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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

El Malecon

El Malecon

Like most boardwalks, Puerto Vallarta’s promenade, known as El Malecon, is dotted with sightseeing opportunities, cafes, shops, galleries, and performers. Overlooking the Bay of Banderas, the mile-long stretch offers scenic views during the day. And in the evening, the waterfront nightclubs and discos open their doors to party-seeking locals and visitors.More
Marietas Islands (Islas Marietas)

Marietas Islands (Islas Marietas)

The small, uninhabited Marietas Islands (Islas Marietas) are located in the Bay of Banderas off Mexico’s Pacific coast. Making up a UNESCO-listed biosphere reserve, the islands are famous for their abundant wildlife and provide a chance to escape the crowds of many Mexican beach resorts, hop on a boat, and explore the islands’ natural delights.More
Los Arcos National Marine Park

Los Arcos National Marine Park

At Los Arcos National Marine Park in Puerto Vallarta there are islands to visit, reefs to dive, tunnels to swim through, and caves to explore, providing plenty of the arches that give Los Arcos (the Arches) its name. This protected area is famous for its abundant wildlife, both above and below the ocean’s surface, and is a popular snorkeling spot.More
Banderas Bay (Bahia de Banderas)

Banderas Bay (Bahia de Banderas)

Located near Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific coast, Banderas Bay (Bahía de Banderas) is famous for its 42-mile (68-kilometer) stretch of picturesque coast. Jungle, sandy beaches, and rich aquatic life define this area, which is ideal for watersports and land adventures alike.More
Nuevo Vallarta

Nuevo Vallarta

The 13,045-foot (3,976-meter) Acatenango volcano towers over the colonial city of Antigua. While many travelers opt for the more-gentle ascent of the Pacaya Volcano, this twin-peaked volcano offers incredible views of its nearest volcanic neighbor, Fuego, which regularly spits out plumes of gas, ash, and hot lava.More
Marina Vallarta

Marina Vallarta

Recognizable for its entranceway whale sculpture, Marina Vallarta serves as a self-contained counterpoint to the sprawl of downtown Puerto Vallarta. Although technically a resort and residential development—complete with shopping centers and an 18-hole golf course—most visitors come to stroll the length of the yacht-lined boardwalk, dine at the surrounding restaurants, and browse the weekly craft market.More
Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe)

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

Towering over the skyline of downtown, flanked by kitschy souvenir stores, and fronted by a charming, colorful plaza, the pink-hued Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a highlight of Old Town Vallarta. Laboriously constructed over a period of several decades in the early 20th century, the neo-baroque church is best known for its emblematic and intricate bell tower, and is the city’s most important Catholic attraction.More
Zona Romantica

Zona Romantica

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
Los Muertos Beach (Playa Los Muertos)

Los Muertos Beach (Playa Los Muertos)

For an authentic and lively Puerto Vallarta beach experience, Los Muertos Beach (Playa Los Muertos) can’t be beat. Located just south of Olas Altas Beach in the Romantic Zone, this gay-friendly stretch of sand fronts a pier and is lined with bars and restaurants. Locals and families also love this beach and its diverse crowd.More
Vallarta Botanical Gardens (Jardín Botánico de Vallarta)

Vallarta Botanical Gardens (Jardín Botánico de Vallarta)

Lush tropical foliage, hummingbird-watching hot spots, and orchid sanctuaries are just three of the attractions you’ll find at the Vallarta Botanical Gardens (Jardín Botánico de Vallarta). A rich and diverse array of flora and fauna—mostly native—dominates the 20-acre (8-hectare) expanse of jungle. Follow jungle paths, wander curated gardens, and marvel at the koi pond as part of a scenic Puerto Vallarta day trip.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

Marietas Islands: Snorkel Cruise from Puerto Vallarta
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
8 Passenger Vallarta Private City Tour

8 Passenger Vallarta Private City Tour

per group

Recent reviews from experiences in Puerto Vallarta

Great day seeing and learning about Vallarta!
Melody_H, Aug 2021
8 Passenger Vallarta Private City Tour
The air conditioned van was a great way to see the area.
Thank you Bernardo for a great day?
Linda_W, Jun 2021
8 Passenger Vallarta Private City Tour
Lunch by the waterfall was a real treat complete with a fearless cliff diver to wow us!
A Treasure in the Sierra Madres
Jason_H, Jun 2021
Horseback Riding Tour in Sierra Madre
Awesome experience!!
Leslie_S, Nov 2021
Market Visit and Cooking Lesson: Learn to Cook Authentic Mexican Food with a Modern Twist
It was interesting to see the market and all the fresh seafood.
Perfect in every Way!
Aaron_Y, Oct 2021
Parasailing Tour Puerto Vallarta - Experience PV From The Air!
This was our first time to visit Puerto Vallarta, and our very first time to experience parasailing.
Great way to see the city!
Chris_G, Sep 2021
Full-Day Puerto Vallarta City Highlights Tour
This tour is a great way to see the city and learn the history of Puerto Vallarta.
Great tour to see Puerto Vallarta!
Carol_N, Sep 2021
Full-Day Puerto Vallarta City Highlights Tour
If you like to see the surrounding area of Puerto Vallarta other than the resort you are staying at, this is a great tour to take.
Dominique_P, Sep 2021
Sierra Madre ATV Adventure from Puerto Vallarta
The route was incredible, the sights were amazing we were really able to see the culture in puerto Vallarta it had Cabo stoned street to roughen off road routes THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS.
Puerto Vallarta in a Day!
Karen_B, Sep 2021
Half day Private tour of Puerto Vallarta with a Local Guide
There was so much to see and he covered a lot.
Your Must do this Hiking Excursion!
Melinda_M, Aug 2021
Trekking Colomitos - Madagascar
I really enjoyed this hike and the waterfall and the beach!!!!
Hands down the best city tour
Sikandar_P, Aug 2021
Half day Private tour of Puerto Vallarta with a Local Guide
We started out driving to the center of the city to go up to the top of an old light house to see the entire city view.
A must in Puerto Vallarta!
Sarah_S, Aug 2021
Downtown Puerto Vallarta Food Tour
This tour was a great way to see the city with a few hours in hand, while eating authentic, great Mexican cuisine.
Best Experience in Puerto Vallarta!!!
Easton_E, Jul 2021
Shaded Hot Spring, Massage and Mex Grill in Puerto Vallarta
After that the scenic ride going to the hot spring was amazing.
Best tour you can take!
Kelsey_M, Mar 2021
Vallarta Botanical Garden and Tequila Tasting from Puerto Vallarta
We loved all the stops it made, we got to see so much for such an amazing price.
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!
Kimberly_A, Dec 2020
Las Caletas Puerto Vallarta
So serene and so may different things to do.
Magnificent Tour
raana, Feb 2020
Whale Watching Adventure
We were so fortunate to see these beautiful Humpback whales, during birthing and mating season in the warm waters of Bandaras Bay Puerto Vallarta !!!
Highlight of Puerto Vallarta
Loriann_C, Feb 2020
Downtown Puerto Vallarta Food Tour
A great way to see Puerto Vallarta and sample some of its finest food.
pirate sailing cruise
Sandy_S, 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.
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.

All about Puerto Vallarta

When to visit

During the summer months of December through February, migratory humpback whales flock to the warm Pacific waters of Puerto Vallarta, bringing hundreds of nature lovers and sun worshippers with them. For fewer crowds, cooler temperatures, and lower room rates, visit in April just before the rainy season begins.

A local’s pocket guide to Puerto Vallarta

Lauren Cocking

Born in Yorkshire and based in Mexico City, Lauren has lived in Mexico for close to a decade. Puerto Vallarta is one of the few coastal destinations she returns to regularly, despite sand being her greatest nemesis.

The first thing you should do in Puerto Vallarta is...

visit the Malecón, the lively boardwalk that runs the length of the Old Town. Watch out for the Voladores de Papantla performances and try tuba, a fermented coconut-y drink.

A perfect Saturday in Puerto Vallarta...

starts with brunch at a café in the Versalles neighborhood (or the Los Coapinoles buffet in the mountains), involves a stroll around the Marina, a seafood lunch, and drinks in El Faro bar at sunset.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

Vallarta Botanical Gardens. Just a 45-minute coastal bus ride from the center, the gardens include a quiet river, nature trails, curated greenhouses, and even an orchid house. They’re gorgeous.

To discover the "real" Puerto Vallarta...

go beyond the central Los Muertos Beach. Head south down the coast to Conchas Chinas or Playa Palmares for quiet, sandy shores without the crowds.

For the best view of the city...

climb to the Cerro de la Cruz viewpoint. The slopes and steps are steep and unforgiving but the cool breeze and panoramic views make it more than worthwhile.

One thing people get wrong...

is that Puerto Vallarta is a spring break destination. For some people it is, but it’s also a beautiful and historic coastal city with more to offer than cheap booze, boat rides, and bars.

Frequently Asked Questions
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