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Cruise Diva Goes Ashore on the
Mexican Riviera
Sights to see & things to do

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Known in Puerto Vallarta as simply “The Movie,” Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor put this sleepy fishing village on the map in 1963 during the filming of “Night of the Iguana.” Since then, luxury resorts and villas have flourished as abundantly as the festively colored bougainvillea. Even so, cobblestone streets and houses with red tiled roofs abound and native women still wash clothes by pounding them on the rocks in the Cuale River. Divided by the river, one side of town is full of shops, restaurants, and nightclubs and the other is unspoiled with tranquil beaches and beautiful scenery. 


One of the most popular activities in Puerto Vallarta is strolling along the Malecón seaside promenade where you’ll find an outdoor gallery of sculptures. When you come to the Aquiles Serdan Amphitheater (Los Arcos), stop to watch artists working on seascapes and selling their completed works.

From the Malecón it’s a short walk to the Plaza de Armas and the Virgin of Guadalupe church with its lacy crown. Also on the plaza is the Palacio Municipal (City Hall) with an interesting mural on the second floor.

No trip to Puerto Vallarta would be complete without a peek at Liz and Dick’s villa. Admission for the tour of Casa Kimberly benefits a local charity and the view from the hill is spectacular. Reach it by taking Zaragoza Street from the south side of the Virgin of Guadalupe church and climb the steep stairs until you reach Miramar. 


Puerto Vallarta wins the Olympics of Mexico’s Pacific coast shopping hands down. Folk art from all parts of Mexico can be found here, although it’s not necessarily inexpensive. Shopping areas in the Hotel Zone contain nice boutiques, but the best shopping is downtown. One block inland from the Malecón is Avenida Moreles Street where folk art shops are concentrated.  Inland one more block are art galleries on Juarez. 


The beaches closest to the harbor are found in the Hotel Zone. Puerto Vallarta’s beaches aren’t known for being exceptional, but the ones located by the Posada Vallarta and Fiesta Americana are good bets for sunning and water sports.

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