vallartaBefore John Huston’s 1964 film, The Night of the Iguana, Puerto Vallarta was a just sleepy fishing village on the Pacific Coast where the states of Jalisco and Nayarit meet. But Liz Taylor came to keep an eye on her lover Richard Burton while he was filming with the voluptuous Ava Gardner. The publicity buzz about Burton and Liz’s torrid affair and the movie put Vallarta on the tourist map.

The Puerto Vallarta region is actually several destinations rolled into one, each with its own character and charm. The River Cuale divides the town into north and south. On the southern end is the quaint Romantic Zone where the Playa los Muertos attracts sun worshippers to its golden sand and countless beach bars. Further south the seaside villages of Boca de Tomatlan and Mismaloya where The Night of the Iguana was filmed beckon. North of the river, the Old Town meanders uphill to Gringo Gulch and along the bay where you’ll find the Plaza de Armas (main square) and Los Arcos amphitheatre where daily free performances draw crowds.

Puerto Vallarta’s renowned… more