Puerto Vallarta After Dark

Much is written about the sun-drenched diversions awaiting visitors to Puerto Vallarta on any given day. From inviting beaches to cobblestone streets brimming with world class shopping, the options seem endless.

But there´s an entirely different side of Puerto Vallarta that emerges after dark like a night-blooming flower. The vast stretch of  Bandera’s bay becomes illuminated with countless twinkling lights, while typically warm evenings beckon you to step out for a sunset cocktail, romantic bay cruise or a hip-shaking, all-nighter at one of the many bars and clubs. Whatever you choose, Puerto Vallarta is up for any night moves you can imagine.

A sure bet is to make your way to the Malecon, the Spanish name for the seaside promenade. Here, locals and visitors alike mingle, chat and flirt while the pulsing surf creates a syncopated backdrop to the music and laughter drifting from the row of restaurants, bars and nightclubs on paseo Diaz Ordaz.

From street-level clubs and balcony bars, everything from hip-hop to mariachis is on tap, so you´re certain to find something that moves you.For authentic Latin flavor, savor the salsa and spice of bodeguita del medio, an authentic reproduction of a bar and restaurant once frequented by Hemingway in old Habana.

The Puerto Vallarta version features live bands, tasty Cuban cuisine and a gift shop brimming with cigars, rum and logo gear. Those looking to release their inner party animal need look no further than the zoo. Definitely not a place where you eat popcorn and stare at zebras, this is a zoo of an entirely different stripe: a high-energy club filled with raucous house music and safari kitsch like zebra-striped booths and tribal drummers.

You can also step off the Malecon and explore the cobblestones of old town, where you’ll encounter options like sophisticated de Santos. After 11 pm., this chic restaurant becomes a nightclub for the hip set, with oversized beds for lounging. If dancing is on the menu, Puerto Vallarta is nightlife nirvana, with mega clubs like Christine and collage featuring state-of-the-art sound systems, stylish crowds and party favors like foam parties, laser shows and banks of video screens.

Then again, you may want to leave it all behind and spend the evening at Las Caletas, an idyllic hideaway less than an hour away that was once the home of famous director john Huston, Vallarta adventures offers starlit sails to this isolated cove, where guests are treated to a delicious meal of local cuisine followed by a dance performance showcasing indigenous cultures. Its yet another way to spend a memorable evening in Puerto Vallarta, proving that whether by sea or land, nights here are pure magic.

By Josef Kandoll W.