Let’s be honest, even if you’re staying in a hotel in Nuevo Vallarta, or even further, in Punta Mita, the main attraction in the whole Banderas Bay is Downtown Puerto Vallarta, and there are lots of things to do and see there. If your last visit to Puerto Vallarta was a few years ago, you won’t recognize the city. It maintained the old charm but got this new first world feeling. First of all, however it may not seem so important, overhead wires are now underground so all the town view are unobstructed and your vacation snapshots will look even better.
The most noticeable change is definitely the Malecon look. It has been totally renovated, closed for the traffic and spotted with big planters full of colorful flowers, bushes and palm trees. Now you can rent a bike for two for three, and even a stroller or a wheelchair. It extends from the Hotel Rosita to the new pier and maintains all the old, well known establishments, street performers, Papantla birdmen, sand sculptures and many others. Almost all the clubs took advantage of the renovating period and updated their premises.
The old town hosts the best restaurants in town starting from popular street stands where you can grab delicious tacos. There are also plenty of small eateries with affordable prices and gourmet, internationally awarded establishments such as Café des Artistes, El Trío o El Arrayán, to mention just a few. The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is another obligatory stop in the historic center. Recently it got a new crown and looks splendid over the city skyline. After your visit, relax at the Main Square just one block from the parish where you can eat an ice-cream and on Sundays listen to live music and watch people dancing the traditional danzon.
Looking for some more cultural spots? Vallarta seems to have it all now. Vallarta Theater has capacity for up to 960 spectators and it has offered great shows since 2010. A new theater has been announced to open its gates in November 2013 with three different stages: The Main Stage for 158 people, The Red Room with cabaret shows and a piano bar. All the performances will be bilingual and many Broadway productions have been promised. Art galleries are spotted all over the city and an Art Walk can be attended for free in high season. The art community in Vallarta has existed for over 40 years and many world famous artists have chosen the city as their home.
The natural island on the Cuale River is filled with restaurants, a museum, an art gallery and countless shops and stands with souvenirs is another must. If you want to buy some more crafts at affordable prices go to the Municipal Market on the north side of the island. It has everything you can imagine: pottery, jewelry, embroidered clothing and many food stands.
And these are only a few examples of what to do and see in Downtown Vallarta.