With so many beaches to choose from, what makes Puerto Vallarta the greatest?
One of the first stories that people tell you when you arrive to Puerto Vallarta is about the romance between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. The couple met in the set of the movie Cleopatra in 1961 and started a romance while both were already married.
In 1964, Burton came to Puerto Vallarta to film the movie “The night of the Iguana”. The couple bought two different houses in Gringo Gulch united by a bridge. The local people say that when the couple fought, they tore down the bridge and when they made up, it was rebuilt again. It’s said that this happened 7 times!
This is just one of the thousands of romantic stories that circulate in this pacific city. Fast forward to 2003 – Condé Nast names Puerto Vallarta as “The Friendliest City in the World.” And then in 2010 – AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) names Vallarta as “The Best Place to Retire in the World.” Adding to the international acclaim, USNews.com, also in 2010, names Puerto Vallarta the “Best Vacation Destination in Mexico.”
Something is definitely happening here! When I first arrived in 1972 and then again in 1983 Puerto Vallarta was not what it is today, but in a lot of ways it has stayed the same, in others it has gotten better. Certainly the thing that struck my wife, Bonnie and I the most was the open friendliness of the people. Being from the West Coast of Canada (Vancouver) we used to frequent Hawaii a lot before we discovered PV. Maybe it was the contrast from being called and treated as a ‘Haole’ versus an ‘Amigo’ – whatever it was it was the difference was palpable. (I had occasion to be in Hawaii on business a couple of years ago and I got that same ‘this is our island and you’re not welcome here attitude’). Never in all the years of living here have I ever had that feeling.
Beyond the friendliness of the people here, it’s pretty tough to beat the climate. Puerto Vallarta climate is semitropical and humid with an average annual temperature of 27 ° C. Some people don’t like the summers but the mornings are often cool and breezy and as the day wears on it gets progressively more humid – until those huge black clouds burst and you think the world is going to end, but then you get treated to an amazing light show and formidable torrential rain for about 30 to 40 minutes. When it’s all over about enough time to have sipped a tequila, the air is incredibly fresh (Ozone fresh) and there are stars in the sky within an hour or so.
But undoubtedly the main attraction is Puerto Vallarta’s beaches where you can see unparalleled sunsets, every water sport known to man – diving, snorkeling, kayaking, parasailing, sailing, paragliding, SUP, waterskiing and deep sea fishing – or, just quietly, walk on its golden sands.
In season (November through April) you can see humpback whales and dolphins (year ‘round) swimming in Banderas Bay as well as hatched baby turtles making their way to the sea. South of Puerto Vallarta is the Los Arcos National Marine Park, a small group of islands with stunning reefs that are home to numerous species of birds and beautiful marine life. This is the official sanctuary for breeding pelicans and other species. The Pacific blue waters of Banderas Bay and its beautiful beaches: truly the treasures of Puerto Vallarta.
Here is a list of someone’s top 5 things that make PV magical:
1. Food : Puerto Vallarta offers an amazing range of cuisine from haute Mexican and international restaurants to casual tacos stands on the street. The current “farm to table” trend in cuisine has been the way families and restaurants in Puerto Vallarta have been preparing food for generations due to the incredible abundance of fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables, meats, hand-crafted breads and cheeses, and spices found in the region. I truly believe that the food here tastes better than anywhere I have ever been.
2. Art and Culture : Whether it is a night of live theatre at the beautiful Teatro Vallarta, a tour through the numerous galleries in the art district or simply a walk along the famous and newly renovated Puerto Vallarta Malecon to witness the incredible sand sculptures, Vallarta is a culturally rich city on a world-class scale.
3. Spas and Wellness : Puerto Vallarta is a spa lover’s dream destination. If you’re seeking a relaxing massage, manicure and pedicure or medical spa treatments such as Botox, micro-dermabrasion or fillers, you can find excellent quality spas in Puerto Vallarta with extremely affordable prices.
4. Meetings and Conventions : With major events in 2012 including the Tourism Tianguis of Mexico, the Pan-American Games and the World Economic Forum, Puerto Vallarta again proved that it ready to host the world with its excellent hotels, modern convention center, security and friendly people.
5. Romance : Warm weather, ocean breezes, beautiful vistas and stunning sunsets make Puerto Vallarta the perfect place to fall in love or declare your love and commitment. Coldwell Banker La Costa’s Vacation Rental Division specializes in Wedding Planning – they can help plan the romantic ceremony of your dreams. With so many great reasons to visit Puerto Vallarta, it’s hard to think of a reason to not start planning your next vacation – or better yet, your next home.
Puerto Vallarta is a hugely popular destination for Americans, Canadians and other foreigners to relocate and call home. A wonderful climate, spectacular natural surroundings, a safe environment, access to excellent medical care and exciting business possibilities all are important factors that draw ex-pats to Vallarta One of the most common questions asked by those considering making the move to Puerto Vallarta, is what the true cost of living in Mexico is. This, of course, is a complicated question to answer and greatly depends on the standard of living and level of comfort that are required by individuals.
That said, let’s say that a single person willing to live on a cautious budget, can make their home in Puerto Vallarta for as little as $1,000 USD per month by using cost-cutting measures such as taking advantage of city transit, avoiding using air-conditioners in their home and eating a traditional Mexican diet including fresh, locally grown products. You won’t be living on the beachfront in Conchas Chinas but one can find modest accommodation in good areas that would allow you to fit into this budget.
For those looking for a higher level of comfort, the sky is the limit in Puerto Vallarta. However, Luxury homes and condominiums can be had in the Banderas Bay region for a fraction of the cost in other parts of the world. Gourmet restaurants are plentiful in Vallarta and diners can enjoy spectacular meals for much less than they are accustomed to paying other cities. And services such as gardening, housekeeping and laundry and offered at very reasonable prices.
Ask any ex-pat living in Puerto Vallarta and they will all confirm the level of safety and security in the city. Many people who have moved here from American or Canadian cities report that they actually feel safer in Puerto Vallarta than in many cities in their own country.
And medical and dental care in Puerto Vallarta is of a very high quality with extremely reasonable prices compared to what Americans, in particular, are accustomed to paying for health care. There are a variety of private hospitals, medical practices and dental offices in Vallarta that offer state-of-the-art technology, medical professionals trained to the highest standard and services offered in English.
Enjoying a vacation in a tropical location is very different than actually moving and making a holiday destination like Puerto Vallarta your new home. However for the ex-pat community in Puerto Vallarta, the lifestyle advantages of living in Mexico makes moving away from home worthwhile.
Vallarta is blessed with a beautiful climate year-round and beach activities, outdoor sports, strolls along the Malecon and dining al fresco are all popular ways to spend the day for those living in Vallarta. Scuba diving, sport fishing, golfing and tennis are all popular recreational activities within the ex-pat community in Puerto Vallarta. Making social connections in new city is always important and Vallarta has several social groups that operate in town. Of note are the Ex-pats of Puerto Vallarta, a group that caters primarily to those who have retirement homes in Puerto Vallarta, and the Young Professionals Organization of Puerto Vallarta, or YPO, a group that brings together foreign and national professionals within the Banderas Bay area for social and professional networking. Not only are there professional organizations and associations, there are literally dozens of philanthropic organizations – too many to list here – that are heavily patronized by the ex-pat community that are always looking for new participants.
The business climate is friendly for foreigners living in Puerto Vallarta, and having secured an FM2 of FM3 residency visa, ex-pats are free to work in Mexico. Many ex-pats work in real estate, the hospitality or tour industry, sales or as entrepreneurs. And foreigners can also work in the same industry as they did in their home country, i.e. health care, graphic or web design.
For most ex-pats living in Puerto Vallarta, the warmth of the city and its people are reason enough to live here. But when the cost of living, available services, excellent health care and business opportunities are factored in, Puerto Vallarta can certainly be considered one of the best places in the world for ex-pats to call home. In fact, the most difficult problem facing most ex-pats in Puerto Vallarta, is scheduling all their visitors from home who want to experience the Vallarta lifestyle for themselves.