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Sheryl Novak of SOLutions Mexico Furniture Store – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Sunset in Vallarta Nayarit, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThis area of Mexico used to be promoted as just “Vallarta,” but there was a separate group who promoted it as “Riviera Nayarit.” About a year or so ago, these people got together and said, “This is silly; we’re competing with each other. Why don’t we join forces?” That’s why the area is now called the “Bay of Banderas” area. The whole area is now rebranded as “Vallarta Nayarit,” which encompasses the whole area. 
 
Going from the north to the south, Punta de Mita is a beautiful area with a beautiful beach in the north part of the Bay of Banderas. Punta de Mita is a very exclusive area where you’ll see a lot of movie stars and big names come to vacation--Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, the Beckhams and Kate Hudson. You’ll often see pictures of these big stars coming and staying in the Punta de Mita area, which is a very exclusive location that has multimillion dollar properties. 
 
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is where the marina is. La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is a beautiful area with a wonderful yacht club and some restaurants.
 
Going further south is Bucerías, a location that’s well-known to divers of oyster shells and oysters. Bucerías has a wonderful little mix of the Mexican locals, the traditional cobblestone streets, and a little bit of higher-end restaurants- all in a quaint little town that’s quite amazing. There’s no small town in Mexico that has more restaurants than Bucerías.
 
Heading a little bit further south is the resort development area of Nuevo Vallarta, or New Vallarta. Nuevo Vallarta has hotels and condominiums to rent. Nuevo Vallarta is perfect for somebody who just wants to come and lie in the sun and have some good food but stay primarily on the property and just enjoy a resort-type environment. In the Bucerías and Nuevo Vallarta areas, you could just walk for miles with the beautiful sand beaches.
 
After Nuevo Vallarta, you get into Vallarta proper. Vallarta is the largest city on the Bay of Banderas. It has a mixture of areas- there’s a marina area, a hotel zone, and a downtown/central area that has wonderful restaurants and great shops. Around the malecon, which is the concrete walkway along the ocean, there are wonderful little stores and large department stores. There are 2-3 huge major shopping malls in Vallarta, and there’s an area that is very lesbian and gay-friendly, which is an amazing part of town with wonderful people and great restaurants. 
 
Further south, you’ll see the small suburbs of Vallarta: Conchas Chinas, Amapas, Barra de Navidad, and Mismaloya. In the southern part of the Bay of Banderas is where John Houston filmed the “Night of the Iguana,” and you can still see the location where they filmed that movie which is also where Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton had their famous love affair. It was their love affair that put the Vallarta on the map as a tourist location because the rags at the time would promote and take pictures of this love affair going on in this beautiful tropical place. That’s how Puerto Vallarta got known to more Americans and Canadians. 
 
In the southern side of Vallarta Nayarit, there’s less beach than on the northern side and more views and scenery. It’s much more rocky and mountainous on that side. There are some swimming areas in the southern side of Vallarta Nayarit, but it is more known for its spectacular views. There are houses or condominiums that are built up high on the mountainside that are overlooking the bay. These houses and condominiums get the most spectacular sunsets and views.  
 
(Sunset in Vallarta Nayarit, Mexico, pictured.)
Antonio Trejo of Guardian Insurance Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Lighthouse at Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIf you are coming from the airport, which is basically where the city of Puerto Vallarta starts, coming from the north going south, you will find Marina Vallarta to your right. Marina Vallarta is a very popular community. It is a very fancy neighborhood with a small marina where people leave their yachts. Marina Vallarta also has a lot of restaurants and some bars. They have all kinds of restaurants and many places to go to and eat. You can buy ice cream, eat some seafood, etc. They don’t have nightclubs, though, because it is more of a fancy family area. They have a lot of hotels and a lighthouse that they turned into a bar. The view from the lighthouse is amazing. They also have live music sometimes. If you want to go shopping, Marina Vallarta has that. If you want to just have a drink, they have that, too. Marina Vallarta is one of the nicest places in Puerto Vallarta.
 
After Marina Vallarta, you will find many private communities where most of the residents are expats. A few minutes after Marina Vallarta, if you are driving south, you’ll see a big mall to your left called Plaza Galerias. This is the nicest mall in Puerto Vallarta. It has a casino, a gym, department stores, shoe stores, clothing stores, an appliance and electronics store, a pet store, a fish store (which is not very common in Puerto Vallarta), a Starbucks, etc. It’s a nice place to spend the day if you want to get away from the heat. You can go there to have an ice cream or to see a movie. Plaza Galerias is pretty fancy and it’s big. It’s the kind of place that lots of Americans are familiar with but it’s a bit smaller compared to the malls in the US. Right next to Plaza Galerias, there is a Wal-Mart and a Sam’s Club, which are the two places that are most frequented by expats to shop for their household needs. Right in front of Sam’s Club is the port where the cruise ships dock. A lot of tourists come from there and they go to La Marietas, Las Animas, and many other small beaches and islands. A lot of tours start from that dock so the area is also a very popular and significant area in Puerto Vallarta. Almost every other day there is a new cruise ship that arrives at that port. They bring thousands of people who get off to do some shopping and explore the city. This generates a lot of income for Puerto Vallarta. It is a big place and there are also a lot or restaurants by the port. You would also see vendors selling all kinds of items such as clothes, jewelry, wallets, hats, tours, etc. These are the most significant places in the northern part of Puerto Vallarta. There’s a lot to do in every one of them so they are all interesting for expats. 
 
Three minutes going south of the port, you’ll see another mall called Plaza Caracol, which is similar to Plaza Galerias but a bit smaller and not as nice.  Plaza Caracol is more for the locals of Puerto Vallarta. In Plaza Caracol, you will find some banks, some stores, a department store that is similar to Wal-Mart, and a gym. Right beside Plaza Caracol, there is a hospital called Vallarta Medical Center, which was formerly known as Cornerstone. It is a big hospital with brand new equipment. That area of Puerto Vallarta is also full of clinics and doctor’s offices. You will find all kinds of doctors there: plastic surgeons, bariatric surgeons, etc. This is a well-known area for expats as this is where they usually go if they need medical attention. 
 
Staying on the main road, if you drive another 10 minutes, you’ll be getting into downtown Puerto Vallarta. This is a highly populated area of Puerto Vallarta where you will find old buildings and cathedrals. This part of Puerto Vallarta is very, very different for the rest, as it is being preserved, so while all the other parts of Puerto Vallarta are very touristy and upscale, downtown is more like an old town. Even the statues, the restaurants, the hotels and everything around downtown don’t look like the rest of Puerto Vallarta. There are a lot of places there for expats like condominiums, houses for rent, hotels, timeshares, etc. You can walk downtown in just 40 to 45 minutes if you go from end to end and you will see a lot of nice places. Downtown is one thing in the morning and another at night. There are a lot of nightclubs, restaurants, and all kinds of things to do at night. They have mimes, clowns, fire shows, guys doing tricks, artists, etc. Since Puerto Vallarta is on the beach, you can go to the boardwalk and walk by the beach.
 
There is an area located south of downtown called Romantic Zone, which is more for the LGBT community in Puerto Vallarta. Every hotel, nightclub, and restaurant in the Romantic Zone is geared towards the LGBT community, which is very strong in Puerto Vallarta. We have lots of tourists from the LGBT community who come to Puerto Vallarta and stay in that area. It is very nice even though it is small but it is very significant because it is a tourist spot. The people who work in the establishments in the Romantic Zone do not necessarily belong to the LGBT community but the target market of the businesses there is the LGBT community and it draws a lot of tourists from the LGBT community as well. 
 
After Romantic Zone, there is not much to see so I would say that the Romantic Zone is sort of the end of the city of Puerto Vallarta. Once you go beyond that, you are on the road going to Mismaloya, which is close to Puerto Vallarta at 5 minutes away from town. Mismaloya is also an area that is heavily populated by expats and is a little bit more exclusive. It is a more expensive place to live but it is also very nice, very quiet, and very safe (though in general, Puerto Vallarta is safe). We have many clients who live in Mismaloya who prefer to come over to our office instead of us going to their place because if we go to their place, it would take a lot of time since we have to give a lot of our information and IDs before security would let us in. Mismaloya is good for people who want to be in a very private place.
 
There are three hospitals in downtown. Two of them are big hospitals with doctors’ offices and clinics gathered around. This is also one of the popular parts of the city. If you go up the hills around town, you’ll find a lot of nice places, condos, and houses, which are mostly owned by expats. They have amazing views. Some of these expats live here for about 4 months out of the year. Then they put their places up for rent for other expats who would rather stay here longer. However, these areas don’t have as many people as in downtown, Marina Vallarta, or Mismaloya. For people who want to have a nice place with a beautiful view, the place to go to is up the hills. 
 
Another well-known area that a lot of Americans live is Fluvial. The population in Fluvial is a combination of Americans and Mexicans. It is located in the middle of the city and it is a really big place. It has big houses that are around 400 square meters (4,300 square feet). They have houses that have pools. Some have businesses. There are a lot of buildings in Fluvial that can be used as clinics or doctor’s offices. It is a very secure area, too. There is a Costco in that area and there are lots of popular restaurants. A river passes through the city and there are parks that people go to. There are also places where you can go biking. They have a gym, and a tiny lighthouse. Fluvial is a popular area where we have a lot of expat clients. However, Fluvial is one of the most expensive places in Puerto Vallarta in which to live.  
 
(Lighthouse at Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, pictured.)
Armando Contreras of Galvan Real Estate and Services – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Garden gate on property in Lo De Marcos, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingOne of the main areas of Puerto Vallarta is Punta De Mita, which is located at the far northwest tip of the bay of Puerto Vallarta. It is very famous and it has the nicest hotels such as Four Seasons and St. Regis. Punta Mita is divided into two sections. One of the sections is the resort area with developments that include condominiums and hotels, and which is where the wealthy people live. The other area of Punta Mita is the Mexican side with a beautiful beach and where you will find locals. Punta Mita is a beautiful place.
 
Another area of Puerto Vallarta that is known worldwide is called Costa Careyes, which is a huge development located south of Puerto Vallarta. It’s on the ocean, with big villas and mansions, and it has little communities where Mexicans live.  Costa Careyes has clear blue water and nice virgin beaches because it is a little far out; it’s about 2 hours south of Puerto Vallarta by car. The municipality it is located in is called Costa Alegre.  Costa Careyes was built by an Italian man who started building a couple of houses and then started selling them. Then he started a hotel and he started building sculptures. It’s has a beautiful park to see because the ocean is very clean. The people are very friendly. The houses are gorgeous. If you don’t want to spend a whole lot of money once you visit Costa Careyes, you can go to the little communities, enjoy talking and dealing with the locals, eating in the little towns and making new friends. The experience itself is just wonderful.
 
Within Puerto Vallarta, one notable place is Nuevo Vallarta. It is only 30 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta so it is very close. It is beautiful with clean beaches, nice resorts, all kinds of activities, and most of the nicer and better hospitals are in this area. They have very good restaurants and a casino, which is just right next to the San Javier Hospital. 
 
Towards the southern part of Puerto Vallarta, there is a little area called Mismaloya. Mismaloya is where the zoo is located. It also has a beautiful botanical garden, clean beaches, and nice houses.  Some of the houses are located in the mountains and some are on the beach. It is a very nice place to visit because of all the nice things in nature that you can see. For people who love a combination of things like going to the beach and a nice tour to a botanical garden, then Mismaloya is the place to visit. People also live there. Most of the people who live there work in either tourism or fishing as their source of living. The expats who live in Mismaloya live there because of the peace and quiet that the place offers, which is what most expats are looking for when they retire. 
 
The good thing about Puerto Vallarta proper is that it has everything. It has the beaches, it has the malecon, which is a beautiful reconstructed boardwalk.  They just re-did the malecon a year ago and it is such a beautiful path to walk on. You will find every single store that you want to visit and the supermarket, too. Living in Puerto Vallarta is just like living in paradise because you have it all. You have peace, shopping, and the beach.
 
Another nice area of Puerto Vallarta is Litibu. Litibu started as a virgin beach until it was discovered by Fonatur, which is the organization that does fund raising for things related to nature like in this case, the conservation of the beaches. So they picked Litibu as a focus of their activities. They allowed Imanta Resort to set up a big development on this beach, taking advantage of the pristine beach, which has white sand. It is a very nice place to visit. There are also people who live there but they are outside of the private resort. You will find both locals and expats living in the towns next to the development.
 
The next place I’d like to discuss is Sayulita. Sayulita is very well-known for its surfing. It has really nice waves that the surfers like. It has some little Mexican towns where lots of expats also reside. It is very charming. It is still like the core of a Mexican town and it is tranquil although it is not as tranquil as it used to be because now, there are lots of people living there. 
 
San Francisco is the next area, north on the coast, after Sayulita. It took about 10 years before it became what it is right now. San Francisco, which is best known as San Pancho (because “Pancho” is a nickname for “Francisco”), is another beautiful beach that is quieter than Sayulita but it has more glamor than Sayulita. There is a polo club in San Pancho and that makes San Pancho very attractive to expats, who like these kinds of activities.
 
Another nice area of Puerto Vallarta is Lo de Marcos. It is a beautiful Mexican town that is very quiet and very tranquil. It is nothing compared to San Pancho nor Sayulita as I have mentioned above.  The beaches in Lo de Marcos are also cleaner and nicer. Because of the peace and quiet of the surroundings, living in Lo De Marcos is just lovely. It is not as crowded as San Pancho or Sayulita because the people who come to live Lo de Marcos are mainly expats. There might not be enough convenient stores or supermarkets there but when you are on the beach and you are looking for a peaceful place to retire, Lo de Marcos has what you are looking for. The prices for both land and food are still reasonable in Lo de Marcos.
 
(Garden gate on property in Lo de Marcos, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, pictured.)

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