You can’t get closer to town than El Centro. El Centro is town. From the Rio Cuale at the south, north to the end of the Malecon (Puerto Vallarta’s boardwalk), El Centro encompasses the heart of the city. And it is a vibrant area, indeed, rivalled only by Olas Altas for its nightlife. Everything you could need is within easy walking distance: shops, cafés, restaurants, nightclubs, markets, theaters, and more.
This is the real Puerto Vallarta. The streets are cobblestone, the buildings, authentic. The population is a mix, but probably more Mexican than gringo. For the young urbanite, El Centro is pretty close to heaven. Get anything, walk anywhere, party anytime. For those with a more rural bent, El Centro will be unbearably noisy, crowded, hot, and smelly. And it can be quite expensive to boot. Old Vallarta style villas start in the $500,000 range, and the few condominiums available start at $300,000. Areas around El Centro include: 5 de Diciembre, Gringo Gulch, La Pechuga, El Cerro & Lazaro Cardenas.
Properties Available in El Centro & Surrounding Areas
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El Cerro is the area of Puerto Vallarta just to the east of El Centro, where the flat streets of El Centro begin their upward climb into the mountains beyond. El Cerro shares many of the benefits of El Centro: it’s convenient, it’s vibrant, and it’s the real thing. The streets are cobblestone (where they aren’t dirt), the houses fairly old with the classic look of Mexico.
was the original American settlement in Puerto Vallarta. It was here that the legendary romance of Burton and Taylor grew into a passion that spanned several marriages. Other famous Americans, such as Peter O’Toole, once lived here. And Gringo Gulch is still primarily an American (and Canadian) stronghold.
The neighborhood runs along the hilly northern bank of the Rio Cuale, just east of the center of town. It’s an easy walk down to shops, restaurants, and markets, but a bit of a trek back up. Cabs are cheap and easy to come by, however, and the beauty of the setting more than offsets the inconvenience. Perhaps more important, Gringo Gulch is an area steeped in the history and culture of Puerto Vallarta. Like most such areas it has its rough spots and can be a bit rustic, to use a well-worn euphemism. But for many Americans, it is the only place actually in Vallarta that they would consider home, and although prices can be quite high, occasional bargains can be found.
5 de Diciembre
Just north of downtown Vallarta (Centro), and with Colonia Emiliano Zapata was of the first neighborhoods beyond Colonia Centro to be developed.
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