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Areas in the bay

There is truly a neighborhood for every kind of lifestyle in Banderas Bay. There are areas of Puerto Vallarta that are sophisticated and full of art and culture, like in downtown Puerto Vallarta neighborhoods, the Romantic Zone and Old Town. Golfers love Nuevo Vallarta and surfers and water sport enthusiasts flock to Sayulita. Families gravitate to Marina Vallarta, Fluvial, Las Gaviotas and Versalles for their proximity to great private schools. And of course, there are so many places to visit in Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding areas, like day trips into the Sierra Madre to San Sebastian del Oeste and Mascota.

Our team has put together a guide of Puerto Vallarta information on these and other neighborhoods in the Banderas Bay region, to help you decide what part of our beautiful bay best suites your Puerto Vallarta real estate needs.

Conchas Chinas

Once referred to as the "Beverly Hills of Vallarta" Conchas Chinas is split by Highway 200, and the 2 sections are therefore known as Upper Conchas Chinas and Lower Conchas Chinas. Upper Conchas Chinas is in the hills with sweeping ocean and bay views. Larger homes and excellent rental villas can be found in this area as well as condominium complexes such as Costa de Oro, Punta Esmeralda and Los Grillos. Lower Conchas Chinas is located on the side of the beach. Here we can find some beautiful single villas for rent and purchase, most notably Casa Amapas, Villa las Puertas, Casa Septiembre, the complex Club Alejandra and the new condo additions such as V Conchas Chinas, Nautilus, Sayan and Sayan Beach which offer stylish beachfront living in a new concept. This area is also completely walkable and is connected via Santa Barbara Street to the Los Muertos beach area, take a stroll down the cobbled streets linking these 2 beach areas. Have breakfast at Lindo Mar and take in the beach life, it is a lot quieter than Los Muertos!


This comparatively new area of development up in the hills right above Old Town really took shape over the last 5 years. New condo buildings offering a different modern style of living were built here to take advantage of the stunning views and the proximity to downtown Puerto Vallarta. Rental and purchase options are sought after in modern offerings like Avalon, Horizon, La Cima I and III and Paramount Bay, while you can still get some hints of Mexican old world charm at Villas de la Colina, Brisa Luna and Vista Romantica.

Old Town / Emiliano Zapata / Romantic Zone / Olas Altas / Los Muertos

This is the well-known and well-loved area around Los Muertos Beach and Olas Altas. Full of life and entertainment with cobbled streets and very limited parking! This lively Puerto Vallarta area includes the section from the Cuale River and extends to Amapas. The area is full of street side cafes, restaurants, bars and small shops. The main "restaurant row" street, Basilio Badillo, has undergone a facelift, widening the pedestrian sidewalks and putting in underground wiring. It makes a pleasant place to walk about during the day and at night. Known for its lively LGBT scene and famous bars like Margaritas, La Noche, CC Slaughters, Enter and the numerous drag and diva shows, Old Town is also home to a growing group of married retirees and their friends who enjoy the art galleries, beaches, and social events at Nacho Daddy's and No Way! Jose during the season. There are always events going on and many charity dinners to support. It is not a place where you would ever be bored.

Gringo Gulch / El Cerro

This area is east of the Church of Guadalupe and the town square, up to the Rio Cuale. These quaint blocks behind the church have been better known as Gringo Gulch since the time of Liz Taylor. Cobbled streets and sharp inclines make walking these streets a little challenging but the charm makes it well worth the struggle. Numerous older adobe traditional homes and small density condos are found in this area of town, with views of the ocean and church, such as Condos Iturbide. Some great local restaurants are also found here including Cafe des Artistes, the classically beautiful Hacienda San Angel, Cafe Canela and La Cigale, that are all well worth a visit.

Downtown / El Centro

Downtown Puerto Vallarta is the area reaching from the Malecon and a few blocks beyond to the east. This area is full of fun restaurants, bars and great happy hour spots to people watch and check out the ocean views and sunsets. It can be noisy here given there are frequent tour buses and passenger buses passing on the cobbles. Just a little further east away from the noise of the main street, there are some great streets that offer a view of town and close proximity to all the action. Streets like Allende and 31 de Octubre have seen a recent increase in property development and have some great condo options as a result.

Downtown North / Lirios/ La Pechuga / 5 de Diciembre

This is the area in the hills back behind Ley supermarket and the new Teatro Vallarta. Although close to town, being located up in the hills a few blocks from the noise can be a nice change. New condominiums have been built in these areas and the ones on Panama Street like Los Altos Villas and on Lirios such as Las Vistas, Vista Bahia I and II have especially wonderful views of the north bay and ocean. Prices are more reasonable per m² in this zone as it is off the tourist track.

Versalles / Gaviotas

These are traditionally family areas, offering a selection of larger homes with gardens on cobbled streets. Close access to the schools, banks, commercial centers and easy parking have made this area popular.

South Shore

This area is made up of several beach coves with small but wonderful sandy beaches, such as Punta Negra, Garza Blanca, Playa Gemelas and Playa Esmeralda. Condominium options line the beach side of the highway offering great ocean views and beachfront living. Older but well maintained buildings like El Girasol, Las Peñas and Punta Negra, and contemporary Mexican style buildings like Los Palmares are favorites with renters and buyers. The newest high end additions to the area are Sierra del Mar at Los Arcos, Garza Blanca Resort and Mirablau. In addition to all old upscale favorite, Le Kliff, Blanca Blue is a new dining option right on the beach located in the Garza Blanca Resort offering tasty breakfasts, lunches and dinners in a superb setting.

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

A quaint little fishing village that has recently become home to a gorgeous luxury marina, which has increased the exposure and interest in this sleepy town. It is home to a strong yachting community, weekly Farmer's Market, great fish market, some very nice dining options and even a bit of nightlife at places like Philo's. At the same time, it is still a very quaint little fishing village. New successful developments like Punta Esmeralda, B Nayar, Vallarta Gardens, Alamar and, of course, the Riviera Nayarit Marina have really helped put La Cruz on the map, offering a great standard of living and easy beach, boating and pool access at relatively affordable prices.


Once a quaint little town, Bucerias has really come leaps and bounds in recent years, offering a good amount of quality restaurants and bars both in the Zona Dorada and in the town center. It is a very low key town but there is always something to do. It is becoming a hub for North Shore living with easy access to Vallarta, Sayulita, San Pancho, La Cruz and Punta Mita. The Zona Dorada is the best address in Bucerias - you are never more than 4 blocks from the beach, walking distance to many of the best restaurants and shops, many properties have ocean views, and it is a quiet neighborhood with cobbled stone streets... A comfortable place to live with most modern amenities, a central location and tranquil atmosphere. New developments such as Azul, Diagonal and La Vida have been seen along the beach front offering amazing views and proximity to amenities in town.


A bustling, young, hedonistic beach town 15 minutes north of Bucerias on Highway 200. Attracting many surfers and outdoor-oriented visitors, one can take advantage of the party atmosphere or relax at the beach or in your private villa. Set in a small bay and surrounded by jungle, Sayulita offers eclectic shopping with many boutiques and a large variety of excellent cafes and restaurants. There is lots of energy for such a small town. Most visitors rent villas and there are always options to purchase ocean view properties, homes in the town center or lots.

San Francisco (San Pacho)

A little further north, on the same road as Sayulita, this small town is a throwback to days gone by. It is a very tasteful, clean and tranquil village set around the jungle with a very organized community. A handful of very nice restaurants and cafes make this place a real getaway from the hustle and bustle. The Costa Azul neighborhood (and adventure hotel) is very quiet and set partially on the beach and jungle to the north of town. The Las Olas gated beachfront development offers luxury homes and lots between town and Costa Azul. The beach is long, sandy and unspoilt but the waves can be huge. A real gem of a town!

Punta Mita

Considered the jewel of the north bay area, Punta Mita has really expanded over the last decade offering superb facilities and beautiful white sandy beaches. The Punta Mita Resort is quite possibly the most exclusive seaside resort in Latin America. It is home to the Four Seasons Hotel, St. Regis Hotel, 2 Jack Nicklaus Championship golf courses, tennis center, beach clubs and low density luxury real estate. A budding social scene is emerging within the Punta Mita Resort and the many gorgeous beachfront gated communities along the Punta Mita Peninsula. The small fishing village of Punta Mita is slowly transforming into a more cohesive community with more and more services on offer. There are many nice beachfront restaurants, beautiful beaches, clear ocean waters and it is the closest jump off point to the Marietas Islands, private white sand beaches, deep sea fishing and whale watching. If you love the ocean, you will love Punta Mita.

Nuevo Vallarta

This part of town is known as "new" Vallarta thanks to a government initiative that began over twenty years ago by FONATUR, the federal tourism development agency. Since then it has become a thriving area of private residences, condos, hotels and all inclusive five star resorts. This area offers a mixture of beachfront, golf course and canal front living. Many affluent professional families have been moving to Nuevo Vallarta because of the quiet, tranquil neighborhoods and because of its convenient location to some of the best schools in Vallarta. Miles of beach, excellent dining options, a world class marina, Paradise Village Shopping Mall, El Tigre Golf Courses, the new 3.14 shopping center which hosts the north shore Dolce Vita restaurant and Ginger's Garden... Nuevo Vallarta has a mixture of everything and a central location between Vallarta and the North Shore.


The south beach and jungle area around Mismaloya was made famous by Huston's film "Night of the Iguana" and has been attracting visitors and buyers ever since. The small bay of Mismaloya is home to some excellent beachfront restaurants offering fish and seafood and they'll even offer to cook any fresh fish you catch out on the fishing boats. Nearby is Los Arcos, 3 rock formations in the ocean that are a great spot to snorkel and dive. Options include the well-known La Jolla de Mismaloya complex of 1 to 3 bedroom units that offer hotel amenities with a superb pool right on the beach, small condo complexes built just off Highway 200 with ocean views and some with access to small, secluded beaches such as Los Arcos Condos, larger homes overlooking the bay up in Lomas de Mismaloya and small Mexican homes.

Hotel Zone

This is the area from the Sheraton Hotel all along the beach to the Galerias Shopping mall opposite the cruise ship terminal. This area is dominated by hotels but does also offer some good beachfront developments and smaller options just a block back from the beach, such as Las Glorias and around the Krystal Hotel. High rise towers have been built here recently, most notably Grand Venetian, Peninsula and Icon. These high-rise condos all offer resort-style facilities and all have large pools with great views and beachfront locations. The Hotel Zone is now in a resurgence period, with some of the city’s most sophisticated dining and nightlife options as well as Puerto Vallarta’s newest high end shopping plaza, La Isla.

Fluvial Vallarta

This is one of the newest neighborhoods in Vallarta that began over 5 years ago and has been consolidating ever since. Mainly a middle-class family atmosphere, there are some good deals per m² as it is further back from the beach and the tourist routes. Homes tend to be new construction and 3 bedrooms. There are several walking trails and parks in the neighborhood, that are popular with residents for working out and spending family time. Good proximity to all shopping, Costco store, schools and new eateries that are opening in the Hotel Zone.