Before the Spaniards the people who lived closest to this region
were the “coca tribes (Cuyutecos).” When Francisco Cortes de San
Buenaventura in 1520 “confronted” them in a valley, these local
tribes came armed with “arches, truncheons and spears,” each man
bearing “a color feather flag in hand.” Thus the Bay received its
name, after the Valley of the Flags (Valle de Banderas).
Photo essay: How Puerto Vallarta came about