North and South of Puerto Vallarta 'Proper'
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 to BOCA de TOMATLAN
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.
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
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.
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.