History of Tourism
Puerto Vallarta began developing into a commercial center in 1924 – 1926. Villagers from surrounding areas came to town to do their shopping and sell their wares. It wasn’t long before it was a bustling center of commerce and growing exponentially. By 1945 freighters were arriving in port; they not only picked up produce, tobacco and miscellaneous goods from merchants, they also entertained on board their ships, threw fancy parties and lavish banquets. It was not unusual for crew to mingle with townspeople and many close relationships were established, including courtship and marriage.
The ships arrival was a very big deal, as they brought among other items, apples, cheese, North American magazines, and cigarettes by the shipload.
By 1949 foreign freighters had begun regular routes to Puerto Vallarta and with them they brought writers, journalists, businessmen and tourists. It wasn’t long before word got around about this beautiful and easily accessible paradise down the coast from California. Publicity brought the curious, the rich, and those simply looking for a good vacation spot.
Illustrious guests discovered Puerto Vallarta on their own, such as John Wayne, who cruised the coastal waters on board his famous yacht, the Wild Goose, which is still in operation as a touring vessel out of Newport Beach, California.
Fifteen years later, Hollywood director John Huston chose Puerto Vallarta to film the movie version of the Tennessee Williams novel The Night of the Iguana. Puerto Vallarta became front page news across the US, with movie stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole frolicking on the beaches and hanging out in the local bars and restaurants. Though Huston sought the privacy and isolation of this seemingly far-off tropical locale, he probably did more than any single individual to attract people here.
In present time, Puerto Vallarta has several enormous cruise ships visit on a weekly basis in high season and the docks built specifically for their arrivals can berth three of the behemoths at a time. Many sightseers never get any further than the Wal-Mart and Gallerias Mall across the street and are completely unaware of the rich history just a few kilometers south. Some travelers are hesitant to venture too far away from the ship’s terminal and consequently never get a glimpse of the expanding city, abundant art galleries, the beautiful Malecón and luxurious beachfronts.
Que cómo es es!
Thanks to our Guest Blogger Adam Garcia for this great article! (Opinions expressed are his own…)
About Vacation Villas of Mexico Founder, Vanessa Cole
The founder of the company, Vanessa Cole, lived in Puerto Vallarta for 10 years and in Cancun for 2 years. She has worked in Luxury Vacation Villa Rentals since 2001.
Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Vanessa earned a degree from the University of Texas in Austin, majoring in International Business and Latin American Studies. Fluent in Spanish, she has worked and traveled all over Mexico and South America.
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