Once a sleepy village, the resort city of Puerto Vallarta was transformed almost overnight in the 1960s, when Hollywood superstars Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor traveled to the area, bringing the international press with them. Since then, the city has drawn a steady stream of beach-loving tourists. However, it’s not just the beaches that draw the crowds, but the vibrant nightlife too. Here are the best bars to check out in Puerto Vallarta.
This salsa venue forms part of a chain of Cuban-themed bars that is linked to the famous Havana venue which was a favorite of jazz singer Nat King Cole and the late Chilean president Salvador Allende. Step inside to enjoy salsa dancing, first-rate mojitos and live music every day from 9 p.m.
This beachside bar and seafood restaurant is a spacious venue located at Olas Altas Beach. A welcoming, unpretentious watering hole, Burros also has a decent menu, with simple Mexican food and seafood. A great place to enjoy a few cold drinks with the waves lapping just a stone’s throw from your feet.
In recent years, mezcal has been grabbing the international spotlight, and Bar Morelos is one of the best places to sample tequila’s smoky hipster cousin. The stylish venue offers an extensive range of mezcal cocktails, with welcoming, helpful staff on hand to offer advice to patrons. A large bar, but with a loyal base of regulars, it’s worth heading to Bar Morelos early because it does fill quickly.
This stylish venue has earned legendary status in Puerto Vallarta, combining a beautiful setting with a well-crafted drinks list. The Twisted Palms is best known for its incredible martinis, which are prepared by a team of welcoming, knowledgeable mixologists. Yet it’s not just the drinks that make this a special place, the rooftop terrace offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and ocean.
Set in Puerto Vallarta’s gay-friendly Zona Romántica, Los Amigos is an inclusive bar situated in a colorful, brightly-lit cantina. The bar also boasts an impressive and very affordable drinks list. Popular with locals and tourists alike, the bar is noted for its fun, laid-back vibe.
Both sports fans and drinks fans will love the Devil’s Bar & Grill, a fun, friendly venue on Puerto Vallarta’s iconic boardwalk. Owned by American couple Alan and Melinda James, the bar offers some of the best margaritas and micheladas in town. With multiple TV screens, this is a great place to watch sports while enjoying an ice-cold drink.
In recent years, there has been an explosion of interest in microbreweries and craft beers in Mexico, and Los Muertos Brewing is the best option for beer connoisseurs in Puerto Vallarta. Set smack bang in the center of the Old Town, Los Muertos has an extensive collection of beers and a fun, relaxing vibe. The waiting staff are both enthusiastic and knowledgeable, so will happily guide newcomers through the drinks menu.
This elegant cocktail bar offers a wide range of delicious, freshly-made cocktails, which are served in the mason jars that have become a regular fixture in trendy joints from New York to Sydney. The house special, La Playa, is particularly worth sampling, and the staff are always helpful and attentive.
This thrilling dive bar surely has the liveliest and most inebriated clientele on this list. A great choice for live music lovers, the Roxy Rock House is widely regarded as the city’s best venue for rock and reggae. The party typically starts around midnight, although bear in mind that talking can be tricky in such a loud venue.
Never too far from the top of any local’s recommendation list, Piano Bar & Jazz Garbo is a gay-friendly venue with excellent live music acts that play from 10 p.m. With stylish décor and even more stylishly-dressed regulars, the bar has a sophisticated vibe and is one of the best places to enjoy live music while sipping a well-made martini.