Puerto Vallarta is one of the friendliest and most diverse beach destinations in the world. Once but a tiny fishing village, Puerto Vallarta is now a world class resort that has retained all of the quaint charms of the original village yet embodies all of the characteristics you've come to expect in a modern resort.
The village was originally founded on December 12, 1851, by Don Guadalupe Sánchez Torres, who named it "Las Peñas de Santa María de Guadalupe" ("the rocks of Saint Mary of Guadalupe"). The name was eventually truncated to "Puerto Las Peñas" ("Port Las Peñas"), meaning "Port of the Rocks" or "Rocky Port." The original reason for the port was to enable the transshipment of silver from nearby mines.
In 1918, the village was elevated to municipality status and renamed after former state governor Ignacio L. Vallarta. In 1963, it became famous worldwide after director John Huston decided to make a movie version of Tennessee Williams's play The Night of the Iguana in what was then a quiet fishing village.
Sunset in Puerto Vallarta
The subsequent publicity helped to attract foreign investors in the 1970s, which resulted in the massive expansion of Puerto Vallarta to its current size.
Today, there is a statue of Huston in the park on La Isla Rio Cuale in the center of the city. A nearby plaque dedicated on the 25th anniversary of the film's release honors Huston's contribution to the city's fame. Puerto Vallarta's outer jungle areas, is also the location where the movie Predator (starring California governor and former actor Arnold Schwarzenegger) was filmed.