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Puerto Vallarta and other towns and cities on Banderas Bay, Mexico


"Vallarta" used to mean just the city of PUERTO VALLARTA.

Because it's grown so much, "Vallarta" now means the entire Banderas Bay coastline, and even a bit beyond, thanks to improved modern roads.

There's more than just the city of Puerto Vallarta...explore the Southern part of the bay (much of it accessible only by boat, for those who appreciate isolation) or the beautiful beaches of the North Bay (easily reached by good highways).

Vallarta outside of Puerto Vallarta - TOP picks:

Posada Paraiso, formerly Pedro's Paradise, in Punta Mita Posada Paraiso in Punta Mita: We’ve combined rustic finishes, traditional arts, and modern conveniences so that you can enjoy all the best of Mexico, just a block away from some of the most beautiful beaches in the entire Vallarta area. Less than an hour away from Puerto Vallarta in peacefull Punta Mita at the North tip of the bay. A VallartaSource.com Top Pick!
Gecko Car Rental: Very friendly, locally-owned, and service-oriented car rental agency in Bucerias, primarily serving the North-Bay area from Nuevo Vallarta to Punta de Mita and beyond. Jeeps, Beetles, VW sedans and Chryslers all available, and at un-beatable rates! A VallartaSource.com Top Pick!
Vallarta North and South of Puerto Vallarta 'Proper'

Click HERE to jump to 'SOUTH of Puerto Vallarta'

Drive North from the Airport and you’ll cross a river into the state of Nayarit. Here you’ll find not just another state, but another state of mind in Nuevo (‘new’) Vallarta. It’s also in a different time zone (one hour earlier than Jalisco), but nearly everybody operates on “Jalisco time” to avoid confusion or missing flights. Nuevo Vallarta is the place for those who let boating or golfing take control of their leisure time…there are three magnificent golf courses and a modern world-class marina. Many residents set sail from their back yards along the canals that join the marina.


Single-family homes are luxurious and have lots of space between them, filled with lawns, gardens, pools and patios. While of course you will find traditional Mexican style homes, many have chosen to build in more modern styles, and they coexist side-by-side given the large lots. Several high-rise condo projects share space with the many hotels along a long, flat beach perfect for swimming or jogging. A modern shopping center and grocery stock most of what you’ll need, and more expansive shopping is available about 15 minutes away in Puerto Vallarta.



There are still many undeveloped lots available for those who want to build from scratch, as well as planned communities. Chief among these is the beautiful Paradise Village, which includes a hotel, condos, villas, marina, golf club, and more. Situated at the East end of Nuevo and where the marina enters the bay, this project seems to combine all the best of Nuevo Vallarta with the convenience of location closest to all of Puerto Vallarta’s charms.


While there is a good selection of restaurants, Nuevo has only been under serious development for about a decade or so, so today’s builders and buyers will have only more and more available to them as the area grows and attracts additional eateries and services.


The area along the bay between Nuevo Vallarta and Punta Mita has several areas that are attracting more and more foreign residents. Some if this is due to the growth of Puerto Vallarta as a city and the Vallarta region as a whole, where more people are deciding to go to enjoy the amenities of Puerto Vallarta while still living in a smaller town.


First stop north of Nuevo Vallarta is Bucerias, which is currently growing rapidly in popularity. Here you are less than half-an-hour away from “PV”, but have nearly all the services you might require. The beach is long and sandy, and prices for property just off the beach are vary reasonable…the house you wanted a few years ago in PV that is now out of your price range is available here.


La Cruz (full name: La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, which can sprain the tongue of even native-Spanish -speakers, so everybody just calls it 'La Cruz') is just another 5 minutes West of Bucerias, and is becoming another ‘hot spot’ for foreign investment. The town has a small fishing fleet and several very nice restaurants to take advantage of the daily catch. A large 350-slip marina is just beginning construction as of November 2005, and when complete will likely increase the town's size and activity.


Punta Mita is at the tip of the bay, about an hour’s drive or less from PV. There are actually 2 Punta Mitas….the original town resided at the very tip of the bay until a decade or so ago when the entire point was purchased by developers and moved the existing residents a bit East to El Corral. So while the two side-by-side towns of El Corral and Emiliano Zapata are considered by all the locals to be Punta Mita, the Punta Mita Development Corp. bills the point and its ultra-luxurious resort as Punta Mita as well. If you’re in the market for a super-luxury home, the ‘new’ Punta Mita is for you. If you’re not quite in that income bracket, the ‘old’ Punta Mita is a lovely if sleepy little town, but quite a few gringos have immersed themselves in the town and real estate opportunities here are still excellent.



Even Further North
If you drive west out of Bucerias but stay on highway 200 rather than exiting towards La Cruz and Punta Mita, you'll wind your way across some low mountains and end up on the Pacific coast again. Many home buyers and real estate investors are choosing this area for the considerably lower costs of property compared to Puerto Vallarta, and also have appreciation in mind. The area is, in fact, slated for tourism development by the Federal Government, which will eventually bring better roads and perhaps an international airport to the region. While we can only speculate as to the timetable, any such development will surely add value to any property purchased in the near-term.


First stop is Sayulita, which has become a thriving surfer's town with a bohemian feel to it, and has seen much growth and gringo influence in the past half-decade. About an hour from Puerto Vallarta, it is still a humble town without a supermarket, but most everything one needs can be found at the stores around the town square, and weekly trips to the Puerto Vallarta Wal-Mart are a habit among most of the ex-pats.


Within the next 30 to 45 minutes driving time north are San Francisco (also known as San Pancho), Lo de Marcos, Rincon de Guayabitos, and La Peñita. San Pancho especially has been popular among foreigners recently due to low property prices and a beautiful beach. All these towns and areas are likely to prove themselves as good investments, considering current pricing and rate of growth.



Just South of Puerto Vallarta ‘proper’ is the exclusive domain known as Conchas Chinas. Perched on the rocks overlooking the bay, residents here arguably have the best views of the city and water and lay claim to the most beautiful collection of architecture anywhere along the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Traditional hacienda-style homes built in the 50’s and 60’s blend with multi-million-dollar masterpieces of today along winding streets on the mountain which drops to the sea.


This neighborhood offers wonderful challenges to creative architects and builders, and the results are nearly always multi-level masterpieces. Exclusivity and privacy are the keys to residents here, while they are still just a few minutes-drive from all of El Centro’s charms and services. While some homes host year-around residents, many are used as vacation homes and can generate a handsome income as vacation rentals for groups large and small. Water is a key element in homes in Conchas Chinas…nearly every home has a swimming pool or at least some type of fountain or water feature.


South of Conchas Chinas along Highway 200 are Nogalito, Mismaloya, and Boca de Tomatlan. Nogalito is a peacefull little village and also host to perhaps the nicest jungle-atmosphere restaurant named after the town. The entrance to the town is marked by a small sign on the left as you head south...keep an eye out for it, or you'll miss it.


Mismaloya is the site where Richard Burton and Ava Gardner filmed 'Night of the Iguana', the movie that brought world-wide attention to Puerto Vallarta. Most of the town sits on the left side of the road, and the Barcelo Mismaloya Hotel is on the right, nestled against a small bay. The beach here has eroded badly...in fact, there is hardly any beach to speak of compared to what was a palapa-restaurant-lined sandy stretch before Hurricane Kenna took the sand with her in 2001. The hotel was sold to the Barcelo Group in 2005, and hopes are afloat that the new owners will restore what was once a beautiful and relaxing beach. In the town itself are a couple small hotels and a tequila-tour, and further up the hill is El Eden where Arnold Schwarzenegger filmed 'Predator'. The remains of a crashed helicopter used in the film remain, and you can visit the site.


Boca de Tomatlan is the last beach stop on the road before it turns inland. Surrounding a small cove where the Tomatlan River meets the sea, this is a popular town for scuba divers as it is the closest departure point to most of the popular diving sites in the bay. There are several beach restaurants where you can enjoy a freshly-caught and -grilled fish and sip a frosty drink with your feet in the sand. This is also a favorite departure point for water taxis to Yelapa and Las Animas, small villages on the south side of the bay that have no road access.


Green buses from Puerto Vallarta to these southern towns depart from the south end of town on Basilio Badillo Street just west of Highway 200. Fare is 5 pesos per person.


Casa de Tres Palmas is a luxurious three bedroom beachfront home with private swimming pool located in the gated and secure complex of La Puntilla just 20 minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta Airport on Mexico's Pacific Coast. This single level, beautifully furnished home offers all the amenities you require for that perfect vacation in paradise.
Casa del Pescador: Oceanfront with private pool, Casa del Pescador (House of the Fisherman) is a luxurious, yet casual vacation home resting serenely along the Bay of Banderas in the exclusive residential community of La Puntilla, located just 20 minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta airport.
Casa Terra: Oceanfront with private pool, 3 bedroom, 3 baths comfortably accommodates six and is the perfect vacation residence with comforts you will not soon forget. Not just another beachfront rental property, but a place where you can leave your cares at home and relax poolside in this beachfront villa just 20 minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta airport.
Condo Oceana: Overlooking Bucerias Beach and the beautiful Bay of Banderas, just 15 minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta airport, Condo Oceana at Colibri Condominiums in Bucerias, Mexico is relaxing, comfortable and convenient--perfect for that tropical vacation getaway. With panoramic views from this prized location right on the Bucerias beachfront and with it's spacious grounds, this brand new condo offers a perfect vacation escape or an ideal base from which to discover the colourful local ambiance and attractions.
Maraña Beach: A secluded beach vacation, an exotic escape for adventure travel, 1 hour boat ride from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. No hotels, no restaurants, no souvenir shops; not even a sleepy fishing village here - just the silence of solitude and the hypnotic sounds of the sea.
Roga's BBQ Oysters: A place from where you may perceive part of the life of a typical Mexican coastal village, featuring fresh seafood, shrimp, and of course OYSTERS.



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!

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