Agents' Choice 2018
Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Nov 13, 2017
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Something is always happening in Puerto Vallarta


Puerto Vallarta is looking ahead to a major milestone and wants tourists to join in the year-long celebration.
Javier Aranda Pedrero, director of the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board, notes 2018 will be the 100th anniversary of the Pacific Ocean-fronting city being designated as a municipality and says there will be 12 months of festivities, adding celebrations are hardly unusual in his festive city.
“Something is always happening in Vallarta,” he says. “It’s always a good day to celebrate in Vallarta. If you go downtown, there’s always something happening.”
The 2018 celebrations will come on the heels of what’s been a good year for the city’s tourist trade, with 2017’s hotel occupancy rate expected to be 75%, up from 2016’s 70%. Canadian visitors are contributing to that growth, with Aranda Pedrero reporting that his city saw around 325,000 Canadians in 2016. This year is expected to be strong as well, in part because of growing air service from this country to the Mexican destination, with Sunwing, for instance, announcing new service from Victoria and Abbottsford, BC.
Puerto Vallarta will also have a new attraction to entice tourists in 2018 when a Cirque du Soleil-themed park opens and be the only one of its kind. Cirque du Soleil has strong ties with Mexico, with its Lucia show Mexican-influenced.
Aranda Pedrero reports that renovations to the city’s cruise ship port will see a Mexican-style hacienda added, and visitors will be able to find the likes of shops, bars and restaurants in that attraction, along with a tequila distillery.
Also added to the port will be the largest aquarium in Mexico.
Aranda Pedrero says Puerto Vallarta can provide visitors with a “real taste of Mexico,” with its core featuring colonial architecture and being “very traditional.”
Those staying in modern outlying areas, and the bordering Riviera Nayarit head to downtown Puerto Vallarta during their vacations, he adds. The Riviera Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta work together to attract tourists to the area.
The city has ocean on one side and mountains behind it. Tourism officials note there’s a large number of resort options for those vacationing in the Puerto Vallarta area, among them Secrets, Now, Hilton, and Hyatt. The Hilton is expanding.