Viejo Vallarta, also called The Romantic Zone (Zona Romántica), is just south of Vallarta Centro and is the busiest part of Puerto Vallarta, streets are smaller, there are more shops, cafes, bars and restaurants per square foot here than anywhere else in town.
Here the signature cobblestone village streets that crossed the Cuale River from the northern downtown, extend into the traditional Mexican part of town and where you really enjoy Vallarta. Truth be told, this area is newer than downtown PV, but it does feel more like a pueblo.
Playa Los Muertos is the top attraction in Old Vallarta, the beach is crowded compared to the rest of the beaches in Vallarta, but that also means that if you enjoy people watching, you’ll have fun here, vendors, activities, food, beers, parasailing, a swim in the ocean (the waves aren’t big, play in the sand with your kids. Then enjoy the bars and cafés, at night there are quite a few very good restaurants on the beach and with famous and romantic Vallarta sunsets.
This Area of Puerto Vallarta is great to live because of the rich views including ….white walls interrupted only by flowerpots blooming with bougainvillea, geranium, hibiscus, copa de oro and splendid ferns. The city streets have always been cobblestone, but now, these rounded river rocks are set in concrete, creating a much smoother and durable surface, while still maintaining part of the original city charm and the temperature regulation these stones provide.
Since last century, Puerto Vallarta’s malecon has been on of the city’s main and most enjoyable attractions. First off it’s free, secondly, it has recently been completely remodelled and offers a wide, beautiful promenade between the sea and the stores and restaurants. Cars, taxis and other vehicles no longer stuff the area, so it’s safe, clean and fun. Since the 80’s the malecon has become a long promenade with a sculpture almost every block. You’ll find soft welcoming ones, strange surreal examples too, walk up to them, touch them, sit on some of them, they may even be designed for that.
Gringo Gulch is a popular area on the hillside of Puerto Vallarta just above the Guadalupe Church downtown. This area was named after the foreigners, often referred to as “gringos”, who settled in the neighborhood during the 1950s and 1960s.
The entrance to Gringo Gulch can be found at the corner of Carranza and Zaragoza streets and it is composed of a number of villas and houses built in the colonial-style. Houses are typically white with tiled roofs and covered with bougainvillea. Gringo Gulch is a great place from which you can view the magnificent city below as well as the surrounding mountains and sea.
The most famous of the villas in Gringo Gulch can be found at Calle Zaragoza 446, more popularly known as Casa Kimberley. During the filming of the movie Night of the Iguana, one of the film’s actors, Richard Burton purchased the home for Hollywood actress Elizabeth Taylor. They actually owned two homes that you will see with a bridge connecting them over the street.