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Things to do in Puerto Vallarta

Things to do in  Puerto Vallarta

Welcome to Puerto Vallarta

Travelers seeking sun-drenched coastal beauty and outdoor adventure, look no further—Puerto Vallarta has it all. After spending a day on dazzling white-sand beaches or wandering the town’s quaint central streets, it’s easy to see why it ranks as one of Mexico’s most popular coastal destinations. Traditional markets and fragrant street-food stands make for delicious food tours, while nearby rainforests and the Sierra Madre mountains create opportunities for horseback riding, ziplining, and ATV driving. For water lovers, the reefs surrounding the Marietas Islands and Banderas Bay teem with tropical fish and bottlenose dolphins, ideal for scuba diving and snorkelling. El Malecon, Puerto Vallarta’s hip-and-happening oceanfront boardwalk, and Zona Romantica (Old Town) are ideal spots for sunset strolls. Once the sun has set, revelers flock to the neon glow of Marina Vallarta, a modern strip pulsing with restaurants, bars, and clubs. Dedicated party animals take a VIP nightclub tour of Puerto Vallarta to enjoy an open bar and skip-the-line entry to the city’s trendiest venues. With summer comes the chance to observe humpback whales on a whale-watching cruise while in the tropical paradise of Las Caletas, jungles and caves harbor wildlife year-round. Guided day trips to traditional Mexican villages and tequila distilleries offer an opportunity to get to know the local culture.

Top 10 attractions in Puerto Vallarta

#1

El Malecon

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Puerto Vallarta locals and visitors alike strut their stuff on El Malecon, the city ’s iconic boardwalk overlooking the Bay of Banderas. It’s the place for sunsets strolls, rollerblading, ice creams and admiring the many public street sculptures that adorn the boardwalk. You’ll see sculptures of dolphins, loving couples, a seahorse, angel and various abstract works. The malecon also takes in the color and vibrancy of the local fish market and the graceful arches known as Los Arcos that make up the city’s public amphitheater for outdoor entertainment.More
#2

Marietas Islands (Islas Marietas)

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Never has a bombing ranged looked so beautiful than at Mexico’s Marietas Islands. Here off the coastline of Nayarit outside of Puerto Vallarta, these two volcanic, bird-covered rocks hold hundreds of scars caused by years of bombing by Mexico’s early military. Thanks to conservationist’s efforts, however—most notably Jacques Cousteau—the Mexican government agreed to protect the islands, rather than blow them up. Today, what remains of the islands above and below water is nothing short of astounding. Schools of colorful reef fish swarm in Technicolor clouds on the reefs, and sea turtles, dolphins, and enormous manta rays are regularly spotted near shore.More
#3

Los Arcos National Marine Park

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One of the most popular snorkeling destinations in the Bay of Banderas is Los Arcos. The protected marine park has all manner of treats in store for avid snorkelers and divers. There are islands to visit, reefs to dive, tunnels to swim through and caves to explore, providing plenty of the arches and grottoes that give the park its name. The marine life is stupendously varied, from clownfish to rays, octopus and lobsters and angelfish. Organize a day cruise for relaxing at sea and peerless diving and snorkeling in the caves of Los Arcos.More
#4

Banderas Bay (Bahia de Banderas)

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Beautiful Banderas Bay - or Bahia de Banderas - is just one of the reasons why Puerto Vallarta is such a highly sought-after beach resort destination. The Pacific Ocean bay is Mexico’s largest, lapping the two Mexican states of Jalisco and Nayarit. Its long beautiful coastline runs for 42 miles (68 km), 25 (40) of them in Puerto Vallarta. Banderas Bay is the number-one location for sports and eco adventures on the water, from parasailing and surfing to yachting from the port’s ritzy marina. Whale-watching in these waters is also popular, especially December to April when the whales come here to calve. Get out on the water of Banderas Bay in a sea-kayak, or cruise to one of the many islands dotting the bay.More
#5

Nuevo Vallarta

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A luxurious and spacious hotel and resort zone, Nuevo Vallarta lies at the center of beautiful Banderas Bay—a long, sandy stretch of beach and cool Pacific water known for its small fishing villages. Born from the tourist boom that was Puerto Vallarta in the 1970s, Nuevo Vallarta was built to offer all that the traveler could want: luxury hotels, fine dining, boutique shopping and some fabulous water sport attractions. The Marieta Islands preserve lies just a few miles offshore, and the water here is home to countless species of fish and larger marine life including the elusive sea turtles. Whale-watching is another seasonal event and one that shouldn’t be missed, much like a visit to this pristine part of Puerto Vallarta.More
#6

Zona Romantica

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Puerto Vallarta's Romantic Zone (Zona Romantica)—also called the Old Town, South Side, or Old Vallarta—sits away from the hotel zone and just steps from Los Muertos Beach. With artisan shops, streetside taco stands, and lively cantinas, this area of winding cobblestone streets maintains a more traditional, laid-back feel than the rest of the city.More
#7

Boca de Tomatlan

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Tucked into the corner of the Bahia de Banderas of the Pacific Ocean is the quiet fishing village of Boca de Tomatlan. A wonderful throwback to a simpler way of life, this charming seaside town is sandwiched between the Horcones River, Boca Bay and the mountains of Puerto Vallarta. Popular among divers and Caribbean escape artists alike, this little slice of tranquility lies just 10 miles south of downtown Puerto Vallarta and is the idyllic retreat for all who dream of tropical beaches, rich forest jungle, peace and quiet.More
#8

Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe)

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Puerto Vallarta’s Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe was built over the course of several decades in the first half of the 20th century. Built in rustic pink stone, to a neo-baroque design, one of the prettiest details is the crown that tops the church bell tower. The liveliest time to visit the church is December 1 to 12, when crowds celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with street processions, festive food and mariachi music. The festival coincides with the anniversary of the founding of Puerto Vallarta, so locals have even more reason to celebrate.More
#9

Sierra Madre Mountains

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Creating the perfect backdrop to the sea, the jungle-clad mountains of Mexico’s Sierra Madre Mountains range are tailor-made for rural day trips from Puerto Vallarta. All-terrain vehicles head out on safari, highlighting the region’s natural wonders and offering the opportunity to hit the beach or river for a swim en route to the mountains. Going off-road to the Sierra Madre mountains is a great chance to see everyday Mexican villages off the beaten track, whether you go by Jeep, four-wheel drive or mountain bike.More
#10

Marina Vallarta

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One of the major attractions in Puerto Vallarta, Marina Vallarta is a self-contained stretch of boardwalk, white sand and retail outlets that has become so well-known for its beauty and success that it was a model for its sister cities of Cabo, Mazatlan, Ixtapa and Cancun. Easily identifiable by its large, 450-slip marina and lush 18-hole golf course, Marina Vallarta’s main attraction is its beautiful promenade, whereupon you’ll find numerous boutique beachfront shops and restaurants, including a lighthouse that makes for great viewing of the bay.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Puerto Vallarta

How to Spend 2 Days in Puerto Vallarta

Tequila Tastings in Puerto Vallarta

Tequila Tastings in Puerto Vallarta

Romantic Sailing Tours in Puerto Vallarta

Romantic Sailing Tours in Puerto Vallarta

Top activities in Puerto Vallarta

Recent reviews from experiences in Puerto Vallarta

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Awesome sunset photo shoot
Erika_T, Jan 2021
Romantic Photo Session in Puerto Vallarta with a Professional Photographer
Can’t wait to see our pics next week!
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Winderful
Kimberly_A, Dec 2020
Las Caletas Puerto Vallarta
So serene and so may different things to do.
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A private tour of a wonderful town
liefeldc, Jan 2021
Downtown Puerto Vallarta Food Tour
When out tour came to an end, we were sad to see Miel go.
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Wonderful
Kimberly_A, Dec 2020
Las Caletas Puerto Vallarta
It is such a relaxing day, with several activities one can participate in.
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Getting dusty and dirty has never been so fun
Jeff_H, Nov 2020
ATV Adventure Tour in Puerto Vallarta Including Tequila Tasting
The waterfall was very pretty and many in the groups that joined us there jumped right in.
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Best part of our trip
Monica, Nov 2020
ATV Adventure Tour in Puerto Vallarta Including Tequila Tasting
The views were amazing and the waterfall was beautiful.
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Our best ATV adventure!
AllieG, Oct 2020
Sierra Madre ATV Adventure from Puerto Vallarta
It was really cool to pass through villages on the drive and get to see the locals.
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Magnificent Tour
raana, Feb 2020
Whale Research Adventure at 9am (Guaranteed sighting)
We were so fortunate to see these beautiful Humpback whales, during birthing and mating season in the warm waters of Bandaras Bay Puerto Vallarta !!!
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Highlight of Puerto Vallarta
brittc, Feb 2020
Downtown Puerto Vallarta Food Tour
A great way to see Puerto Vallarta and sample some of its finest food.
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Great way to see the city!
Cosmopolitan716115, Nov 2019
Full-Day Puerto Vallarta City Highlights Tour
It was our first time to Puerto Vallarta and we really wanted to see the city with a tour so we could get some history and local knowledge as well.
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pirate sailing cruise
Journey48628246114, Dec 2018
Puerto Vallarta Pirate Sailing Cruise
the crew was very friendly and attentative and made sure everyone from the kids to the older folks were included in the activities.
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This is an AWESOME way to see Puerto...
Phylicia J, Aug 2017
Private Tour: Puerto Vallarta ATV Adventure
This is an AWESOME way to see Puerto Vallarta; I'm so glad we did this.
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Highlight of our trip! We only had...
Devin F, May 2017
Private Tour in El Malecon Boardwalk Bike Ride
We only had one day in Puerto Vallarta as part of our cruise and this was the perfect way to see the city without walking all day.
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The city tour was a lot of fun! The...
Olivia B, Jun 2017
Full-Day Puerto Vallarta City Highlights Tour
Thankfully our tour guide spoke English and Spanish even though my bf and I were the only non-Spanish speaking people in our group.
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We took this tour over Christmas and...
Clarene M, Apr 2018
South Shore Private Sightseeing Cruise in Puerto Vallarta
Great way to see a different perspective of Puerto Vallarta.
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AMAZING tour guides, we went at our...
suzzstravels, Apr 2016
Private Tour: Puerto Vallarta ATV Adventure
They also took us to amazing parts of puerto vallarta that allowed us to see the town from a local's perspective which made us love Puerto Vallarta even more
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This was by far THE BEST tour we...
Meghan M, Oct 2015
Puerto Vallarta Outdoor Adventure Zip Line and Speedboat Ride
If going during their summer/rainy season, WEAR BUG SPRAY!!
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A Very Fun Half Day ATV Trip!
janqin, Jan 2020
Private Tour: El Eden ATV Adventure from Puerto Vallarta
There was a beautiful waterfall to hang out at.
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Great Island Tour
amyws2020, Jan 2020
Marietas Islands and Snorkeling Cruise in Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive
The crew spoke both English and Spanish and were very customer service oriented.
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Overall, a good tour
CruiseTraveler122020, Jan 2020
Puerto Vallarta City Tour
Our guide was experienced, engaging, very fluent in English and knowledgeable about sights to see in Puerto Vallarta.

Frequently Asked Questions

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