Greenest Convention Center

The only convention center in the world located adjacent to a Natural Protected Ecological Area, with resources from the rental of the center supporting the protected area?

The Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center. (And congratulations on making it this far into the website! For those unaware, this online exclusive was teased in the Issue 1, 2013 printed version for FORWARD Florida.)

The Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center, located in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, provides a state-of-the-art facility for conventions and exhibitions. With an investment estimated at $43 million, the center occupies 42 acres that are roughly a five-minute drive from Puerto Vallarta’s international airport and close to the city’s major hotels and historic downtown area. The center offers more than 105,000 square feet of flexible meeting and exhibition space. Gran Salon Vallarta, the center’s main meeting hall, contains close to 54,000 square feet of space and can be subdivided into eight fully equipped, sound proofed rooms.

Mostly, though, the convention center stands out because of this: El Salado Sanctuary, an immersed urban mangrove ecosystem.

In July 2000, El Salado Sanctuary was decreed a Natural Protected Ecological Area. Its estuary flows into the ocean and generates nutrients that feed the flora and fauna of the Banderas Bay. It has three of the five species of mangroves in Mexico. Also, it has 16 species of tropical forest, four species of thorn forest, and 15 species of aquatic and semi-aquatic vegetation. Biologists have identified 10 species of birds, 30 species of mammals, and 30 species of amphibians and reptiles, including the River Crocodile, considered under special protection in Mexico. Additionally, a large variety of invertebrates and fishes use El Salado as their natural habitat.

And convention center funds are used to maintain the preservation and conservation of these wetlands and their flora and fauna.

Picturesque Puerto Vallarta, by the way, lies on the Western Pacific coast of Mexico, where the lush Sierra Madre Mountain range meets the Banderas Bay.