Spanish Language Blog

Bienvenido a Puerto Vallarta Posted by on Jan 10, 2018 in Spanish Culture

Puerto Vallarta es uno de mis lugares favoritos en el mundo (Puerto Vallarta is one of my favorite places in the world). It’s a beautiful place with beaches on one side and mountains on the other. The people are super friendly, the food is delicious, and the nightlife is epic. Allow me to introduce you to this little slice of paradise in Mexico. Bienvenido a Puerto Vallarta (Welcome to Puerto Vallarta)!

La Ciudad (The City)

Puerto Vallarta es una ciudad en la costa del estado de Jalisco, México.
Puerto Vallarta is a city on the coast in the state of Jalisco, Mexico.

A view of PV from above.

Often referred to as “Vallarta” or amongst gringos simply as “PV,” this is the 2nd largest urban area in Jalisco after the big city of Guadalajara. The area known as Nuevo Vallarta is actually in the state of Nayarit, as the airport is right on the border. It’s located on the Pacific Ocean in the Bahía de Banderas (Bay of Flags). The city is named after Ignacio Vallarta, a former governor of Jalisco.

La Gente (The People)

La ciudad tiene una población de aproximadamente 220,000 personas.
The city has a population of approximately 220,000 people.

Tons of nice people here!

The people in Puerto Vallarta are extremely friendly and welcoming. While this surely has something to do with that fact that much of the city’s economy relies on tourism, even people you run into outside of tourist centers will welcome you with a smile and a “Buenas tardes!” Nearly half of the people here work in tourism in some way, shape or form. Many of the residents in PV come from other parts of Mexico, as they moved here in search of work in the booming tourism industry. Which brings us to our next point…

El Turismo (The Tourism)

Casi cinco millones de turistas visitan Puerto Vallarta anualmente.
Almost five million tourists visit Puerto Vallarta annually.

It’s a popular place!

A sign on the Nayarit side proclaims Vallarta as La ciudad más amigable del mundo (The Friendliest City in the World). Clearly, the millions of people who visit would agree. Over the years, tourism here has grown exponentially. The temporada alta (high season) in PV lasts from November to March or April, depending on when the US spring break is. It’s also very busy during Semana Santa (Holy Week) leading up to Easter.

Puerto Vallarta is also a major LGBT tourism destination, leading some to call it the “San Francisco of Mexico.” Many snowbirds from the US and Canada call Puerto Vallarta home during the winter months and are called pájaros de la nieve (snowbirds) as a result. It’s also a popular stop on many cruise ships. The city is working on building a massive new port called Puerto Magico (Magic Port), which will even include an acuario (aquarium)!

Las Playas (The Beaches)

Puerto Vallarta ofrece a sus visitantes un buen número de playas, por ejemplo, Playa de Los Muertos.
Puerto Vallarta offers its visitors a good number of beaches, for example, Los Muertos beach.

Chillin’ on la playa.

For most visitors, the beaches are the main reason to visit PV. On the popular Los Muertos beach, you can find several restaurants and bars where you can use a sun lounger and umbrella if you order something. There are also plenty of fun activities you can take part in, such as paragliding. The beaches are packed on the weekends and holidays and have a very festive atmosphere. While the beach is great, you have to get up once in a while to take a walk on…

El Malecón (The Malecon)

A Walk on the Malecon in PV

Take a walk on El Malecon.

El Malecón es considerado el monumento histórico más importante para los vallartenses.
The Malecon is considered the most important historical monument for the people of Vallarta.

The Malecon is definitely one of the best things about PV. This mile-long promenade is full of incredible sculptures and great ocean views. It’s also got plenty of cafes, restaurants, bars, and shops. Locals are proud of it and should be – it’s a beautiful place for an oceanside walk. Check it out in this short video and you’ll surely want to visit.

La Comida (The Food)

Debido a que está en la costa, los mariscos son la especialidad de Puerto Vallarta.
Because it’s on the coast, seafood is the specialty of Puerto Vallarta.

A fancy dinner isn’t hard to find.

There’s delicious seafood everywhere you look in PV. Vendors walk up and down the beach selling spiced skewers of mahi-mahi or camarónes (prawns), and you can even find raw ostiónes (oysters). Ceviche (raw fish with lime juice and chili) is also very popular here, and is usually served alongside crispy tostadas with some guacamole and salsa picante (hot sauce). If you’re sitting down in a proper restaurant, try to find one with the local specialty of Huachinango Zarandeado – a delicious red snapper marinated in a birria paste. Of course, you can also find all of the tacos your heart desires. Book a tour with Vallarta Food Tours to try them all! You can see what the tour looks like in this video, but be warned – you’ll end up with a huge craving for tacos!

La Vida Nocturna (The Nightlife)

Puerto Vallarta tiene muchos bares y clubes para rumbear.
Puerto Vallarta has many bars and clubs to party.

One of PV’s several night clubs.

With so many tourists coming here on vacation, it should come as no surprise that PV has some epic nightlife. Start your night off at Twisted Palms with the best martinis in town or at Los Muertos Brewing with their delicious craft beer. From there, you’ve got plenty of options to go catch a show or some live music. If you’re looking to party late, there are tons of dance clubs to choose from. The party tends to go into the wee hours of the morning, so be ready for a big night out.


Now that you’ve learned a lot about PV and seen a few photos and videos, I just have one question for you…

¿Te apetece visitar Puerto Vallarta?
Do you want to visit Puerto Vallarta?

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.