Puerto Vallarta is a vacation spot that has been welcoming travellers for a few years, and it’s certainly one of our favorite locations to go to in Mexico. There are quite a few enjoyable issues to do in Puerto Vallarta — it has one thing for everybody.
Whether or not you’re a backpacker on a price range, a digital nomad in Mexico seeking to spend a month, a pair wanting a week-long trip, or an expat seeking to calm down, you’ll discover actions in Puerto Vallarta to maintain you busy.
Town is break up up into neighbourhoods (zones), with the limitless issues to do in Puerto Vallarta unfold out alongside Banderas Bay and past. In actuality, it doesn’t actually matter which a part of town you keep in, as getting round is simple.
You’ll, nevertheless, need to select your zone rigorously based mostly on the vibe you’re after and the price range you will have.
Right here’s my checklist of the highest 21 issues to do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Right here’s a fast rundown of the zones in Puerto Vallarta beginning on the airport and going south:
- Marina – extra upscale than the resort zone, with the Marriott Lodge, Westin & extra.
- Lodge Zone – only a few minutes drive from the airport, this space has many lodges, eating places, malls, a Walmart & Sams Membership.
- Centro (Outdated PV) – smaller properties, residential space, the Malecon (oceanfront promenade) runs alongside right here, many eating places and bars. This space is on the north facet of the River Cuale and affords inexpensive lodging.
- Centro (Romantic Zone) – positioned on the south facet of the River Cuale, you’ll discover quite a few bars, cafes, eating places and Playa Los Muertos Seaside. This can be a standard space with a big LGBTQ neighborhood. The lodging ranges from price range to high finish.
- Conchas Chinas – that means “Chinese language Shells” based mostly on the seashells discovered right here, it is a extra prosperous/posh space of Puerto Vallarta with gated communities and high-end condos.
Be taught extra about the place to remain in Puerto Vallarta with our lodging and neighbourhood information. And, for an entire rundown on travelling to town of PV, take a look at our detailed information right here.
1. Stroll…In every single place!
I’ve to place strolling as #1 on the checklist of issues to do in Puerto Vallarta. Exploring on foot is one of the best ways to get a really feel for town, and most areas of PV are reachable by strolling.
Mexico is already one of many most cost-effective international locations to journey to, however when you are able to do issues at no cost, like strolling and sightseeing, it can save you much more cash.
This can be a nice technique to see what the distributors are promoting, to folks watch, and get a lay of the land. You by no means know what you’ll stumble throughout when discovering town on foot — simply ensure that to put on good sneakers because the sidewalks and roads are very uneven.
Be aware: the finest time to journey to Mexico if you wish to stroll round cities can be within the winter months, or within the shoulder season. In any other case, it may be unbearably sizzling and also you’ll probably need to be on the seaside all day.
2. Be part of a Meals Tour
Do you know that Mexico’s delicacies has made the checklist of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO? This award hasn’t been granted to some other nationwide meals group.
Mexican meals is a lot greater than tacos and quesadillas and one of the best ways to study extra concerning the tasty delicacies is to hitch a tour. This can be a should do in Puerto Vallarta for foodies.
We’ve performed meals excursions all around the globe, and our favorite ones are in Mexico.
In Puerto Vallarta, take a look at Vallarta Meals Excursions. This firm affords a mixture of tradition, strolling, and meals excursions, making it an effective way to study concerning the metropolis of PV whereas concurrently feasting and dealing off the energy.
There are a couple of foodie excursions on provide with Vallarta Meals Excursions, however we went on the “Unique Downtown Tour“, which took us by way of the middle of PV on each side of the river. We ate quite a few dishes and tried some drinks as nicely. You may also be part of their night taco tour.
We extremely advocate this tour. Click on right here to study extra and examine out the video we made:
3. See Rhythms Of The Evening (probably the greatest issues to do in Puerto Vallarta)
For those who’re in search of a mini Cirque de Soleil-type cultural present and dinner expertise, then Rhythms of The Evening might be one thing you gained’t need to miss.
We noticed this efficiency and though we’re not huge followers of huge group excursions, this present was spectacular and value each penny. This is among the high excursions in Puerto Vallarta.
The night begins with a sundown cruise (together with an open bar) throughout Banderas Bay to Las Caletas, which is a gorgeous personal cove. While you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a fantastically lit space with tiki torches and candles.
You’ll then be proven to your seat within the outside auditorium, which is surrounded by palm bushes. The seats are all staggered, so although there are folks sitting in entrance of you, you’ll haven’t any points seeing the present.
The present depicts varied tales of the traditional Hispanic civilization and Mexican folklore. In the course of the efficiency, there’s dwell music, dancing, contortionists, fireplace twirlers, and extra.
Following the present, you’ll take pleasure in a big buffet dinner earlier than returning to Puerto Vallarta by boat.
For those who’re questioning what to do in Puerto Vallarta at night time, that is it. Don’t miss this present. Click on right here to study extra concerning the tour and to e book tickets.
⇒ See Additionally: Issues To Do in Mazatlan – 21 Experiences You Don’t Wish to Miss
4. Watch Sundown
There’s simply one thing concerning the sunsets on the Pacific Coast, and particularly, Puerto Vallarta. Among the finest sunsets we’ve ever seen have been from right here. Seize a drink and benefit from the present.
Nice viewing locations embody anyplace alongside the Malecon, up the hill behind the Church of Our Girl of Guadalupe, or from El Barracuda which is our favorite seaside bar.
As soon as the solar goes down, the occasion begins in PV — there are such a lot of bars and golf equipment, the nightlife in Puerto Vallarta is known. Benefit from the sundown, it’s probably the greatest free issues to do in Puerto Vallarta.
*Be aware: Puerto Escondido is one other epic Pacific Coast vacation spot for sunsets in Mexico. If in case you have an opportunity, attempt to go to there as nicely.
5. Loosen up on Playa las Gemelas
Surprisingly, nearly 20 minutes drive south of Puerto Vallarta, you’ll discover seashores that appear to be they need to be Cancun or Playa del Carmen moderately than the Pacific. I feel this is among the finest seashores in Mexico.
Playa las Gemelas has turquoise water and whitish sand. After we visited, there have been fairly a couple of waves, however no riptides or undertow, and the waves had been enjoyable to swim in.
Different guests have skilled utterly calm water right here, so it actually simply is determined by the climate and the time of 12 months.
There are simply 2 condominium complexes on the seaside and nothing else…not even any bogs. Carry a cooler full of beer, water, and snacks, and spend the day.
The stroll to the seaside is pretty steep and down some uneven steps, nevertheless it’s price it while you see the view.
To achieve right here, you’ll need to park at Condominios Girasol Sur (in entrance alongside the street). There isn’t any precise parking for the seaside, so that you’ll want to seek out some on the road, or within the few roadside spots in entrance of Girasol Sur Condos.
6. Be part of a Booze Tour (with a facet of meals)
For these of you who prefer to drink tequila – it’s Mexico, who doesn’t?! – this tour is for you.
Throughout our latest journey to Puerto Vallarta, we joined the extremely rated Mex-ology tour and loved a late afternoon of Mezcal, Tequila, Raicilla, craft beer, Kahlua espresso, and different handcrafted cocktails.
To go together with the booze, you’ll get some tasty meals to assist take in the alcohol.
The dishes we had had been full parts of fish tacos, meat tacos, seafood “enchiladas”, onion rings, crickets (sure, crickets!), and delectable dessert.
Not solely will you be having enjoyable, and feeling a bit tipsy by the top of it, however you’ll study so much concerning the traditions and creation of those alcoholic drinks.
We had a fantastic day with our information. A lot enjoyable the truth is, that she took us out for some late-night shenanigans the place the expats and locals prefer to hangout.
Click on right here to study extra concerning the Mex-ology Tequila, Tacos & Cocktails Tour, it’s probably the greatest issues to do in Puerto Vallarta.
7. Eat Contemporary Seafood
Whereas Mexico is certainly one of the most effective international locations on the planet for meals and there’s positively a Puerto Vallarta restaurant for everybody, generally it’s good to eat road (seaside) meals.
For those who’re an oyster lover, you’ll be glad to know you can get recent oysters on the seaside. Slightly below the bridge that crosses the River Cuale, you’ll see many distributors promoting these tasty morsels.
Plastic tables and chairs are arrange so you’ll be able to sit and revel in your plate of meals by the water, or you’ll be able to take them to go. Squeeze some lime juice, sprinkle with some salt and add some sizzling sauce in the event you like.
Another choice is to hitch this tasty seafood expertise which incorporates the oysters listed above, and far more.
You’ll additionally eat ceviche and aguachile, fish fillets, tacos, quesadillas, soups…as many seafood dishes as you need! It’s all included. Plus, you’ll be able to wash all of it down with limitless beer. This unimaginable tour sells out quick. Be taught extra right here.
8. Go to San Pancho
About an hour’s drive from Puerto Vallarta is the seaside city of San Pancho (San Francisco), which is among the finest day journeys from Puerto Vallarta.
This small city isn’t as quiet because it as soon as was, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a pleasant place to go to. What’s shocking is that although it’s not a really huge place, there are many issues to do in San Pancho.
One of the best ways to study all about San Pancho is to fulfill up with Samuel and revel in a leisurely bike trip across the city. Samuel will present you a number of hidden gems and inform tales concerning the space. This enjoyable expertise is very rated and inexpensive and consists of the biking gear, and a few meals and drinks. Be taught extra right here.
San Pancho is a cool place to spend the afternoon because it’s simply an hour away from Puerto Vallarta. To get from Puerto Vallarta to San Pancho, you’ll be able to lease a automotive, take the bus for round 50 pesos, or be part of a day tour of San Pancho and close by Sayulita.
Be aware: the ocean right here is sort of tough and isn’t a fantastic place for swimming. You can take a look at Bucerias for swimming.
9. Stroll The Malecon
One of many many nice issues about Puerto Vallarta is the lengthy Malecon (oceanfront promenade) which runs for about 1.5 kilometers (1 mile). That is the right spot to take pleasure in a stroll, with out having to cope with the busy visitors that whizzes alongside the slender streets.
Alongside the Malecon, you will have the attractive ocean on one facet, and plenty of retailers, eating places, and bars on the opposite (promoting $1 margaritas and Coronas). There are additionally quite a few artwork installations and road performances right here.
The Malecon is the hot-spot, particularly within the late afternoon and evenings when it’s a cooler temperature. And really, wandering alongside the Malecon is among the hottest issues to do in La Paz as nicely.
An effective way to discover a extra off-the-beaten-path space of the Malecon is to hitch this enjoyable biking expertise. Biking tools and a few drinks are included. Be taught extra right here.
The place to Keep in Puerto Vallarta
There are quite a few resorts, lodges, boutiques, hostels, Airbnbs, and flats for lease in Puerto Vallarta. There actually is one thing for everybody, with Airbnb and Reserving.com being the most well-liked methods to e book.
10. Be part of a Chocolate Making Class
The Choco Museum is among the many free issues to do in Puerto Vallarta. For those who’re excited by studying the historical past behind cocoa, plus discovering out how chocolate is made (from harvest to manufacturing), then the museum is for you.
If you wish to get your palms soiled and EAT some scrumptious chocolate, then ensure that to hitch one of many courses on the Choco Museo.
Discover ways to make conventional mole sauce, sizzling chocolate truffles, or particular person goodies. Click on right here to study extra about workshops and courses.
☞ SEE ALSO: Issues To Do in Cabo San Lucas – A Record of The High 21
11. Mountain Biking Journey
Though lounging by the seaside and devouring tacos is at all times a good suggestion when travelling to Mexico, it may be a good suggestion to get some train each occasionally! This is among the Puerto Vallarta actions you don’t need to miss.
Eco Experience is an eco-conscious firm in Puerto Vallarta that gives mountain biking and mountain climbing journeys within the surrounding jungle trails of the Occidental Sierra Madre.
For those who’re into journey and being lively, this is among the issues to do in Puerto Vallarta that ought to be on the high of your checklist.
They’ve biking excursions for freshmen and superior riders, plus they provide completely different size journeys as nicely — from 15 to 48 kilometers (9.3 – 30 miles).
The routes go by way of villages, waterfalls, rivers, pine bushes, and extra. Click on right here to study extra about Eco Experience and the biking and mountain climbing journeys they provide.
*Be aware: in the event you’d moderately mix train with consuming, Vallarta Meals Excursions has a brand new tour known as Bikes & Bites…test it out.
12. Chill Out on Los Muertos Seaside
That is the seaside south of the Los Muertos Pier. And, as with the stretch of sand north of the pier, there are a whole lot of actions happening — from swimming and browsing to parasailing and boating. Plus, you’ll discover quite a few seaside eating places and bars right here.
There are distributors wandering up and down the seaside as nicely, however they aren’t too pushy. Close to the south facet of the pier, you’ll discover a number of native households spending the day (particularly on weekends), whereas additional south from there’s thought of the LGBTQ space, which is at all times busy and a whole lot of enjoyable.
We’ve visited this seaside a couple of instances now. Throughout December, the waves had been extremely huge and the surf and undertow had been unbelievably robust. The tough water began from the pier and went north to the La Langosta Loca restaurant.
Nonetheless, on the south facet of the pier, the water was calm and kids had been swimming. After we hungout at Los Muertos seaside in the summertime, the water was calm all over the place — and we even noticed a number of small Manta Rays!
At all times be conscious of the ocean and when doubtful, at all times ask a neighborhood if it’s protected to swim.
☞ SEE ALSO: 51 Superior Issues To Do in Mexico
13. Wander The Outdated City
Puerto Vallarta has a gorgeous outdated city with cobbled streets and vibrant properties climbing up the hill. From close to the Church of Our Girl of Guadalupe, you’ll see rock/cement steps heading up the hill.
Take the steps and proceed strolling alongside the again roads in direction of the Romantic Zone. As most individuals take the Malecon or the primary streets, you’ll have the quiet “higher” roads mainly to your self.
You’ll come throughout properties draped in vines, cats sleeping on steps and fairly wrought-iron balconies. After you’ve completed exploring and having fun with the peace and quiet, you’ll be able to come out close to the Rio River.
For a tremendous view, you’ll be able to hike as much as the Mirador Cerro de La Cruz. It takes about half-hour and is a bit strenuous, however the view is spectacular. Carry a number of water and put on good sneakers.
14. Go Scuba Diving
Getting out on the water is at all times a good suggestion when travelling, however so is getting below it. The diving in Mexico is subsequent degree.
Whether or not you’re scuba licensed or not, take a look at Banderas Scuba Republic. This firm is PADI acknowledged and the crew is PADI licensed.
At this scuba store, you’ll be able to take courses and classes to get your certification, or if you have already got your Open Water, you’ll be able to go for some dives. Whereas scuba diving in Puerto Vallarta isn’t the most effective in Mexico, it’s at all times good to get out for a dive.
Count on to see turtles, rays, eels, and extra. Banderas Scuba Republic is positioned within the Romantic Zone, cease by and examine them out.
Be aware: We didn’t personally dive with Banderas Scuba Republic, they had been simply extremely reviewed on TripAdvisor. At all times do your personal impartial analysis when selecting a scuba diving firm.
15. Be part of a Free Strolling Tour
Strolling by yourself is nice, however if you wish to study a bit extra concerning the metropolis of Puerto Vallarta, together with its tradition, historical past, and structure, then it’s finest to hitch a strolling tour with a educated information.
That is the most effective factor to do in Puerto Vallarta in your first day within the metropolis so you may get your bearings.
Each Tuesday (9:00am and midday), Wednesday (9:00am and midday) and Saturday (9:00am), there are free excursions placed on by the Municipal Tourism Workplace.
The assembly level is on the Municipal Tourism Workplace, which is within the Outdated Metropolis Corridor Constructing. The tour is about 2 hours lengthy and no reservation is required. Click on right here for particulars.
16. Be part of the Free Artwork Stroll
Puerto Vallarta has essentially the most artwork galleries of any Mexican coastal metropolis. On Wednesday evenings, most of the artwork retailers open their doorways and permit guests inside to view the items.
All mediums of artwork are on show, together with work, sculptures, pottery and people artwork. A go to right here is unquestionably one of many extra distinctive issues to do in Puerto Vallarta.
Entrance is free, there isn’t a information, however there’s normally wine and tequila given to guests…at no cost. The “artwork stroll” runs from the top of October to the top of Might, from 6:00pm to 10:00pm, each Wednesday. This can be a yearly occasion. Click on right here to study extra concerning the Artwork Stroll.
17. Go to the Church Of Our Girl Of Guadalupe
You may’t miss the Church Of Our Girl Of Guadalupe while you go to. Towering over the middle of Puerto Vallarta is that this stunning piece of structure. For those who’re questioning what to do in Puerto Vallarta when it’s raining, a visit to this church is a good suggestion.
Whether or not you’re non secular or not, I like to recommend taking a peek inside, and naturally, taking a great deal of photographs of the ornate exterior. This church is among the finest locations to go to in Puerto Vallarta.
If you end up within the metropolis from December 1 – 12, you’ll have the ability to benefit from the celebrations for the Our Girl of Guadalupe Competition, which incorporates candlelight processions, vibrant parades, and naturally, meals.
18. Go to Mismaloya
Positioned on the southern a part of Banderas Bay, you’ll discover the fishing village of Mismaloya. That is the place tourism within the Puerto Vallarta space all began, again in 1963 with the filming of Evening Of The Iguana.
As of late, Puerto Vallarta has extra tourism, whereas the bay at Mismaloya continues to be comparatively quiet. That is one other nice day journey from Puerto Vallarta.
The beautiful bay is backed by thick jungle, there are eating places lining the seaside and also you’ll have views of the Los Arcos Marine Park. There may be, nevertheless, the Barcelo Resort which takes up a lot of the bay, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a pleasant place to go to.
☞ SEE ALSO: Issues To Do in La Paz, Mexico – A Record of the High 21
19. Test Out The Markets
Visiting the markets in Mexico is at all times a deal with. In Puerto Vallarta, you’ll discover meals, fish, clothes, and memento markets.
Don’t miss the Municipal Market of Colonia Emiliano Zapata, which is a superb place to buy recent produce. This market runs from 6:00am to three:00pm, one year a 12 months. Click on right here for instructions.
Additionally, if you need recent produce and fish, take a look at the Municipal Market in December 5. Go early to get the most effective number of seafood.
Within the strip of distributors, you’ll discover meats, greens, tortillas, and different gadgets. This can be a excellent place to take meals away, or to create a scrumptious lunch! Visiting a neighborhood market is among the finest issues to do in Puerto Vallarta. Click on right here for instructions.
20. Do Some Mountaineering
You gained’t actually discover mountain climbing within the metropolis itself. However, in the event you take a bus, or drive your automotive out to Boca de Tomatlan, you are able to do a very nice day hike to Las Animas. The trail winds alongside the ocean, with the jungle on one facet and the attractive water on the opposite.
Take a look at this highly-rated, inexpensive day journey — which incorporates transportation from Puerto Vallarta, snacks, snorkelling gear, and a drink on the restaurant on the finish. Discover out extra right here.
You’ll hike alongside stone stairs and slender paths, whereas arriving at beautiful secluded bays alongside the way in which. For those who’re fortunate, you’ll see some whales or dolphins taking part in within the water.
Your complete hike takes about 2 hours to finish, and when you arrive at Las Animas, all that’s left to do is benefit from the seaside, and one of many many eating places on provide.
To get again to Boca, you’ll be able to take a ship from Las Animas, or hike again the way in which you got here. This is among the finest issues to do in Puerto Vallarta for outside lovers. For extra data on how to do that hike, click on right here.
Because the journey generally is a bit complicated to do by yourself, a fantastic choice is to hitch this inexpensive expertise with a neighborhood information, which incorporates meals, drink, and transport. Be taught extra about this enjoyable day journey right here.
21. Spend A Evening On The City
The Puerto Vallarta nightlife is superior. It doesn’t matter what type of a celebration you’re in search of, you’ll discover it in PV.
From seaside bars and nightclubs to cantinas and breweries, an evening out in Puerto Vallarta is bound to be memorable. Whereas many of the happenin’ nightlife is across the Romantic Zone, you’ll discover bars throughout town.
Dance the night time away at Co-De or one of many many standard Malecon nightclubs (Zoo, Mandala or La Vaquita) or watch your favorite sports activities crew on the large display at locations like El Torito Sports activities Bar & BBQ Home, Gamers and El Soñador.
For dwell music, you’ll be able to’t go improper with Incanto, Roxy Rock Home, and La Casa de Hugo. If it’s craft beer you search, you will have a few choices in Puerto Vallarta. Don’t miss Monzon and Los Muertos. For cocktail lovers, take a look at El Colibri, Bar La Playa, and Twisted Palms.
To study extra about the most effective locations to sip and dance, take a look at our submit: Puerto Vallarta Nightlife – The Greatest Locations to Drink and Dance.
22. Volunteer With Canines
For those who’re an animal lover, why not spend a couple of hours of your trip in PV volunteering with animals?
Pals of Puerto Vallarta Animals want volunteers to spend time with the canine (and cats!) on the shelter. You may assist out by strolling canine, feeding them and naturally, giving them a number of love and a spotlight.
The Acopio shelter is positioned just a bit bit outdoors of the middle of town, however be sure you contact Pals of PV Animals first earlier than arriving on the shelter. Be taught extra about how one can make a distinction in a shelter canine’s life, right here.
23. Go to Marietas Island
Whereas this isn’t technically a factor to do in Puerto Vallarta, a visit to Marietas Island is a wonderful day journey. Solely 116 folks per day are allowed to go to this attractive website — be sure you e book on-line forward of time.
Positioned a few 1-hour boat trip from the Puerto Vallarta marina, you’ll discover the Marietas hidden seaside. Not solely is the snorkelling and the seaside itself attractive, however on the boat trip on the market you’ll probably spot dolphins, manta rays, and whales. Discover out extra right here.
Now You Know What To Do in Puerto Vallarta
I hope this checklist of issues to do in Puerto Vallarta helps you intend your journey. Whereas town is sort of touristy, it’s standard for good cause and we actually take pleasure in our visits right here.
Make certain to pattern the tasty road meals each time you’ll be able to, discover the native markets, and revel in strolling across the metropolis. Tell us what you’ll add to this checklist within the feedback under. Blissful travels
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