Puerto Vallarta is located in the area of Mexico’s west coast known as the “Mexican Rivera”. Constructed where the mountains of the Sierra Madre meet the gorgeous waters of the Pacific Ocean, the town of Puerto Vallarta has long been home to boats and people who came to find safe harbor from storms on the Bay of Banderas. Over the last fifteen years, travelers from around the world have come to Puerto Vallarta in droves, seeking solace not from storms, but from the rigors of their everyday life. As a result, Puerto Vallarta is now considered to be one of the most popular travel destinations in all of Latin America.
Puerto Vallarta has experienced this sudden rise in popularity at a relatively young political age; the document history of town goes back only to 1850! The area was actually discovered in 1541 by Don Pedro de Alvarado, but remained uninhabited until the arrival of Guadalupe Sanchez and his family to farm at the mouth of the Cuale River in 1850. At this time, the area was known as Puerto Las Penas, and kept that name until 1918 when it was renamed Puerto Vallarta in honor of local politician Don Ignacio L. Vallarta.
The region first received international notoriety thanks to American film director John Houston. Houston had read accounts of travelers that lauded Puerto Vallarta and its surrounding areas for their beauty and Houston decided the location would be perfect for his next film. The film was Night of the Iguana, which starred Richard Burton and Ava Gardner and was a tremendous hit. In the years following the film, Puerto Vallarta gradually became a more popular destination for tourists until the pace quickened with its most recent explosion in popularity. The recent rapid rise in popularity has led to a massive boom in construction and the town now features a wide variety of golf courses, tennis courts, spas, resorts, and breathtakingly beautiful villas. These attraction and the area's astounding natural beauty make Puerto Vallarta a world-class travel destination.