Young Nueva Vallarta Boasts a Short But Very Colorful History

The region known as Vallarta, Mexico has made quite the name for itself over the past two decades. Now, with large hotels, up-scale restaurants, and an array of shops lining its stunning beaches, this vibrant west-coast destination has become one of Mexico’s most popular.

While the region’s popularity is making headlines around the globe, the region is anything but new. In fact, its calm, warm waters have been enjoyed since before the mid- 16th century, when natives, adventurers, sailors, and explorers used the area as a pit stop on long voyages – a unique fact in the long history of Mexico. Sitting on what is known today as the Bahía de las Banderas (Banderas Bay), the towns of Puerto Vallarta and neighboring Nuevo Vallarta have transformed this site from a traditional seaport to one of the country’s most prestigious resort areas.

The region is named after Jalisco Governor Ignacio L. Vallarta, who played a big role in the region’s initial development in 1918 after becoming an official municipality. It wouldn’t be until the years of 1965-1971 that the municipality would receive the proper funds to convert the region into a true, world-class tourist destination.

With strong support from then Mexican President, Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, Vallarta finally received the financial resources it needed in 1965, giving way to the construction of bridges, roads, an international airport, and the installation of modern-day technological advances such as electrical power and telephone services.

A big factor in the region’s increased popularity came with the help of American Hollywood stars Deborah Kerr, Ava Gardner, Sue Lyon, and Richard Burton. After filming their movie titled “Night of the Iguana” at this dazzling Mexican location in the 1960s, word of its beauty spread like wildfire, quickly making Puerto Vallarta the “it” destination for U.S. tourists heading south.

Today, Puerto Vallarta is Mexico’s third-most popular tourist location and hosts an impressive 2.5 to 3 million visitors each year. With an increasingly rising number of expats arriving each year – primarily U.S. and Canadian citizens – Puerto Vallarta is expected to see continued growth and development for years to come. In fact, within the past 15 years alone, the development of what is known today as Nuevo Vallarta, has added an extra element to this special, Mexican get-away.

Known as a luxury and spacious hotel zone, Nuevo Vallarta is neither a city nor a village, but an upscale, resort community. Equipped with modern commodities and extraordinary attractions, the resort’s designers created this world-renowned tourist attraction as a means to offer visitors a unique, large-scale opportunity to make their time in Mexico truly unforgettable.

Nestled up along a three-mile (5 kilometer) stretch of some of Mexico’s most iconic beaches, including a 300-ship marina with seven miles (11 kilometers) of shippable water channels, Nuevo Vallarta is a vacation spot like no other around the globe. Often compared to Venice, Italy in both quality and style, this Mexican gem is sure to leave visitors speechless. Be ready to explore its luxury villas, world-class golf courses, rejuvenating spas, trendy shops, spacious shores, rich cuisine, natural beauty, and Nuevo Vallarta boat tours – all of which will cause you to fall in love with this truly breathtaking destination.

With water activities such as fishing, swimming, diving, snorkeling, and boating available to guests who wish to explore its lively, Pacific waters, Nuevo Vallarta is the perfect location for those looking to relax and for those who are looking to experience a little adventure. It is also one of only a few locations where you can swim with dolphins in Mexico.

With tours to the nearby Isla Marietas (Marietas Islands) , ecological reserves, and underwater caves, visitors can expect to catch a glimpse of the region’s diverse landscape and marine life. Humpback whales, dolphins, and stingrays, as well as hundreds of species of tropical fish and exotic birds, all call the Banderas Bay home, making it one of the country’s top spots for nature lovers. If this sounds like you, you should know that there are few places in the world that can compete with bird watching in Nuevo Vallarta – the diversity of these exotic sky-dwellers is truly astonishing.


With a short but rich history, this Mexican destination offers its guests the best that Mexico has to offer – incredible views, pristine beaches, tropical waters, vibrant marine life, diverse landscape, savory cuisine, and one unforgettable experience. Come and witness the beauty of Nuevo Vallarta – the ultimate Mexican get-away.

Featured Tours in Nuevo Vallarta