Banderas Bay

Interesting Facts about Banderas Bay

Banderas Bay is one of the most stunning and desirable vacation spots in Mexico, and there is no doubt that Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit provides the best base from which to sample all the delights of this region. If you read on you’ll find out some really interesting facts about Banderas Bay with which to impress your friends when you get together again.

Los Muertos Beach

Los Muertos beach is one of the most beloved beaches around Banderas Bay, but many people are a little put off when they realise that the name translates, literally, to The Beach of the Dead. Legend has it that, centuries ago, locals fought off a pirate raid on this beach, and did so with such ferocity that many pirates died on the sands. If you talk to locals in the bars they’ll happily tell you about how many skeletons were found when the first hotels were being built on the beach! Nonetheless, any party you have here is sure to be lively so don’t give Los Muertos the swerve!

Banderas Bay

Banderas Bay is the biggest bay in Mexico, but it’s also one of the deepest and largest bays in the world as a whole! Sitting at over 900 meters it is practically fathomless, and at 42 kilometres wide it is in amongst the 10 largest in the world. The name Banderas, too, has significance as it is based on the Spanish word for flag! It is said that the Spanish Conquistadores, upon arrival, faced 20,000 armed natives with feathered flags, ready to defend their territory!

Las Peñas

The town of Puerto Vallarta, that sites at the heart of Banderas Bay, used to be called Las Peñas, in the 1800s, but was renamed after state governor Ignacio Vallarta in the 1900s.

Source of Income

Today, Puerto Vallarta’s 9 billion peso economy is based most upon tourism and the service industry, but before it became such a hotspot the town was a fishing centre. In those days the main source of revenue for Puerto Vallarta was the export of Corn, Coconuts, Beans, and Bananas to the USA (and, of course, feeding the local market).

The Movie Industry

Many famous faces have graced the shores of Banderas Bay for business and pleasure, and Puerto Vallarta, arguably, became what it is today because of one special movie. The Night of the Iguana, starring Richard Burton, put Puerto Vallarta on the map and the romance of Burton and Elizabeth Taylor made it infamous! This is, arguably, why so many big budget films (like 2011’s Limitless) have been filmed here since. These sands have seen the likes of Robert De Niro and Arnold Schwarzenegger!


In the 1880s Puerto Vallarta had a population of around 1,500 people; today there are over 300, 000 inhabitants in Puerto Vallarta. The population boom was sudden and exponential. In the last 20 years the population has grown by a staggering average of 7.5% each year!

Mariachi Music

If you’ve been to Mexico before you’ll know that this is a culture which loves to party, and mariachi music is a key part of this! The state of Jalisco, where you can find Banderas Bay and Puerto Vallarta, is the epicentre of mariachi and in Puerto Vallarta alone you will find dozens of talented groups. There’s even a kids mariachi band in the city!

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