Puerto Vallarta was selected by CONDE NAST TRAVELER readers as the eighth best destination in the world in their annual "Reader's Choice Awards" in the November 2001 issue, as well as number one international destination because of the "remarkable amiability of the local folk."
Puerto Vallarta was the only destination in Mexico that made the list. Located on the Western Pacific coast of Mexico in the state of Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta's charm remains largely undiscovered. Along with its cobblestone streets, stunning beaches, plentiful marine life, lush Sierra Madre Mountains, exceptional restaurants, fine Gourmet Festival, new golf courses and vibrant culture, Puerto Vallarta is a vacationer's paradise that has maintained its unique Old Mexico charm despite the addition of these modern conveniences.
lush jungles and sparkling waterfalls offer many opportunities for the
adventurous, while five star resorts, world-class shopping and gourmet
restaurants satisfy even the most sophisticated traveler.
Accommodations around the Bay of Banderas range from well-known international hotel
chains and luxury condominiums in the hotel zone, Marina Vallarta,
Nuevo Vallarta, and Punta Mita to moderately priced hotels, motels, bed
and breakfasts, apartments and condominiums in Old Town Vallarta.
The rich cultural diversity of Puerto Vallarta is reflected in the cuisine that its many
restaurants have to offer. From the most casual taco stands, to
tropical beachfront palapas, to upscale rooftop restaurants with
panoramic views, there are literally hundreds of restaurants serving
exactly what you are hungry for.
Puerto Vallarta has many
activities and excursions to keep you entertained. The adventurous can
hike or mountain bike in the hills, explore the jungle and hidden
trails on horseback, take a jeep safari, soar above it all in a
multicolored hot air balloon, snorkel, scuba dive, charter a yacht or
sailboat, or take a cruise on one of the many party boats.
Beautiful Banderas Bay,
one of the largest and deepest in the world, may be admired from many
of the surrounding hills exuberant in lush vegetation. Located right at
the mouth of the Bay, straddling both sides of the River Cuale lays a
charming and picturesque little town with true Mexican spirit, Puerto
To the North, the hills give way a little. Here
you will find mile long stretches of golden sand beaches, rich
plantations of papaya and mango and, tucked back along tumbling rivers
and streams, small villages where life seems to move at a different
pace. There are many different ways to explore the Bay.
To the South,
the hills cascade towards the sea creating a rich palette that mixes
the vivid green foliage with the deep blues of the water. At their feet
nestle secluded coves and small fishing villages, many of which are
still accessible only by sea.
To the East, the jungle
clad Sierra Madre Mountains, which quickly rise to over 8,000 feet,
encircle and protect the town from the winds and regulate the
semi-tropical and humid weather.
And, to the West, the
Bay of Banderas is home to a wide variety of aquatic life. Humpback
whales come here to mate every year from December to March, and sea
turtles nest on the beaches from May to October. Schools of dolphins
and giant manta rays also inhabit these waters. The Bay and the
Marietas Islands offer an amazing kaleidoscope of tropical fish,
attracting snorkelers, scuba divers and sport fishermen alike.
For those who just want to relax, Puerto Vallarta's many golden sand beaches offer
one of the best ways to experience the beauty and magic of the Bay of
Banderas. In short, whether you prefer fashionable luxury, strenuous
adventure, or something in between, the Puerto Vallarta region is a
sun-blessed paradise that will keep you entertained, until it is sadly
time to depart.
But your exploring does not have to be
limited just to the Bay, there are nearby archeological sites to visit
as well. Close at hand, in the region of Ixtapa, studies have uncovered
sites dating back to 400 B.C.
And finally, Puerto
Vallarta is less than a one-hour flight away from Guadalajara, the
Pearl of Mexico, and Mexico City, which, with over 25 million
inhabitants, is the world's largest city and the site of truly
spectacular Aztec ruins.