The Romantic Zone
Located in the area south of Rio Cuale (the southern border of Downtown Vallarta), what was previously known as Viejo Vallarta (or Old Vallarta . . Old Town), is now also called the Romantic Zone. It is the busiest part of Puerto Vallarta, where the streets are smaller, there are more shops, cafes, bars and restaurants per square foot, and where those looking for fun and sun at the beach usually end up.
As this photograph suggests, the beaches are usually crowded! There are several different unofficial sections of the beach, such as the “Blue Chairs,” the “Green Chairs,” and other designations, usually associated with the hotels that back onto this part of the Bay of Banderos. Access to the beach is relatively easy, with most streets leading to the Malecon, the pedestrian public walkway that extends along the waterfront; the farther south one walks, however, the steeper the access becomes and either steep driveways or descending a series of steps are needed in order to reach the beachfront.
The iconic Malecon is one of Puerto Vallarta’s most popular attractions for tourists and locals alike, day and night. It extends from the central Hotel Rosita all the way south past the River Cuale to Los Muertos Beach. I have friends who visit PV several times a year and their favorite activity is a morning walk up and down the Malecon . . . as well as, perhaps, a sunset evening stroll after a dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants. With the many restaurants, bars, and a variety of vendors along the way, a normal 45-minute walk could easily take several hours if you enjoy stopping to shop and eat! Condominiums that border the Malecon are very popular as short-term rentals, as well as for full time residences.