The Romantic Zone is one of the hippest areas of Puerto Vallarta, popular not only with tourists but also with local residents, ensuring a buzz all year round. The area has many of Puerto Vallarta’s must-sees.
The recent renovation of Basilio Badillo Street marked the beginning of its climb to fame. It was widened and lit up. All the establishments got on board with the transformation and worked on reinventing their images. Every other Friday in high season, the whole town seems to be on Basilio Badillo; from 6 to 10 pm the Southside Shuffle occurs. The idea is to shuffle between art galleries, boutiques, and other venues, enjoy what you see, and shop. And all that with free wine and delicious appetizers.
The oldest Farmers’ Market in town is also in the Romantic Zone and takes place from 9:30 am to 2 pm at Lazaro Cárdenas Park (only in high season). You can buy all kinds of freshly baked products, artisanal foods, handmade clothing, jewelry, and crafts.
Another attraction in the area is a series of events called Viva Vallarta, celebrated at the Lazaro Cárdenas Park every Wednesday in high season. From 7 pm to 11 pm, you get a great opportunity to get to know Mexican culture and folklore through shows and games, and also to meet local artists. Gourmet food and drinks are sold through the evening and are catered by the best restaurants in town.
Don’t miss the relatively new pier, Los Muertos Pier, inaugurated in January 2013. The spot was where the first wooden pier of Vallarta was built in the 1960s for the cast and crew of the film The Night of the Iguana. That ramshackle construction was replaced 30 years later by a concrete structure, which became the departure point for boats going to southern coastal destinations. In 2010, the city decided to renovate again. The result was the current sleek pier, resembling a soaring sail that projects 320 feet into the ocean. Apart from serving as a landing dock, it includes pedestrian pathways, plenty of seating, colorful lighting, and a waterfront promenade.