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Should I Stay In Puerto Vallarta or Nuevo Vallarta and What Are The Main Differences?

Updated: Oct 20, 2023


Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta are both popular tourist destinations in Mexico, located on the Pacific coast in the state of Nayarit. The decision on where to stay depends on your preferences and the type of experience you are looking for.

Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta

Nuevo Vallarta Aerial View
Nuevo Vallarta


  • Puerto Vallarta is a well-established and charming resort town with a mix of old-world charm and modern amenities. It offers a vibrant downtown area with cobblestone streets, art galleries, restaurants, and a lively nightlife.

  • The town is rich in culture and history, with landmarks such as the iconic Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Malecon, a beautiful beachfront promenade.

  • Puerto Vallarta is ideal for travelers seeking a more authentic Mexican experience with plenty of opportunities for cultural exploration and mingling with locals.

El Malecon Puerto Vallarta


  • Nuevo Vallarta, on the other hand, is a newer resort development located about 16 miles north of Puerto Vallarta. It is known for its luxury resorts, condominiums, and golf courses.

  • The area boasts beautiful and well-maintained beaches, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a more relaxed and exclusive beach vacation.

  • Nuevo Vallarta is popular among families and travelers who prefer all-inclusive resorts and a more secluded atmosphere.

a view of nuevo vallarta

Key differences to consider:

  • Atmosphere: Puerto Vallarta has a more traditional Mexican town ambiance with a mix of culture and history, while Nuevo Vallarta offers a more modern, upscale, and tranquil resort setting.

  • Accommodations: Puerto Vallarta offers a wide range of accommodation options, including boutique hotels and vacation rentals. In contrast, Nuevo Vallarta is primarily known for its luxury resorts and condominiums.

  • Activities: Both locations offer various activities such as water sports, boat tours, and excursions. Puerto Vallarta may have more diverse options, including cultural tours, while Nuevo Vallarta focuses more on beach and resort activities.


Ultimately, the choice between Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta depends on your personal preferences and the type of vacation experience you desire. If you're looking for a mix of culture, history, and a vibrant town, Puerto Vallarta might be the better choice. If you prefer a more luxurious, all-inclusive resort experience in a quieter setting, Nuevo Vallarta could be the right fit. Consider what you prioritize most in your vacation, and that will guide you to the best decision. Check out our great collection of Hotels & Resorts in both locations:

Puerto Vallarta -

Nuevo Vallarta -

Jeff's Vacations Staff

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