Puerto Vallarta is a thriving expat community, which is most probably why a lot of tourists here feel right at home. There are plenty of Canadians, Americans and even Europeans who have settled here and have infused the life of the locals like their own.
Forget about the sterotype that you see in movies and television about Mexico being quite provincial and small, or even impoverished. The truth is Puerto Vallarta is actually an upscale area.
The Hotel Zone, for instance, is almost similar in ambiance and atmosphere as the ones you see in California. The center of the city, in fact, hardly shows any sign of danger or desolation. This isn’t like New Jersey, where slums are seen within a block from a posh hotel.
All around, the area is a pleasant, middle-class community with a lot of expats living here for many years, with their kids and family. That’s not saying there are no desolated areas in this part of Mexico, however. Because there are quite a few, yet well-managed environments.
If you’re in the market to not just visiting Puerto Vallarta on short trips, but to actually find a house you can come to for vacations, the city center has reasonable rates.