The popularity of the beach towns along the Pacific coast of Mexico as tourist and retirement destinations occurred for 4 main reasons:
1. The Mexican government resolved century old property disputes involving the status of communal land. The communal status had stifled development in the town.
2. American director John Huston filmed The Night of the Iguana in Mismaloya. During the filming, the US media gave extensive coverage to Elizabeth Taylor’s extramarital affair with Richard Burton as well as covering the frequent fighting between Huston and the film's four stars. The subsequent publicity helped put Mexico’s Pacific coast on the map for North Americans.
3. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Mexican government invested in the development of highways, airport and utility infrastructure, all along the coast making it easily accessible both by air and ground transportation for the first time. The area’s first tourist boom occurred in the late 1960s and early 1970s because of this work.
4. In 1993 the federal Agrarian Law was amended allowing for more secure foreign tenure of former ejido land. Those controlling ejido land were allowed to petition for regularization, a process that converted their controlling interest into fee simple ownership. This meant that the property could be sold, and it led to a boom in the development of private residences, mostly condominiums, and a new phase of expansion began, centered more on accommodating retirees and those who visited the area enough to make purchasing a condominium a cost-effective option.