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How to Spend 3 Days in Puerto Vallarta

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How to Spend 3 Days in Puerto Vallarta
Set on Banderas Bay and backed by the Sierra Madre mountains, Puerto Vallarta attracts visitors for its natural beauty, but it offers more. A 3-day stay allows ample time to soak up the city’s heritage, catch some marine or jungle thrills, explore the Jalisco coast on a day trip, and dip into the cuisine. Read on for our top picks.
 
Day 1: Urban Culture and Cuisine
Most of the sights within Puerto Vallarta’s walkable old town and more modern Marina Vallarta can be covered in a day. Start at Our Lady of Guadalupe church (La Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe), and then follow the cobblestone streets lined with gardens, bohemian galleries, and souvenir shops selling Huichol handicrafts to the lively El Malecón boardwalk. City tours by coach often stop at Cuale River Island, El Pitillal, and the marina lined with yacht clubs. Fit in some beach time at the Beach of the Dead (Playa de los Los Muertos) near the river or quieter stretches of sand such as Playa Los Arcos and Mismaloya. In between sightseeing, indulge in Puerto Vallarta’s famous culinary scene on your own or with a food tour, topped off with tastings at a tequila distillery. 
 
Day 2: Where Nature and Adventure Meet
With easy access to sun-drenched beaches, canopied jungles, and mountain scenery, Puerto Vallarta makes an ideal base camp for outdoor activities. Family-friendly options include swimming with dolphins, snorkeling tours, beginner scuba dives, and horseback riding. Or, kick up the action a notch with high-speed zipline courses or off-road ATV tour through the forested Sierra foothills. For any age or ability, a sunset sail on Banderas Bay is the perfect way to end a day in Puerto Vallarta.
 
Day 3: Explore Jalisco
From fishing villages to mountain enclaves, day trip options from Puerto Vallarta abound. Discover an exclusive beach hideaway at Las Caletas, accessible only by boat, or get a taste for the Mexican countryside on a trip to the colonial town of San Sebastian, where little seems to have changed in 100 years. Coach tours can carry you up the coast to beach hop along the Riviera Nayarit, stopping to swim and sunbathe in the fishing villages of Sayulita and Punta Mita. Thanks to Puerto Vallarta’s central location, you can get a regional sampler in one day and still be back in town in time for another dinner of enchiladas mole or ceviche tacos. 
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Puerto Vallarta Tours & Activities (12)
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Puerto Vallarta Outdoor Adventure Zip Line and Speedboat RideDay Trips

Puerto Vallarta Outdoor Adventure Zip Line and Speedboat Ride

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Satisfy an appetite for adrenaline on a thrilling 6.5-hour outdoor adventure tour from Puerto Vallerta. Enjoy an exhilarating ecological experience packed with challenges and fun on this Puerta Vallerta Adventure; ride on a super-fast speedboat; rappel down rushing waterfalls; ride powerful 4x4 jeeps; soar over the tree tops on zip lines and cross suspended rope bridges hanging high above the jungle. This tour is the ideal way to spend an exciting day outdoors on your Puerta Valletra vacation.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$119.00 
From  
US$119.00 
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Canopy & Speed Boat Adventure in Puerto Vallarta: Los VeranosDining Experiences

Canopy & Speed Boat Adventure in Puerto Vallarta: Los Veranos

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Soar through the treetops of the rain forest straight into a tequila bar during this canopy tour, which begins with an optional speedboat ride. On Puerto Vallarta’s first-ever zipline circuit, cover two miles (three km) on strong cables suspended 328 feet (100 meters) in the air and enjoy panoramic vistas. Conclude the exhilarating experience with time to swim, kayak, and race down a waterslide, or greet the diverse wildlife of the on-site menagerie. 
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$99.00 
From  
US$99.00 
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Marietas Islands: Snorkel Cruise from Puerto VallartaDay Trips

Marietas Islands: Snorkel Cruise from Puerto Vallarta

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Explore the magnificent marine life of the Mexican Pacific and the Bay of Banderas on an exciting full-day tour from Puerta Vallarta. Snorkel to observe an incredible underwater wonderland; kayak in the warm waters of the Marietas Islands; and watch for exotic birds flying in their natural habitat. Look out for dolphins, whales, giant manta rays, and sea turtles as an experienced guide directs your attention to the wonders of nature on this eco-adventure.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$89.00 
From  
US$89.00 
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

San Sebastian Tour from Puerto VallartaDay Trips

San Sebastian Tour from Puerto Vallarta

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Leave Puerto Vallarta behind to explore one of Mexico's last hidden vestiges: San Sebastián, tucked within the Sierra Madre. On this tour, take in scenes of daily rural life as you travel by comfortable vehicle into the mountains toward this colonial enclave. Meander among its whitewashed structures with your guide, see remnants of its mining past, and simply enjoy a town mostly untouched by tourism. Lunch is included.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$92.00 
From  
US$92.00 
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Las Caletas Day Tour from Puerto VallartaDay Trips

Las Caletas Day Tour from Puerto Vallarta

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Discover the secluded and sublime Las Caletas nature reserve on an enchanting full-day tour from Puerto Vallarta. Venture to Mexico’s answer to the Garden of Eden during your excursion to the coastal haven of Banderas Bay; stroll through the atmospheric jungle on the hunt for diverse wildlife; experience an authentic cooking class; or let the stress slip away on the golden sands of the beach. Enjoy a light breakfast, fulfilling and flavorsome buffet lunch in addition to an open bar on this family-friendly adventure.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$149.00 
From  
US$149.00 
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Puerto Vallarta Combo Tour: Horseback Riding and Beach BreakDay Trips

Puerto Vallarta Combo Tour: Horseback Riding and Beach Break

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Clomp alongside a hidden coastline during this horseback riding tour, departing from Puerto Vallarta. Ride off the beaten path along the bay’s south coast to authentic Mexican fishing villages with your informative guide. You’ll travel a mountain path to swim at a cascading waterfall and stop at the remote Pizota village. Here, indulge in a grilled buffet lunch including beverages.
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  • 6 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$119.00 
From  
US$119.00 
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  • 6 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Puerto Vallarta ATV AdventureHalf-day Tours

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Private Tour: Puerto Vallarta ATV Adventure

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Satisfy your appetite for adventure on a morning or afternoon private ATV experience from Puerto Vallarta. Climb aboard your powerful ATV vehicle and discover spectacular scenery at your own leisurely pace; see impressive mountains, virgin beaches and rushing rivers as you drive on a variety of terrains. Customize your private tour according to your interests and learn about the heritage and geology of the area from your expert guide.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$61.47 
US$76.83
US$15.36 savings
From  
US$61.47 
US$76.83
US$15.36 savings
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Extreme Adventure: Zip Line, Rappel, UTV, Indoor Skydiving, Waterslide and more!Day Trips

Extreme Adventure: Zip Line, Rappel, UTV, Indoor Skydiving, Waterslide and more!

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Feel your pulse race during an exhilarating half-day of extreme activities in the heart of the Sierra Madre Mountains from Puerto Vallarta. Venture deep into an atmospheric jungle park to soar down Mexico’s longest zip line. Keep adrenaline levels high by rappelling down treetop platforms to suspended bridges, then ride in a powerful jeep and cascade down a rushing waterslide to the rainforest floor below. A safe and unforgettable experience is guaranteed on this family-friendly, small-group tour, where numbers are limited to 14 people.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$119.00 
From  
US$119.00 
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Best Tacos After Dark Food Walking Tour in Puerto VallartaHalf-day Tours

Best Tacos After Dark Food Walking Tour in Puerto Vallarta

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On this 3.5-hour evening walking tour of Puerto Vallarta’s Old Town, have your your fill of tacos and other delicious street food. Accompanied by a professional foodie guide, you’ll get a taste of fish tacos along with ‘al pastor’ (marinated grilled pork) and ‘de cabeza’ (beef cheek). Savor traditional specialities like quesadillas and meet a local master of ‘churros’ (Mexican fritters). Numbers are limited to ensure a small-group experience during this leisurely tour. 
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$55.00 
From  
US$55.00 
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Puerto Vallarta Adventure Tour: Ziplining, Rappelling and Tequila TastingClimbing

Puerto Vallarta Adventure Tour: Ziplining, Rappelling and Tequila Tasting

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Get into the spirit of adventure by taking this exciting ziplining tour. Fly above the treetops and then go rappelling down cliffs. Finally, hop on an innertube to float down the Cuale River. Once finished, get on a donkey who will ride you back to the starting point where you will indulge in a tequila tasting.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$95.00 
From  
US$95.00 
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Full-Day Sayulita and San Pancho from Puerto VallartaDay Trips

SPECIAL OFFER

Full-Day Sayulita and San Pancho from Puerto Vallarta

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Hit the beach at Sayulita on a 6-hour tour from Puerto Vallarta that explores the scenic Riviera Nayarit. Check out the coast’s highlights, pause to see San Pancho, then enjoy the rest of the day on Sayulita’s gorgeous beach, with time to swim, sunbathe, or catch waves on a boogie board or surfboard. This 6-hour Sayulita tour includes pickup and drop-off at Puerto Vallarta hotels and an hour-long boogie board or surf board rental when you get to the beach.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$33.60 
US$42.00
US$8.40 savings
From  
US$33.60 
US$42.00
US$8.40 savings
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Day Sailing on Banderas BaySailing

Day Sailing on Banderas Bay

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Explore the curvaceous coastline and iridescent waters of Banderas Bay on a half-day sailing tour from Puerto Vallarta. Sail upon the shimmering sea; swim in crystal clear blue water; and discover the incredible natural wonders of Banderas Bay. Snorkel in a secluded cove and enjoy included beverages and delicious lunch as you cruise on your luxurious vessel. Combine the unadulterated pleasure of sailing with pampering on this delightful excursion.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$119.00 
From  
US$119.00 
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures


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