Puerto Vallarta is one of those cities composed by countless and very contrasting neighborhoods, where each of them has something unique and different to offer. Of course, some of them are more popular than others, such as the case of Olas Altas and Emiliano Zapata. However, there are hidden gems, which not only offer proximity to all the hot spots, but they also offer local charm and real estate options that will accommodate many budgets.
An example of those, less known neighborhoods, but with so much to offer, is Las Canoas. Located a short fifteen-minute walk from the Malecon and the beach, this vibrant part of town has a lot of potential to offer. For starters, if you do not want a car, in Las Canoas, you will not need one, as you can do the majority of your shopping at the Emiliano Zapata Market, located a couple of blocks away from the heart of this neighborhood.
Furthermore, since the Cuale River runs thru Las Canoas, chances are that, depending on where you are located in the neighborhood, you will hear the river running right outside your front door; or that you could just cross the street to dip your feet in its cool waters during those warm, tropical summers. The sights of the river are truly magnificent, for in the winters, you can see the clear, shallow waters rushing down the Sierra Madre, while in the summers, and thanks to the rainy season, the river fills up to very high levels, making the sound of the water on its way to the ocean, a true spectacle.
Along the same lines, if you are a nature lover, you will find the riverbanks to be a wonderland. This is a result of the large number of trees in this neighborhood, which house iguanas and many of the birds that call Puerto Vallarta home, such as hummingbirds and parrots.
Another appeal to the area, is that all that separates you from all the bars, restaurants and shops in the Romantic Zone, is a short walk. This means you can enjoy the tranquility of this neighborhood, but when the desire is there for an evening on the town, a short walk will position you in the middle of the hustle and bustle.
Now, if you choose to have a car then, Las Canoas, offers you the possibility to always find parking which, in an ever-growing city, is a wonderful benefit. Also, since this neighborhood is closely located to the Highway 200, a short drive will take you to the airport, Marina, and commercial centers, such as Costco and Sams; not to mention, to neighboring cities like Bucerias. Another advantage of having a car in Las Canoas, is that you can just drive up the street from the center of the neighborhood and find yourself in spots like the Canopy River and several other ones along the river, where you can just sit and enjoy a relaxing afternoon.
These are some of the reasons why, after having lived in several areas of Puerto Vallarta, Las Canoas is by far, one of my very favorite ones and the one I currently call home.