Share this page

Downtown Puerto Vallarta Real Estate

The Original Town
Puerto Vallarta was founded on the banks of the Rio Cuale where the vast Ameca Valley to the northeast meets the Sierra Madre mountains and the ocean. El Centro, the original downtown area, is situated on the northern banks of the river near its mouth. Along with 5 de Diciembre next door to the north and El Cerro (along with its Gringo Gulch), the hillside neighborhood above El Centro, are collectively known as Downtown North. Downtown South primarily centers around Emiliano Zapata, the colonia on the south side of the river.  A large and mostly flat community that butts up to and includes the hillside colonias south of it, Alta Vista and Amapas, which overlook the "Romantic Zone".  Zona Romantica, as it's called, is an unofficial yet important tourist zone that includes Olas Altas, the street parallel to Playa los Muertos, the city's most popular beach. Zona Romantica is where most of the city action is: Endless entertainment, nightlife, restaurants, an abundant gay scene, and with that a surge of new condominium developments that have sprung up the past several years which shows no signs of slowing down. The group of colonias grouped further along the Rio Cuale east of downtown proper, removed from the hubbub of activity being closer to the ocean on the north and south sides cause and attract, are the bedroom communities of Downtown East: Las Canoas, El Caloso, Las Peñas, Buenos Aires and Benito Juarez. For the most part, home prices are considerably less here than those closer to the ocean on either side of the Rio Cuale.

Downtown Areas and their Colonias

El CentroEmiliano ZapataEl Caloso
El CerroAlta VistaLas Canoas
5 de DiciembreAmapasBenito Juarez
El Remance
Las Peñas
Buenos Aires

Click to Enlarge

Questions? Call, Text or WhatsApp: +52-322-146-4664

Centro North

El Centro is where the city sprang from on the northern banks of the Rio Cuale. The area is roughly five city blocks deep from the coast to where the terrain quickly rises into the hillside colonia of El Cerro above it. Running along the coastline of El Centro is the town's famous El Malecón, a seaside pedestrian promenade with numerous contemporary and interactive bronze statues stretching from the Hotel Rosita at the north end to the river and beyond into the south side of downtown. Lining the Malecon and elsewhere in El Centro are a range of bars, restaurants, art galleries and boutique shops. Here also is the city's main plaza off which is the original city hall (La Presidencia) on its north side, the city's famous Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe church to its east, and the popular outdoor Los Arcos Amphitheatre to the west. To the east of El Centro is colonia 5 de Diciembre. It spans an area of similar size as Centro, from the Hotel Rosita north to the sports stadium and many blocks inland as the area wraps and includes the hillside above it. Playa Los Camerones is this area's beach which is every bit as nice as Playa Los Muertos but less popular, which may be its best feature. 5 de Diciembre is a more traditional Mexican neighborhood that's also is experiencing new growth but at a slower scale than that found on the south side of downtown.

Questions? Call, Text or WhatsApp: +52-322-146-4664

Centro South

Across the Rio Cuale from El Centro is colonia Emiliano Zapata, a mainly flat plain of land ringed on its south side by the foothills of the Sierra Madres upon which are two colonias overlooking what's collectively called the South Side, Alta Vista and Amapas. For real estate, these three colonias are of similar demand. They also make up much of what is commonly referred to as Zona Romantica. This area includes where the Malecón continues from over the Rio Cuale along the coastline to the pier and beyond. Popular streets in this zone include Olas Altas that runs parallel to the beach and is known for its street side bars and cafes and Basilio Badillo for its restaurants. Throughout the zone a lively gay scene exists along with live theatre and entertainment venues.

Questions? Call, Text or WhatsApp: +52-322-146-4664

Centro East

Inland along the Rio Cuale, other communities grew along its route. While most were and still are bedroom communities for the local workforce, these colonias are becoming ever more popular to foreign buyers as a lesser expensive downtown alternative than being near the ocean and all the activities in either Zona Romantica or El Centro. While our MLS doesn't distinguish these colonias separately, rather includes them as part of downtown south, I find their inland nature a significant and measurable difference.

Explore Other Nearby Areas