Mexico Beach Vacations : Puerto Vallarta Vacations

 History of Puerto Vallarta


History of Puerto Vallarta - Historical Monuments 

Puerto Vallarta Art & Culture

Puerto Vallarta Art & Culture

History of Puerto Vallarta

Introduction to Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta Bullfights

Puerto Vallarta ArtWalk

Puerto Vallarta Cultural Events

Puerto Vallarta Art Galleries

Puerto Vallarta Hidden Art Studios

Puerto Vallarta Theater


Puerto Vallarta Cultural Sites

Puerto Vallarta Churches & Cathedrals

Puerto Vallarta Cultural Center

Puerto Vallarta Historical Sites

Puerto Vallarta Malecon

Puerto Vallarta Villages

The History of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Puerto Vallarta in history

Puerto Vallarta dates back to 600 A.D, with a history rich in culture and tradition.  It was originally the territory of the Xalisco civilization.  This civilization was ruled by chiefs who worshipped three specific gods: 

  • Naye -a former chief who had been declared a god of war

  • Teopiltzin - god of rain and fertility

  • Heri - the god of knowledge and wisdom

The culture was mixed with the Aztec influence according to many new archeological discoveries.  Colonies of Aztecs settled throughout the region during their centuries of migration from Nahuatl speaking colonies of the Nayarit coast to the Valley of Mexico.

Puerto Vallarta resides in the state of Jalisco which means, surface of the sand. 

The history the Bay of Banderas - When the nephew of the great Hernan Cortes, Francisco Cortes de Buenaventura, arrived from Spain, more than 20,000 warriors stood blocking the path of the conquistador.  Their bows were decorated with boldly colored banners (banderas), creating an impressive display.  It was this presentation that caused Cortes to name the vale of the Ameca River, just north of present day Puerto Vallarta, "Valle de las Banderas" (Valley of the Banners.)  It was first officially documented as "Bahia de Banderas" or, "Bay of the Banners" in 1541 upon the arrival of Don Pedro de Alvarado.  It is believed that he arrived near the great rocks of Los Arcos , the same rocks where pirates were later known to hide in wait for unsuspecting ships amongst the crescent coves.

Mexico's Independence- History - Spain was defeated in Mexico's rebellion of 1810-1821, leaving Mexico a free country for the first time in 300 years.  It was shortly after this period that the discovery of mass amounts of gold and silver led to a settlement where present day Puerto Vallarta stands. 

Interestingly enough, the original founder of Puerto Vallarta was a simple merchant, Don Guadalupe Sanchez who brought his family to live in a hut that would be his trading station.  He became a wealthy man- not from gold or silver, but from hauling salt from the Puerto Vallarta beaches to the mines up the Rio Cuale for ore processing.  He became a wealthy man surrounded by settlers who named the town Puerto de Las Penas. 

In 1918, the city was officially named Puerto Vallarta in honor of a former Jalisco state governor, Ignacio L. Vallarta. 

When the mines eventually ran low on gold and silver resources, the town faltered.  Without access to outside cities and resources, the locals relied heavily on the ocean for food, which would explain why so many refer to Puerto Vallarta as a former fishing village. 

In the 1950's, occasional passenger planes arrived near Puerto Vallarta from Guadalajara.  Shortly after, a paved road was built coming from Tepic and in the 1960's, an international airport was established.  In 1963, John Huston filmed the famous, "Night of the Iguana" by Tennessee Williams just south of the city in Mismaloya bringing paparazzi and thus, publicity for the small town of Puerto Vallarta at a rapid pace.  Hotels sprung up quickly, highways were put in, bridges, and the city has been growing ever since with over 2 million visitors a year.  Puerto Vallarta is now considered one of the most luxurious tropical getaways in the world and as of 2007, Puerto Vallarta was determined to be the 5th most popular destination in the world.




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