The area most affectionately associated with Puerto Vallarta is downtown proper. This diverse area is comprised of many different colonias each with their distinct character and charm.

Centro is centered around the malecón or boardwalk and stretches all the way up the hillside to a wide variety of quaint mid-density projects with fantastic bay views and access. The Vallarta Theater, town squares and churches are some of the focal points for festivals and entertainment, especially during the wide variety of Mexican holidays.

Gringo Gulch made popular during the Taylor/Burton era is defined by traditional homes and architectures along the mountain ravine of the Cuale River just above town and has precious views and proximity to activity.

Old Town and the Romantic Zone border each side of the Cuale River and are concentrated by the blocks closest to the beach. This area is bustling scene populated by innumerable restaurants, shops and cultural activities. The new pier at Los Muertos beach and surrounding area is also a hot spot, particularly for sunsets and nightlife. New developments attempt to be sensitive to the traditional surroundings in answering high demand for the area.