No trip to Puerto Vallarta is complete without wandering around the Romantic Zone. If you’ve ever been there on vacation, you’ll have undoubtedly visited the neighborhood. But when it comes to moving to Mexico, the Romantic Zone, Puerto Vallarta has everything you’d need and more. It’s much more than nightlife and beaches, it’s a good investment.
Before we get into why you’ll love it there, let me go over some basics.
Where is the Romantic Zone in Puerto Vallarta?
The Zona Romantica lies just south of downtown Puerto Vallarta, or El Centro. Walk south on the famous Malecon, cross the Rio Cuale, and you’ll end up at the northern tip of the neighborhood.
The southern border is Santa Barbara Street. Insurgentes Street is the border to the east, not far from the Sierra Madre foothills. And the beaches make up the western border. But not just any beaches. Puerto Vallarta’s most famous beach, Playa Los Muertos.
So, in a nutshell, the Romantic Zone is hugged by the sapphire blue Banderas Bay on one side and the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains on the other. No matter which direction you look, you’ll be spoiled by views for days.
What is the Romantic Zone, Puerto Vallarta?
To make things confusing, the Romantic Zone has quite a few names. So don’t be surprised if you hear it called Zona Romantica, South Side, Colonia Emiliano Zapata, Viejo Vallarta, Old Vallarta, and Olas Altas. You are still in the right place.
It’s not a large area, so you’ll be able to cover it all on foot. And that’s the best way to discover all the quirky uniqueness the neighborhood is known for.
Once you cross the river, you’ll feel a totally different vibe than the downtown zone you just came from. The Romantic Zone is charming and old-world, yet eclectic and vibrant, all mashed into one. With its narrow cobblestone streets lined with colorful boutiques, restaurants, and bars, you’ll never be bored.
In fact, there are more shops, eateries, and bars per square foot than anywhere else in the city.
It’s the one of the oldest neighborhood in Puerto Vallarta, and some of the architecture is evidence of that. Old Spanish-style white stucco houses with red-tiled roofs make it feel like a quaint Mexican pueblo. But juxtaposing those homes are the modern-day tall buildings and new condo projects popping onto the scene.
The Romantic Zone is on every list of Puerto Vallarta things to do because it’s such a fascinating area with so much history.
Now that I’ve given you an overview of the neighborhood let’s dive into the nitty-gritty…
Here are the 9 reasons you’ll love the Romantic Zone in Puerto Vallarta.
1. It’s the most walkable neighborhood
One of the most appealing aspects of living in the Zona Romantica is how easily accessible everything is.
In most other neighborhoods, you’ll need a car, but if you live here, your two feet will get you everywhere you need to go.
Within walking distance to the beaches are all your life’s necessities like grocery stores and pharmacies. And all of life’s un-necessities, but the fun stuff like galleries, restaurants, and nightlife galore.
So, you won’t need to spend money on transportation, and it’s unlikely you’ll ever leave the area once you get there.
2. The Romantic Zone is primarily flat
Since Puerto Vallarta is sandwiched against the mountains, many residential areas are backed up into the foothills. Unfortunately, that means some of the neighborhoods are very hilly and challenging to walk.
One of the most significant benefits of the Romantic Zone is how flat it is. Therefore, it’s one of the best areas for anyone with a walking disability or mobility challenges.
3. The locals
The locals who live and work in the Romantic Zone are some of the most open-minded and friendly people in Puerto Vallarta. It’s one of those places where everyone feels at home. And it’s why people come back year after year, which also means the rental market is thriving. More on that in a minute…
In addition to having the friendliest people, many locals speak English, so it’ll make communicating that much easier.
4. Diverse community
One of the most exciting aspects of the Romantic Zone in Puerto Vallarta is the diversity.
Some zones are primarily expats, others are primarily locals, but this area has it all. Locals, expats, old, and young. People from all walks of life, from all countries, and all backgrounds have settled there.
It’s that blend that makes this neighborhood so unique. It’s a melting pot, a special stew where all the ingredients intermingle to create one unique but tasty dish.
5. The Zona Romantica is the hottest zone for real estate
This area has one of the most active real estate markets.
The Romantic Zone is the ideal choice for anyone who wants to live in the heart of it all and doesn’t want to buy a car. Plus, the area has incredible value appreciation.
Beachfront/Oceanfront property values continue to rise around the world. And the beachfront properties in Los Muertos is no different. Los Muertos beach is one of the most desired beaches to visit and invest. As a result, its beachfront properties have historically retained and grown in value over the years.
6. Best rental investment property community
Since the Romantic Zone is the heart and soul of Puerto Vallarta, everyone wants to stay there.
From the short-term Airbnb opportunities to long-term snow-bird rentals, if you are looking for an area for an investment property, look no further.
The Romantic Zone is where everyone wants to be, so you won’t have trouble finding quality renters to make your home theirs for a stint.
7. Largest selection of new properties in one region
One thing about the Zona Romantica Puerto Vallarta real estate is that it’s ever-changing. There are always new properties being built. Even though its area is finite, the region continues to grow and develop.
In fact, one of the most exciting new real estate developments in Puerto Vallarta is about to break ground in Los Muertos Beach. For more information on this soon to be announced condominium development, contact Taniel Chemsian at taniel(at)timothyrealestategroup.com.
8. All the food
The Puerto Vallarta Romantic Zone restaurants are some of the best in the entire city. This area is bursting at the seams with personality and flair.
It has a high concentration of beachfront restaurants. So, digging your toes in the sand while diving into a mouthwatering seafood dinner can be your nightly routine.
Head inland and there are even more Zona Romantica restaurants, coffee shops, and bars waiting to be discovered. Wander the narrow streets and you’ll find something new every time.
It’s just as easy to find dollar tacos as it is to find white tablecloth fine dining options. You’ll be able to find something regardless of your budget and palate. It’s all there.
The same goes for nightlife. You’ve got more choices than time! The Romantic Zone is your spot for a quiet rooftop lounge or live musical acts or shows at a number of theatres in town. Plus, it has everything you can dream up in between.
But it’s not all about food and drinks.
9. The shopping and sights
Ready to get your shop on?
Head to the Rio Cuale Island for the flea market, or the Tianguis, a weekly traditional Mexican farmers market.
In addition, this area is teeming with chic boutiques in between all the restaurants. From locally designed jewelry and clothes to bookstores and antiques, it’s the ultimate shopper’s paradise.
Done shopping for now?
You can’t miss the famous Los Muertos Pier. Grab a cocktail on the beach and watch as it illuminates in a rainbow of colors that reflect off the water.
Or head to another must-see attraction, the Lázaro Cardenas Park (also known as Tile Park), where the wonderful Saturday Farmers Takes place from November – April. It’s a kaleidoscope of mosaic tiles adorning every bench, column, and planter. And anything else possible to tile.
The Bottom Line
The Zona Romantica in Puerto Vallarta is one of the most welcoming and vibrant communities to live and visit.
It’s iconic, eclectic, and quirky, and old-world, familiar, and authentic at once. It’s that mash-up that makes it one of the best neighborhoods to live in. That, coupled with the incredibly hot market and ever-increasing property values, make it a no-brainer!
Taniel Chemsian is one of the top real estate sales associates for Timothy Real Estate Group in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. He moved to Puerto Vallarta from Los Angeles in 2003, became a real estate agent in 2006, and has never looked back. He has sold hundreds of homes in the region over the last 15 years, and is often seen on House Hunters International (HGTV). So, if you are interested in moving to Puerto Vallarta, Taniel can help you find the home that’s right for you. For more information, visit his website, his Facebook page, or contact him at taniel(at)timothyrealestategroup.com.
The number one selling and listing agency in the greater Bay of Banderas region since 2011, Timothy Real Estate Group is a locally-owned and operated real estate brokerage with a strategic location in the city’s Romantic Zone. Because the Puerto Vallarta area has varying neighborhood personalities, we practice localized real estate and, with 5 sales offices around the bay, we know our communities well. If you are looking to sell or purchase a property in the Banderas Bay area, download their Free Real Estate Buyer and Seller’s Guides to learn more, then contact one of the Timothy Real Estate Group agents for the best experience in Puerto Vallarta real estate. For more information, visit TimothyRealEstateGroup.com.