Whether it’s the hot tropical winter or the humid season, Puerto Vallarta remains a hugely popular beach getaway among Americans, hosting millions of them every year and consistently ranking as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Latin America by overall numbers.
In Mexico, it is officially the fourth-busiest destination, behind the behemoth that is Cancun, the metropolitan, national capital and financial center that is Mexico City, and the wellness hub of Los Cabos, having registered a large influx of tourists this year.
Considering it is not Mexico’s only coastal resort, why is Puerto Vallarta so hugely popular?
Vallarta Is Exploding In Popularity With Americans
Puerto Vallarta, or Vallarta in the shortened version, is celebrated for its diverse tourist offer. Yes, it is a resort city boasting a high proportion of luxurious all-inclusive hotels, as well as a relatively affordable shopping destination for Americans, but there is so much more than meets the eye.
Vallarta was actually founded by the European colonizers of Mexico in the early 16th century.
Despite being originally a small fishing village, it eventually became an important harbor at the peak of the Transatlantic Spanish Empire and expanded considerably in the centuries that followed.
Walking around the ‘Zona Romantica’, or ‘Romantic Zone’, Vallarta’s equivalent to a historic district, tourists are still able to admire well-preserved Spanish-era civic buildings, as well as historical European-style Baroque churches towering above the colorful streets.
An Exciting City Full Of Contrasts
Only 3 minutes from the Romantic Zone, however, on the oceanfront, you will come upon the ‘Malecon’, a promenade lined with award-winning restaurants renowned for their fresh seafood, bars where live music is playing, and the occasional modern art display.
Walking the extent of the Malecon from North to South, as you take in the city’s lively social scene and smell the ocean breeze, you will soon hit the landmark ‘Los Muertos’ Beach, the most popular beach in Vallarta, and one of the city’s countless gay hotspots.
The LGBTQ+ scene in Vallarta is booming, ranking among the best in Mexico, with an expansive list of gay bars, beaches, and entertainment venues.
That’s not to say more conservative American families are not welcome, either:
With its host of all-inclusive resorts, family-friendly aquatic parks, and well-equipped leisure centers, Vallarta is guaranteed fun for all groups of travelers.
Other popular beaches among the general public include the Holiday Inn Beach, Boca de Tomates, Playa Camarones, and Playa Palmares.
How Is PV Doing In Numbers?
This year, the state of Jalisco, of which Puerto Vallarta is a part of, has already welcomed more than 1.7 million tourists, marking a 17% year-on-year growth and placing it as one of the most sought-after beach destinations in Mexico.
The city of Puerto Vallarta proper is the fourth most popular international destination in Mexico, behind only Cancun, Mexico City, and Los Cabos, though in the subcategory of beach destinations, it is the country’s third best-positioned, as Mexico City is inland.
On the Mexican Pacific, it is the second most-searched vacation, beaten to the number one spot by both Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, which currently enjoy the fastest post-crisis recovery rate nationally.
Vallarta Is Incredibly Safe
Other than its incredible beaches, fascinating History, and cultural value, one of the main reasons why Puerto Vallarta is so trendy right now is its safety levels.
With as many as 150 officers deployed with the sole purpose of ensuring vacationers are not targeted by pickpockets and other criminals and being considered a Level 2 destination by U.S. authorities, which means travel is not advised against nor discouraged, it is perfectly safe to visit.
Recently, Puerto Vallarta International Airport also announced they will be introducing eGates to make international travel smoother for American citizens.
The modality, already introduced in Cancun, has proven a resounding success due to the reduction in processing times at the border and improvement of the customer experience.
By modernizing itself, maintaining a high level of public security, and continuing to invest in tourist infrastructure, Vallarta looks set to cement its status as 1/3 of Mexico’s triad of world-class destinations.
↓ Join Our Community ↓
The Travel Off Path Community FB group has all the latest reopening news, conversations, and Q&A’s happening daily!
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LATEST POSTS
Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path’s latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.
This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com