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Where to Stay in Puerto Vallarta in 2024 | Best Areas

Where to Stay in Puerto Vallarta in 2024 | Best Areas

The beachside city of Puerto Vallarta, in the Mexican state of Jalisco, is becoming more and more popular among tourists and expats. The beautiful shore, exciting city culture, and friendly bohemian atmosphere attract many people to Puerto Vallarta.

Whether you are visiting on vacation or thinking about relocating, choosing where to stay in Puerto Vallarta is an important decision. This guide can help you find the right place for you to thrive in this amazing town.

The Best Places to Stay in Puerto Vallarta

Where to Stay in Puerto Vallarta map in vector format featuring the best areas of town

Out of the many areas to stay in Puerto Vallarta, the following parts of the region are among the most popular:

  1. El Centro: Best area for sightseeing and history
  2. Zona Romántica: Best area for LGBT travelers and nightlife
  3. Zona Hotelera: Best area for resorts and beaches
  4. Marina Vallarta: Best area for upscale travel and resorts
  5. Conchas Chinas: Best area for romantic travel and a quiet getaway

The Best Areas & Hotels in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is not a big city, but it sprawls out very widely. This means that different parts of town have different perks and atmospheres.

Depending on what you are looking for, that might decide where you wind up staying. These parts of town are some of the best places to stay in Puerto Vallarta.

1. El Centro

Orange roofs of buildings situated near the emerald color beach can be seen from above.


El Centro, or the downtown area of Puerto Vallarta, is the town’s historic core. The neighborhood is small but mighty, with historic buildings and well-preserved cobblestone streets. El Centro has a few colonial-era landmarks. The most famous is the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

El Centro is also very close to Puerto Vallarta’s iconic Malecón, or boardwalk. The Malecón stretches along the beautiful waters of Banderas Bay, providing spectacular views.

Its length is dotted with pretty bronze statues, which you can explore on your own or with a guided walking tour. The boardwalk is also lined with plenty of boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.

El Centro is also one of Puerto Vallarta’s liveliest neighborhoods. The neighborhood is packed with delicious restaurants, bars, and clubs. At night, the party often spills into the streets, with live music and dancers taking over the plazas and parks.

Many locals still live in El Centro, so you’ll get a lot of local character when staying here. It is also popular among budget travelers thanks to its budget-friendly accommodations.

El Centro has many perks, but it’s not the best choice for everyone. It is far away from the best of Puerto Vallarta’s beaches, so you’ll need to travel a bit to go swimming. Plus, the lively nature of the neighborhood means that it gets fairly rowdy at night.

El Centro Budget Hotels

  • Casa Maria Malecon is a great budget option with colorful rooms, an outdoor lounge area, and wifi, plus soundproof rooms so you can sleep despite the parties outside.
  • Hotel Posada de Roger boasts a great location, an outdoor pool for guests, and gorgeous Mexican décor, as well as views you can enjoy from the rooftop terrace.

El Centro Mid-Range Hotels

  • Elegant Hotel Porto Allegro Puerto Vallarta offers amenities such as air-conditioned rooms, an included buffet breakfast, and a scenic rooftop terrace.
  • The spacious Suites Plaza del Rio is designed to be family-friendly. People of all ages will enjoy the colorful décor, pool, and spacious suites. Plus, the hotel offers babysitting services so parents can relax too.

El Centro Luxury Hotels

  • BellView Hotel Boutique will make you feel like a guest at an aristocratic hacienda with beautiful arched courtyards, luxurious rooms, and breathtaking rooftop views of the historic center.
  • The high-end Casa Kimberly Boutique Hotel boasts elegant hacienda-style décor, a hotel pool, and stunning food at the on-site restaurant.

See All Hotels in Puerto Vallarta

2. Zona Romántica

Local vendors selling souvenirs on the side of a bay walk, while tourist pass by.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – September 12, 2021 – vendors on the Malecón promenade in the Romantic Zone/JackKPhoto/Shutterstock

Zona Romántica is just across the River Cuale from El Centro and has many of the same perks as staying right in downtown — easy access to the historic core and boardwalk, great dining, and great nightlife.

Zona Romántica stands out even more thanks to its nightlife, especially its gay-friendly atmosphere. Zona Romántica is the core of Puerto Vallarta’s LGBT scene. The city is known as the LGBT capital of Mexico, and this neighborhood will help you see why.

There are countless LGBT bars and clubs that make up the core of the popular nightlife scene. Many hotels and restaurants in the area also advertise themselves as LGBT-friendly.

The beach area of Zona Romántica is also great. You can go to lively Playa de los Muertos, with a boardwalk full of snack shacks and beach bars, or head south to quieter beaches such as Mismaloya.

Many excursions from Puerto Vallarta also leave from the pier in Zona Romántica. For travelers looking to experience Puerto Vallarta’s famous nightlife, this is the best neighborhood to visit.

However, for travelers in search of a good night’s sleep, the thumping club music at 3 a.m. may be more of an annoyance than a positive. If you’re someone that prefers to have a quieter getaway while on vacation, stay elsewhere and take a taxi to Zona Romántica when you want to experience the bars.

Zona Romántica Budget Hotels

  • The Joint Coworking Hotel is a favorite among remote workers thanks to its excellent wifi, shared amenities such as a gym, and affordable price.
  • La Iguana Vallarta LGBT is a great hotel for party lovers thanks to its excellent location right on the main party street, rooftop pool, and spacious suites perfect for relaxing after your night out.

Zona Romántica Mid-Range Hotels

  • Colorful ZonaZ Boutique Hotel is located in an elegant historic building. There is plenty to do in the hotel thanks to the outdoor pool, bike rental services, and great location in the center.
  • The new Hotel Pueblito Vallarta has a lush outdoor pool space, a terrace for relaxing, and comfy air-conditioned rooms.

Zona Romántica Luxury Hotels

  • The adults-only Casa Maria Boutique & Gallery is a lush getaway thanks to its colorful traditional-inspired décor, pool, and delicious pastries for breakfast.
  • The lush Casa Nicole Boutique Hotel is perfect for guests that want a pool, elegant, air-conditioned rooms, and a quiet stay despite the central location.

See All Hotels in Puerto Vallarta

3. Zona Hotelera

An aerial photo of large hotel buildings, where pools can seen near the shore.

Jalisco, Mexico; 01 01 2021. View area of a luxury hotel with swimming pool and ocean view in a warm tropical environment. The beaches of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico./MexStockeros/Shutterstock

North of the center lies Zona Hotelera, where most of Puerto Vallarta’s upscale hotels and resorts are located. This is the location that feels most like a typical vacation destination.

If you want a vacation with nothing but beach and resort time, with maybe a short excursion into town, then this is the neighborhood for you. Zona Hotelera’s main attraction is definitely the beach.

This area is home to five of Puerto Vallarta’s over 20 beaches, including some of the most beautiful and famous of the lot. Playa Camarones is popular for water sports activities, while Playa de Oro and others in the stretch are popular among visitors for tanning and swimming.

Most of the accommodation options in the area are all-inclusive resorts or high-end hotels. These hotels often have everything you may want to do included, from activity organizing to dining.

You don’t have to plan anything, just enjoy what your hotel has to offer. The downside is that Zona Hotelera doesn’t have much else to do.

To experience Puerto Vallarta’s famous nightlife, you have to take a taxi or the public bus into the center (although many hotels have bars and clubs of their own). If you don’t want to feel so cut off from the main town, you should probably stay somewhere else.

Zona Hotelera Budget Hotels

Zona Hotelera Mid-Range Hotels

  • The Fiesta Inn Puerto Vallarta Isla provides a comfy experience for its guests thanks to chic rooms, meeting spaces, and a pool. The hotel is actually inside of a shopping mall, making it easy to pick up anything that you need.
  • The Villas de Sol en Los Tules is a great hotel within the larger Los Tules complex. Enjoy lush apartments with great views from the balconies, a pool, activities such as table tennis, and access to many delicious restaurants.

Zona Hotelera Luxury Hotels

  • The massive Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa has everything you could ever want on vacation, including an artificial waterfall, a heated pool, its own beach club, and luxurious services at the spa.
  • The all-inclusive Krystal Grand Puerto Vallarta pampers guests with an in-house restaurant, pool, scenic terrace with lounge beds, and evening entertainment.

See All Hotels in Puerto Vallarta

4. Marina Vallarta

Several boats docked near some hotels and structures, and several buildings on the beachside can be seen at a distance.

Hello Cinthia/Shutterstock

The Marina Vallarta is a relatively new part of town, but it is one that is already beloved by luxury travelers. This area is one of the best places in Puerto Vallarta for resorts.

The resorts have as many amenities as the ones in Zona Hotelera but tend to be elegant and exclusive instead of reserved for mass tourism. The Marina Vallarta is a scenic place to be, and the views add to the elegant atmosphere.

Walk along the promenade around the marina and take in the gorgeous statue of Neptune which marks the entrance. The Marina’s waters are surprisingly clean and often host local wildlife. Marina Vallarta also has a few beautiful beaches.

The Marina Vallarta is home to luxurious condos, gated communities, and high-end beach hotels. Fine dining institutions and other upscale businesses add to the elegant atmosphere.

It is definitely a place where you can treat yourself. The Marina Vallarta is the opposite of a budget-friendly destination, so don’t stay here if you were hoping to save money while on vacation.

Marina Vallarta Budget Hotels

  • The San Tropico Petit Hotel & Peaceful Escape is a simple yet elegant getaway, featuring amenities such as two bathrooms per unit, outdoor pool, and an in-house bar.
  • Casa La Columna is one of the few budget options in Marina Vallarta. The unassuming bed and breakfast offers air-conditioned rooms, a pool, and breakfast.

Marina Vallarta Mid-Range Hotels

  • The Westin Resort & Spa would be a high-end hotel anywhere else in town, thanks to perks such as a spa with massage services, organized activities, and even a private beach area.
  • The Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa offers visitors comfortable high-tech rooms, a spa with a hot tub, several restaurants, sports courts, and a beach area just for resort guests.

Marina Vallarta Luxury Hotels

  • The adults-only Casa Velas pampers its guests with a wellness center, access to a top-notch golf course, and luxurious rooms that feature touches such as a jacuzzi.
  • The all-inclusive Velas Vallarta resort offers luxurious amenities such as evening entertainments, spacious suites that are perfect for families, and organized programs for kids so parents can actually relax while on vacation.

See All Hotels in Puerto Vallarta

5. Conchas Chinas

Calm waves crashing on the fine sand of a beach, and a white hotel building can be seen at a distance.

Hello Cinthia/Shutterstock

Conchas Chinas, sometimes grouped together with the neighboring area Amapas, is a quiet residential area south of Puerto Vallarta’s Zona Romántica. This upscale area offers private villas and secluded, high-end hotels with amazing views of the bay below, and privacy from the bustle of the city.

Conchas Chinas is a very elegant area, so much so that locals dub it the “Beverly Hills” of Puerto Vallarta. The hotels and resorts in the area tend to be very high-end, enveloping guests in a luxurious feeling.

The area is very quiet and subdued, making it perfect if you want a relaxed getaway. Plus, it has some of the best views of Banderas Bay in the city. Conchas Chinas doesn’t have much to do and getting to the Zona Romántica is deceptively difficult since the walk is very hilly.

If you were hoping to experience the city of Puerto Vallarta, this is not the best place to stay (especially not if you are on a budget).

Conchas Chinas Budget Hotels

  • The Almar Resort Luxury LGBT Beach Front Experience is the closest you’ll get to budget options in Amapas and Conchas Chinas. At this resort, you can enjoy comfy rooms, a pool, and plenty of other LGBT travelers if that is why you are interested in Puerto Vallarta.
  • Despite its name, the Hotel Luxury Patio Azul is relatively affordable, and offers guests great service, an outdoor pool, and some high-end rooms with balconies and hot tubs.

Conchas Chinas Mid-Range Hotels

  • Vallarta Shores Beach Hotel is the destination for your ideal beach vacation, thanks to its spacious suites and pool. More expensive suites come with private chef service.
  • The elegant Maxwell Residences at Indah offers guests well-designed rooms, a pool, and world-class service.

Conchas Chinas Luxury Hotels

  • The luxurious Marboka Hotel & Suites includes an on-site restaurant, pool, and a great location right on Playa Conchas Chinas.
  • The all-inclusive Hilton Vallarta Riviera has all of the amenities you would expect from the world-famous Hilton chain, such as a great location inside of a cove, spa, and several dining options including buffets.

See All Hotels in Puerto Vallarta

So, Where Should You Stay in Puerto Vallarta?

Puerto Vallarta is a choice vacation destination for many people. The sprawling city has something for everyone. Let’s recap our top picks for the best areas to stay:

📷 Best for SightseeingEl Centro
🏳️‍🌈 Best for LGBT TravelersZona Romántica
🏖️ Best for the BeachZona Hotelera
👠 Best for Upscale TravelMarina Vallarta
💑 Best for CouplesConchas Chinas

Just keep in mind that staying here will usually cost more than staying in town. Wherever you stay in Puerto Vallarta, you’re bound to enjoy what the city has to offer!