Leading into Puerto Vallarta

About one month before, I was adventuring in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan

Afterwards, I decided to return to Toronto, Canada, and invest some money into a few projects, and refill my travel supplies.

After a month in Toronto, it was time to venture into Mexico.

I had been invited by a Canadian friend to come visit Mexico for over 3 years, but this time I decided to commit.

I had been in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico almost 8 years ago, but stayed in a resort, and never really ventured out into Puerto Vallarta due to the perception of safety concerns, and probably a lack of ‘adventure magnetism' (the need to adventure) and the technological ability (GPS, internet, etc).

Where is Puerto Vallarta?

For most Mexicans, Puerto & Nuevo (Port & New) Vallarta are interchangeable as a city, despite being in 2 separate states divided by a simple river.

The geographic distinction between Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta (located in 2 separate states) in Mexico

Puerto Vallarta has a deep and rich colonial history and charm to it, that is gradually being gentrified (upgraded) into a purely resort and restaurant-filled tourist destination.

Nuevo Vallarta, on the other hand, consists 99% of hotels, condominiums, golf courses, and marinas for wealthy foreign pensioners (most from the USA and Canada). I will provide present this part of the city in a later post.

Historically Puerto Vallarta

Banderas Bay (the cove holding Puerto Vallarta) was initially discovered by the Spanish in the very early 1500's.

The name ‘Banderas' (flags) was given because of the abundance of different indigenous flags.

By 1525, Francisco De Buenaventura (of the Good Adventure – awesome last name) arrived with 100 spanish soldiers to annihilate the indigenous population, but was outnumbered by 20,000 ‘Aztatlan' troops.

According to the legend, a spanish friar was in shock, and fell to his knees, revealing the bright white flag of the Holy Virgin of Guadalupe.

Apparently, the intense reflection scared the indigenous people, who eventually submitted to the Spanish conquerors, as a miracle.

The indigenous peoples were rewarded with diseases such as small pox, measles, scarlet fever, diphtheria, and influenza, which exterminated 90% of the population, as well as slavery.

From the 1600's to the 1700's, the economy in the area focused on mining the abundance of silver and gold in the hills and mountains.

To mine these minerals, a large amount of salt was needed, and a port was built to import the salt, named ‘Puerto Los Penas'.

But by the early 1800's, the discovery and overabundance of silver in the United States, caused prices for the minerals to crash, and the port and regions surrounding resorted back to agriculture, and the export of agricultural goods.

By 1918, the ‘Puerto Los Penas' had grown in considerable importance, and was renamed to ‘Puerto Vallarta' after the governor of the state of (Puerto Vallarta is in the state of Jalisco), ‘Ignacio L. Vallarta'.

In 1963, a major American motion picture was being filmed in ‘Puerto Vallarta', which involved famous actors and actresses of the time – the film is called ‘La Noche De La Iguana' (The night of the Iguana).

The main actor (Richard Burton) and actress (Elizabeth Taylor), while still married to other people, had a sexual relationship.

This caused wide-spread media fervor in the United States, resulting in an EXPLOSION of curious tourists, and media personnel, who were excited to know about this beautiful, lust-inducing place in the world.

Thus, from 1965 and onward, the government of Jalisco approved massive construction efforts to upgrade the port town into a massive resort city, including an airport, electricity, roads, bridges, and other infrastructure.

By 2000, the population was about 71,000, but by 2010, it had exploded to 255,000. A huge chunk of those being foreigners from Canada and the United states.

About 2.5 million tourists visit Puerto Vallarta (and its surrounding regions) every year, thus making it the 3rd most popular destination in Mexico.

The Ultra Gentrified Colonial City of Puerto Vallarta Photos

A handicapped man walks between cars asking for money in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

A woman shops for lingerie in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. There is no lack of abundance in Mexico for most people.

A woman serves up boiled corn in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

An american tourist wearing his team colours during an American Football event at a bar in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Children walk among a Chucky (horror movie) doll in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

A woman notices my camera and poses along the road in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Obesity is a major issue in Mexico. Just a glimpse.

Overlooking the Plaza Neptuno in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

A hotel under construction along the coast in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

The central streets leading into the hills of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Tourists shopping for souvenirs in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Going for a stroll in the Malecon (central area) in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

A man takes care of infrastructure in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Birds using a boat as an island for their hunting activities in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

“El Sutil Comepiedras”, The Subtle Rock Eater by Guadalajara artist Jonás Gutiérrez from 2006.

Triton and Mermaid by Carlos Espino in Puerto Vallarta

La Rotonda del Mar (The Roundabout of the Sea) by Alejandro Colunga

Looking down the streets of Puerto Vallarta

The entire Malecon is filled with stores and restaurants

Looking down more streets of Puerto Vallarta

The coast of the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta

A local ‘Pata Salada' (Salty Feet – name for locals from Puerto Vallarta) sells his goods to tourists

A statue of a traditional dance in Puerto Vallarta

A statue of a traditional dance in Puerto Vallarta

Playing chess with a sand mime in Puerto Vallarta

Oscars club/restaurant in Puerto Vallarta

A woman shops inside a local souvenir market in Puerto Vallarta

Coloured skulls associated with pre-Colombian Mexican culture

The housing constructions on the hills of Puerto Vallarta

Souvenir shops are everywhere. Puerto Vallarta makes the majority of its money from tourism.

A young man (Joven – pronounced Hoven) shops in the local markets of Vallarta

A picture of a more colonial Puerto Vallarta on a souvenir

Hakuna Matata on a license plate

A large collection of license plates featuring Americanized idioms in Puerto Vallarta

Pre-Colombian style gifts for sale in Puerto Vallarta

Pre-Colombian style gifts for sale in Puerto Vallarta

The insane internet/TV cables in Puerto Vallarta

The streets and cars of Puerto Vallarta

Many houses in Puerto Vallarta slowly add more and more floors over time to accommodate the increasing populations

A cute memorial to the use of Donkeys in the construction of Puerto Vallarta

A ‘pure-blood' indigenous (my assumption) woman counts money in Puerto Vallarta

The gentrification of Puerto Vallarta involves newly constructed hotels to accommodate the ever-increasing tourism space

Tourists sit along the beach at a restaurant in Puerto Vallarta

The coast along Puerto Vallarta is lined with a wall of hotels

Little boats float in front of the beaches in Vallarta

The beach in Puerto Vallarta is definitely nothing special, but it's enough for some

The Marina overlooking the ocean in Vallarta

The orange sunset in Vallarta

Tiki torches line the front of this hotel in Puerto Vallarta

Time for selfies during the sunset in Puerto Vallarta

A wall of hotels along the coast of Puerto Vallarta

A photo of a photo of the sunset in Puerto Vallarta

The one-lane streets in between hotels in Puerto Vallarta

A filtered view of the sunset sky in Puerto Vallarta

Leonidas facing the sunset in Puerto Vallarta

Hotels light up the dawn in Puerto Vallarta

Walking along the streets at night in Puerto Vallarta

A couple head to their hotel on the hills in Puerto Vallarta

Walking the streets at night in Puerto Vallarta

Driving in the streets at night in Puerto Vallarta

The yellow and blue lighting and shadows at night in Puerto Vallarta

A child plays hide and seek with his friend in Puerto Vallarta

A ‘trio' or group of three, that can play various instruments together.

Oscars club and restaurant at night time in Puerto Vallarta

Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta

Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe) in Puerto Vallarta

Inside the Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta

A statue of Jesus in a restaurant in a Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta

Leonidas role playing in a Taqueria (Taco bar) in Puerto Vallarta

A colourful mural on a wall of Puerto Vallarta

The transportation systems in Puerto Vallarta consists of buses and car taxis

Young mexican boys wait for something in Puerto Vallarta

A residential apartment facing the busy streets of Puerto Vallarta

A lady/man washes up in a stream that runs through Puerto Vallarta

Fuente Del Puente (Bridge Fountain) in Puerto Vallarta

A caged parrot is a pet in Vallarta

A local shop keeper gives directions in Puerto Vallarta

The colourful balconies of Puerto Vallarta

A police officer gives directions in Puerto Vallarta

Colonial architecture, topped with newer constructions in Puerto Vallarta

A dog relaxes on a hot day in Puerto Vallarta

The path towards the view-point of the city (mirador) in Puerto Vallarta

Colourful graffiti or art on buildings in Puerto Vallarta

A domesticated (or trapped) parrot in someones house. Apparently having these is now considered illegal in Puerto Vallarta

A road up towards the TV tower / mirador in Puerto Vallarta

A dog looks off into the distance in Puerto Vallarta

Construction continues in Puerto Vallarta, moving further and further up the hills

A dirt road up the hill will eventually be transformed into a road for cars in Puerto Vallarta

A view of Puerto Vallarta on the other side of the hill

A view of Puerto Vallarta on the other side of the hill

A view of the coast of Puerto Vallarta from atop of the Mirador

A view of the coast of Puerto Vallarta from atop of the Mirador (landscape view)

A close up of the larger hotels that preface the colonial areas of Puerto Vallarta

Construction up the mountains and hills does not end in Puerto Vallarta

The mirador in Puerto Vallarta

Looking towards the south side of Puerto Vallara

Leonidas posing in jeans and a tucked-in shirt atop the mirador in Puerto Vallarta

There is a lot of semi-incomplete buildings in Puerto Vallarta, that have walls, but no dry-wall to cover the red bricks – a common sight

Zooming into the streets of Puerto Vallarta, from the Mirador

A view of the Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe from the mirador in Puerto Vallarta

A view of the birds and the ocean from atop the mirador in Puerto Vallarta

A man leads his donkeys and horse up the hills to further the construction effort in Puerto Vallarta

Donkeys, horses, and mules were actively used in constructing colonial Puerto Vallarta

2 pups follow along up the hill on an adventure in Puerto Vallarta

Construction efforts are under way to build roads up the hills in Puerto Vallarta

A man excavates by hand and shovel the side of a road in Puerto Vallarta

A group of horses, donkeys and mules are led down the hills

Expansion efforts under way in Puerto Vallarta

An old-school game of getting someone elses shoes stuck on the cable lines in Puerto Vallarta

Enjoying some tacos in a restaurant in Puerto Vallarta

Enjoying some delicious tacos in a restaurant in Puerto Vallarta

Birds scavenge or hunt for food on the coast in Puerto Vallarta

Birds scavenge or hunt for food on the coast in Puerto Vallarta

Birds scavenge or hunt for food on the coast in Puerto Vallarta

A fancified sand sculpture of an Aztec king on the beach of Puerto Vallarta

A man sells a fruit cocktail, a traditional drink in Puerto Vallarta.

The drink is a mix of apples, nuts, sugar, and maybe other things.

An artists mural of Puerto Vallarta by Manuel Lepe in 1981.

 

Should You Visit Puerto Vallarta?

More Interesting Posts?

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment