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Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta Travel Guide

Marina Vallarta Summary


  • Great getaway spots from tourist traps
  • Excellent shopping and dining within walking distance of hotels
  • Perfect location for golfers (courses nearby)
  • Beautiful views of nearby mountains
  • LGBT-friendly
  • Great walking destination; cars are relatively unneeded


  • High season brings a lot of noisy air traffic to nearby airport
  • Nearby beaches are less impressive than in Puerto Vallarta
  • Jellyfish problems during the fall season

What It's Like

Located just south of the airport and a few miles north of Puerto Vallarta itself, Marina Vallarta is an upscale development that has grown up around the marina, with its cruise ship docks, yacht harbors, boat owners, and boat-related businesses. This is also a serious golf community, home to the Marina Vallarta Golf Club course.

Marina Vallarta draws visitors from Puerto Vallarta with its excellent traditional dining (with the odd tableside mariachi band thrown in for good measure). No matter which hotel you book, the area's shopping plazas and restaurants are all accessible by foot.

That being said, the area is a converted swamp and the beaches are less impressive than the ones in Puerto Vallarta to the south, with darker sand and less pristine water. Certain parts of the neighborhood have not quite developed according to plan, and look a little shabby and unfinished, but for the most part Marina Vallarta has the feel of a well-heeled waterside development in Southern California.

Where To Stay

Marina Vallarta is built around its waterfront, so no matter where you stay you'll be close to the beach, shops and restaurants. The size of hotels vares from smaller boutique to large resort.

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