Puerto Vallarta is a resort city that is located on the Bahia de Banderas in the country of Mexico. It covers an area of five hundred square miles and has a population of approximately one hundred and seventy-seven thousand residents. This makes the city the fifth largest in the Mexican state of Jalisco. The city of Puerto Vallarta is also the governmental center of the Puerto Vallarta Municipality. The city began its existence as a small fishing village during the seventeenth century. Due to its proximaty to the Bay of Banderas, many fishermen and pearl divers moved through the town. This would change during the eighteenth century, when it began its transformation from a fishing village to a beach port that served the surrounding Sierra communities. The city also began to position itself as a vacation destination for residents of these small towns. In 1851, Guadalupe Sanchez Torres founded the town and called it Las Penas. By 1885, the village had grown to over eight hundred residents and two hundred homes. During the early twentieth century, the village was given municipality status and its name was changed to Puerto Ballarta in honor of Ignacio Vallarta, former governor of the state of Jalisco. The 1930s visited two major improvements on the town. The first was the establishment of the airport and small scale implementation of electrical service. The town began to grow and expand, and by the 1950s it started to receive a steady influx of American visitors. Most of these were from the artistic community and were looking for a place to escape the McCarthy Era. Puerto Vallarta continued to grow at a steady pace. Then the city began to take a course that would lead it to becoming one of the top resort cities in the world. This was hastened by the improvement of Mexican infrastructure and the town being upgraded to city status. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the city saw a marked increase in the number of luxury hotels. Today, Puerto Vallarta has become an important tourist destination, not just for Americans but Europeans as well.
Today, the city is known as the friendliest city in the world. The city proudly acknowledges this title and even has put it on a sign alongside the road that leads into the city from Nayarit. Tourism accounts for over fifty percent of all economic activity in the city and its busiest season is from November through April. It has become a popular destination for visitors from America’s west coast because of the many flights between the city and Los Angeles. Puerto Vallarta is also fast becoming a major destination for American students to spend their spring breaks. Over the last few years, the city has also seen a large influx of American senior citizens relocating to the city for their retirement. Puerto Vallarta is a city that continues to attract many tourists each and every year due to its climate, beautiful beaches and fantastic attractions. A popular attraction in the city is the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens. This botanical garden was established as a research center and also to highlight the beautiful flora from the Sierra Madre Mountains. It is located on twenty acres of land and contains over three thousand different species of plants. Their gardens are in a tropical dry forest ecosystem that lies at an altitude of thirteen hundred feet above sea level. Placed against the backdrop of the mountain peaks, Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden is a visual treat for visitors. Key features of the gardens include Palm Gardens, Tropical Bird Watching, Jungle Trails, Rose Garden, Orchid House, Agave Gardens, Tree Fern Grotto, Carnivorous Plant Exhibit and a Wildflowers of Mexico Exhibit. Visitors can also swim in the clear waters of the Los Horcones River. One of the best features of the garden is the Hacienda de Oro Visitor Center. In the visitor center is the Hacienda de Ora Restaurant. It has a full range menu that include everything from native Mexican food to American and Italian food. Also located at the visitor center is a nursery that sells orchids, a cocktail bar and coffee bar.
Just north of the city of Puerto Vallarta is the resort community of Punta Mita. This beachfront resort community covers an area of fifteen hundred acres and is situated in the state of Nayarit. It is surrounded on three sides by over nine miles of sugar white beaches and beautiful blue waters. Punta Mita is a gated community, but tourists can enter as guest. Amenities in the community include a Beach Club, tennis courts and golf courses. There are also many coves along Baderas Bay. Other attractions in Puerto Vallarta include The Church of Our Lady of the Refuge, Canopy & Outdoor Adventures, Museum Rio Cuale, Destiladeras Beach, Club de Golf Los Flamingos, Playa Norte, Canopy Tours de Los Veranos, Xel Ha Massages, Wildlife Connection, Puerto Vallarta Tours, Vallarta Discovery, Vallarta Adventures, The Blue Massage Spa, Ocean Friendly Whale Watching Tours, Miralo, Unique ATV Tours, Bucerias, Venus Sunshine Massage and Spa, Metamorphosis Day Spa, Banderas Bay Hover Tours, Healing Hands Massage & Ayurveda Spa, Playa de los Muertos, El Faro Lighthouse, The Puerto Vallarta Fishing Company, Rhythms of the Night, Rancho El Charro, Puerto Vallarta Pirate Tours, Malecon, Playa Las Animas, Galeria Serendipity, Rancho Capomo, Canopy Chico’s Zipline Tours, El Centro, Marina Golf Club, Isla Cuale, Sea Turtle Camp, Pacific Scuba, Las Caletas, Mata Ortiz Gallery, Walking Tour of Puerto Vallarta, Venus Sunshine Spa, Los Arcos, Bahia Alegre Cruise, Lucy’s CuCu Cabana & Zoo, Vista Vallarta Club de Golf, Quimixto, Canopy Bay, The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Gringo Gulch, Peyote People Art Gallery, Galeria Cafe des Artistes, El Eden, Contacto Natural, Terra Noble Art & Healing Center, Mahajuitas Resort, Galeria Vallarta, Punta Mita Four Seasons Golf Course, Plaza de las Armas, Ecological Kids Club, La Paloma Plaza de Toros, John Huston Plaza, Gallery’s Dante, Indignia, Arte Del Las Americas, La Presidencia, Los Delfines, Botanical Garden & Home Visits by the International Friendship Club, ADA Sail Charter, Pacifica Grand Spa and Body Time Spa.