PUERTO VALLARTA (Jalisco)
Fusing hippie chic, a start studded past and vibrant adventure, Puerto Vallarta promises a little of everything. The pretty resort town shot to fame in the early 1960s after Richard Burton filmed Tennessee Williams’ Night of the Iguana here. Director John Houston loved the city so much he built a house and welcomed stars of the stage and screen many times until his death in 1987.
Puerto Vallarta’s proximity to the Bay of Banderas has given it a more interesting history than many other coastal town of the region, ranging from swashbuckling buccaneers and gold miners to a visit from President Nixon. Despite Puerto Vallarta’s nickname of “Gringo Gulch”, the town is a slice of pure Mexican colour. Stunning aquamarine seas lap pale yellow sands shoreside, while in town you’ll find winding cobbled streets lined with colourful buildings and charismatic boutiques. Enjoy the sensorial delights of the city by sipping a margarita in one of the many quirky bars, and snapping up everything from handicrafts to local artworks (there’s quite a bit of tequila themed goodies on sale too). Don’t forget to light a candle in the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe church, a masterpiece of Roman Catholic architecture.
The city is surrounded by tropical flowers and dense jungle and is overlooked by Sierra Madre giving Puerto Vallarta a little bit of a mystical feel. Over 350 species of birds call the jungle home, as well as countless other species of animals including iguanas, monkeys, jaguar, armadillos, ocelots and more.