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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Puerto Vallarta Nightlife

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  • Dance Clubs

A nightclub where the oldies rule! It's the typical posh Mexican antro (nightclub) where nobody actually dances, but everybody seems...


  • Dance Clubs

This upscale, second-story nightclub has live rock. Although it opens nightly after 7, music doesn't start until 10 or 11; closing time...

Blanco y Negro

  • Dance Clubs

Here's a wonderful place for a quiet drink. The intimate café-bar is comfortable yet rustic, with equipale (leather-and-wood) love...

J&B Dance Club

  • Dance Clubs

People call it "Hota Bay" (it's how you pronounce the letters "j" and "b" in Spanish), and it's the best club in town for salsa. The...

La Bodeguita del Medio

  • Dance Clubs

People of all ages come to salsa and drink mojitos made with Cuban rum at this wonderful Cuban bar and restaurant with a friendly vibe.

La Santa

  • Dance Clubs

The most recent addition to Puerto Vallarta's nightlife scene, and the trendiest club in town at the time of writing this review, has...

La Vaquita

  • Dance Clubs

La Vaquita is arguably the hippest of all the El Centro clubs. A mostly young crowd packs the place every weekend, dancing to the rythms...


  • Dance Clubs

If you were to choose just one of the malecón nightclubs, Mandala may be a good choice. It's the most stylish club in the whole El Centro...

Party Lounge Nuevo Vallarta

  • Dance Clubs

This may be the only proper nightclub in all Nuevo Vallarta. Inaugurated in 2014 after traditional motorbike-rock club Choppers closed...

Sky Mandala

  • Dance Clubs

The sister nightclub of Mandala has its entrance just around the corner and it's on a gorgeous rooftop terrace with stunning views of...


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