Puerto Vallarta Mexico Real Estate

The most representative area of Puerto Vallarta is the  Downtown, also known as El Centro, and is traditionally divided into three regions: north of the Cuale River (which runs through the middle of town), south of the Cuale River, and east, which follows the river up the valley. On the north side, you'll find the famous Puerto Vallarta Malecón boardwalk, renovated in 2011, along with a pedestrian bridge along the beach providing easy access to Isla Cuale (an island in the middle of the river) and the south side of town.

El Centro is rich in culture, gastronomic opportunities, history and with many entertainment options available. This is where the action is, a sensory and cultural feast never to be forgotten. Eclectic and bohemian in feel with world-class offerings, its dining and art scenes are extraordinary, the nightlife abundant, no visit here complete without a stroll and people-watching session on the popular oceanfront Malecón. Dotted with fascinating monumental public art, one side is lined with intriguing shops, restaurants , and bars, a gorgeous bay vista on the other. The local color here so rich it's absorbed by osmosis, performances of all stripes take place here every evening, spectacular events frequent at the Los Arcos outdoor amphitheater across from the main plaza — all free of charge. El Centro's narrow cobblestone streets are great fun and can be challenging to navigate, especially those running east to west up the mountainside in the El Cerro and Gringo Gulch neighborhoods — the latter where Liz Taylor and Richard Burton lived.

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 into 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. 


Getting to Puerto Vallarta Downtown

Colonia El Centro begins at the city’s historic Malecón and continues south until reaching Isla Río Cuale, a small island accessible by foot that separates El Centro from Colonia Emiliano Zapata further south. East of El Centro, several pedestrian-only stepped streets lead to Colonias El Cerro and Gringo Gulch. Along with Isla Río Cuale, they are delightful to explore by foot.

El Centro can be easily accessed from points north and south of Puerto Vallarta. Unless you drive through the Libramiento (or overpass), it is impossible to cross the city without passing through El Centro. Street parking is available, although your best bet is to park your vehicle in one of the two parking lots available in the area—the underground parking garage at Parque Hidalgo on the north end, and the Benito Juárez parking lot right before Isla Río Cuale on the north end—and walk to your destination. Public transportation and taxi cabs are readily available, should you prefer to take a short ride within the area.

Neighborhoods & Neighboring Regions

Coming from Marina Vallarta, the area we refer to as El Centro begins right after the Hotel Zone, as you are heading into town from points north. In fact, you know you’ve arrived once the pavement on Francisco Medina Ascencio, Puerto Vallarta’s main thruway, has been replaced by brick roads and cobblestones. It is divided into several colonias, or neighborhoods, one of which is, in fact, called El Centro.


Although the name is not commonly used (and neither is it used for bathing), the proper name for the beach at Puerto Vallarta’s Malecón is Playa Dorada. Further north, in Colonia 5 de Diciembre, the beach is more commonly used for walking and swimming, and can be easily accessed through several dead-end streets. Most people prefer the Los Muertos beach in Emiliano Zapata for swimming.

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Real Estate Options

Very traditional homes dot the hillside of El Centro, offering wonderful views of the town and bay. Along the Malecón, which now stretches from one end of town to the other, there are mostly shops, restaurants, and nightclubs, with few homes or condominiums. If you like to be close to the best restaurants and nightlife, this is the place to be. Puerto Vallarta Mexico Real Estate options are limited to older homes for sale and very small boutique condominium buildings. You can't beat the location, as you can walk to most everything, but then most everything can be a little noisy at times as well.

On the north side of Cuale River, the most real estate can be found in "Gringo Gulch", situated on the hillside behind Puerto Vallarta and overlooking the river. Iconic builders such as Wulff and Romero built homes for gringos on the hills behind the town and along the Cuale River (hence the nickname for this area). Most of the homes here are classics with many remodeled.

South of the Cuale River offers some homes but mostly condominiums for sale along the beach. And then further south, on the hillside overlooking the bay and town, is Amapas and Conchas Chinas, which have a mixture of homes and condominiums, with most recent construction being condominiums. Spectacular views from most of these properties. Along the shore are mostly high-end homes with a few condominium projects.

Below are some of the Puerto Vallarta Mexico Real Estate properties currently listed for sale.


Some Properties in North (Central Vallarta)

$86,000 USD

  • Area Icon 110 m2
  • Room Icon 0
  • Baths Icon 2

Morelos 100, Local 1, Malecon, North

This Restaurant Bar has a Prime Malecon location, located within the Juarez parking ...

$249,000 USD

  • Area Icon 322 m2
  • Room Icon 4
  • Baths Icon 1

Bolivia 1064, North

This amazing opportunity is for those with a true vision of making this fixer upper ...

$225,000 USD

  • Area Icon 271.58 m2
  • Room Icon 4
  • Baths Icon 4.5

109 Privada Melchor Ocampo, North

Contemporary home with two generous bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms + loft. The loft can be ...

$229,000 USD

  • Area Icon 152 m2
  • Room Icon 2
  • Baths Icon 2.5

Lirios 1075, North

Located in 5 de Diciembre neighborhood, This PH of a small 4 unit building has fanta...

$109,000 USD

  • Area Icon 0 m2
  • Room Icon 0
  • Baths Icon 0

Brasilia & Guayabo, North

Located in the corner of Brasilia and Guayabo streets in 5 de Diciembre area, Lote B...

$500,000 USD

  • Area Icon 0 m2
  • Room Icon 0
  • Baths Icon 0

S/N Ecuador, North

The best view lot in town with potential for development. Top down access, great vie...