Puerto Vallarta is a vacation spot that has been welcoming travellers for a few years, and it’s one of many prime 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 funds, a digital nomad in Mexico seeking to spend a month, a pair wanting a week-long trip, or an expat seeking to cool down, you’ll discover actions in Puerto Vallarta to maintain you busy.
Town is cut up up into neighbourhoods (zones), with the infinite issues to do in Puerto Vallarta unfold out alongside Banderas Bay and past. In actuality, it doesn’t actually matter which a part of the town you keep in, as getting round is straightforward.
You’ll, nevertheless, wish to select your zone fastidiously based mostly on the vibe you’re after and the funds you’ve.
Puerto Vallarta Neighbourhoods & Zones
Right here’s a fast rundown of the zones in Puerto Vallarta beginning on the airport and going south:
- Marina – extra upscale than the lodge zone, with the Marriott Resort, Westin & extra.
- Resort Zone – only a few minute’s drive from the airport, this space has many inns, eating places, malls, a Walmart & Sams Membership.
- Centro (Outdated PV) – smaller houses, residential space, the Malecon (oceanfront promenade) runs alongside right here, many eating places and bars. This space is on the north aspect of the River Cuale and gives reasonably priced lodging.
- Centro (Romantic Zone) – positioned on the south aspect of the River Cuale, you’ll discover quite a few bars, cafes, eating places and Playa Los Muertos Seaside. It is a fashionable space with a big LGBTQ group. The lodging ranges from funds to prime finish.
- Conchas Chinas – which 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 a whole rundown on travelling to the town of PV, take a look at our detailed information right here.
Greatest Issues To Do in Puerto Vallarta
After travelling round Puerto Vallarta extensively and having many unimaginable experiences, I’ve narrowed down the 21 greatest issues to do on this stunning Mexican seashore city.
1. Stroll…In all places!
I’ve to place strolling as #1 on the checklist of issues to do in Puerto Vallarta. Exploring on foot is one of the simplest ways to get a really feel for the town, and most areas of PV are reachable by strolling.
It is a nice solution to see what the distributors are promoting, to individuals watch, and get a lay of the land. You by no means know what you’ll stumble throughout when discovering the town on foot — simply be certain that to put on good sneakers because the sidewalks and roads are very uneven.
Word: the greatest 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 scorching and also you’ll almost definitely wish to be on the seashore 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 every other nationwide meals group.
Mexican meals is a lot greater than tacos and quesadillas and one of the simplest ways to be taught extra in regards to the tasty delicacies is to affix a tour. It is a must-do in Puerto Vallarta for foodies.
We’ve executed meals excursions all all over the world, and our favorite ones are in Mexico.
In Puerto Vallarta, take a look at Vallarta Meals Excursions. This firm gives a mixture of tradition, strolling, and meals excursions, making it a good way to be taught in regards to the metropolis of PV whereas concurrently feasting and dealing off the energy.
There are a number of foodie excursions on provide with Vallarta Meals Excursions, however we went on the “Authentic 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 properly. You can even be a part of their night taco tour.
We extremely suggest this tour. Click on right here to be taught extra and test out the video we made:
3. See Rhythms Of The Evening (One of many 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 received’t wish to miss.
We noticed this efficiency and though we’re not large followers of huge group excursions, this present was spectacular and value each penny. This is likely one of the prime 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 ravishing non-public 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 out of doors auditorium, which is surrounded by palm timber. The seats are all staggered, so although there are individuals sitting in entrance of you, you’ll don’t have any points seeing the present.
The present depicts numerous tales of the traditional Hispanic civilization and Mexican folklore. Throughout the efficiency, there’s stay 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 be taught extra in regards to the tour and to ebook tickets.
⇒ See Additionally: Issues To Do in Mazatlan – 21 Experiences You Don’t Wish to Miss
4. Watch Sundown
There’s simply one thing in regards to the sunsets on the Pacific Coast, and particularly, Puerto Vallarta. Among the greatest 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 — the sunsets we skilled at this seashore bar had been top-notch.
As soon as the solar goes down, the social gathering begins in PV — there are such a lot of bars and golf equipment, the nightlife in Puerto Vallarta is famous. Benefit from the sundown, it’s top-of-the-line free issues to do in Puerto Vallarta.
*Word: Puerto Escondido is one other epic Pacific Coast vacation spot for sunsets in Mexico. In case you have an opportunity, attempt to go to there as properly.
5. Calm down on Playa las Gemelas
Surprisingly, nearly 20 minutes drive south of Puerto Vallarta, you’ll discover seashores that seem like they need to be Cancun or Playa del Carmen quite than the Pacific. I feel this is likely one of the greatest seashores in Mexico.
Playa las Gemelas has turquoise water and whitish sand. Once we visited, there have been fairly a number of waves, however no riptides or undertows, and the waves had been enjoyable to swim in.
Different guests have skilled fully calm water right here, so it actually simply is dependent upon the climate and the time of yr.
There are simply 2 condominium complexes on the seashore and nothing else…not even any bathrooms. Deliver a cooler stuffed with beer, water, and snacks, and spend the day.
The stroll to the seashore is pretty steep and down some uneven steps, nevertheless it’s value it whenever you see the view.
To achieve right here, you’ll wish to park at Condominios Girasol Sur (in entrance, alongside the highway). There isn’t any precise parking for the seashore, so that you’ll want to search out some on the road, or within the few roadside spots in entrance of Girasol Sur Condos.
Alternatively, you’ll be able to take a neighborhood bus and get dropped off right here. That is by far my favorite seashore in Puerto Vallarta. Don’t miss it.
Playa las Gemelas Seaside Handle: Carr. Costera a Barra de Navidad 2354, Sur, 48390 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico. Click on right here for instructions.
6. Be part of a Booze Tour (with a aspect of meals)
For these of you who wish to drink tequila – it’s Mexico, who doesn’t?! – this tour is for you.
Throughout our current journey to Puerto Vallarta, we joined the highly-rated Mex-ology tour and loved a late afternoon of Mezcal, Tequila, Raicilla, craft beer, Kahlua espresso, and different handcrafted cocktails.
To associate with the booze, you’ll get some tasty meals to assist take in the alcohol.
The dishes aren’t snacks, however quite, full parts of fish tacos, meat tacos, seafood “enchiladas”, onion rings, crickets (sure, crickets!), and delectable desserts.
Not solely will you be having enjoyable, and feeling a bit tipsy by the tip of it, however you’ll be taught rather a lot in regards to the traditions and creation of those alcoholic drinks.
We had an amazing day with our information. A lot enjoyable in reality, that she took us out for some late-night shenanigans the place the expats and locals wish to hangout.
Click on right here to be taught extra in regards to the Mex-ology Tequila, Tacos & Cocktails Tour, it’s top-of-the-line issues to do in Puerto Vallarta.
7. Eat Contemporary Seafood
For those who’re an oyster lover, you’ll be comfortable to know that you would be able to get contemporary oysters on the seashore. 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 scorching sauce should you like.
An alternative choice is to affix this tasty seafood expertise which incorporates the oysters listed above, and rather 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 seashore city of San Pancho (San Francisco), which is likely one of the greatest 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 stunning is that although it’s not a really large place, there are many issues to do in San Pancho.
One of the best ways to be taught all about San Pancho is to take pleasure in a leisurely bike experience across the city. A motorcycle makes it straightforward to see a lot of hidden gems and inform tales in regards to the space. There are some locations to lease bikes across the city of San Pancho all alongside the principle avenue.
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 a part of a day tour of San Pancho and close by Sayulita.
Word: the ocean at San Pancho is sort of tough and isn’t an amazing place for swimming. You could possibly take a look at close by Bucerias and Sayulita 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 proper spot to take pleasure in a stroll, with out having to take care of the busy site visitors that whizzes alongside the slim streets.
Alongside the Malecon, you’ve the gorgeous ocean on one aspect, and lots of retailers, eating places, and bars on the opposite (promoting $1 margaritas and Coronas). There are additionally quite a few artwork installations and avenue performances right here.
The Malecon is the scorching spot, particularly within the late afternoon and evenings when it’s a cooler temperature. And truly, wandering alongside the Malecon is likely one of the hottest issues to do in La Paz as properly.
The place to Keep in Puerto Vallarta
There are quite a few resorts, inns, boutiques, hostels, Airbnbs, and residences for lease in Puerto Vallarta. There actually is one thing for everybody, with Reserving.com having essentially the most numerous choices of lovely residences, inns, hostels, and funky household guesthouses.
10. Be part of a Chocolate Making Class
The Choco Museum is likely one of the many free issues to do in Puerto Vallarta. For those who’re concerned about 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 fingers soiled and EAT some scrumptious chocolate, then be certain that to affix one of many courses on the Choco Museo.
There are a number of tasty courses obtainable. Click on right here for the chocolate truffle class, and click on right here for chocolate drinks and chocolate bars! Becoming a member of one in every of The Choco Museum’s enjoyable workshops and courses is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Puerto Vallarta when it rains.
Choco Museum Handle: Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez 128, Centro, 48300 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico. Discover it on the map right here.
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11. Be part of a Mountain Biking Journey
Though lounging by the seashore and devouring tacos is all the time a good suggestion when travelling to Mexico, it may be a good suggestion to get some train each infrequently! This is likely one of the Puerto Vallarta actions you don’t wish to miss.
The crew at Jaguar Expertise in Puerto Vallarta gives epic mountain biking journeys within the surrounding jungle trails of the Occidental Sierra Madre.
For those who’re into journey and being lively, this is likely one of the issues to do in Puerto Vallarta that ought to be on the prime of your checklist.
The routes move by way of villages, waterfalls, rivers, pine timber, and extra, earlier than ending off at a ranch the place you’ll be able to calm down in a hammock, or swim within the pool. All biking gear, information, snacks, and drinks are included. Click on right here to be taught extra about Eco Trip and the biking and mountaineering journeys they provide.
*Word: should you’d quite 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 seashore south of the Los Muertos Pier. And, as with the stretch of sand north of the pier, there are a number of actions happening — from swimming and browsing to parasailing and boating. Plus, you’ll discover quite a few seashore eating places and bars right here.
There are distributors wandering up and down the seashore as properly, however they aren’t too pushy. Close to the south aspect of the pier, you’ll discover a lot of native households spending the day (particularly on weekends), whereas farther south from there may be thought of the LGBTQ space, which is all the time busy and a number of enjoyable.
We’ve visited this seashore a number of occasions now. Throughout December, the waves had been extremely large and the surf and undertow had been fairly robust. The tough water began from the pier and went north to the La Langosta Loca restaurant.
Nonetheless, on the south aspect of the pier, the water was calm and kids had been swimming. Once we visited Los Muertos seashore in the summertime, the water was calm in every single place — and we even noticed a lot of small Manta Rays! At all times be conscious of the ocean and when doubtful, ask a neighborhood if it’s secure to swim.
Los Muertos Pier Handle: Francisca Rodríguez 121, Zona Romántica, Emiliano Zapata, 48380 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico. Click on right here for instructions.
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13. Wander The Outdated City
Puerto Vallarta has a ravishing previous city with cobbled streets and vibrant houses 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 towards the Romantic Zone. As most individuals take the Malecon or the principle streets, you’ll have the quiet “higher” roads mainly to your self.
You’ll come throughout houses 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. Deliver a lot of water and put on good sneakers.
Mirador Cerro de La Cruz Handle: Abasolo LB, Cerro, 48304 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico. Get instructions right here.
14. Go Scuba Diving
Getting out on the water is all the time a good suggestion when travelling, however so is getting below it. The diving in Mexico is subsequent stage.
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 perfect in Mexico, it’s all the time good to get out for a dive.
Whereas scuba diving is a lot better in Cozumel, round PV you’ll be able to nonetheless anticipate to see turtles, rays, eels, and extra. Banderas Scuba Republic is positioned within the Romantic Zone, cease by and test them out.
At all times do your personal unbiased analysis when selecting a scuba diving firm. Verify evaluations, security, and certifications, and even cease by the dive middle to get a really feel for the place earlier than committing. You possibly can click on right here to seek for extra PADI-certified dive retailers in Puerto Vallarta.
15. Be part of a Free Strolling Tour
Strolling by yourself is nice, however if you wish to be taught a bit extra in regards to the metropolis of Puerto Vallarta, together with its tradition, historical past, and structure, then it’s greatest to affix a strolling tour with a educated information.
That is the perfect factor to do in Puerto Vallarta in your first day within the metropolis so you will 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.
Handle: 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 many artwork galleries. On Wednesday evenings, lots 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 folks artwork. A go to right here is certainly one of many extra distinctive issues to do in Puerto Vallarta.
Entrance is free, there is no such thing as a information, however there may be normally wine and tequila given to guests…at no cost. The Artwork Stroll runs from the tip of October to the tip of Could, from 6:00pm to 10:00pm, each Wednesday. It is a yearly occasion. Click on right here to be taught extra in regards to the Artwork Stroll.
17. Go to the Church Of Our Girl Of Guadalupe
You possibly can’t miss the Church Of Our Girl Of Guadalupe whenever 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 spiritual or not, I like to recommend taking a peek inside, and naturally, taking a great deal of pictures of the ornate exterior. This church is likely one of the greatest locations to go to in Puerto Vallarta.
If you end up within the metropolis from December 1 – 12, you’ll be capable of benefit from the celebrations for the Our Girl of Guadalupe Pageant, which incorporates candlelight processions, vibrant parades, and naturally, meals.
Handle: Hidalgo 370, Proyecto escola, Centro, 48300 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico. Get instructions right here.
18. Go to Mismaloya
Positioned within 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.
Lately, Puerto Vallarta has extra tourism, whereas the bay at Mismaloya remains to be comparatively quiet. That is one other nice day journey from Puerto Vallarta.
The gorgeous bay is backed by thick jungle, there are eating places lining the seashore and also you’ll have views of the Los Arcos Marine Park. There’s, nevertheless, the Barcelo Resort which takes up a lot of the bay, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a pleasant place to go to.
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19. Verify Out The Markets
Visiting the markets in Mexico is all the time 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 contemporary produce. This market runs from 6:00am to three:00pm, three hundred and sixty five days a yr. Click on right here for instructions.
Additionally, if you need contemporary produce and fish, take a look at the Municipal Market in December 5. Go early to get the perfect collection of seafood.
Within the strip of distributors, you’ll discover meats, greens, tortillas, and different objects. It is a excellent place to take meals away, or to create a scrumptious lunch! Visiting a neighborhood market is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Puerto Vallarta. Click on right here for instructions to the Minicipal Market.
20. Do Some Mountain climbing
You received’t actually discover mountaineering within the metropolis itself. However, should 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 aspect and the gorgeous water on the opposite.
Take a look at this highly-rated, reasonably priced 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 slim 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.
The 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 seashore, 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 likely one of the greatest issues to do in Puerto Vallarta for out of doors 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, an amazing choice is to affix this reasonably priced 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 form of social gathering you’re in search of, you’ll discover it in PV.
From seashore bars and nightclubs to cantinas and breweries, an evening out in Puerto Vallarta is certain to be memorable. Whereas a lot of the happenin’ nightlife is across the Romantic Zone, you’ll discover bars throughout the town.
Dance the night time away at Co-De or one of many many fashionable Malecon nightclubs (Zoo, Mandala or La Vaquita) or watch your favorite sports activities crew on the massive display screen at locations like El Torito Sports activities Bar & BBQ Home, Gamers and El Soñador.
For stay music, you’ll be able to’t go mistaken with Incanto, Roxy Rock Home, and La Casa de Hugo. If it’s craft beer you search, you’ve 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 be taught extra about the perfect locations to sip and dance, take a look at our put up: Puerto Vallarta Nightlife – The Greatest Locations to Drink and Dance.
Bonus Actions in Puerto Vallarta
There are a number of extra distinctive issues to do in Puerto Vallarta that I wished so as to add to the checklist.
22. Volunteer With Canines
For those who’re an animal lover, why not spend a number of hours of your trip in PV volunteering with animals?
Pals of Puerto Vallarta Animals want volunteers to spend time with the canines (and cats!) on the shelter. You possibly can assist out by strolling canines, feeding them and naturally, giving them a lot of love and a focus.
The Acopio shelter is positioned just a bit bit exterior of the middle of the 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 individuals per day are allowed to go to this beautiful web site — be sure you ebook on-line forward of time.
Positioned a few 1-hour boat experience from the Puerto Vallarta marina, you’ll discover the Marietas hidden seashore. Not solely is the snorkelling and the seashore itself beautiful, however on the boat experience on the market you’ll almost definitely 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 the town is sort of touristy, it’s fashionable for good cause! We’ve all the time loved our visits right here and I’m certain you’ll as properly.
Ensure to pattern the tasty avenue meals at any time when you’ll be able to, discover the native markets, and revel in strolling across the metropolis. Joyful travels 😀