Marina Vallarta is a beachfront model tourist community located next to the Puerto Vallarta International Airport, between a golf course and a marina. It was created at the end of the 1980s and was quickly "copied" by other tourist destinations such a Cancún, Los Cabos, Mazatlán, and Ixtapa. It functions almost as a self-sustainable entity, where tourists can find absolutely everything they may need during vacation including restaurants, bars, shops, and the Plaza Marina shopping center with a Comercial Mexicana supermarket.
Marina Vallarta is a pleasant area to visit on a lazy afternoon. If you arrive by car, you will first notice a big whale sculpture at the main entrance, designed by Octavio González in the 1990s and sponsored by local Marina businessmen. You may park your car at the Nima Bay building, which has numerous shops, cafés, and restaurants that cater to both tourists and locals. Nima Bay opens to a marina promenade, where the main attraction is a lighthouse with a bar at the top, at the end of Timón Street. The promenade stretches along modern vessels and offers numerous restaurants for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is also an ideal place to go on a fishing tour. Renting a boat is extremely easy, and you will surely be approached by many people offering you one.
If you come with your own boat, Marina Vallarta rents many slips on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis with all basic services such as electricity, satellite TV, honey barge, water, laundry services, an 88-ton travel lift, and security. For more information contact the Harbormaster: 322/221–0722.
Sports lovers will appreciate the 18-hole golf course designed by Joe Finger that offers a typical Vallarta experience with stellar ocean and mountain views.