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15 facts about Puerto Vallarta (The last one will blow your mind)

You've probably heard of Puerto Vallarta. This beautiful coastal city located in Jalisco, Mexico, is known for its dreamy beaches, lively nightlife, and delicious cuisine. But did you know that Vallarta also has many curious facts that you may not have known about? That's why we share with you 15 interesting facts about Puerto Vallarta that will surely surprise you. Ready to discover the secrets of this magical place?


1. The Bahía de Banderas, where Puerto Vallarta is located, is one of the longest and deepest bays in the world, with a depth of approximately 900 meters and a length of 42 km.


2. Founded on December 12, 1851, by Guadalupe Sánchez and his wife Ambrosia Carrillo under the name "Las Peñas de Santa María de Guadalupe," Puerto Vallarta changed its name in honor of Ignacio Vallarta, governor of Jalisco, in 1918.


3. For many years, Puerto Vallarta was a refuge for sailors who mainly arrived from Asia, seeking protection from the pirates of the time. However, the city also suffered several pirate sieges.


4. Until the arrival of the Montgomery Fruit Company in 1920, Puerto Vallarta was a virtually unknown city internationally. The company settled in the area to develop banana plantations, which began to give the city more projection.


5. On December 3, 1931, the first plane landed in Vallarta, piloted by the American Charles Vaughan, nicknamed "Pancho Pistolas." The current airport of Puerto Vallarta was inaugurated on August 20, 1970.


6. In the 1960s, Puerto Vallarta achieved international fame thanks to the movie "The Night of the Iguana", directed by John Huston in PV. The success of the film boosted tourism and the development of the city's infrastructure, transforming it into what it is today.


7. Every winter, thousands of humpback whales arrive at the Bahía de Banderas, after a seasonal trip from the North Pole to the warm waters of Mexico. This journey is a unique opportunity to observe these majestic cetaceans.


8. With a population of 479,000 inhabitants, the metropolitan area of Puerto Vallarta is the second most populous city in the State of Jalisco, surpassed only by the metropolitan area of Guadalajara. It is also estimated that around 10,000 foreigners reside in the port.


9. Puerto Vallarta has been affected by two significant hurricanes in recorded history. Hurricane Lily, a category 1, hit the area in 1971, while Hurricane Kenna, a category 4, caused the death of four people and left dozens injured in 2002.


10. The Bahía de Banderas is surrounded by the imposing mountains of the Sierra Madre, with some peaks that exceed 3,000 meters in altitude. This mountain range is covered by a lush tropical jungle that houses a great variety of flora and fauna.


11. Puerto Vallarta is known for being one of the most welcoming destinations in Mexico for the LGBT+ community. The southern area of the city, called the "Romantic Zone," has been considered as the number one gay beach destination in all of Latin America.


12. One of the symbols of the city is the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, with its characteristic tower topped with a crown. The structure is supported by eight angels and was rebuilt in 2009 after the original succumbed to an earthquake.


13. In 1970, Presidents Richard Nixon of the US and Gustavo Díaz Ordaz of Mexico met in Vallarta to discuss important issues. This international meeting attracted media attention and put the port on the global map.


14. In 2002, the famous sculpture "Caballito de Mar," which represents a boy riding a seahorse, was dragged into the sea by Hurricane Kenna and was thought to be lost. Years later, the artwork was recovered and reinstalled, becoming an icon of the city.


15. Among the typical dishes of Vallarta are "pescado zarandeado," ceviche, and shrimp pozole. Previously, iguana meat was also commonly found on the Vallarta menu. But after being declared a protected species, the consumption of iguana was prohibited.


Rent a car with MÁS and discover the secrets of Puerto Vallarta! Explore the city at your own pace while enjoying its beautiful beaches, lively nightlife, and delicious cuisine. Don't wait any longer and book your car now at for an unforgettable experience!


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