The oldest archaeological remains that have been found in Puerto Vallarta, to date, they come from the site called La Pedrera on Costa Rica Street, in the Lázaro Cárdenas neighborhood. It is probable that the first settlements were established around the year 300 a. C. in the Middle Preclassic. A thousand years later the people of Aztatlán arrived in the Early Classic Post and were finally inhabited by groups of the Banderas culture in the Late Classic Post. This culture was what the Spaniards found when they arrived in the valley.
Lieutenant Lázaro Blanco says, in his Compostela Relationship, written in 1584, that the natives called this valley "Xihutla" which means "place where the grass grows". Captain Francisco Cortés de San Buenaventura was the conqueror of this region. The chroniclers narrate that when he arrived at the town of Tintoque, more than twenty thousand armed Indians were waiting for him at the entrance and carrying a small feather flag in his hand and another in the cricket. The Spaniards had four royal banners and one red damask with an image of La Purisima in front and a cross in the back. Seeing so many enemies, the friar who came with them knelt to ask for divine help and immediately the banner of Damascus was filled with flashes of courage in the soldiers and fear in the Indians, who surrendered leaving their father's feet behind. flags and their weapons. This happened in March 1525, and that is why the Spaniards gave the valley the name of Banderas and that is what it is called until today. gay tourism in vallarta.
Puerto Vallarta, formerly called Las Peñas, Peñitas and, probably, in more distant years El Carrizal, was founded in the independent period, on December 12, 1851, by Guadalupe Sánchez Torres, his wife Ambrosia Carrillo and some friends such as Cenobio Joya, Apolonio de Robles, Cleofas Peña and Martín Andrade, among others, who gave the name of Las Peñas de Santa María de Guadalupe for being that day dedicated to the Virgin. On October 31, 1886, Las Peñas, of the municipality of Talpa, was established by the political and judicial order, by Decree No. 210 of the H. Congreso del Estado. By decree number 305 of the H. Congreso del Estado, of May 2, 1888, the Las Peñas police station is annexed to the municipality of San Sebastián.
On May 31, 1918, the police station of Las Peñas is elevated to the category of Municipality by decree number 1889 of the H. Congress of the State. When changing the political category, the Las Peñas police station received the name of the municipality of Puerto Vallarta, in honor of Mr. Ignacio L. Vallarta, a notable jurist from Jalisco and former governor of the state. This change was made at the request of the deputy Dr. Marcos Guzmán. The decree referred to was published on June 5, 1918. On May 31, 1968, the town of Puerto Vallarta is elevated to the category of city by decree number 8366 of the H. State Congress, when celebrating its fiftieth anniversary as a municipality. Currently the city of Puerto Vallarta is still the municipal seat.