Vallarta FAQs

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1. What distinguishes Puerto Vallarta from other beach destinations in Mexico?

Puerto Vallarta is the only beach destination in the country "where Mexico comes to life!".  This destination has evolved out of a clear sense of community having been a vital "pueblo", or town for over a century. The architecture and pace and style of life in Vallarta reflect this. In recent years many improvements have been made in the infrastructure to accommodate the increasing numbers of tourists and residents. This has added a complete array of modern comforts and services to Vallarta's traditional charm. When international visitors come to Puerto Vallarta, they have a true sense of having experienced the culture of Mexico, not just the beauty of her beaches.

The geography of Puerto Vallarta adds a great deal in making it stand out from other Pacific coast destinations. The steep rise of the Sierra Madre mountains contains the central downtown area, limiting its growth, and providing the scenic backdrop visible from anywhere in town. The expanse of the Bay of Banderas -- the second largest in the hemisphere, offers sweeping coastal views, and calm beaches. The Bay is clean, great for diving (common views are of giant mantas, tropical fish and seasonally -- humpback whales and sea turtles...) and with an abundance of challenging sport fish.

2. How does the ambiance of Puerto Vallarta differ from Cancun and Baja California?

Puerto Vallarta ambiance is that of a friendly small town, as opposed to being a glitzy resort or an extension of Southern California. Here, romance, tranquillity, warmth and the sheer beauty of nature dominate the lasting impressions of this destination. More than anything, the influence of tourism on Puerto Vallarta has not erased the magic that is Mexico. While Vallarta is home to Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood, even these are found along the town's cobblestone streets in buildings of white-washed walls & red-tiled roofs. Where Vallarta has welcomed modern attractions, they have been successfully incorporated into the unique personality of this town, and not dominated by their presence.

3. How does Puerto Vallarta rank in terms of volume of business from North America?

A vast majority of Puerto Vallarta's visitors are from the Western United States and Canada, with the remainder from Europe, Latin America and within Mexico. Many of these visitors return again and again, stay for extended periods of time or choose to call Puerto Vallarta "home."

4. How does the destination market itself to encourage repeat business?

The large percentage of repeat business stems from the genuine friendliness of the residents and their welcoming attitude toward tourism. The importance of tourism is a focus of governmental policies since Puerto Vallarta 's main source of revenue derives from tourism. Vallarta's percentage of repeat business is a result of its location, friendliness, beauty, and its colonial charm.

5. What is the hotel occupancy

Hotel occupancy in the "High Season" is 100%, if not overbooked. Flights are generally sold out well in advance, making arrival more difficult. In the "Low Season" there are generally available rooms and flights, although this too is changing with the increased influx of tourists from Europe.

6. Are there any new tourism trends developing in Puerto Vallarta?

Yes, family travel is an increasingly important growth segment for Puerto Vallarta, and new activities and attractions geared to this market reflect this trend. In addition, Puerto Vallarta is becoming more well-known for its activities for soft adventure and ecologically-oriented travelers, as well as travelers interested in the culture and cuisine of Mexico.

7. Are there plans to add more hotel rooms or convention facilities?

Since mid-1998 resort expansion has taken place at existing hotels and new growth in the northern part of the Bay of Banderas. However, the central core of Puerto Vallarta is virtually built-out which limits the amount of new facilities and expansion of current hotels. Plans for a new convention center are underway.

8. What should travel agents know about the destination that will help them sell it?

Puerto Vallarta offers visitors a unique combination of the security and comforts of home and the exhilaration of experiencing a different culture in a setting of extreme natural beauty. Puerto Vallarta is a "walking city" with hotels, restaurants, nightlife, shopping and more easily explored. The local bus system is excellent. Visitors need not speak Spanish to enjoy their vacation.

9. How do the standards of hotels in Puerto Vallarta compare to other popular beach destinations?

Puerto Vallarta hotel standards are very high. Consistent renovations have kept even the older properties up to date with newer services and facilities, as well as improvements in the rooms. In addition to the hotels themselves, the town has a $65 million dollar water and waste treatment facility, extensive road improvements and abundant public landscaping.