Puerto Vallarta Nightlife

Outdoorsy Vallarta switches gears after dark and rocks into the wee hours. When the beachgoers and sightseers have been showered and fed, Vallarta kicks up its heels and puts the baby to bed. Happy hour in martini lounges sets the stage for an evening that might include a show, live music, or just hobnobbing under the stars at a rooftop bar.

Many hotels have Mexican fiesta dinner shows,

which can be lavish affairs with buffet dinners, folk dances, and even fireworks. Tour groups and individuals—mainly middle-age and older Americans and Canadians—make up the audience at the Saturday-night buffet dinner show at Playa Los Arcos and other hotels. Vaqueros (cowboys) do rope tricks and dancers perform Mexican regional or pseudo-Aztec dances. The late-late crowd gets down after midnight at dance clubs, some of which stay open until 6 am.

The scene mellows as you head north and south of Puerto Vallarta. In Punta Mita (aka Punta de Mita), Bucerías, Sayulita, and San Francisco (aka San Pancho), local restaurants provide live music; the owners usually scare up someone good once or twice a week in high season. Along the Costalegre, tranquility reigns. Most people head here for relaxation, and nightlife generally takes the form of stargazing, drink in hand. If you're visiting June through October (low season), attend live performances whenever offered, as they are few and far between.

Although there's definitely crossover, many Mexicans favor the upscale bars and clubs of the Hotel Zone and Marina Vallarta hotels, while foreigners tend to like the Mexican flavor of places downtown and on the south side (the Zona Romántica), where dress is decidedly more casual.

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El Centro 21

Zona Romántica 19

Zona Hotelera 6

Riviera Nayarit 3

Nuevo Vallarta 3

Marina Vallarta 3

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Bars/ Pubs 30

Cabaret 1

Cafes–Nightlife 2

Dance Clubs 16

Gathering Places 1

Music Clubs 9

Piano Bars/ Lounges 1

Themed Entertainment 3

Wine Bars–Nightlife 1

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Gay and Lesbian 6

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Puerto Vallarta Nightlife

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Andale

  • Bars/Pubs

Most nights, crowds spill out onto the sidewalk as party-hearty men and women shimmy out of the narrow saloon, drinks in hand, to the...

Apaches

  • Bars/Pubs

It's gay friendly, lesbian friendly, people friendly. Heck, owner Mariann and her partner, Endra, would probably welcome you and your...

Bar Bolero Vallarta

  • Bars/Pubs

Looking for a small bar with an authentic taste of Puerto Vallarta? Bolero is just what you need—a cozy little bar with a pool table...

Blue Chairs

  • Bars/Pubs

In addition to its famous beach scene, Blue Chairs, at the south end of Los Muertos Beach, has the popular Blue Sunset Rooftop Bar,...

Burro's Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

Right on the sand across from Parque Lázaro Cárdenas, this restaurant-bar has bargain brewskis and equally inexpensive fruity margaritas...

Cervecería Unión

  • Bars/Pubs

A favorite with the locals, this is a delightful place to have a quality beer and enjoy some of the best oysters in town. In fact, it's...

El Faro

  • Bars/Pubs

Here you can admire the bay and marina from atop a 110-foot lighthouse. It's mainly a baby-boomer crowd (think yachters) and open daily...

El Solar

  • Bars/Pubs

This oceanfront bar is just the way a beach bar is supposed to be—small, hip, and laid-back—making it a real pleasure to enjoy a...

El patio de mi casa

  • Bars/Pubs

The go-to place for the artistic community of PV, El patio de mia casa is advertised as a sandwich shop, pizza place, and vegetarian/vegan...

Frida

  • Bars/Pubs

We've heard this place described as "the gay Cheers of Mexico." It's a friendly neighborhood cantina where you'll meet middle-aged to...

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