Tropical-forested mountains and mineral-rich volcanic slopes appear to literally rise from the sea and 100 miles of mountain-ringed golden coastline hugs the stunningly beautiful Bay of Banderas [member of The most beautiful bays in the World Club
>>]. The country’s broadest and deepest natural bay, the Bay of Banderas teems with aquatic life that many visitors will likely discover on an eco-tour (or perhaps sample at one of the city’s amazing seafood restaurants!). The bay’s many blessings - dozens of beaches, sparkling sunshine and clear blue water ideal for snorkeling and swimming - are sheer magnets for visitors.
From the rugged Sierra Vallejo to the north and Sierra Cuale to the south, rich lush green slopes overlook the sandy arc, and long stretches of beach and intimate coves wind along the Bay.
Sleepy fishing villages - Punta Mita, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Bucerías, Mismaloya, Boca de Tomatlán and Yelapa [photo] - punctuate the coastline to the north and south of the town, offering visitors a glimpse into the real Puerto Vallarta- the way it was, and the way it remains today. Nestled into the verdant valleys and jagged mountains that overlook Puerto Vallarta’s narrow cobblestone city streets, the idyllic colonial-era villages of San Sebastián, Mascota and Talpa invite travelers to experience yet another side of Puerto Vallarta.
In addition to the beauty of this spectacular setting, the inherent warmth and friendliness of the locals have attracted a lively expatriate community from the U.S., Canada and Europe, who in turn make vacationers from those countries feel right at home [Friendship club].
As such. Puerto Vallarta has envolved to meet the needs of today’s modern tourist (luxury hotels, all-inclusive resorts, new golf courses, high-tech meeting facilities, upscale shops and restaurants have opened at rapid pace in recent years).
Fortunately though, the town has retained its quaint charm. Picturesque colonial and whitewashed buildings, cobblestone streets that wind in and out, red spanish tile roofs, and a brilliant profusion of flowers and jungle-like fauna differentiate Puerto Vallarta from any destination. The architecture mirrors the colonial facades with brickwork and flowering plants. The beauty and the charm of Puerto Vallarta is symbolized by the landmark Church of Guadalupe. Built in 1951, located in the picturesque main plaza. The red brick bell tower is topped by a crown modeled after the one worn by Mexico’s 18th century Empress Carlota.