Vallarta has become one of the worlds most popular beach vacation destinations. With its tropical climate, lush surroundings and charming vibe, year over year, more people continue to visit and even call Puerto Vallarta home.
The town first was established way back in the 1800’s and was originally named Puerto Las Peñas. It was in the early 1900’s that it was designated as a municipality and named after a beloved Governor of Jalisco, Don Ignacio Vallarta. For many years, the sea side area thrived as a port and was known for pearl diving, agriculture and in the nearby Sierra Madre mountains, mining.
The first recorded tourism flight actually landed in Vallarta in 1945 and carried 21 passengers in total. Around the 30’ and 40’s was the timeframe when the town saw road infrastructure, bridges and city water systems being built to accommodate the large influx of people that were calling this ocean village home. The impressive Our Lady of Guadalupe church was established over time, starting in the 30’s and continued on to create the landmark church we see today. The original ornately designed crown held up by angels was unfortunately damaged and came off in 1995 due to an earthquake, it was replaced with a fiberglass version, that still shines high above the main plaza.
Eventually in the 70’s this sleepy village was scouted by Hollywood as a possible filming location, and this fate lead Vallarta to becoming a very famous spot. The film that changed it all, was Night of the Iguana starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Both married to others at the time, their secret love affair was sensationalized by the paparazzi and led to many people wanting to discover this paradise and see where the two love birds were staying and this all brought a lot of foreign investment into Vallarta. Still today, you can visit the area of Gringo Gulch and see the famous bridge that connected their two villas, so they could easily steal a kiss from one another.
Today Vallarta dazzles with over 370,000 residents in the metro area and receives over 4.5 million visitors a year, second only to Cancun. First class resorts, endless amounts of pristine beaches and Vallarta’s friendliness will always continue to attract guests from all over the globe.
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