Puerto Vallarta has had an interesting and multifaceted history. From the discoveries of the first settlements here and with the arrival of its first settlers, the Azatlan (from Durango), with the passage of time developed their own culture to which they gave the name Banderas.
The chroniclers from this period called the valley Xiutla; which means “where all the small plants grow.” Around 1525, the Spaniards began to call it Banderas Valley, bringing with them four banners and an image of the Holy Virgin.
It was not an easy co-existence and there were many skirmishes. During one confrontation between the indigenous and the Spanish, the Spanish realized they were outnumbered by the enemy, and a Spanish friar went down on his knees in surrender. The story continues that the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, that was directly behind the friar, threw out beams of light and became covered in a radiant light. The Spaniards believed this a miracle while the indigenous became frightened and submitted themselves before the Spanish, led by the nephew of Herman Cortes, the famous Francisco Cortes de Buenaventura.
After the Spanish conquest, Vallarta began a process of rediscovering itself, but it wasn’t until after our independence that it became a township on December 2, 1851 and renamed Las Peñas de Santa Maria Guadalupe for the patron virgin by Don Guadalupe Sanchez Torres.
Like every seaside city in its time, a port was a necessity in order to transport the silver that came from the mines of what is known today as San Sebastian and Mascota, thereby reducing its name to Puerto Las Peñas.
Thanks to the activities in the port, and its quick growth, in May 1918 a municipality was formed and given the name of the Governor of Jalisco, Ignacio L. Vallarta, and it became Puerto Vallarta. At the end of the 1930’s and beginnings of the ‘40’s Vallarta began to exploit its marine wealth, principally through shark fishing, which brought a great deal of economic growth. In the 50’s, the port celebrated its history by hosting the event of its 100th anniversary.
In 1968, Vallarta was elevated from a municipality to a city by decree of the State Congress. From this point forward Vallarta grows not only economically but culturally, now becoming the most important city for tourism in Jalisco.
With its wealth of natural and cultural riches, from the Sierra Madre mountains, through its rivers, traversing mountains, walking on the sand to the turquoise waves of the ocean, Puerto Vallarta invites you to breathe in its ambience, taste its textures, feel the warmth of its people, watch the jumping of whales, listen to the murmur of dolphins, watch eagles in flight, listen to the heartbeat of a city that daily reinvents itself without losing its essence. This is the treasure of the pacific discovered centuries ago by the ancient Azatlan tribe.
To find out which resort or hotel will suit you best for your upcoming travel plans to Puerto Vallarta, please send us an email or fill out the Contact Form on the right side of this page.