Puerto Vallarta is on the top-ten list of most important cities for MICE thanks to its airlift, climate, infrastructure, meetings capacity and its ultra-modern International Convention Center.
Over 30 properties will vie for your attention and it’s in constant demand for incentives and team building due to its constant innovation with this type of programs. Nearly 50% of the workforce in employed in tourism-related services, though the municipality has strong agricultural, industrial and commercial sectors.
Sunny, humid and warm, with dry winters: the hottest month is June with an average in the low 80s (27ºC); the coolest month is January with temps in the low 70s (21ºC).
The Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR) receives nonstop flights from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Detroit, Minneapolis, Newark, Oakland, Orange County, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Saint Louis, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco and Portland.
Puerto Vallarta has an excellent selection of five-star hotels for planners to choose from. The completely redone Grand Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive in South Vallarta is an adults-only luxury property with its own beach, 443 all ocean-view suites and 10 meeting rooms in their Convention Center that can accommodate up to 1,300 people—the largest in Puerto Vallarta—as well as 48,400 ft² (4,497 m²) of outdoor area plus fantastic eco-tourism activities for team building events. The hotel has themed bars all with décor allusive to their spirit of choice: the Martini Bar has sleek cosmopolitan lines, the Mojito Bar has fresh Caribbean colors and hanging chairs and the Tequila Bar follows Mexico’s designs of choice, all offering top-shelf liquor and intimate spaces for smaller gatherings. Nearby, the five-star Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, tucked away on a secluded cove with 335 all-inclusive suites and over 6,500 ft² (603 m²) of meeting space and beautiful outdoor gardens. Their “Evolution of All-Inclusive” is a boon for planners, which includes Resort Butlers, concierge service, and a dedicated Tequila Sommelier and tequila tastings, always a hit with groups.
The award-winning five-star Barceló Puerto Vallarta is located on Mismaloya Beach in the southern area of Puerto Vallarta with a view of Banderas Bay, just 15 minutes from the city center. Its all-inclusive 316 suites include a selection at Club Premium level, which offers your attendees unlimited access to specialty restaurants, access to the Lounge Premium, in-room service, Internet and more. For meetings and events, the Barceló has a large Convention Center with capacity for up to 600 people, as well as six fully equipped function rooms.
On a more intimate scale, the AAA Five-Diamond Hotel Mousai Puerto Vallarta takes luxury up a trendy notch with white glove service, 72 lavish all-inclusive suites, and a private event room that can host up to 200 people. This adults-only retreat offers an all-inclusive plan with gourmet dining options and premium spirits, and your VIP clients will enjoy personalized check-in and concierge service, iPads to control the electric curtains and can even request Siesta Turndown and preparation of their jetted plunge pool for après meeting relaxation.
With 13 event rooms, 8,900 ft² (825 m²) of total event space and a capacity for up to 700 people, the highly ranked, 433-room CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta is ideal for small to medium-sized groups. This Four-Diamond luxury property boasts recently refurbished guest rooms, four world-class restaurants and access to some of Vallarta’s top attractions. Consider planning your event between July and December so your attendees can participate in the resort’s turtle preservation program. The resort is part of Marriott’s Green Meetings program, meaning they put every effort into ensuring the hotel facilities and service meet and exceed environmental standards, including using recycled paper goods, replacing paper invitations with e-communications and screen displays of information, whiteboards instead of flipcharts in the meeting rooms and more.
Sister hotels Now Amber Puerto Vallarta and Secrets Vallarta Bay—both all-suites properties with AMResorts signature Unlimited Luxury all-inclusive features—together have over 46,536 ft² (4323 m²) of meeting facilities that can cater to up to 6,540 people. Thanks to its 251 ample guest rooms and suites (including three-bedroom villa suites), the Krystal Puerto Vallarta can accommodate any size groups in its hacienda-style setting. This family-oriented resort has a complete kid’s club (Kamp Krystal) with indoor and outdoor facilities and all-inclusive stays as well as EP. It has 10 spacious meeting rooms, the Seven Columns area, gardens and other outdoor venues, and can accommodate events of up to 2,000 people.
The EarthCheck Gold Certified Velas Vallarta Suite Resort and Convention Center is located in Marina Vallarta, one of the most exclusive areas of Vallarta-Nayarit, just a few steps away from an 18-hole championship golf course. This all-inclusive, family-friendly resort lights up the night with themed parties such as the Veracruz dance night, the Mexican Fiesta and the international show—a hit with groups. Its 345 suites overlook the gardens and Banderas Bay, and include one-, two- and three-bedroom family suites. Your professional event will be hosted in the Convention Center, with stylish meeting spaces and elegant salons totaling 6,928 ft² (643.63 m²). The beachfront is also available for Mexican fiestas or cocktail parties, as are the pool decks and gardens. Sister property CasaVelas, a Four-Diamond property, offers a completely different experience. This luxury all-inclusive adults only boutique hotel is tucked away on the Marina Vallarta Golf Course and is a private oasis with only 80 suites. Meetings here are of the C-suite variety, and can be enjoyed in their Conference Center. Boasting 3,663 ft² (340 m²), the facility is adjacent to the resorts’ garden area and the Marina Vallarta 18-hole championship golf course. Ideal for golf and spa meetings, seminars, weddings and groups of up to 300 people, the Casa Velas Conference Center can be sub-divided into four separate rooms ranging in sizes from 517 ft² (48 m²) to 1,566 ft² (145 m²).
The classic Sheraton Buganvilias Resort & Convention Center offers 475 water front rooms and suites and convenient and direct access to its Convention Center. The facility has 17,000 ft² (1,580 m²) of meeting space with a capacity for up to 1,200 attendees and a total of 17 meeting rooms. This is the only hotel in Puerto Vallarta that features an Exhibit Hall: the Expo Buganvilias, able to provide trade show facilities. Meeting planners with a green heart will want to know the resort practices sustainability and environmental awareness, having received the Green Key and the Environmental Quality Tourism certificate. The Sheraton’s location is ideal, as attendees can literally walk to town and to the Malecón area.
Another good choice: the all-inclusive Meliá Vacation Club Puerto Vallarta, overlooking the Marina Vallarta, with 318 accommodations with private balconies and either garden or ocean views, and a friendly family atmosphere for groups that come with kids. It has ample indoor meeting facilities for events of up to 600 attendees, as well as outdoor settings for beachfront cocktails and receptions. The Canto del Sol Plaza Vallarta Beach and Tennis Resort offers an added plus for groups with its Tennis Club, considered among the best in Puerto Vallarta with night-lit outdoor clay courts and indoor hard courts—one hour of free play is part of their all-inclusive package. This family-friendly option has 285 well-appointed beachside rooms with complimentary WiFi and 1,400 ft² (130 m²) of flexible indoor space for intimate gatherings of 10 people up to large conferences and corporate galas for 500. The Crown Paradise All Inclusive Resort is an adults-only getaway with 257 pool or oceanview rooms and 11,696 ft² (108.59 m²) of total meeting and event space with a capacity for up to 1,350 people.
The Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center has 64,583 ft² (6,000 m²) of indoor column-free space for expos with up to 6,000 attendees and 121,697 ft² (11,306 m²) of space for meetings and conventions. This beautiful colonial city by the sea also has alternative event venues that take advantage of the gorgeous natural surroundings, such as the Hacienda, Hall of Flowers and Orchid Conservatory at the Vallarta Botanical Gardens, not to mention the clubhouses at top golf courses such as Vista Vallarta and Marina Vallarta.
One of Puerto Vallarta’s calling cards has always been the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Cathedral, the focal point of the colonial area of the city. Nearby, the lively Malecón, or boardwalk, stretches alongside the beach for 12 blocks with a wide pedestrian zone. The boardwalk has giant sculptures every few hundred feet and the area is lined with galleries, shops, restaurants, bars and boutiques. The area known as Old Vallarta, just south of the Cuale River and the Malecón, has cobblestone streets and red-tiled roofs over buildings that house its own selection of restaurants, bars and cafés. Its top attraction, however, is Playa Los Muertos, perfect for people watching, a good swim and a cold beer. Another unique choice is the Rhythms of the Night cruise plus beachside dinner and torch-lit show organized by Vallarta Adventures.
The port city’s wide variety of restaurants and bars are inspired by the culinary traditions of the country and are a great option for dine-arounds. Consider booking your group in November during the International Gourmet Festival, when Vallarta’s chefs and guest chefs from around the world showcase local and international cuisine.
The Vallarta Theater and its show, “Viva Tequila,” a roundup of Tequila, mariachis and charros, or Mexican cowboys, have an interactive tour through the Tequila Museum that includes a look at its amazing collection of Tequila brands and a ride aboard the Tequila Trolley, as well as a tasting, a mariachi band and a show for groups of up to 1,000. The Puerto Vallarta CVB has also begun the Mexico Sunset Route tour and the Estampas de México tour, which highlights the culture, art, history and tradition of Mexico and Jalisco; both are free of charge.
With the sparkling Bay of Banderas on one side and the Sierra Madre mountains on the other, there’s no dearth of water sports—snorkeling, diving, fishing, sailing—or land adventures—horseback riding, ATV, hiking, rappelling, and zip-lining, to name a few—that can be enjoyed. Puerto Vallarta is also a world-class golf destination, with challenging championship greens and golf academies. Off-site, you can organize a group side-trip to the town of San Sebastián in the Sierra Madre—just 90-minutes aboard a tour bus through impressive mountain scenery. Or take a look south to some of the little fishing villages that are accessible only by boat. Tours and charters visit the tiny beaches of Las Ánimas, Quimixto, Majahuitas, Yelapa and the nearby island ecological reserve.
Coming Up:On the table: the One&Only Santa Maria de Xala, part of a new 2,965-acre (1,200-hectare) development located approximately 62 miles (100 kilometers) south of Puerto Vallarta’s international airport. The authentic hacienda resort will command 5 miles (8 kilometers) of impressive beachfront, a connection to traditions past yet offering the latest in ultra-luxury. The resort will offer 75 luxury villas and suites with private pools, providing the perfect accommodation for both couples and families. In addition, event and meeting space will be available for bespoke gatherings, whether for business or personal pleasure.