Marina Vallarta vs Old Town Vallarta: Which Is Better? // Life in Puerto Vallarta Vlog

marina vallarta

Yesterday we headed over to Marina Vallarta to explore the area and try a new place to eat. If you’re curious as to what the Marina area looks like, just check out our video:

Old Town

Old Town Puerto Vallarta is the downtown of Puerto Vallarta. This is where you will find Playa Los Muertos, La Isla Cuale, the Emiliano Zapata neighborhood, the Cinco de Deciembre Neighborhood, and tons of shops and restaurants! Old Town is quickly becoming a mix of homes that have been there for 30 plus years and condominiums that are still being constructed. Due to this, you will find a large mix of expats, tourists, and locals.

The streets are made with cobblestone, most buildings are white with a colorful stripe in the center, and most of the neighborhood is a good mix of small businesses and homes; often in the same building.

Marina Vallarta

The Marina Vallarta area is much different. From what we could see (keep in mind we have only been there twice), most of the homes were condos that were in 3-5 story buildings. There are still restaurants on the first floor of many of these buildings, making this area extremely walkable. However, the Marina area has a much newer feel to it with most of the condo buildings being constructed in the 80’s and 90’s.

Marina Vallarta has a very clean, crisp, and comfortable feel to it, making it an ideal location to get away from the hustle and bustle of what you’re life may be like wherever you call home.

So which is better?

So which one is better? That’s a really tough comparison. As usual with our comparison videos, we don’t believe either one is “better” overall, they are just different. However, they each have their own unique atmosphere that may suit you better depending on what you’re looking for.

If you are coming to Mexico for the first time, or if you just want to really get a feel for what Puerto Vallarta and Mexican culture is like, we suggest Old Town.

If you aren’t a big beach person and you don’t necessarily care to be in a downtown area, or just don’t want to be in the middle of all of the action, Marina Vallarta may be a better fit. Marina Vallarta is a little more expensive in terms of shopping and eating out, but I would imagine that to be the case in marinas across the globe.

In our opinion (we are wrong sometimes), Old Town feels a lot more lively and active and Marina Vallarta, though it has plenty of bars and restaurants, feels like it is suited to a much quieter crowd.

Now that we have spent plenty of time in Puerto Vallarta we can appreciate going to Marina Vallarta and getting a feel for what it is like. I could easily see us living in an area like when we are older and if we had a car that allowed us to more easily get around the city (I know, I know, the buses and taxis run there too).

Hopefully this gave you a little insight into which area of Puerto Vallarta may be better for you. There is no one part that is the BEST, it just #really depends on what you are looking for.

If this didn’t answer any questions you had, check out the video above at the 11:41 mark. If that still doesn’t do it for you, feel free to shoot us an email at

Where Did We Eat

Ah, you just wanted to know where we ate. I don’t blame you!

We had dinner at La Terraza Di Roma. The food was excellent, the service was exceptional, and the views were impeccable.

Greg ordered the lasagna and Hillary ordered the four cheese pasta. We would both recommend ordering those dishes again. However, the pizza smelled SO good that we might consider ordering a pizza next time just based on those smells!

The dinner cost 330 pesos before tip.


For dessert we went to La Federal Vallarta. We highly suggest ordering the Flaming Crepes (I don’t think that’s the actual name, but there is only one crepe dish on the dessert menu so you can’t miss it). We have had a lot of crepes, but that one may have been one of the best we have ever had.

Two desserts cost us just under 200 pesos. Well worth it.

If you are in the Marina area and you want to grab dessert, sip on a nice drink, catch a soccer game, or all three, we highly recommend visiting La Federal Vallarta!

Hopefully this information was helpful to you in some way. If it was, leave a comment below and let us know who you are! We love connecting with people:)


Keep it Kinetic,

Greg and Hillary

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