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Puerto Vallarta (English: Vallarta Port) is a Mexican resort city situated on the Pacific Ocean's Bahia de Banderas. The 2005 census reported Puerto Vallarta's population as 177,830 making it the fifth-largest city in the state of Jalisco. The City of Puerto Vallarta is the government seat of the Municipality of Puerto Vallarta which comprises the city as well as population centers outside of the city extending from Boca de Tomatlan to the Nayarit border (the Ameca River). The municipality's population in the 2005 census was 220,368.
The city is located at [show location on an interactive map] 20°40'N 105°16'W? / ?20.667, -105.267. The municipality has an area of 502.19 square miles (1,300.67 km2). To the North it borders the SW part of the state of Nayarit. To the East it borders the municipality of Mascota and San Sebastian, and to the South it borders the municipalities of Talpa de Allende and Cabo Corriente.
Puerto Vallarta is named after Ignacio Vallarta, a former governor of Jalisco. In Spanish, Puerto Vallarta is often shortened to "Vallarta", while English speakers call the city P.V. for short. The city occasionally is spelled or pronounced as Porto Vallarta. In Internet shorthand the city is often referred to as PVR, after the IATA code (ICAO MMPR) for its international airport.
Tourism makes up roughly 50% of all economic activity in Puerto Vallarta according to puertovallarta.net. The high season for international tourism in Puerto Vallarta extends from late November through March (or later depending on the timing of the College Spring Break period in the USA.) The city is especially popular with US residents from the West Coast because of the number of convenient flights that exist between Puerto Vallarta and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. The air routes between Puerto Vallarta and Los Angeles and Puerto Vallarta and San Francisco are by far the most heavily traveled of all air routes into the city.
Vallarta is also a popular destination for domestic tourists: a popular weekend destination for residents of Guadalajara (tapatios), and a popular national destination for vacations such as Semana Santa (the week preceding Easter) and Christmas. Also in recent years Acapulco has experienced a rise in drug related violence and Puerto Vallarta has absorbed some of the Mexico City resort vacation business (Acapulco is a very common destination for tourists from Mexico City).
Puerto Vallarta has become a popular retirement destination for US and Canadian retirees. This trend has spawned a condominium development boom in the city.
Also over the past decade, Puerto Vallarta has become a popular gay vacation destination, and consequently the Olas Altas area now boasts about a dozen clubs, several hotels, and numerous specialty shops catering to a gay clientele.
Rapid growth in tourist volume in Puerto Vallarta has given rise to rapid growth in hotel and rental apartment construction. This growth has spilled over from the city limits into Nuevo Vallarta in the neighboring state of Nayarit.