Subregion: North (Central Vallarta)
The area most representative of Puerto Vallarta is the Central Vallarta, also known as El Centro, which is one of three regions make up the downtown core. Its borders are the Cuale River to the east (which runs through the middle of town), the Hotel Zone to the west, the hillside behind Vallarta, known as Gringo Gulch to the north, and to the south the famous Puerto Vallarta Malecón boardwalk which borders the sea.
El Centro's southern border is the Rio Cuale river, which splits downtown Vallarta in two, creating the two unique communities of El Centro and, well... there are so many names for the south side of the Cuale River, like Centro South or Zona Romantica (Romantic Zone), but we refer to it here as Emiliano Zapata. As the Cuale river makes it way through the downtown region it forks, creating the tiny island of Isla Rio Cuale, which offers a flea market, restaurants and shops as well as an interesting museum, an active cultural center, and relaxing green spaces.
There's no doubt that living in the heart of downtown is attractive for many who move to Puerto Vallarta specifically for the romantic life suggested by walking along the Malecón in El Centro on a sunny Sunday, surrounded by the friendly faces of Mexico.