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What do Puerto Vallarta and Elizabeth Taylor have in common?

Built along the shore of the Pacific Ocean’s Bahia de Banderas (Bay of Flags), Puerto Vallarta is an inviting tropical beach resort destination in Jalisco, Mexico. 

The Malecon promenade, Puerto Vallarta


Once a sleepy village, it turned into a celebrity hotspot in 1964 when Elizabeth Taylor scandalously moved there to be with her then-married-to-someone-else lover, Richard Burton, who was busy starring on the film set of Night of the Iguana. Over the course of a little more than a decade, while the city blossomed into a chic vacation getaway, the on-again, off-again couple married and divorced each other twice and lived dramatically ever after in two local houses adjoined by a Venetian-style bridge. 

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton


If that juicy story alone does not entice you to visit, here are three other reasons to plan a trip to this Mexican paradise:

1.    It’s Genuinely Romantic: Regardless of the way their relationship dissolved, Liz and Dick were on to something when they chose to reside in the area. LGBTQ-friendly Puerto Vallarta is an exceptionally dreamy escape for couples. The Zona Romantica, located on the south bank of the River Cuale is perfect for those who wish to wander quaint cobblestone streets lined with red-tiled bars, cafes, restaurants, art galleries, and boutique hotels. Nearby Playa Los Muertos Beach provides white-tableclothed restaurants with unobstructed views of technicolor sunsets; and the one-mile Malecon is the perfect oceanfront promenade for walking off a meal of delicious surf and turf.     

Zona Romantica


Sunset in Puerto Vallarta


2.    It’s Family-Friendly: Though Puerto Vallarta is very much a honeymooner haven, it’s also a wonderful place to bring the kids. You’ll be hard-pressed to find lodging without an amazing swimming pool; and there are plenty of clean and safe beaches that offer ocean activities like snorkeling, dolphin swims, kayaking, and whale watching to name a few. For a change of scenery, head to the jungle. Children eight and up can zoom on nine double-safety zip line courses including the “Superman”, Mexico’s longest and fastest line which allows brave participants a chance to fly up to 70 miles per hour.

Puerto Vallarta Resorts


Whale watching in the Banderas Bay 


3.    It’s Teeming with Art, Food, and Culture: With over 30 art galleries featuring both local and international artists, Puerto Vallarta offers a variety of indoor and outdoor displays. One of the most photographed icons in the city is the majestic seahorse statue on the city’s boardwalk; but the Vallarta Dancers statue is equally stunning. Also picturesque is the open-air Los Arcos Amphitheater with its four grand stone arches located in front of Guadalupe Church near the main plaza. All around these attractions, you’ll find costumed dancers and entertainers captivating audiences with their colorful performances. While sampling some of the local Jalisco dishes, such as pozole tapatio – a corn and meat stew, you’ll likely find yourself humming along to the tune of The Mexican Hat Dance, a song native to the state of Jalisco.

Caballero del Mar by Rafael Zamarripa, 1976


Vallarta Dancers


Los Arcos Amphitheater


Pozole with mote big corn stew from Mexico


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