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The Best Area to Stay in Puerto Vallarta + 25 Coolest Hotels and Homes [2022]

You want to make sure you chose the best area to stay in Puerto Vallarta if you wish to enjoy your trip to the fullest.

In this post, I will help you navigate through the friendliest city in Mexico and find out which area in Puerto Vallarta is most suitable for your needs and budget.

The vibrant city of Puerto Vallarta is organized into 5 well-distinguished neighborhoods, each of which offers a great ambiance and has its own charm but in different ways and for different budgets.

Let’s explore each one of them and see which one is best for your taste and needs.

Puerto Vallarta is a very popular destination among tourists and expats alike, who enjoy the diverse restaurant scene, beautiful beaches, and incredible ocean views from the Sierra Madre tropical hills.

It is indeed one of the unique places to visit in Mexico at least once.

When it comes to choosing where to stay in Puerto Vallarta, you cannot go wrong, whether you book an apartment on a hill with stunning views on Banderas Bay or an all-inclusive hotel right on the beach, there is a great choice for every budget and taste, and I will help you find the perfect place for you in one of the coolest areas of Puerto Vallarta.

The Marina Puerto Vallarta

MARINA PUERTO VALLARTA MAP (CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO GET TO GOOGLE MAP)

The Puerto Vallarta Marina is a modern high-end zone with many residential gated communities and all-inclusive hotels on the coast. You can find great restaurants and shops around the marina itself, where to hang out and take a stroll around luxury boats and yachts.

This is also where many boat tours will leave from. You will be close to malls and commercial centers situated in the Hotel Zone at a few minutes taxi ride.

It’s a tranquil area where to stay in Puerto Vallarta but keep in mind that you are 10 km from the old town, the heart, and soul of Puerto Vallarta. Buses run quite often in Puerto Vallarta, and at night you can always take a taxi or Uber.

In this area, there are great all-inclusive resorts and Airbnb. Here are my top picks if you decide to stay in the Marina.


Also read – Puerto Vallarta vs Cancun: which one is better?


Best Hotels in Puerto Vallarta Marina

1. Marriot Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa

Marriott Puerto Vallarta Hotel - best area to stay in Puerto Vallarta
Marriott Puerto Vallarta Hotel – Photo © Expedia

Enjoy the newly renovated room and world-class restaurants and bars, offering fresh local and international food, fine dining, a coffee shop, a deli with a freshly made bakery, a tequila and ceviche bar, and a fully equipped gym, and a reinvigorating spa.

The best part is that is not all-inclusive, so you can choose to try out the local restaurants as well.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

2. Melia Puerto Vallarta All-Inclusive

Melia Puerto Vallarta
Melia Puerto Vallarta – Photo © Expedia

The elegant Melia is perfect for families, groups of friends, couples, or solo travelers. It really has it all to satisfy every need, including 4 world-class restaurants, an infinity pool, spacious, stylish rooms equipped with all amenities, and top facilities.

The hotel is also located beside the golf course, for Tee-time lovers.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

3. San Trópico Petit Hotel & Peaceful Escape

San Tropico Petit Hotel Puerto Vallarta Marina
San Tropico Petit Hotel Puerto Vallarta Marina – Photo © Expedia

The Marina Puerto Vallarta is mainly renowned for its big all-inclusive resorts but you will be surprised to know that you can also find cute boutique hotels such as this one.

San Tropico Petit Aparthotel is a cozy elegant boutique hotel located right in the heart of the marina within walking distance to the harbour with its restaurants and bars.

This cute hotel offers spacious apartment that are tastefully decorated and equipped with the most modern amenities, including a fully equipped kitchen and free WIFI throughout the property.

Also a shared pool is surrounded by sunlounges and a manicured garden.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

Best home rentals in Puerto Vallarta Marina

If you prefer the privacy of your own apartment, here are my favorite Airbnb places in Puerto Vallarta Marina

4. Beautiful fully furnished apartment. Walking distance from shops and restaurants

Condo Puesta Del Sol Overview puerto Vallarta
Beautiful fully furnished apartment.– Photo © VRBO

This cozy condo is located within the Puesta del Sol Condominium Marina Vallarta at 3.1 km from Cruise Ship Pier and 4.4 km from Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center.

Guests can enjoy the shared swimming pool and explore the amazing gardens.

The apartment has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, nicely decorated with local art and equipped with the most comfortable amenities including WIFI, washer and drier, parking lot, and kitchenware.

Not too far away from shopping, attractions, and dining.

👉 Check rates and availability on VRBO

5. Ocean View Newly Updated Condo

Newly updated Condo
Ocean View Newly Updated Condo Photo © VRBO

Recently refurbished condo, nicely decorated with original local art, beautiful furnishings, and a gourmet kitchen.

The master bedroom, and the living room both have TV.

Guests enjoy spectacular views of the bay and pools from the condo terrace.

There is a washer/dryer for the guest to use and so is WIFI, a shared pool, and a parking space.

👉 Check rates and availability on VRBO

Puerto Vallarta Hotel Zone

Puerto vallarta hotel maps
Photo © Google Maps – Click on the image to open the map

The Hotel Zone is where cruise ships arrive, the harbor area, that coastline included between downtown and the Marina.

You can actually walk to the old town by the beach if you feel like it. It’s a touristy area and very frequented by locals since all the malls are located.

The luxury mall is La Isla, right on the beach. Just like the name evokes, the Hotel Zone is exactly where all the mainstream hotel brands are located, right on the beach.

However, you can also find many luxury home options. I will give you a few names of the best of both, so you can choose what best suits you.

Bear in mind that you won’t find the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta, but the hotels do their best to maintain their stretch of sand.

Best Hotels in Puerto Vallarta Hotel Zone

6. Kristal Vallarta

Kristal Vallarta
Photo © Expedia

Kristal Vallarta is a Mid-range price hotel, ideal for family located very close to the old town and yet right on a spectacular stretch of beach in Banderas Bay.

Guests enjoy a choice among the 3 outdoor pools, 4 restaurants and bars, a nightclub and a full service spa.

The lovely rooms at Vallarta Krystal are equipped with Wi-Fi and cable TV.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

7. Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort and Spa (Adults Only)

Photo © Expedia

With Secret hotels you can never go wrong, if you love all inclusive resorts.

Secret Puerto Vallarta is Luxury at its best offering world class cuisine, 24hrs room service and an array of incredible spa treatment.

Guests can choose among the many types of suites available including swim out suites, garden views and ocean views.

Located in one of the most spectacular stretch of beaches in Puerto Vallarta.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

8. Fiesta Americana Vallarta All-inclusive

Fiesta Americana All Inclusive
Fiesta Americana All Inclusive – photo © Expedia

Perfect for family, guests appreciate the great food in every restaurant and the outstanding service.

The spectacular beach is very much swimmable for adults and kids alike. The hotel offer all day long entertainment for adults and kids, with watersports and kids club.

Guests loved the friendly staff and the delicious buffets with a great variety of food.

👉 Check rates and availability on  Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

Best VRBO vacation rentals in Puerto Vallarta Hotel Zone

9. CHIC & MODERN BEACHFRONT CONDO W/TERRACE

puerto vallarta condo room
Photo © VRBO

This 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath condo is located at the Grand Venetian, one of the finest beachfront properties in Vallarta’s Hotel Zone.

Guests will enjoy stunning views over the ocean from the large balcony. Furnished with modern and stylish pieces of decor and practical amenities.

NON-CONTACT SELF-CHECK-IN is available upon request.

👉 Check rates and availability on VRBO

10. Large Balcony w/ Quick Access to Beach, Pools, Gym

Balcony with Sunset Views
Photo © VRBO

Centrally located in the heart of the hotel zone, this one bedroom apartment is also located in the luxury Grand Venetian, a gated complex with 24-hour security, manicured grounds and covered parking.

It is walking distance from the finest restaurants of the Marina, grocery, and shopping.

The masterbedroom is equipped with a king-sized bed, a sofa bed, and 2 full baths with plush towels and linens.

A comfortable outdoor seating allows you to enjoy expansive ocean views, sunsets and beach breezes throughout your stay.

👉 Check rates and availability on VRBO

Puerto Vallarta Old Town Zone

The old town is the most charming and exciting part of the city with much character and personality and it’s one of the best locations to stay in Puerto Vallarta.

The beach promenade (Malecon) starts here and goes all the way to the Zona Romantica at the end of the beach Playa de los Muertos.

In the old Puerto Vallarta, you can walk around the narrow cobblestone roads leading uphill from where you will be able to enjoy amazing sunsets over Banderas Bay. The most charming colonial houses are in this part of the city and historical buildings, art galleries, and fancy restaurants.

FUN FACT – Right here in Old Vallarta is where Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s homes are located. They bought it after declaring their affair publicly and moving here. In fact, Richard Burton was the starring actor in “The Night of the Iguana,” a movie shot in Puerto Vallarta, and made it a popular tourist destination among Hollywood stars.

Best Hotels in Puerto Vallarta Hotel Zone

11. Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel & Romantic Getaway

Villa premiere Hotel
Villa premiere Hotel – Photo © Expedia

The 4 diamond awarded Villa Premier epitomizes everything that luxury stands for, right from the very first step you take into the stylish property. Outstanding staff, world-class food, artsy spacious rooms with incredible views.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

12. Luna Liquida

Luna Liquida Hotel
Luna Liquida Hotel – Photo © Expedia

An exquisite boutique hotel with a spectacular view over the bay from the rooftop terrace where breakfast is served.

The cute rooms are decorated in a delicate combination of colors, local art pieces, and other decorative and functional objects. It just feels like a beautiful home.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

13. Hacienda San Angel

Hacienda San Angel was the former home of Richard Burton’s, whose room has now become the spacious master suite with stunning views and fine decorative art, available for rent.

The property is now a hotel, but it has the romantic feel of a vintage house with the red tile walls around the outdoor courtyard, the bright pink bougainvillea dripping from the white balconies, the old fountain with the soothing sound of the flowing water, a vintage sofa dressed in the finest white cushions and many other details.

This is the perfect romantic getaway or a solo retreat.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

14. Casa Kimberly

Casa Kimberly
Photo © Expedia

Casa Kimberly has been the love nest of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, which inspired the new owner to recreate a romantic luxury retreat for sensitive travelers searching for a romantic and glamorous escape.

The elegant suites boast the perfect blend of colonial times and stylish modern decorations.

The views are breathtaking, from the hilly lush Sierra Madre tumbling into the sea on the horizon on the left to Puerto Vallarta’s red-tiled roofs and glimpses of the blue ocean on the right.

The upscale restaurant within the property is also one of the most popular in Puerto Vallarta for romantic dinners.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

Best vacation rental in Puerto Vallarta Old Town

15. Resort Condo w/ Pool Access & Pacific Ocean Views!

luxury apartment balcony
Photo © VRBO

Spectacular fully equipped 1 bedroom condo. Located right below the cerro de la Cruz at a close distance to the malecon, the beach and all the fancy restaurants.

You will enjoy the stunning views from your balcony or relaxing by the shared pool.

Among all the amenities: stainless steel appliances, gas range, toaster, toaster oven, coffeemaker

Linens/towels, ceiling fans, on-site washer/dryer, laundry detergent, complimentary toiletries, essentials, hair dryer, iron/board and of course WIFI.

👉 Check rates and availability on VRBO

16. Sweet & Chic Puerto Vallarta Condo: Walk to Beach!

sweet ad chic pool
Photo © VRBO

Beautiful stylish modern property, ideal for romantic Mexico getaway. Centrally located close to the beach and the historical town and yet in a quiet and tranquil area.

The beautiful apartment is tastefully decorated and fully equipped with everything you need for the perfect vacation.

👉 Check rates and availability on VRBO


Puerto Vallarta Zona Romantica
(best area to stay in Puerto Vallarta)

The Zona Romantica is the coolest area in Puerto Vallarta, a little more modern than the Old town but with the same charm and character. It’s the area of Puerto Vallarta that goes from Cuale river to the end of Playa de los Muertos approximately.

It’s connected to the old Puerto Vallarta by a bridge on the Malecon side and by swinging bridges that connect to the Cuale island, a lovely place to visit for the flea markets and a few little restaurants.

The Zona Romantica (just like the old Puerto Vallarta) is where you would want to hang out at night, in the various restaurants and bars, or take a stroll on the Malecon. Playa de los Muertos is the coolest beach in Puerto Vallarta, lined by crowded restaurants, the locals’ favorites for Sunday brunch.

Playa de los Muertos marks the end of Puerto Vallarta Zona Romantica. However, the city continues along the steep coast up to Conchas China, lined with hotels and condos boasting spectacular views over the bay. (see below)

The best hotels in Puerto Vallarta Zona Romantica

17. Villa Mercedes

villa mercedes
Villa Mercedes – Book on Expedia

A cute mid-range cute little hotel at only two steps from Playa de los Muertos, perfect for budget-conscious travelers with an eye for art and decor.

👉 Check availability and rates on Expedia | Hotels.com

18. Hotel Boutique Riviera del Rio

Rivera del rio terrace
Rivera del Rio hotel terrace Photo © Expedia

High-end colonial home – featuring romantic vintage furniture and decor- The rooftop view is out of this world.

👉 Check availability and rates on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

19. Villa Lola

Villa Lola
Villa Lola – Photo © Expedia

Cozy 7-room bed and breakfast in a beautiful colonial home featuring unique decorations and local art and modern amenities.

👉 Check availability and rates on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

Amazing apartments in Puerto Vallarta Zona Romantica

20. Oceanfront Penthouse on Los Muertos beach

21. Beautiful modern condo 3 blocks from the beach

Puerto Vallarta Conchas Chinas – South Zone

CONCHAS CHINAS PUERTO VALLARTA MAP

If you walk on the beach from Playa de Los Muertos southwards, you will find yourself in more deserted little bays until you reach the popular Conchas Chinas.

If you look up, you will see the dramatic rugged coastline interrupted by condo hotels and stunning resorts overlooking the gorgeous bay.

From the city, it’s only 10-minute drive to reach this quiet area with stunning resorts and villas that you can rent.

At night you can always get an Uber or a cab if you want to go out and enjoy Puerto Vallarta nightlife.

Best hotels in Puerto Vallarta South Zone

22. Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta

hyatt puerto vallarta views
Book on Expedia

Embraced by the lush Sierra Madre, the all-inclusive family hotel Hyatt Ziva towers over its own extended private beach Las Estacas and the entire Banderas Bay that you can admire from one of the colorful, stylish rooms. Great restaurants and facilities to entertain the entire family.

👉 Check availability and rates on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

23. Grand Park Royal Luxury Resort Puerto Vallarta – All-inclusive 

Grand park royal pool Puerto Vallarta
Grand Park Royal – Photo © Expedia

Situated at only 100 mt from the spectacular, immaculate Gemelas beach, this luxury hotel boasts spacious modern rooms and world-class cuisine in its 4 included restaurants.

👉 Check availability and rates on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

Top condo rentals in Puerto Vallarta South Zone

24. CASA VISTA AL MAR

CASA VISTA AL MAR

Casa Vista al Mar is a beautiful luxury apartment with spectacular views of the ocean and a stylish decor. Among the amenities guests enjoy free WiFi, air conditioning, an outdoor swimming pool and a terrace.

It is conveniently located at a few steps from Las Estacas Beach and 0.6 miles from Conchas Chinas Beach

The apartment is ideal for a family as it includes 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, bed linen, towels, a flat-screen TV, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a patio with garden views.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com

25. GRAND MIRAMAR ALL LUXURY SUITES

Grand Miramar All Luxury Suites & Residences
Grand Miramar All Luxury Suites & Residences – Photo © Expedia

If you are looking for a unique stay this is your place.

Grand Miramar All Luxury Suites & Residences is one of the most spectacular properties in Puerto Vallarta with incredible views over the bay from its flowery balconies and the rooftop pool and terrace.

The main terrace is reserved only for adults, and features 3 pools, one exterior hot tub and activity space.

Also available two specialty restaurants, poolside snacks and 24-hour suite service.

This property is located on the hills of the exclusive Conchas Chinas area, it’s only 7 minutes’ drive from the Puerto Vallarta Zona Romantica and Malecon.

👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com | Expedia | Hotels.com

Best areas to stay in Puerto Vallarta: Final thoughts

I hope this post was helpful to figure out which area to stay in Puerto Vallarta is most suitable for you.

Here I have shared my favorite hotels but, obviously, there are many more options for where to stay in Puerto Vallarta.


For further reading


✨ Mexico Travel Planning Guide ✨

👉 Do I need travel insurance to travel to Mexico?

I would do it if I were you. You never know what can happen and know that no matter what, you will be covered with any expenses will give you peace of mind, and make your travel worry-free. You can check out SafetyWing which I have used and find it affordable and comprehensive and also Travel Insurance Master which is great because you can insert all your information and what kind of insurance you need and their system will pull out the best insurance for your need.

🚰 Can I drink tap water in Mexico?

No, you can’t! Maybe in some areas or in some homes where they have installed water filters but to be on the safe side, I would say, never drink tap water in Mexico. Carry a water bottle with you and fill it up where you find available potable water sources. Most of the hotels have those.

🚗 Is it safe to drive in Mexico?

The short answer is: depending on where you are. Although in general if you stick to the main roads and don’t drive at night you should probably be safe. In lesser tourist areas you should probably check the local news to stay up to date. Driving in the Yucatan Peninsula is easy everywhere, even at night, although I would still avoid it. I usually use Discover Cars because the site offers the options to compare prices among different car rentals and you can add their own full coverage.

Read more on my guide on Renting a car in Mexico.

📱 Will my phone work in Mexico?

It will probably work, especially if you have a European or US phone, but your roaming rates may be to the stars (check with your SIM provider). Even if have an affordable international rate, you will be much better off by buying a Mexican SIM Card. It’s cheap, easy to set up, and it will keep you connected with your friends, family, and, more important, google Maps so you will never get lost!

🤕 Is it safe to travel to Mexico right now?

The short answer is, yes it is. However, there are parts of Mexico that are indeed troubled and you should avoid for now, and others that are super safe and easy to travel around.

Regardless of where you are you should always use some common sense rules such as, never flaunting expensive clothing, accessories, electronics, or money and keeping a low profile.

Read more on my detailed guide on safety in Mexico. If you are traveling to a specific destination I have got you covered as well:

💉 Do I need any vaccine to travel to Mexico?

No, there is no vaccine requirement (of any kind) to travel to Mexico

🇲🇽 Do I need a visa to travel to Mexico?

If you are coming from the US or Europe you don’t need a VISA to enter Mexico. Once you get in you need to fill out a form that you need to keep with you until you leave. If you don’t have it you will pay a fine.

Although the tourist visa for US and European travelers used to be 6 months long which you could easily renew by leaving the country for a couple of days and going back, nowadays they have been stricter. You may be asked how you would sustain your living and other similar questions. Sometimes they even ask you to show your credit cards.

It seems odd but they can do that. If you intend to stay longer than a usual couple of weeks’ vacation time, just be honest and explain your plans. If you are not from the US, check this site to see if you need a visa

💸 Where do I find the best travel deals for Mexico? 💸

A trip to Mexico can be expensive if you love to travel with all the comforts (like I do). There are a few tricks that will help you find the best deals. Here are my tips:

👉 DON’T travel in the high season, which is Holy week, Christmas and winter in general, and August.
👉 Book months in advance to find early booking discounts
👉 Use aggregators such as Discover Cars to find price comparisons and VRBO for vacation rentals!
👉 Look for packages flights+hotels on Expedia or Skyscanner as usually, that’s where the best deals are.
👉 Check on Booking.com or Hotels.com for hotel deals

Happy travels!!