Puerto Vallarta & The Night of the Iguana
Before Puerto Vallarta was a world-renowned beach destination, it was nothing more than a small, sleepy fishing village. Yes, PV was a quiet town that was put on the map thanks to a US producer and filmmaker, John Huston, who loved Puerto Vallarta and created the film that gave PV its international fame: The Night of the Iguana, originally by Tennessee Williams.
It was 1964 when John Houston arrived in Puerto Vallarta with all his production team for the filming of Night of the Iguana. Richard Burton who was to star in the leading role, was at that moment in a romantic affair with the beautiful Hollywood actress, Elizabeth Taylor.
This love affair gave the press a reason to make the trek to the remote location of Puerto Vallarta with the intent of getting the best photos of John Huston and Elizabeth Taylor. This huge publicity in the 60's placed the small town in the eyes of the world!
The Night of the Iguana was set on the beach in Mismaloya, located a few kilometers south of downtown Puerto Vallarta. You can see the tiny dirt roads and natural beauty from the moment the movie begins. Many of the Vallarta locals witnessed those exciting days and remember them with great pride.
If you choose Puerto Vallarta as your next vacation destination, you should give yourself time to tour the downtown area and discover the idyllic movie locations. Like the street where the Bridge of Love is located. It’s a small white bridge that connects two houses on Ignacio Zaragoza street in the city center. It’s said that Richard Burton lived on one side and his beloved, Elizabeth Taylor, decided to buy the house that was in front of this, now known as Casa Kimberly, to avoid having to cross the street to see each other and to have easy access to Richard's house. Together they built this little bridge that is now an icon in the history of Puerto Vallarta.
If you want to discover the Puerto Vallarta of the 60s and enjoy a Hollywood cinematographic jewel, get comfortable and enjoy The Night of the Iguana. You’ll discover Puerto Vallarta in a new way and realize that this favored Mexican destination has been a beauty for many many years – and many years to come.
Photo: Triunfo Arciniegas