Best areas to stay in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Canadians do enjoy warm-weather destinations, don't they? Many of us flock to Mexico for either summer or winter vacations every year. Puerto Vallarta is one of the safest places on Mexico’s Pacific coast, and it's a holiday destination with something for everyone: spectacular beaches, water sports activities, flavourful local cuisine with dishes you may not have heard of, year-round festivals covering everything from history and traditions to music/dancing, exciting nightlife, rich marine and land wildlife,  and a mountainous landscape with many river rapids, thick marshes, and waterfalls.

Each of Puerto Vallarta's neighbourhoods has its own personality. So, when looking for hotels in Puerto Vallarta, consider which kind of experience you want to have. For example, travellers seeking a lively atmosphere may prefer the Romantic Zone, whereas others may seek a relaxing time at an infinity pool in the Hotel Zone or a private beach in the South Zone. We've rounded up a list of the best neighbourhoods for lodging in Puerto Vallarta including the types of experiences you may encounter in each of them.

The South Zone is a peaceful area of Puerto Vallarta presenting the perfect setting for travellers looking for ultimate privacy, rest, and relaxation. The area offers excellent options for luxury world-class resorts and villas for rent. Those staying in this area will be treated with breathtaking hillside views of the pristine Pacific coastline set against the green scenery of the Sierra Madre mountains. Because this is a secluded neighbourhood situated about a 10-minute drive from the city, visitors must either take a taxi or an Uber, or rent a car to take advantage of everything else the city offers, including nightlife, shopping, and local markets.
Also known as Old Town or Viejo Vallarta, this is the busiest, most walkable and popular area in Puerto Vallarta. Many of the city's best bars, restaurants, and attractions are also located in this area. This area is known for its vibrant LGBTQ scene that attracts many LGBTQ tourists The Romantic Zone (zona romantica in Spanish) also includes the well-known Los Muertos beach. If you want to avoid the more bustling beaches, Yelapa or Mismaloya beaches are two great alternatives. The Old Town is also linked to the neighbouring Centro district near the Malecón beachfront boardwalk.
The Hotel Zone is the harbour area where cruise ships dock and is considered one of the best choices for places to stay in Puerto Vallarta if you favour all-inclusive resorts. It is located on the coastline between Marina Vallarta and the city's downtown. Aside from the long stretches of golden sand beaches, one of the advantages of staying in this neighbourhood is that you can walk to the Old Town from there. The area around the malls is a tourist hotspot; if shopping is your thing, this is the neighbourhood for you. 
The Centro district, also known as Vallarta's downtown, is where all the action happens. It is a vibrant, walkable neighbourhood with cobblestone streets, stunning Spanish colonial architecture, and iconic landmarks like the Malecón boardwalk and the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Furthermore, the district is home to many restaurants and bars, art galleries, shops and nightclubs. The downtown area can be noisy for visitors looking for peace and quiet. Vacationers travelling on a budget will find many inexpensive boutique hotels and hostels here.
The Puerto Vallarta Marina is a modern neighbourhood in the city's northern outskirts. With its many residential communities, all-inclusive hotels, and AirBnBs, Marina Vallarta is an ideal place to stay if you are travelling with family. You can walk around the marina, where there are nice restaurants and shops, hit the golf course, or join one of the many boat tours that depart from this location. One of the advantages of staying at Marina Vallarta is that you have easy access to all the excursions and fun available in nearby Nuevo Vallarta. In addition, tranquil Marina Vallarta is located 10 kilometres from Puerto Vallarta's Old Town. Although buses frequently run from Marina Vallarta to other areas during the day, most routes may not operate after 11 p.m. Taxis and Uber are excellent options for getting around if you plan to stay out late at night.

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