AAA Editor Notes
El Centro encompasses the area inland from the malecón and n. of the Río Cuale. Puerto Vallarta's old downtown core is a delightful contrast to the newer resort development that has spread both north and south along the beaches. An irregular grid of narrow streets, lined with whitewashed stucco buildings with red-tiled roofs, extends some 6 blocks up into the hills above the bay. The cobblestone streets, full of little shops and offering vistas of lush green hills tumbling down to the bay, are a pleasure to stroll (wear comfortable shoes). Street names are denoted on Mexican tiles on the sides of buildings.
El Centro exudes charm despite sputtering taxicabs, aggressive bus drivers and occasional construction; such sights as the odd donkey clopping along the cobblestones are a flashback to a more prosaic Mexico.