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The best area to stay in Puerto Vallarta

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 in 5 distinguished neighborhoods, each of them offers a great ambiance and has its perks but in different ways and for different budget. Let’s explore 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, very much loved by vegans and omnivorous alike, 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 area of Puerto Vallarta.

Read also: 35 Mexico travel tips to know before traveling.

The Marina Puerto Vallarta


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

Marriot Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa – 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 freshly made bakery, a tequila and ceviche bar, a fully equipped gym, a reinvigorating spa. The best part is that is not all-inclusive, so you can choose to try out the local restaurants as well.

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Melia Puerto Vallarta All-Inclusive – 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.

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Best Airbnb in Puerto Vallarta Marina

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

Puerto Vallarta Hotel Zone

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

Kristal Vallarta – Mid-range price – Ideal for family and very close to the old town.
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Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort and Spa (Adults Only)– Luxury hotel ideal for couples. Kids are not accepted. Secrets brand is a guarantee of quality and world-class cuisine.
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Fiesta Americana Vallarta All-inclusive – Perfect for family, guests appreciate the great food in every restaurant and the outstanding service
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Best Airbnb in Puerto Vallarta Hotel Zone

Puerto Vallarta Old Town Zone

The old town is the most charming and exciting part of Puerto Vallarta, with much character and personality. 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 the Hollywood stars.

Best Hotels in Puerto Vallarta Hotel Zone

Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel & Romantic Getaway – 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.

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Luna Liquida – 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.

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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.

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Casa Kimberly – 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 red-tiled roofs and glimpses of the blue ocean are right.

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

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Best Airbnb in Puerto Vallarta Old Town

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 Cuele 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

Villa Mercedes – a 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.

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

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Villa Lola – Cozy 7-rooms bed and breakfast in a beautiful colonial home featuring unique decorations and local art and modern amenities.

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Amazing apartments in Puerto Vallarta Zona Romantica

Puerto Vallarta Conchas Chinas – South Zone


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 minutes 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

Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta – 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.

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

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Top condo rentals Puerto Vallarta South Zone

I hope this post was helpful. Obviously, there are many more options for where to stay in Puerto Vallarta. You can check them all out or Airbnb, my go-to trusted sites when I want to look for a place to stay.

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