View from Puerto Vallarta and surroundings

Puerto Vallarta (population 291,839 – 2020 census) is located on the Pacific coast in the Mexican State of Jalisco, within the Banderas Bay (Bahía de Banderas), which is considered to be one of the most beautiful bays in the World and happens to also be one of Mexico’s largest, measuring 26 miles (42 km) from East to West and 20 miles (32 km) from North to South. [Vallarta Map] [Map showing cities close to PV] [Map showing Mexico & USA]

Puerto Vallarta's Coat of Armas, Jalisco, México
  • City founded on Dec. 12, 1851
  • Population 291,839 (2020 census)
  • Area (Municipality): 1,300.7 km2 (502.19 sq. miles)
  • 7 m (23 ft) over sea level
  • Location: Bahía de Banderas (Banderas Bay), Jalisco State, Mexico
  • Longitude / Latitude: 20°37’19” N / 105°13’42” W
  • Over 4.7 million visitors in 2018 and more than 5 million in 2019 pre-COVID.
  • 2nd most important tourist beach destination in Mexico
Banderas Bay - Puerto Vallarta - Location points

The northern limit of the bay is Punta de Mita which is also considered the end of the Sierra de Vallejo mountains and in its southern limit, the bay ends at Cabo Corrientes, the end of the Sierra del Cuale mountain range.

Puerto Vallarta is the second-most visited tourist destination in Mexico, (only Cancun has more tourists), attracting millions of visiting tourists per year (4.1 million in 2016 and 4.5 million in 2017, without including cruise ship visitors and up to over 5 million in 2019, pre-pandemic), and has served as a relaxing change and refuge for people looking for a place that is more than beautiful beaches.

Puerto Vallarta Views in the downtown area

PV is a reliable retirement location too, that’s why it was voted the best place to retire in the world by the American Association of Retired Persons in 2010 read more.

This may be the reason why there is a considerable number of expatriates mostly from the U.S.A., Canada, and some European citizens living permanently in the city, another attractive is Vallarta’s great weather.

Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe from Luna Liquida Hotel, Downtown Puerto Vallarta

Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe from Luna Liquida Boutique Hotel, Downtown Puerto Vallarta

Tropical-forested mountains and mineral-rich volcanic slopes appear to literally rise from the sea and 100 miles of mountain-ringed golden coastline hugs the stunningly beautiful Banderas Bay.

Bahía de Banderas is the broadest and deepest natural bay in Mexico, the bay teems with aquatic life and multiple species of dolphins, whales, manta rays and fish of all types and colors, that visitors could enjoy and even touch if they snorkel or scuba dive in the area.

Read more about Puerto Vallarta’s Biodiversity.

Puerto Vallarta Activities

The bay and PV offers a cornucopia of amazing options to enjoy during your visit – not only beaches but also sparkling sunshine and clear warm emerald blue waters that are ideal for snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming.

Use our webcam for views of the Bay and Puerto Vallarta.

Sleepy fishing villages that emulate Vallarta of old times – Punta Mita, Sayulita, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Bucerías, Mismaloya, Boca de Tomatlán, and Yelapa are part of the scenery along the coastline both to the north and to the south of PV. Even though Vallarta no longer is a small town, you can travel back in time when visiting these locations.

Sayulita Beach, a town north of Puerto Vallarta

Nestled in verdant valleys and green lush mountains overlooking the bay, you can find many idyllic colonial-era villages such as San Sebastián del Oeste, Mascota, Talpa and others, that invite travelers to enjoy yet another facet of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, and Mexico.

The inherent warmth and friendliness of the locals have attracted a growing and active expatriate community from the U.S.A., Canada, and countries in Europe. These, in turn, make foreign vacationers feel right at home [Friendship club].

Keeping up with the changing times, the city has adapted and improved with time, so now the needs of the demanding modern-day tourist are met, these include luxury resorts and hotels, all-inclusive options, spas and retreats, championship golf courses, top-notch shops, and gourmet restaurants have opened at a rapid pace in recent years.