Puerto Vallarta is a leading tourist destination in Mexico. Millions of visitors troop down south every year to soak in the tranquility of the beaches and to enjoy the incredible pampering found in the luxury villas of Puerto Vallarta. When you take a walk down the beautiful beaches and interact with the friendly locals, it is difficult to believe that this vibrant seaside resort was once an untouched ground, and nothing but a peaceful and tranquil piece of land waiting to be discovered. The region was discovered by Don Pedro de Alvarado in 1541, when at the time the place remained practically untouched for nearly 400 years.
Initially, Puerto Vallarta was known as Puerto Las Penas. It used to be ruled by the Aztec Empire until they lost their control to the Spaniards in the 16th century. The Spaniards then came in as explorers, adventurers, and sailors, and they never restricted themselves to the shores but ventured deep inland to explore if there were any resources they could exploit and send back to Spain. Throughout the 17th and 18th century when the region was under the Spanish rule, a lot of minerals were discovered in towns such as Talpa de Allende, Mascota and Sebastian Del Oeste. Puerto Penas then became a major route for getting the minerals out of the country. Its location was also suitable as a pit-stop for long voyages, in addition to being seen as a favorable hideout for pirates who would plunder other ships and then use the region for hiding and keeping their plunder.
With time and as the minerals were exhausted, the focus of the region turned into agriculture and in 1851, a young man named Sanchez began the importation of salt, soon establishing himself as a brilliant and wealthy man in the region. Since he loved spending most of his free time at Puerto La Penas, he decided to turn it into his operational base, where he decided to settle down with his wife and a few of his close friends and business allies. Since the place was so beautiful with lots of untouched beaches, other businessmen and influential people also got attracted to the charm of Puerto La Penas and this marked its genesis as a prominent tourist attraction center in the region.
Following the dwindling fortunes of the mining industry, and the discovery of silver in the United States in the early 19th century, Puerto Las Penas became a vital region for producing agricultural products. As a result, the population increased, and a municipality was formed in 1918 during which it also saw a name change from Puerto Las Penas to Puerto Vallarta – a name given in honor of the very first governor of Jalisco – Ignacio L Vallarta.
The region’s rise to fame as a top tourist destination with enviable accommodation options in the form of Puerto Vallarta Villas was not immediate. It was in 1963 when word started going around about Puerto Vallarta being an ideal tourist destination. This was after the release of the once-popular movie – Night of the Iguana. This was a love story directed by one of the most famous film directors in Hollywood, and given that it was a largely successful movie and whose location was in Puerto Vallarta, the demand to visit the region exploded overnight as nearly everyone wanted to visit the location where a romance with such intrigues could unfold.
Following the exposure and publicity from the movie, Puerto Vallarta started to attract all manner of investors who were keen on taking advantage of the sudden growth in tourism. Several real estate developers trooped into the region to set up hotels and luxury resorts to meet the increase in demand for hospitality services. Such an increase in activity saw it benefit from infrastructure from the Mexican government, including the construction of roads, and airports to facilitate the smooth flow of people in and out of the city.
Currently, Puerto Vallarta is a hot destination in Mexico. With its beautiful weather that seem favorable for nearly most parts of the year, every time is always a good time to take a plane down south. Its beaches are some of the best in the region, and over the years, other tourist attractions have also cropped up, so you can expect to see and do more than just having fun on the beach. The people are exceedingly friendly, they have a great diversity in their foods, and they also have a variety of festivals that you can always use to learn more about their cultures and traditions.