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Puerto Vallarta Nightlife - Discos, Clubs, cocktail lounges, bars, cantinas, gay clubs

Puerto Vallarta's spirited nightlife reflects the town's dual nature: part resort, part colonial town.

In the past few years, Vallarta had become known for its live music scene, but lately the late-night action has shifted to DJ clubs, spinning an array of eclectic, contemporary music.


A concentration of nightspots lies in Viejo Vallarta (old town) along Calle Ignacio L. Vallarta (the extension of the main southbound road) after it crosses the Río Cuale. Along one 3-block stretch you'll find a live blues club (Route 66, formerly Roxy), sports bar (El Torito which also has several rockin’ ladies nights weekly), a friendly pool-hall and live rock bar (Cactus), live mariachi music (at Mariachi Loco), gay dance club (Paco y Paco), and the obligatory Señor Frog's. Walk from place to place and take in a bit of it all!


Also south of the Río Cuale, the Olas Altas zone's small cafes and martini bars buzz with action. In this zone, there's also an active gay and lesbian club scene.


The Malecón, which used to be lined with restaurants, is now known more for hip dance clubs and a few more relaxed options, all of which look out over the ocean. You can first stroll the broad walkway by the water's edge and check out the action at the various clubs, which extend from the Cuban restaurant and bar Bodeguita del Medio on the north end to Hooters just off the central plaza. Notables in-between are The Zoo, Club Mogambo, and Club 69 (all next to each other), and Hilo a little further south. On Juarez Street, two blocks off the Malecòn, is de Santos which has a very popular local disco as well as a fine restaurant.


FOUR NIGHTSPOTS worthy of your consideration:


ROXY is right in the heart of Viejo Vallarta just a few blocks south of the Cuale River. Though the name is changed, it's the same old friendly bar and dance joint favored by young and old alike for it's live music, focusing on rock and blues. No matter what your age, you'll feel welcome here!


Club Collage just south of the entrance to the Marina is a large and popular gathering spot for tourists and locals alike, with nightly theme parties including all-you-can-drink nights and foam parties. It also has Puerto Vallarta's only bowling alley in the basement! (Looking for a place to cool off on a Friday afternoon? Local 'gringos' and friends gather here at noon each Friday to throw a few lines. Completely non-competetive...we suspect it's more of a reason to start the weekend early.)


Christine is a little further south, at the NH-Krystal Hotel, considered by many to be 'the grand-daddy' of Puerto Vallarta's discos. Recently remodeled and super fun, Christine hosts a variety of theme nights and is always filled with the younger set mingling, dancing, flirting, and 'hooking up'. A 'must-visit' for the under-30 crowd, but don't be shy to visit if you don't fit into that age group if you like to dance and party..


J&B (say "hoe-tah-bay") is a latin-dance club and the place for latin rythms, salsa, rumba, flamenco, and the like. It's near the south end of the 'hotel zone', and a Puerto Vallarta institution. J&B offers dance lessons several nights a week before the band performs, and the rythms are hot and spicy. You'll see entire families here celebrating a special occasion, with 80-year-old grandmothers 'shaking their groove things' with their 5-year-old grandsons (as well as the more typical dance-club patron). Even if you don't dance, the music is always great, the prices reasonable, and tourists always welcomed with genuine friendship.


Performing Arts & Cultural Events--Truth be told, cultural nightlife beyond the Mexican Fiesta is limited. Culture centers on the visual arts; the opening of an exhibition has great social and artistic significance. Puerto Vallarta's gallery community comes together to present almost weekly art walks between November and May, where new exhibits are presented, featured artists attend, and complimentary cocktails are served. All the galleries are within walking distance of one another, concentrated within a less-than 10-block stretch from Viejo Vallarta to the northern end of the Malecòn.


Fiesta Nights--Major hotels in Puerto Vallarta feature frequent fiestas for tourists -- extravaganzas with open bars, Mexican buffet dinners, and live entertainment. Some are fairly authentic and make a good introduction for first-time travelers to Mexico; others can be a bit cheesy. Shows are usually held outdoors but move indoors when necessary. Reservations are recommended.


Clubs & Discos--A few of Vallarta's clubs or discos charge admission, but generally you pay just for drinks -- $4 for a margarita, $2.50 for a beer, more for whiskey and mixed drinks. Keep an eye out for discount passes frequently available in hotels, restaurants, and other tourist spots. Most clubs are open from 8 or 10pm to 4am.


Gay & Lesbian Clubs--Vallarta has a vibrant gay community with a wide variety of clubs and nightlife options, including special bay cruises and evening excursions to nearby ranches. Paco y Paco in Viejo Vallarta is the most established and typically a ‘required stop’ for the gay crowd. More gay clubs can be found further south on or near Olas Altas Street.

Puerto Vallarta Mexico is  home to some of the finest dining in the WORLD. No kidding, Puerto Vallarta's restaurants have been featured repeatedly in the most prestigeous culinary publications, and for good reason...the fine dining in Puerto Vallarta is WORLD CLASS! Some of Puerto Vallarta's best restaurants aren't on the normal 'tourist track', but that shouldn't keep you from finding them thanks to local residents who share their secrets with you! Puerto Vallarta Mexico's nightlife, filled with clubs, discos, and till-dawn cocktail bars will keep you out till the sun rises again, if you like.

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