Puerto Vallarta (literally, “Port Vallarta”) is a city in the state of Jalisco, México. Some English language speakers call the city P.V. for short, due to the difficulty some have in pronouncing the double “L” in “Vallarta.”
The city fronts the Bahía de Banderas on the Pacific Ocean. The city is important primarily as a tourist destination. Shipping traffic consists of cruise ships, arriving almost daily, and occasional visits by U.S. Navy frigates. The Mexican Navy maintains a base at the port. In 2003. Puerto Vallarta reported an estimated population of 165,800 and about 5 million overnight stays by tourists. It is also a popular spring break hotspot.
Unlike Cancún (another leading Mexican tourist destination), Puerto Vallarta was a traditional village before gaining worldwide recognition as a travel destination.
The village was originally founded on December 12, 1851, by Don Guadalupe Sánchez Torres, who named it “Las Peñas de Santa María de Guadalupe” (“the rocks of Saint Mary of Guadalupe”). The name was eventually truncated to “Puerto Las Peñas” (“Port Las Peñas”) meaning “Port the Rocks.” The original reason for the port was to enable the transshipment of silver from nearby mines.
In 1918, the village was elevated to municipality status and renamed after former state governor Ignacio L. Vallarta. In 1963, it became famous worldwide after director John Huston decided to make a movie version of Tennessee Williams’s play The Night of the Iguana in what was then a quiet fishing village.
During the filming, the paparazzi had a field day covering Elizabeth Taylor’s scandalous affair with Richard Burton, as well as the constant tension between Huston and the film’s four stars. The subsequent publicity helped to attract foreign investors in the 1970s, which resulted in the massive expansion of Puerto Vallarta to its current size.
Today, there is a statue of Huston in the park on Isla La Cuale in the center of the city. A nearby plaque dedicated on the 25th anniversary of the film’s release honors Huston’s contribution to the city’s fame.
The PV scene for forums is horrible. The media is trying to make a security scene for Puerto Vallarta now, since hey have already killed the cruise ships to Mazatlan. Do not buy into this hype. If the PV Scene sucks, then come to the Riviera Nayarit instead. Get out of the big city and find old Mexico charm in authentic Mexican towns.