Best Price Guarantee
Book Direct Best Price Guarantee

What Does Vallarta Mean?

DESTINATION | Published on 12/06/2024
Optimizada ignacio l vallarta

Puerto Vallarta has become one of the most popular destinations in Mexico in recent years, attracting tourists worldwide with its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich cultural heritage. 

But amidst all the excitement and allure, have you ever wondered about Puerto Vallarta's meaning? Let's delve into the history and origins of this beloved coastal paradise to uncover what truly lies behind its name.

puerto vallarta walking

The Historical Origins: What Does Vallarta Mean?

You may wonder what Vallarta means in English. Still, it's hard to pin down, mainly because it is the last name of the former governor of Jalisco, Ignacio Vallarta. As an influential individual in Mexico's history, Vallarta made a name among citizens who admired his political endeavors and respect for the people. 

In a significant act of respect and honor, 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.

Interestingly, before adopting its current name, this area was known for its strategic location as a pirate haven. The coastal region served as a hideout and operational base for pirates navigating the Pacific. This rich history adds an adventurous layer to the city's identity, blending the romance of Hollywood with the thrill of pirate lore.

filming a movie in puerto vallarta

A Romance-Filled Destination

For those who seek romance, Puerto Vallarta is a haven. The city's allure was further enhanced when Hollywood icons Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton brought their dramatic love story to Vallarta in the 1960s. 

Since then, the coastal town has been bathed in a romantic ambiance that enchants visitors from all walks of life. It is a place where love stories are born, where cherished memories are made, and where romance is in the air.

romantic boat puerto vallarta

Romantic activities you can enjoy in Puerto Vallarta

  • Sunset Cruises: Take a boat ride along the stunning coastline and watch the sun dip below the horizon.
  • Beachside Dinners: Savor a candlelit dinner on the beach with waves gently crashing in the background.
  • Couple's Spa Treatments: Indulge in a relaxing massage or spa treatment together at one of the many luxurious spas in the city.
  • Strolls along the Malecón: Walk hand-in-hand along the iconic Malecón, enjoying the street performances, sculptures, and breathtaking ocean views.

Exploring the Local Food Scene in Puerto Vallarta.

a dron photo of puerto vallarta

The Story Behind Playa Los Muertos

Playa Los Muertos, one of Puerto Vallarta's most popular beaches, carries a name that sparks curiosity. When exploring the meaning of Vallarta, we uncover stories that enrich our understanding of this beautiful destination. 

Tradition has it that the name "Playa Los Muertos" arose from the frequent shipwrecks in the area. The powerful currents would often bring the remains of sailors to the shore, giving the beach its unique name. Far from its somber origins, Playa Los Muertos is now a beloved spot for locals and tourists, offering a lively and welcoming atmosphere contrasting with its historical roots. This blend of history and present-day charm contributes to the captivating allure of Puerto Vallarta.

What does Puerto Vallarta mean? It is a question with answers as rich and diverse as the city. Puerto Vallarta encapsulates a fascinating blend of history, culture, and charm from its origins as a pirate harbor and its homage to an influential political figure to its modern-day reputation as a romantic getaway. So next time you visit, you'll know that every corner of this beautiful city has a story to tell!

Check out the Special Offers we have designed for you.

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive special offers and exclusive Resort news

Learn about our official channels:

For your security, we invite you to make your reservations though our official channels where you can find our best rates and promotions:

Contact center:
WhatsApp: +52 322 307 3503

Interact with us on social media


Subscribe to our newsletter and receive special offers and exclusive Resort news