Thursday, November 23, 2006

Puerto Vallarta: A Diverse City for Weddings

Image: Puerto Vallarta (© CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta)

Q: I want to have my destination wedding in Puerto Vallarta, but can't decide which area to stay in. Can you give me your thoughts?

A: If you're thinking of getting married in Puerto Vallarta, the following will give you an idea of what the different areas offer. The landscape changes dramatically as you travel through the region, and each area has its own particular advantages.

Puerto Vallarta Hotel Strip
Puerto Vallarta is a lively city full of entertainment, shopping, restaurants, and beach activities. The hotel strip has several popular hotels densely packed along the beach. If you stay along the hotel strip you will be within a short walk or taxi ride to the bustling streets. Or, if you're a little more adventurous, you can hop on the public bus, which only costs approximately 4 pesos (US$0.35).

If you want to get married right in Puerto Vallarta, keep in mind that the beaches are public, so hotels cannot guarantee complete privacy if you want to get married directly on the beach. Several resorts have a jetty (a pier made of rocks that juts into the ocean) that they use for weddings for a beautiful seaside event set apart from the beach.

For weddings, there are some great hotels with larger properties that provide beautiful outdoor spaces for ceremonies and receptions. Some of our favorites include Golden Crown Paradise/Crown Paradise Club (http://www.crownparadise.com), NH Krystal Puerto Vallarta (http://www.nh-hotels.com), and Sheraton Buganvilias Resort & Convention Center (http://www.starwoodhotels.com).

Marina Vallarta
A few minutes north of the hotel strip you'll find Marina Vallarta. This area is set apart from the busyness of Puerto Vallarta's streets, and offers some upscale luxury hotels and a golf course. You can still venture to the popular Malecon (main boardwalk) for only a $5 to $10 taxi ride.

Some of the best resorts for weddings in Marina Vallarta include The Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta (http://www.starwoodhotels.com) and CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta (http://www.casamagnapuertovallarta.com).

Nuevo Vallarta/Vallarta Nayarit
Nuevo Vallarta/Vallarta Nayarit is located approximately 20 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta. This area offers several large resort complexes on a beautiful stretch of white sandy beach. This is a great choice for a quieter and more secluded wedding event.

Although there are several resorts that host many wedding events, two of the more luxurious resorts with excellent ceremony and reception sites include Vallarta Palace (http://www.palaceresorts.com) and Grand Velas All Suites & SPA Resort (http://www.grandvelas.com).

South of Puerto Vallarta
South of the city going toward Mismaloya the landscape changes, becoming more mountainous and rocky with lush vegetation. The scenery is spectacular in this area, but the beaches are not as sandy as farther north.

If you are looking for a larger resort, Dreams Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa (http://www.dreamsresorts.com) is one of the best. There are also some fabulous villas and boutique hotels that will host wedding events, like Casa Tres Vidas/Quinta Maria Cortez (http://www.casatresvidas.com, http://www.quinta-maria.com) and Playa Fiesta (http://www.playafiesta.com).

Note that resorts can change their services and wedding locations without prior notice so please contact the resort directly for current rates and offerings.

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