Puerto Vallarta’s Historic Center is now officially a protected Cultural Heritage of the Mexican State of Jalisco, according to the state’s Department of Culture. This means that the downtown area of the port city, which is also celebrating its centennial in 2018, will now be protected by both state and federal laws in order to preserve the colonial architecture and “essential characteristics” of the popular beach destination from further changes.
The cultural heritage zone encapsulates several neighborhoods, starting with the Malecón near the Hotel Rosita (the oldest hotel in Puerto Vallarta), which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, and over into the cobblestone streets of the Zona Romantica, where you’ll find landmarks like the Church of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and down into the more residential Conchas Chinas neighborhood.
The historic center also includes more modern additions to the town, including the Los Muertos Pier, which was designed by the award-winning architect José de Jesús Torres Vega and has become a popular tourist attraction since it opened in 2013.
The U.S. State Department currently has a Level 3 travel advisory issued for the state of Jalisco due to violent crime and gang activity, but there are no restrictions on government employees to travel to the tourist areas in Puerto Vallarta. The city, especially the historic center, is not known for crime, but travelers should always exercise increased caution, especially when visiting bars and driving at night.