Culture, cuisine and ecotourism are the big attractions in Puerto Vallarta
The quaintest town on the Mexican Pacific has become much more tan just beach. It is more tan just a village, too, having grown to a point where it is something like half a dozen destination rolled into one. You have Old Vallarta and New Vallarta, in between there´s Marina Vallarta. You have the South-of-Town Hotel Zone and the North of Town Hotel Zone and, now, Riviera Nayarit.
The town sits on Bahia de Banderas, the largest natural bay in Mexico, with 100 miles of coastline ringed by mountains. You find long stretches of beach to the north of town, and delightful coves to the south.
Few people come to Puerto Vallarta simply to relax. Basking on the beach is considered lazy when whale-watching expeditions beckon. Some 500 humpbacks honeymoon in the bay every Winter, swimming down all the way from Alaska. Summer nights are spent waiting for sea turtles to lumbera shore and lay their eggs in the sand. Tourists join teams of biologists in rescuing these infant Ridleys, which might from hikes into the jungle to horseback rides, excursions on mountain bikes and kayak outings.