Where To Stay In Puerto Vallarta Close To Everything
- COOLEST thing to do in Centro hunt for bargains at the Mercado it houses both a farmers market and a flea market
- BEST place to visit in Centro the Malecon is the main waterfront street and a major hive of activity in the area
As the name would suggest, Centro is the most central part of the city and the perfect option for getting around all of the main attractions but it has so much more to offer than convenience! This is also where you will find many of the cultural and historic attractions, and is another great choice for first-timers if you are more interested in these kind of activities.
As the oldest part of the city, Centro has some great examples of colonial architecture as well as a great selection of museums and art galleries! The restaurants here can be pricey but are totally worth it if you want authentic Mexican cuisine.
- Check out local listings for the next Art Walk many galleries offer free appetizers and viewings during these events, and you can purchase some pieces to take home
- Plaza de Armas, the main square of the entire city, is a vibrant meeting point and regularly hosts live musicians and events
- This is also a great area for nightlife, with Señor Frogs being a popular choice with the young crowd
- Una Familia are a fantastic restaurant for sampling authentic Mexican cuisine
- The Parish of Our Lady of Guadeloupe Church is the oldest cathedral in the city and great for architecture enthusiasts
How Do You Get Around Puerto Vallarta
Getting around Puerto Vallarta has been made extremely easy ever since the local government invested more in the infrastructure and roads of the city – but the primary issue here is that these developments aren’t that consistent across town.
Some areas, like the Hotel Zone and Downtown, are easily accessible via public transport or taxis. Ubers are also fairly plentiful around these areas, so you don’t really have to walk anywhere. Places like the Marina and the Romantic Zone are a little more crowded and may require a lot more walking, but they aren’t completely inaccessible by vehicle.
If you’re bringing or renting your own vehicle, make sure that your accommodation has parking space – or failing that, is nearby a pay parking lot. But even if you bring your own vehicle, Puerto Vallarta is really best experienced on foot, with many other hidden areas and attractions being only reachable via boat.
$$ Grand Miramar All Luxury Suites & Residences
Miramar means ocean-view. From every vantage point at Grand Miramar All Luxury Suites and Residences, all you will see are the inviting crystal blue waters of Banderas Bay. Every detail is in place to make your dining experience unforgettable.
From the traditional haute cuisine selections at Eugenia Restaurant, the memorable culinary tour of Mexican delights at Cielito Lindo, to the luxuriating pool area, La Terraza pampers you with unique, tasty treats and chilled beverages. Wind down a long day of sightseeing and excursions with a stop at The Gin Joint. Enjoy the chill vibes of the live lounge music and exquisitely mixed house cocktails.
The View Spa offers a 180º panoramic view of the bay whether you choose a floatation experience, facial, manicure, or full body massage with hot stones.
Choose a Junior Suite with oceanview for two breakfast included starting at around $325 USD per night.
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Villas In Puerto Vallarta
The neighborhoods above are some of the places where you can find hotels, hostels, and resorts aplenty – but what if you want to settle somewhere a little more private? Villas are a great answer to this question: privately maintained, usually located in prime areas, and have facilities like heated pools and private pools, they’re a great alternative to when you don’t feel like settling in a hotel – and can be a far more intimate experience with Puerto Vallarta.
Some villas that you can book include:
Getting Around The Hotel Zone
The Hotel Zone is approximately ten to fifteen minutes from the airport, depending on where you are staying. There are also plenty of taxis and buses readily available in this area. If you have a vehicle, most resorts have parking available. Its also easy to walk to nearby Versailles and some of the restaurants in the area.
The Hotel Zone is best for:
- First time visitors
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Title: Best Areas For Dining And Culture
For a slightly quieter, boutique-style stay, choose a hotel in the Romantic Zone near the recently upgraded Basilio Badillo Street. The hotels are more intimate here, yet all are close to the beach, great Mexican cuisine and artsy shops. Walk from your accommodations to the huge open-air Mercado Emiliano Zapata, where local families and restaurateurs come to shop for their fresh produce. During the high season, there’s a Friday night art walk that’s not to be missed. Check out accommodations in the up-and-coming 5 de Diciembre, an authentic little area with heaps of charm, a famous fish market and reputedly the best tacos in town. Stay farther afield in Sayulita to be within driving distance of Puerto Vallarta, yet immersed in surf culture, local flavors and bohemian artwork.
Communicating In Puerto Vallarta
Ordering lunch in Puerto Vallarta at El Campanario
Communication is key. If youre concerned about being able to communicate with the locals in Puerto Vallarta, dont be.
When visiting Puerto Vallarta, many people will know a little bit of English, particularly in the touristy parts of town such as the boardwalk area and most of the surrounding businesses. As well, most menus will have both an English and Spanish side ensuring ordering food remains hassle free.
There are some people who may understand very little English as well, so it does help to know some very basic Spanish when traveling to Puerto Vallarta.
Here are some common words and phrases I recommend you learn before traveling to Puerto Vallarta:
|English Phrase/ Word|
|You give me a taco please.||Me das un taco por favor.|
With these few simple words and phrases, it should be more than enough to get you by in Puerto Vallarta. In fact, many locals appreciate the fact you are willing to try to speak Spanish, even if youre not great at it.
I try to order everything and ask for anything in Spanish whenever I visit Mexico. Do I mess up? Yes. Do I keep trying? You bet! Its fun, and it feels pretty cool when you can communicate in another language, even if its just a few words or phrases.
Regardless of how you decide to approach communicating, Im positive you will find it very easy to communicate with most people, even if you just point at things. Dont be nervous, its easy.
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First Time To Puerto Vallarta
This is our first time to Puerto Vallarta and we are bit lost of which area is nice and safe to stay at. It would be nice to stay at the beach front and be not too far from town.
We are looking at doing an all inclusive package using either bookit.com or pleaseholidays.com.
Any suggestions on the area?
If you have done an all inclusive, do you have any suggestion for which hotels?
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
The All-Inclusives that are in or nearest downtown are:
I don’t stay AI myself but know these are the ones that are in/closest to the heart of the city.
We love Playa Los Arcos in old town-the romantic zone. You can do it AI, but I would choose not to because there are so many great restaurants within walking distance. We book directly with the hotel. Ask for Marguerita.
Thank you Suze and 777Deana777.
I have heard from some people about the drug war. They remind me of that issue.
How safe is it for PV now?
I think it would help us more to know what you would like in a resort – what are your “wants/needs” in terms of amenities besides wanting to be on the beach.
All inclusive resorts in PV run a very wide gamut from budget AIs up to luxury AIs, and the quality of those resorts runs the same gamut. So I think it’s helpful to know what you’re thinking or what on those websites has already caught your eye, then we can give you background info.
Help us, help you. (-:
Edited: 9 years ago
Beaches are typical Pacific Coast beaches .
Where To Stay In Marina Vallarta Around The Airport
The first time I visited Puerto Vallarta, I traveled last minute by bus from Guadalajara. I knew Id be getting in late and that point, I didnt really didnt have any plans so I decided to look for something close by the bus station for the first night. That way if I was delayed and I was or really tired and I was I wouldnt have to travel far after a long bus ride.
I ended up staying at City Express near the bus terminal and it was exactly what I needed that night. City Express is a chain of Mexican hotels geared towards business travelers and short term stays but it has everything that anyone could need. The price was reasonable, the rooms exceptionally clean and the bed very comfortable. Theres also a pool and breakfast included.
From my room facing the bay, I had a great view of the ocean and cruise port. There was even a cruise ship docked the next morning.
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Top Things To Do In The Hotel Zone
- Be a beach bum on one of the many golden-sand beaches:
- Spend a few hours admiring the water features and design at La Isla shopping mall
- Enjoy the views of the Maritime Terminal where the cruise ships come in from the floor to ceiling windows of the foodcourt in Galerias Vallarta Shopping Mall
- Catch the latest Hollywood flick in the cinema in Galerias Vallarta
- Find all the necessary supplies for your vacation at Costco, Sams Club, or Wal-Mart
- Go horseback riding on the beach
- Get in touch with your inner adrenaline junkie by going parasailing
- Catch a bus that heads for the northern little towns of Banderas Bay such as Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerias, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Punta de Mita, and Sayulita.
- Check out the childrens activities at the Los Mangos Public Library
- Go for a walk around the Agustin Flores Contreras Sports Complex
- End each day watching the incredible sunsets from the beach
- Best hostel in the Hotel Zone: El Sunset Hostel
Puerto Vallarta Zona Romantica
The Zona Romantica is the most fashionable area in Puerto Vallarta, a little more up-to-date than the Old Town but with the same charm and character. Its the entire length of Puerto Vallarta that runs from Cuele River to Playa de Los Muertos end, extending from east to west. On the Malecon side, its connected to the original city via a bridge and swinging bridges linking Cuale Island, a great location for flea markets and restaurants.
However, the city continues along the steep coast up to Conchas China, lined with hotels and condos boasting spectacular views over the bay. Dont forget to bring a beach chair and unwind on popular Los Muertos Beach.
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Conchas Chinas Puerto Vallartas Spot For Luxury
Conchas Chinas is an upscale neighborhood of Puerto Vallarta. The name Conchas Chinas means Chinese Shells, which can be found on the local beach. Thats why in this area you will be able to find secluded white-sand beaches. If you stay in Conchas Chinas, you may need to rent a car or take a taxi to discover surrounding areas as it is around 10 km away to the north of downtown.
In Conchas Chinas, there are plenty of upscale accommodation options perfect for luxury travelers, also, you can find very good deals for incredible resorts in the off-season!
The area is also known for celebrity visitors. Justin Beiber, Selena Gomez, Christina Aguilera, and Michael Douglas are just some of the stars preferring Puerto Vallarta for a holiday, so it is not a surprise to bump into a celebrity here.
Conchas Chinass atmosphere is perfect for couples and travelers who want to have an upscale holiday by the beach with a relaxed vibe. Here are my favorite accommodation picks in this area. Keep in mind that these places have high demand and make sure to book them in advance!
- Enjoy dinner with a nice view at Lindo Mar
How Many Days Do You Need In Puerto Vallarta
To truly experience the best Puerto Vallarta has to offer, you need to spend at least 3 days and nights in Puerto Vallarta. However, there is a lot to do and many travelers choose to stay for a week or even a month or more.
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Thats it for this guide to where to stay in Puerto Vallarta! I hope Ive helped you figure out the best areas and neighborhoods to stay in Puerto Vallarta.Now, if youre ready to book a hotel, be sure to check out my list of the best hotels in Puerto Vallarta.
And also bookmark Claras guide to the best stuff to do in Puerto Vallarta for when youre ready to plan your activities.I hope Ive helped you find the best places to stay in Puerto Vallarta for your visit!
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Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel & Art Gallery
A truly unique experience can be found at this luxury boutique hotel that has received numerous awards and accolades recently for being one of the best hotels in Old Vallarta. Its decorated throughout with original art pieces, which makes it stand out from your typical resort. They also offer great food at their restaurant within sight of the cathedral.
Where To Stay In 5 De Diciembre
Buenaventura Grand Hotel older but the service is great. This is the perfect option if you want a resort-style stay within easy walking distance to the Malecon and great downtown restaurants.
Its cheap enough too, so that you can still afford to hit the town for some great dinners.
Hotel Rosita perfect for those on a budget.
This spot is right at the beginning of the Malecon . Its dated, but very well maintained and you cant beat the price.
Theres a great pool that overlooks the beach.
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Best Splurge Hotel In Mismaloya
Though it is located halfway between Mismaloya and Puerto Vallarta city centre, Garza Blanca Preserve is a gorgeous five star hotel that gives you the ultimate in secluded coastal experiences! The private infinity pool sits on the edge of the large beach area that is used exclusively by hotel guests.
Where To Stay In Puerto Vallarta For Your First Time
View from our Airbnb balcony
Choosing where you should stay for your first time in Puerto Vallarta can be a difficult decision, considering you have never been there.
Stay in Downtown Puerto Vallarta your first time visiting for the ultimate experience. Downtown is conveniently located around all the action including the best restaurants and markets, as well as the famous Malecon Boardwalk, which hosts a handful of local vendors and performers. Also, downtown is near all the other zones.
Downtown is the best location in my experience, whether you want to kick back, relax and enjoy the view, or party it up downtown is where you want to be.
Other popular zones include the Romantic Zone and the Hotel Zone .
The Hotel Zone is just that, an area where you will likely stay if you are staying at an all-inclusive resort or hotel.
The Romantic Zone is incredible as well, featuring beaches, restaurants, and an overall beach-town party vibe.
The reason I enjoy Downtown so much is because these other zones are easily within walking distance, making it the perfect spot to call home temporarily.
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Best Neighborhood In Puerto Vallarta For Couples
- COOLEST thing to do in Conchas Chinas the Villa Azalea Inn offers traditional Mexican cooking classes
- BEST place to visit in Conchas Chinas the large beach in Conchas Chinas has white sands, blue seas and plenty of empty space
Located in the far south of Puerto Vallarta, Conchas Chinas is one of the most exclusive parts of the city! Known locally as the Hills, this is where the citys wealthiest residents live. For couples, this exclusive atmosphere also creates quite a relaxing vibe with some great beach facilities and restaurants on offer.
As it is mostly a residential neighborhood, it isnt too difficult to seek out some examples of local culture! With that said, it is one of the more expensive parts of the city so we recommend preparing to splurge during your time in the neighborhood.
- Galilea Boat Charters offer tours of the Pacific Coast they have both packages and customisable itineraries
- La Choza de Tono offer some fantastic seafood, all with magnificent views of the Conchas Chinas coastline
- Heading inland, the Sky Restaurant Terrace Bar is a rooftop eatery where you can enjoy a great wine menu as well as views towards Puerto Vallarta
- If you arent already in a hotel that provides a spa, head to Boana Spa and enjoy their many different holistic therapies