Puerto Vallarta is a top tourist destination with an interesting history. Puerto Vallarta has become a successful tourism destination due to numerous factors. The proximity of the agricultural valley of the Ameca River and the beautiful Banderas Bay have contributed to Puerto Vallarta’s transformation from a sleepy fishing village to the dynamic city it is today. Puerto Vallarta is also the perfect place for a second home or retirement home in Mexico. Villa La Estancia in Riviera Nayarit is a top choice for expats who want to own luxury Puerto Vallarta real estate on the beach. Read below to learn more about the origins of Puerto Vallarta, and how today it is a world-class international tourist destination.
The Origins of Puerto Vallarta
Before the 19th century there is very little history known about Puerto Vallarta. There is some archaeological evidence that was found that indicated Aztatlan humans inhabited the region until 580 BC. Centuries later in 1524, Spanish invaders arrived in the area and fought with the native people. A large war occurred between Hernan Cortez and up to twenty-thousand native Indians, and Cortez won the war which meant Spain took over control of most of the Ameca valley. The valley was renamed Banderas, which means flags in Spanish because the native Indians carried colorful flags during their battles. At that time, Banderas Bay was a stopping point for vessels that needed refuge or a place to restock supplies during their travels.
1960’s and 1970’s Resort Town Transformation
Over time, Puerto Vallarta slowly developed into a popular resort town during the 1960s and 1970s. During those years, the Mexican federal government resolved all property issues that had stopped any development in Puerto Vallarta for the majority of the 20th century. Starting in 1973, the revenue from land sales from bank trusts was used to help grow and improve the city.
The Night of the Iguana put Puerto Vallarta on the Map
The filming of “The Night of the Iguana” also helped to put Puerto Vallarta on the map. John Huston (American Director) started filming in 1964 in Mismaloya, which is a small beach town not far from Puerto Vallarta. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were the stars of the film, and their love affair led the United States media to cover the film’s production, which actually made US tourists want to visit the area even more.
Puerto Vallarta Improvements with Transportation
The Mexican government also invested money to increase air transportation into Puerto Vallarta along with ground transportation improvements, too. This really helped Puerto Vallarta as it made it easier for tourists to travel to and from PV with ease. Puerto Vallarta was designated a city in 1968, and during the 1970’s more than fifty 4- and 5-star hotels and resorts were built. Puerto Vallarta was the first harbor town in Mexico when El Salado wharf was inaugurated on June 1st, 1970.
Puerto Vallarta Today
Today, Puerto Vallarta has a thriving tourism economy due to the climate, natural scenery, beaches, and rich history. The Mexican peso was devalued in the early part of the 1980s, and US tourists could enjoy amazing vacations at an affordable price. Ten years later, a federal Agrarian Law was inducted that allowed foreigners to purchase ejido land with bank trusts. As a result, more properties were able to be sold, which led to major development growth to occur in the homes, condominiums, resorts, and hotels being built in the city.
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