Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is one of a number of resort areas and villages along Mexico’s western coast, dubbed the Mexican Riviera. Puerto Vallarta lies on the Bay of Banderas, one of the largest and deepest in the Pacific Ocean. The downtown area, known as Veijo Vallarta, is quaint and a pleasure to walk along its cobblestone streets.
Along the shoreline is the Malecon, a boardwalk where locals and tourists gather at all times of the day or night, to enjoy sunsets, ocean views, and to marvel at the numerous sculptures which dot the walkway. Of special note are the Seahorse statue and the stone arches of Los Arcos Amphitheater which have become symbols of the city. The most popular beach in town is Los Muertos (whether this name is derived from gold mining days when miners killed one another for the precious metal, or whether there was a cemetery in the area, no one really knows, although town officials have tried, unsuccessfully, for years to change the name). The beach is lined with outdoor cafes and bars.
A walking tour of the Old Town should definitely include the Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, the dominant building of the city, whose “crown” towers over the other buildings. Note the intricate work in the interior. Stroll through Gringo Gulch which, nowadays, is famous for the tryst involving Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton during the filming of the movie, Night of the Iguana. Liz’s home, Casa Kimberly, is connected to Richard Burton’s by a pink and white “love bridge”.
Another common tourist destination in the area is the Playa de Mismaloya, the beach where much of the movie was shot.