Los Muertos Beach
Let’s do Lunch…Vallarta Style…
One of the best features of Puerto Vallarta is its beachfront restaurants. You can sit with your toes in the sand just a few steps from the water while waiters bring your food and drink. Los Muertos beach is the center of activity in Old Town, day and night, popular with locals and tourists alike. The perfect beach for all ages, here you will find a great spot to camp out for the day and play cards, people watch or hire a banana boat for the kids; order a ceviche made with fish caught that morning and a margarita hand mixed with fresh limes, then sit back and watch the parasails lift the adventurous up for a bird’s eye view of the bay
Soak up some local flavor…on foot!
Puerto Vallarta is very pedestrian friendly; part of the charm of discovering Vallarta is the ability to walk everywhere you want to go. No need to worry about parking here! The Malecon seawall is the focal point of Old Town and strolling this enchanting boardwalk lining the water’s edge is part of the fun of exploring Vallarta. It takes you from the north end of downtown to the south end of Los Muertos beach and back again.
The Malecon is also the cultural center of Puerto Vallarta for all ages. Here you will witness the time honored paseo, a tradition in Mexico, where couples and families meet to stroll the main plaza, and in this case the seawall, in the evening. Public art, swaying palm trees and a 360 view of the bay add to the ambience. Magic shows, live music and folkloric dancing can be found at the seaside amphitheater. Food booths offer strawberries with whipped cream and roasted ears of corn slathered in a special mayonnaise mix with parmesan-like cheese. At night the strip becomes alive with music, dining and dancing, all on display to the people promenade….
Get your caffeine fix, have your nails done, then check email…
Olas Altas and Basilio Badillo streets comprise a bustling area on the south side of Old Town known as the Romantic Zone. Olas Altas runs parallel to Los Muertos beach and is lined with sidewalk cafés, internet shops, book stores, tropical clothing boutiques, spas and beauty salons. A favorite place for locals to grab a cup of coffee, discuss current events and check email. The after work expatriate crowd can be found in the Olas Altas area for sunset happy hour. And it doesn’t stop when the sun goes down; after dark, you will find everything from martinis to tacos al pastor to a beer drinking burro in the Olas Altas area…and plenty of people watching to go along with it.
Elizabeth Taylor slept here…
The ghost of Richard Burton haunts these streets. The residential area on the north bank of the Rio Cuale was named for the influx of North American musicians, writers and artists who settled here in the 1950’s. Clothing designer Xavier De la Torre hosted lavish parties at the famous Villa Leonarda , frequented by Mexican and Hollywood stars such as Dolores del Rio and Rock Hudson. The jet setters and celebrities followed en masse when Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton discovered the area in the early 1960’s.
Burton owned several homes in Gringo Gulch, the most famous being Casa Kimberley, the Guillermo Wulf designed villa he and Taylor rented during the filming of John Huston’s Night of the Iguana.
John Huston was no stranger to the Gringo Gulch neighborhood himself. A frequent guest of the Burton’s at Casa Kimberley and a regular member at poker games held in the courtyard at Villa Leonarda, he also stayed at Casa Tabachin while building his compound at Las Caletas, the sea side sanctuary he lived in for the last 20 years of his life, located on the south shore just before Quimixto.
Burton owned another villa after he and Taylor divorced, called Casa Bursus. It was completely renovated in 2002 and is now home to the stunning Hacienda San Angel Boutique Hotel and Restaurant. Casa Kimberley was recently purchased by the same owner and is slated to become part of the hotel.
To view these villas to the stars still available for rentals today, go to Search on the Home page and click on 4 Bedroom villas or enter Villa Leonarda and Casa Tabachin under Villa Name.
A tropical suburb…
Just on the southern edge of town is the residential area known as Conchas Chinas. Really now more of an extension of Old Town, this area was developed in the 70’s when the affluent started moving south from Gringo Gulch looking for beachfront land. The walled estates and multi level villas located next to this stunning shoreline are highly sought after in the rental and real estate market.