The oldest archaeological remains that have been found in Puerto Vallarta, to date, come from the site called La Pedrera on Costa Rica Street, in the Lázaro Cárdenas neighborhood. It is likely that the first settlements were established around 300 BC 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.
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 formed 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 was annexed to the municipality of San Sebastián.
On May 31, 1918, Las Peñas is elevated to the category of Municipality by decree number 1889 of the H. Congress of the State. When changing the status, Las Peñas received the name of the municipality of Puerto Vallarta, in honor of Mr. Ignacio L. Vallarta, a notable Jalisco lawmaker 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 was elevated to the category of a 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.
|1851||December 12. Official date of the establishment of the first settlers at the mouth of the Real or Cuale River, which they gave the name of Las Peñas|
|1854||July 17. The mining company La Unión in Cuale was founded in Guadalajara, Jalisco, which acquired the lands that ranged from the Cuale mines to where the Las Peñas ranch was located.|
|1869||December 16. The state deputies, Guzmán, Garibay and Alas, request the General Government to enable the port of Las Peñas for maritime trade of height and cabotage.|
|1874||Admiral George Dewey of the North American Navy, reports that “At the mouth of a stream called Rio Real, is the town of Peñas where the boats come to load” Palo de Tinte “(brazil).|
|1884||October 30. The 7th Canton, Tepic, is declared Territory, Las Peñas remaining within its limits. The energetic protest of Governor Tolentino, managed the return of the port.|
|1886||October 31. It is erected in the Political and Judicial Order Las Peñas, municipality of Talpa by decree number 210 of the H. State Congress.|
|1887||January 28. The Civil Registry is established in Las Peñas.|
|1888||May 2. Las Peñas Police Station is annexed to the municipality of San Sebastián by means of decree number 305 of the H. Congreso del Estado.|
|1895||April 29. Dr. Ignacio Díaz Macedo, Bishop of Tepic, grants authorization to build the church of Las Peñas.|
|1899||June. The North American Alfred W. Geist acquires 90% of the shares of the company La Union in Cuale, being in his hands the control of the mines and the lands where the police station of Las Peñas was based.|
|1902||December 31. The lighthouse of Cabo Corrientes is inaugurated, which for many years was the most powerful of the Mexican coasts. The original lantern is still in use at Cabo Falso, Baja California.|
|1914||January 11. The rebels arrive at Las Peñas firing their rifles and cheering Madero. The neighbors had to flee and the bandits sacked the town.|
|1914||March 15. The Postal Office opens in the house of Mr. Francisco Guevara, and on September 26, the Telegraph Office.|
|1918||May 31. The police station of Las Peñas is elevated to the category of municipality by decree number 1889 of the H. Congress of the State, with the name of Puerto Vallarta, and the port is declared of height.|
|1921||October 12. The Vicaría de Las Peñas stands in Parish.|
|1924||May 10. Puerto Vallarta is once again declared a coastal port.|
|1925||October 24. Puerto Vallarta is hit by a hurricane that caused serious damage to the port and its surroundings. The Montgomery Fruit Co. is established in Ixtapa.|
|1927||The first Cristero uprising broke out in the port, led by Mr. Benigno Verduzco and Father Francisco Ayala.|
|1930||November 11. The public electric power service is inaugurated.|
|1931||January 1. Vallarta is declared a high-altitude port. On December 3, the first plane that was piloted by Charles Vaughan, who was nicknamed Pancho Pistolas, arrived at the port.|
|1932||August 15. The leading lights of the port “Los Faros” of the Malecón and Matamoros Street are inaugurated.|
|1933||January first, Vallarta is once again declared a port of cabotage.|
|1939||As the municipal president, Mr. Rodolfo Gómez, the first pumping system and tanks were installed to provide the population with piped water.|
|1942||September 2. The new landing strip built next to the Vena de Santa María is inaugurated. The Fierro brothers resume flights between the port and Guadalajara.|
|1944||November. The Compostela-Puerto Vallarta gap is opened by the Governor of the State of Nayarit, Candelario Miramontes and the President of Compostela, Salvador Gutiérrez.|
|1951||December 12. With great festivities the First Centenary of the foundation of the port is celebrated.|
|1954||November 1. The Mexican Aviation Company begins operations.|
|1956||June 4. State Governor Agustín Yáñez and Dr. Manuel Baumgarten inaugurate the Pet-Puerto Vallarta gap.|
|1962||The new air terminal near the El Salado estuary is inaugurated.|
|1963||The filming of the movie “La Noche de la Iguana” attracts dozens of journalists who through their articles make known to Vallarta around the world.|
|1968||May 31. The town of Puerto Vallarta is elevated to the category of city according to the decree number 8366 of the H. Congress of the State, and port of height.|
|1969||February 16. The domestic telephone and long distance telephone service in the port is inaugurated.|
|1970||August 20-21. The interview of Presidents Gustavo Díaz Ordaz of Mexico and Richard M. Nixon of the United States is held in this city to solve the Chamizal problem.|
|1970||November 18. President Díaz Ordaz decrees the expropriation of 1026 hectares of the Puerto Vallarta ejido to regularize land tenure.|
|1971||The heavy rains caused by Hurricane Lilly, caused great material damage in the municipal head and its surroundings.|
|1973||By decree of President Luis Echeverria Trust Puerto Vallarta, which is responsible for the legalization of land formerly belonging to the ejido was founded. The proceeds of its sale would be used to do work for the good of the community, such as streets, electrification, drinking water, drainage and sewerage.|
|1976||December 28. The Democratic Civic Coalition, José López Portillo, peacefully takes the municipal palace to prevent the mayor, Eugenio Torres R., from taking office.|
|1981||July 10. The president of the republic, José López Portillo, presents the mayor Rafael González Pimienta with the new building of the municipal presidency.|
|1992||Due to heavy rains, the Mascota and Ameca rivers overflowed, leaving more than 400 victims and devastating crops. The bridge of the Desembocada collapsed and that of the Ameca River cracked.|
|1994||May 23. The International Whaling Commission, had its forty-sixth convention in this port.|
|1995||February 12. For the first time in the history of the port the election for municipal president wins an opposition candidate; Mr. Fernando González Corona of the PAN.|
|1995||October 9. A tremor of 7.5 on the Richter scale shook the city at 9:36. The longest movement lasted one minute and 15 seconds. The crown that topped the church tower collapsed and several hotels in the north suffered extensive damage.|