Marina Vallarta began with a dream of creating a new level of life on Banderas Bay where sailboats, yachts and fishing craft count on a safe harbor. Life lived on the water allows a particular point of view. Banderas Bay, protected not only by its natural curve but also by Cabo Corrientes to the south, the Sierra Madre to the west and the north, affords not only protection but breathtaking views in any direction. The Martínez Güitrón brothers from Guadalajara started building Marina Vallarta in the eighties based on a designed community including residential sites, a shopping mall, a school, condominiums, first-class hotels with landscaping throughout. Work on the marina itself with 450 boat slips began in 1986 and by 1990 the marina was in full swing even though it was 1993 before it was completed ahead of schedule.
Relying on local brokers as well as local resident, I’ve put together a list of advantages and disadvantages.
- Quiet, beautiful landscaped surroundings
- Variety of new residences available in wide price range
- Close proximity to marina, golf course, shopping at two plazas, American School, Ameri-Med, international airport, restaurants, galleries
- Some beachfront properties available as well as on golf course
- Decent transportation to downtown
- Good outdoor areas for running, access to gyms, spas with modern facilities
- Access funnels through Plaza Neptuno entrance, exit
- Concurrent construction in area
- Primarily non-Mexican in flavor
- Standing water can allow mosquitoes to multiply
Availability in Marina Vallarta has increased manifold in the last few years. Reasonably priced family residences such as Villas Fairway, right on the golf course, and Boccanera, with access to the ocean, opened up a new possibility of security to many families. In the mid- to high-range is Portobello with handsome options for full-time residency or rental investment property. On the high end, the still under-construction Shangri-La towers allow the highest level of finishings yet available in the area.
This is one of the comfortable areas with a number of single-family dwellings, primarily located on or around the golf course. Streets are winding, lawns are well-kept and sidewalks line most of the lanes. An easy-access allows walking, driving or bicycling to the nearby beach. Since the area is well established, trees are tall, providing a pleasant shade while gardens are lush and colorful. It’s an area that for many reasons continues to be popular for newcomers with families and retirees.
Activities are centered on the water, with the world-class marina of 555 slips, available for seasonal or year-round mooring. Fishing charters are available for those who don’t own their craft or left it moored at home. Sailboat outings take you quickly across the bay to Los Arcos, a rock formation south of downtown with scuba diving or snorkeling, or in the other direction towards Punta de Mita where the Marietas Islands offer even better diving. Close proximity to water tours allows easy access to the whaling activity during the winter season.
If you’re land-centric, the golf course will keep you occupied with your feet well-planted on cushy, green grass. Watch for crocodiles that populate the water traps, even though your caddy is well-trained to respect the creatures. Birds and other winged wonders fly overhead and into the trees.
At night, there’s nothing more pleasant than walking along the malecón of the marina. Yachts and sailboats lazily rest in the slips while the water reflects the lights of the shops and restaurants along the promenade. Check out the view from the top of the lighthouse, one of the marina landmarks. From up high, you can see the sea on one side and the mountains on the other with the city nestled along the curved shoreline. Have a drink and enjoy the sunset from on top of the world.