Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Can it really be 50 years since Night of the Iguana was filmed and Puerto Vallarta woke up to be a world known place for Hollywood and the jetset to hangout and party? Where did the time go? The amazing thing is that if you were here then and now you would still recognize the details that made the world fall in love with Puerto Vallarta.
The story I know behind the movie, was that a young Architect with a dream came to Puerto Vallarta and fell in love with the amazing setting of the small village set between the jungle covered Sierra Madre mountains and the blue Pacific Ocean. He moved his wife and children to Puerto Vallarta and came up with an amazing plan to attract Tourism and investors. He went to the United States, to Hollywood to be specific and somehow got a meeting with John Houston the director and convinced him to come to Puerto Vallarta. That man was Guillermo Wulff and his family still live in Puerto Vallarta and his name is on many of the homes.
The rest is history – John Huston also fell in love with Puerto Vallarta and I have never heard if he already wanted to make the Night of the Iguana or he decided to make the movie because it could be done in Puerto Vallarta but here we are. There is a highway to the location of the set at Mismaloya, back then they took a ponga (a small outboard motor boat) to Mismaloya from Los Muertos beach near the Pier in front of what is now La Palapa restaurant.
For many years after Puerto Vallarta was a popular place to film movies and a few TV programs. So the locals are still not impressed to see Arnold Schwartznager, Kevin Costner from Revenge the movie, very different from the TV show Revenge but surprisingly the lead female role is the same actress Madeline Stowe. When I saw these actors making a movie here I compared it to the experience of the cast of Night of the Iguana.
From the article in Banderas News – If ever a movie transformed a town, Night of the Iguana was the one that turned Puerto Vallarta from an anonymous fishing hamlet into a magnet for tourists and a regular stop for luxury liners sailing the Mexican Riviera.
Fifty years ago, when John Huston filmed Night of the Iguana with Richard Burton and Ava Gardner in a picturesque cove just south of town called Mismaloya, Puerto Vallarta was just a sleepy little fishing village on Mexico’s Pacific Coast.
But Liz Taylor came to keep an eye on her lover Richard Burton while he was filming with the voluptuous Ava Gardner. The publicity buzz about Burton and Liz’s torrid affair and the movie put Puerto Vallarta on the tourist – and the paparazzi’s – map.
When the director arrived (legend claims his plane skimmed the runway several times, before managing to shoo cows off the landing strip,) the rustic fishing village had just 12,500 inhabitants. Today, (according to the 2010 census,) Puerto Vallarta is a world-class vacation destination with a population of 255,725, (making it the 2nd largest city in the state of Jalisco,) and tourism accounts for 50% of the city’s economic activity.
To celebrate the impact that the making of this film has made on our city, the Centro Universitario de la Costa in Puerto Vallarta (CUC), in conjunction with private citizens and governmental authorities, will present a series of conferences, lectures, and film screenings, as well as photo, audio, and video exhibitions relating to the 1963 filming of the movie from November 25 through 29, 2013.
Some of the Night of the Iguana Tribute events scheduled to take place include:
• A variety of movies starring the main protagonists of the film (John Huston, Richard Burton, Liz Tylor, Deborah Kerr, Gabriel Figueroa, Ava Gardner, Sue Lyon, and Emolio "El Indio" Fernández) will be shown at mini-auditoriums set up on the CUCosta campus, as well as at Los Arcos Amphitheater, and the Cuale Cultural Center.
• William Vaidovits, Jorge Sánchez, Ernesto Rodriguez, Ivan Trujillo, David Martin del Campo and Pavel Cortés will hold roundtable discussions on the film and its cultural and historical significance at Biblioteca Los Mangos.
• A Talk / Coffee with Nelly Wulff, Jan Lavender, Laura Quiroz, Luis Reyes Brambila, Marcella Lepe, and Sergio Toledano – Vallartenses who witnessed the filming of the movie and its aftermath will be held at Biblioteca Los Mangos.
• Since John Huston is a legend and Puerto Vallarta is honored to be part of his past, a ‘John Huston International Film and Literature Chair’ will be created at the CUC.
Regardless of its artistic and entertainment value, one of the most remarkable features of "Night of the Iguana" is its journalism. The movie does an extraordinary job of capturing sense of place. The jungle, beaches, tropical heat and humidity, and the blend of outsiders and locals are all very accurately represented. Shot 50 years ago, the film is an invaluable peek back in time at Puerto Vallarta and its surrounding areas.
There are still some options for a great vacation rental villa in Puerto Vallarta for March and spring of 2014. If you have never rented a private vacation villa before you will never want to stay in a hotel again. A luxury villa with staff offers all the service of a hotel with privacy, if you want music there is music, if you want to eat breakfast in your pajamas it is your house. For more information about renting a luxury villa or private home or assistance planning your vacation or next getaway or Mexican holiday please contact us at Beston Properties , we offer the finest Luxury Villa Vacation Rental Accommodations in the Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita area. We are one of the few luxury villa rental and vacation accomodations agencies actually located in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We offer personal concierge service and or selection of private rental homes and Condos offer a full range of services and luxury amenities from a full staff including chef and a concierge to organize any tours, spa services in the home or Car Rental. We have offices located in Puerto Vallarta and have all the local information from Vallarta weather and maps. All of their agents are personally familiar with each of the accommodations, amenities and staff to help you find the best rental property in Puerto Vallarta. Our concierge services will be happy to give you information on the best restaurants for dining out in Puerto Vallarta we can make reservations and give you directions. We have all the most current information to guide you for your holiday in Puerto Vallarta from our daily weather report to [googlemaps http://maps.google.com/&output=embed&s=AARTsJp56EajYksz3JXgNCwT3LJnGsqqAQ] … The concierge from Beston Properties is happy to arrange activities from Golfing, to zip lines and boat cruises with any tour company including Vallarta Adventures, one of the most popular companies in Banderas Bay. We represent the best quality of homes for rent by owners who care about your comfort and hope you return for many years of unforgettable Mexican holidays. For more information check out our luxury accommodations.
… The concierge from Beston Properties is happy to arrange activities from Golfing, to zip lines and boat cruises with any tour company including Vallarta Adventures, one of the most popular companies in Banderas Bay. We represent the best quality of homes for rent by owners who care about your comfort and hope you return for many years of unforgettable Mexican holidays. For more information check out our luxury accommodations.
Many travelers have never considered a private home for vacation accomodations, but the popularity is increasing and experts say it is at 10% of the potential for vacation rentals and growing fast. If you have never considered the advantages for the experience, quality of accomodations and value you should consider the option.
Puerto Vallarta has become a very popular destination in Mexico and is attracting more American investors from Starbucks Coffee opening a 2nd location in the historic Downtown, 4th in the area, to Bill Gates investing 320 million US dollars in the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, just a short drive from Puerto Vallarta. As well the Hyatt Hotel chain recently purchased the Dreams Hotel (previously known as the Camino Real Hotel) in Puerto Vallarta and is refurbishing it as a high end resort with a focus on family friendly travel called the Hyatt Ziva already a very successful all inclusive concept in Los Cabos, the Hyatt Los Cabo Ziva