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What Does Vallarta Mean?

DESTINATION | Published on 05/03/2019
Optimizada vallarta malecon

If you find yourself booking your next vacation or strolling down the streets of the popular tourist destination, you might ask yourself “What does Vallarta mean?” While the official Puerto Vallarta meaning is quite simple, Vallarta means different things to different people. Only after you visit the vibrant town on Mexico’s Pacific coast can you truly grasp why it’s a favorite for so many and why so many think of it in different ways.


The Official Vallarta Meaning

You may wonder what the meaning of Vallarta truly is in English, but it’s hard to pin down, especially because it is actually the last name of former governor of Jalisco, Ignacio Vallarta. As an influential individual in Mexico’s history, Vallarta made a name for himself among citizens who admired his political endeavors and respect for the people. In order to honor him, the city changed its name from Las Peñas (The Rocks), to Puerto Vallarta in 1918. The Vallarta meaning in English is just that, the last name of an influential person. Puerto, on the other hand, means port, or a town with a harbor where ships can load and unload. Together, the Vallarta meaning in English is Port of Vallarta.

The Unofficial Puerto Vallarta Meaning

When answering the question, What does Puerto Vallarta mean?, you may find a wealth of differing opinions. The city has become loved by so many that you may have a hard time getting them all to agree on one Vallarta meaning.

For some, the meaning of Vallarta is blanketed in romance. The city itself grew in popularity after Hollywood elites, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, brought their dramatic love story to Vallarta in the 1960s. Since then, visitors rave about the romantic ambiance that exudes from every inch of the coastal town. It is, without a doubt, a great place to pop the question, vacation with a loved one, or just head out for a romantic evening.


When you ask others, What does Vallarta mean to you? You’ll often hear fun, adventure, and self-discovery among the answers. The coastal town is bustling with exciting opportunities to explore the mountainous landscapes and warm waters of Banderas Bay. When you vacation in Vallarta, there is an adventure waiting at every turn and the excitement is indescribable. If you’re out on one of the countless Vallarta tours, such as whale watching, ziplining, or ATVing through the jungle, you’re bound to learn just as much about yourself as you are about the meaning of Vallarta. 

For some, a Puerto Vallarta meaning includes family togetherness, friendship, and hospitality. Recognized as one of the friendliest cities in the world, it is no surprise that PV is a great destination for family vacations and trips with friends. From one end of town to the other, you can find friendly faces, kid-friendly activities, and a warm greeting from all those who call PV home. It is for that reason that for many, a Vallarta meaning is one that warms the heart.

Whether you’re looking for the Vallarta meaning in English or its symbolic meaning to all those who have vacationed in PV, you’re bound to find a variety of answers. With a city this incredible, it is hard not to feel attached to it in the best way.

Have you ever been to this incredible city? What does Puerto Vallarta mean to you?

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