Puerto Vallarta is a popular tourist destination known for its stunning beaches, friendly people and delicious cuisine. If you are one of those travelers who’ve ever wondered how do you say “Puerto Vallarta,” you’re not alone. But fear not, because in this article, I’m going to help you pronounce it the right way. I understand first hand just how difficult some Spanish words can be to pronounce.
If you didn’t know by now, I’ve been traveling to Mexico since I was 15. After a getting lost on the Mexico City metro on my very first trip to Mexico – which by the way was a Spanish class field trip – I vowed then and there to properly learn Spanish. And I did. So, I get it. I’ve been right where you are, struggling to learn the correct way to say things in Spanish.
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How Do You Say Puerto Vallarta?
Mispronouncing places is a common occurrence, and Puerto Vallarta is no exception. Many non-Spanish speakers tend to mispronounce “Puerto Vallarta” by stressing the wrong syllables or misplacing the emphasis. Some of the common mispronunciations include “Pewer-toh Val-lar-ta,” “Porto Vallarta,” and “Poo-air-to Vah-larta.”
The correct pronunciation of “Puerto Vallarta” is “Pwehr-toh Vah-yar-ta.” Make sure you emphasize the “o” in “Pwehr-toh” and the “a” in “Vah-yar-ta”. The double “l” in Vallarta is what’s called a digraph. That means it’s a combination of two letters representing a single sound. In this case the double “l” has a “y” sound similar to the word yarn in English without the “n”.
By the way, Puerto Vallarta in English means literally Port of Vallarta. The Vallarta part comes from the last name of a former governor of the Mexican state of Jalisco, where Puerto Vallarta is located. You might also hear it referred to as simply Vallarta, PV and one that drives me crazy PVR, which is the airport code for the Aeropuerto Internacional Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, in the city.
Why Learn to Pronounce Puerto Vallarta Correctly
Possibly you’re thinking well, what does it matter how I say Puerto Vallarta? And you’re right. Maybe it’s not that important when you’re in your home country talking with friends. But learning the correct way to say Spanish words is kind of important when you’re in Mexico. Pronouncing “Puerto Vallarta” the right way is not only crucial for blending in but it also for shows respect for the local culture.
Language is an identifier and an essential aspect of any culture. So, by making an effort to pronounce places correctly, you are displaying cultural sensitivity and appreciation. That makes you a better traveler. It can also enhance your overall travel experience, as locals are more likely to engage with you when they see that you’ve taken the time to learn their language.
Tips to Improve Pronunciation of Puerto Vallarta
When you’re learning a language, improving your pronunciation takes practice, but with dedication and the right techniques, you can speak better Spanish in no time and that way you won’t have to wonder how do you say Puerto Vallarta. Here are some tips to help you improve your pronunciation of Puerto Vallarta and other Spanish words:
Listen and imitate: One of the best ways to improve your pronunciation is by actively listening to native speakers and imitating their pronunciation. Pay attention to the sounds they make and try to replicate them.
Break it down: Break down the word into individual syllables and practice pronouncing each one separately. This will help you focus on the correct pronunciation of each syllable and improve your overall pronunciation. The best thing about learning Spanish is that once you have learned the sounds, that’s it. There’s no crazy changes and weird rules like in English.
Practice with a language partner: Find a language partner or a native speaker who can help you practice your pronunciation. They can provide feedback and correct any mistakes you may be making. This point is key because if you don’t practice and use it when you’re learning, you’ll forget it.
Utilize language learning apps: Apps like Duolingo, Babbel, and Rosetta Stone offer pronunciation exercises and feedback to help you improve your pronunciation. Plus, you can set reminders to practice every day and reach your goal.
Language exchange websites: Websites like Tandem and HelloTalk connect language learners with native speakers for language exchange purposes. This can be a great way to practice your pronunciation with a native speaker. I personally have not used these programs but I can see how it would be beneficial once you are back home and want to continue to practice with a real person.
Online pronunciation guides: There are various online pronunciation guides available that provide audio examples and guides for pronouncing specific words and phrases. Just like this one on You Tube that gives some different examples of how to say Puerto Vallarta.
Other Helpful Spanish Travel Words to Know
Besides the correct pronunciation of the place you’re actually visiting, learning just a bit of travel Spanish goes a long way in helping you to maneuver the cultural differences, get what you want the first time and possibly even make a friend or get a date – if that’s something you want to do – because you’ll actually be able to talk to locals. Here’s a few helpful words to know.
- Hola – hello
- Que tal? – how’s it going?
- Buenos días – good morning
- Buenas tardes – good afternoon
- Buenas noches – good evening
- Gracias – thank you
- Por favor – please
- El baño – the bathroom
- La mujere – women
- El hombre – men
- El restaurante – restaurant
- El menu – menu
- El agua – water
- El agua mineral – mineral water
- La cerveza – beer
- El pollo – chicken
- La carne – meat
- El pastor – pork meat
- El pescado – fish
- Soy vegetariano/a – I’m a vegetarian
- No como carne – I don’t eat meat
- La cuenta, por favor – the bill, please
- Un taxi, por favor – a taxi, please
- Cuánto cuesta? – How much does it cost?
- Efectivo – cash
- Dónde está…?” – Where is…?
- La izquierda – left
- La derecha – right
- Adelante – straight ahead
- Atrás – behind
- Que hora es? – What time is it?
- La estación de autobús – bus station
- La parada de bus – bus stop
- El aeropuerto – the airport
- El avión – the airplane
- El boleto – the ticket
- La tarjeta de embarque – boarding pass
- La bolsa – bag
- La maleta – suitcase
- Ayuda – help
- La policía – the police
- Necesito un médico – I need a doctor
- El hospital” – hospital
- La farmacia – pharmacy
- El medicamento – the medicine
- El bolso – bag
- La maleta – suitcase
- Cómo te llamas? – What’s your name?
- De dónde es? – Where are you from?
- Quiere bailar? – Would you like to dance?
Southerner Says: There might be different words or phrases for these words in other Spanish speaking countries but the ones noted here are most common in Mexico.
Of course, a translation app can also be super helpful as well. I’m not the biggest fan of Google Translate but it can come in handy in a pinch. I personally prefer Spanish Dictionary and it also has a downloadable app. It’s useful as well as these other 5 essential apps for traveling in Mexico.
Also, don’t underestimate the usefulness of a good old paper dictionary, especially if you are someone that likes to wander around sans phone or doesn’t want to use data while traveling. This one is fairly small and perfect for beginners. You can always put something in the cover so no one knows it’s a dictionary if you find it embarrassing to carry around.
Traveling to Puerto Vallarta soon? Then you might enjoy these articles too.
- What’s the Best Area to Stay in Puerto Vallarta?
- Easy Day Trips From Puerto Vallarta
- Best Restaurants Where to Eat in Puerto Vallarta
- How to Take an Islas Marietas Tour
How Do You Say Puerto Vallarta Conclusion
Mastering the pronunciation of “Puerto Vallarta” and other place names can be a rewarding experience. By trying to speak like a local, you not only show respect for Mexican culture but also enhance your overall travel experience.
The next time you’re wondering how do you say Puerto Vallarta correctly, remember to take your time, practice regularly and seek guidance from native speakers or language resources. Then, the next time you find yourself in Puerto Vallarta, confidently pronounce it as “Pwehr-toh Vah-yar-ta” and immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture. ¡Buena suerte! (Good luck!)
See you on the road!