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21 Greatest Issues To Do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


Puerto Vallarta is a vacation spot that has been welcoming travellers for a few years, and it’s considered 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 finances, a digital nomad in Mexico trying to spend a month, a pair wanting a week-long trip, or an expat trying to quiet down, you’ll discover actions in Puerto Vallarta to maintain you busy. 

Town is cut up up into neighbourhoods (zones), with the countless 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, nonetheless, wish to select your zone fastidiously based mostly on the vibe you’re after and the finances you might have.

things to do in puerto vallarta visit the beach

Right here’s my record 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 lodge zone, with the Marriott Lodge, Westin & extra.
  • Lodge Zone – only a few minutes drive from the airport, this space has many motels, eating places, malls, a Walmart & Sams Membership.
  • Centro (Previous 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) – situated on the south aspect of the River Cuale, you’ll discover quite a few bars, cafes, eating places and Playa Los Muertos Seashore. This can be a well-liked space with a big LGBTQ group. The lodging ranges from finances to prime 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.

Study extra about the place to remain in Puerto Vallarta with our lodging and neighbourhood information. And, for a whole rundown on travelling to town of PV, try our detailed information right here.

Word, this submit has been up to date in 2022 to incorporate the newest greatest issues to do in Puerto Vallarta, the present costs and addresses and extra. Take pleasure in your journey.

1. Stroll…All over the place!

I’ve to place strolling as #1 on the record of issues to do in Puerto Vallarta. Exploring on foot is the easiest way 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 nations to journey, however when you are able to do issues free of charge, like strolling and sightseeing, it can save you much more cash.

walking the streets is the best thing to do in puerto vallarta
Strolling the streets of Puerto Vallarta is the easiest way to see all of it

This can be a nice solution to see what the distributors are promoting, to folks watch, and to get a lay of the land. You by no means know what you’ll stumble throughout when discovering town on foot — simply be sure 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 sizzling and also you’ll probably 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 record 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 the easiest way to study extra concerning the tasty delicacies is to affix a tour. This can be a should do in Puerto Vallarta for foodies.

We’ve accomplished meals excursions all all over the world, and our favorite ones are in Mexico.

In Puerto Vallarta, try Vallarta Meals Excursions. This firm gives a mixture of tradition, strolling, and meals excursions, making it a good way to study concerning the metropolis of PV whereas concurrently feasting and dealing off the energy.

food tours in puerto vallarta visiting the taco stands
Visiting the taco stands is a spotlight of a meals tour in Puerto Vallarta!

There are a couple of foodie excursions on supply with Vallarta Meals Excursions, however we went on the “Unique Downtown Tour“, which took us via the middle of PV on each side of the river. We ate quite a few dishes and tried some drinks as nicely. You can too be part of their night taco tour.

We extremely suggest this tour! Click on right here to study extra and examine out the video we made:

3. See Rhythms Of The Night time (among the finest issues to do in Puerto Vallarta)

In case you’re on the lookout for a mini Cirque de Soleil-type cultural present and dinner expertise, then Rhythms of The Night time might be one thing you gained’t wish to miss!

We noticed this efficiency and though we’re not huge followers of enormous group excursions, this present was spectacular and price each penny. This is without doubt one of the prime excursions in Puerto Vallarta.

The night begins with a sundown cruise (together with open bar) throughout Banderas Bay to Las Caletas, which is a wonderful non-public cove. If you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a superbly 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 despite the fact that there are folks sitting in entrance of you, you’ll don’t have any points seeing the present.

rhythms of the night puerto vallarta mexico
Watching Rhythms of The Night time – we don’t often love touristy exhibits, however this one was nice!

The present depicts numerous tales of the traditional Hispanic civilization and Mexican folklore. In the course of the efficiency, there’s stay music, dancing, contortionists, fire-twirlers, and extra.

Following the present, you’ll get pleasure from a big buffet dinner earlier than returning to Puerto Vallarta by boat.

In case you’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 guide tickets.

things to do in puerto vallarta see the rhythms of the night show

⇒ 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 specifically, Puerto Vallarta. A number of 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 Woman of Guadalupe, or from El Barracuda which is our favorite seashore bar.

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 known.

watching sunset in puerto vallarta mexico is one of the best things to do
The sunsets in Puerto Vallarta are spectacular

*Word: Puerto Escondido is one other epic Pacific Coast vacation spot for sunsets in Mexico. When you’ve got 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 slightly than the Pacific. I feel this is without doubt one of the greatest seashores in Mexico.

Playa las Gemelas has turquoise water and whitish sand. Once 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 dependent upon the climate and the time of yr.

best things to do in puerto vallarta

There are simply 2 condominium complexes on the seashore and nothing else…not even any bathrooms. Carry 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, however it’s price it if 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 our favorite seashore in Puerto Vallarta. Don’t miss it! Click on right here for instructions.

playa las gemelas beach in puerto vallarta mexico
Mountain climbing down the steps to Playa las Gemelas

6. Be part of a Booze Tour (with a aspect of meals)

For these of you who prefer to drink tequila – it’s Mexico, who doesn’t?! – this tour is for you.

Throughout our current 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 associate with the booze, you’ll get some tasty meals to assist absorb 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 rather a lot concerning the traditions and creation of those alcoholic drinks.

food and drink tour in puerto vallarta. try tequila and food with vallarta food tours
Tasting Mezcal, with a aspect of crickets on our meals & booze tour

We had an important day with our information. A lot enjoyable actually, 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 on Get Your Information, or should you desire, you’ll be able to study extra and guide via Viator.

7. Eat Recent Oysters

Whereas Mexico is considered one of the most effective nations on this planet for meals and there’s positively a Puerto Vallarta restaurant for everybody, typically it’s good to eat road (seashore) meals. In case you’re an oyster lover, you’ll be joyful to know you can get recent 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 luxuriate in your plate of meals by the water, or you’ll be able to take them to go. Squeeze some lime juice on, sprinkle with some salt and add some sizzling sauce should you like. Take pleasure in!

☞ SEE ALSO: Playa del Carmen Mexico: The Final Journey Information

8. Go to San Pancho

About an hour’s drive from Puerto Vallarta is the seashore city of San Pancho (San Francisco), which is without doubt one of the greatest day journeys from Puerto Vallarta.

This small city isn’t as quiet because it as soon as was, however it’s nonetheless a pleasant place to go to. What’s shocking is that despite the fact that it’s not a really huge place, there are many issues to do in San Pancho.

You’ll be able to go {golfing} for the morning (or late afternoon), eat some actually good worldwide meals, take Spanish classes, do yoga, go online, watch the infant turtles be launched and extra.

It’s a cool place to spend the afternoon because it’s simply an hour away from Puerto Vallarta. Replace 2022: sadly, the golf course in San Pancho is closed now.

To get from Puerto Vallarta to San Pancho, you’ll be able to lease a automobile, take the bus for round 50 pesos, or be part of a day tour of San Pancho and close by Sayulita.

Word: the ocean right here is kind of tough and isn’t an important place for swimming. You could possibly try Bucerias for swimming.

day trip from puerto vallarta visit san pancho

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 get pleasure from a stroll, with out having to cope with the busy visitors that whizzes alongside the slim streets.

Alongside the Malecon, you might have the attractive 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 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 without doubt one of the hottest issues to do in La Paz as nicely.

street art on the malecon in puerto vallarta
The Malecon at all times has one thing occurring

The place to Keep in Puerto Vallarta

There are quite a few resorts, motels, boutiques, hostels, Airbnbs, and flats for lease in Puerto Vallarta. There actually is one thing for everybody, with Airbnb and Reserving.com being the preferred methods to guide. 

10. Be part of a Chocolate Making Class

The Choco Museum is without doubt one of the many free issues to do in Puerto Vallarta. In case you’re serious 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 sure that to affix one of many lessons 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 lessons.

☞ SEE ALSO: Issues To Do in Cabo San Lucas – A Record of The High 21

11. Mountain Biking Journey

Though lounging by the seashore 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 every so often! This is without doubt one of the Puerto Vallarta actions you don’t wish to miss.

Eco Experience is an eco-conscious firm in Puerto Vallarta that provides mountain biking and climbing journeys within the surrounding jungle trails of the Occidental Sierra Madre.

In case you’re into journey and being energetic, this is without doubt one of the issues to do in Puerto Vallarta that ought to be on the prime of your record. 

They’ve biking excursions for newbies and superior riders, plus they provide totally different size journeys as nicely — from 15 to 48 kilometers (9.3 – 30 miles).

The routes cross via villages, waterfalls, rivers, pine timber, and extra. Click on right here to study extra about Eco Experience and the biking and climbing journeys they provide.

*Word: should you’d slightly mix train with consuming, Vallarta Meals Excursions has a brand new tour known as Bikes & Bites…test it out.

Not into biking, however nonetheless wish to be within the mountains? 

Though we’ve by no means accomplished this in Mexico, zip-lining via the attractive cover is without doubt one of the hottest issues to do in Puerto Vallarta. You’ll be on the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains and may journey via the jungle over 2 miles (3.2kms) of zipline. This highly-rated ziplining expertise is a good exercise in Puerto Vallarta. And, if you end up within the Yucatan, ziplining is without doubt one of the greatest issues to do in Cancun as nicely.

12. Chill Out on Los Muertos Seashore

That is the seashore south of the Los Muertos Pier. And, as with the stretch of sand north of the pier, there are a whole lot of actions occurring — from swimming and browsing to parasailing and boating. Plus, you’ll discover quite a few seashore eating places and bars right here.

things to do in puerto vallarta visit los muertos beach

There are distributors wandering up and down the seashore as nicely, however they aren’t too pushy. Close to the south aspect of the pier, you’ll discover plenty of native households spending the day (particularly on weekends), whereas additional south from there may be thought of the LGBTQ space, which is at all times busy and a whole lot of enjoyable.

We’ve visited this seashore a couple of occasions now. Throughout December, the waves had been extremely huge and the surf and undertow had been unbelievably sturdy. 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 youngsters had been swimming. Once we hungout at Los Muertos seashore in the summertime, the water was calm all over the place — and we even noticed plenty of small Manta Rays!

All the time be conscious of the ocean and when unsure, at all times ask a neighborhood if it’s secure to swim.

☞ SEE ALSO: 51 Superior Issues To Do in Mexico

13. Wander The Previous City

Puerto Vallarta has a wonderful outdated city with cobbled streets and vibrant houses climbing up the hill. From close to the Church of Our Woman of Guadalupe, you’ll see rock/cement steps heading up the hill.

Take the steps and proceed strolling alongside the again roads in the direction of the Romantic Zone. As most individuals take the Malecon or the principle streets, you’ll have the quiet “higher” roads principally to your self.

walking around the romantic zone in puerto vallarta mexico
We suggest strolling across the quieter streets behind the Romantic Zone!

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 an incredible 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 plenty 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 beneath it. The diving in Mexico is subsequent stage. 

Whether or not you’re scuba licensed or not, try Banderas Scuba Republic. This firm is PADI acknowledged and the workforce is PADI licensed.

At this scuba store, you’ll be able to take lessons 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 situated within the Romantic Zone, cease by and examine them out.

Word: We didn’t personally dive with Banderas Scuba Republic, they had been simply extremely reviewed on TripAdvisor. All the time do your personal impartial analysis when selecting a scuba diving firm.

scuba diving in puerto vallarta

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 greatest to affix 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 Previous Metropolis Corridor Constructing. The tour is about 2 hours lengthy and no reservation is required. Click on right here for particulars.

In search of extra Mexico posts? See Additionally:

Issues To Do in San Pancho – A Record of The High 15

Issues To Do in Playa del Carmen – A Record of The High 21

Issues To Do in Guanajuato – A Record of The High 10

Locations To Go to in Mexico – High 33 Spots

Backpacking Mexico – High Causes To Journey Right here Now

16. Be part of the Free Artwork Stroll

Puerto Vallarta has probably 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 folks artwork. A go to right here is certainly one of many extra distinctive issues to do in Puerto Vallarta.

Entrance is free, there isn’t any information, however there may be often wine and tequila given to guests…free of charge. The “artwork stroll” runs from the top of October to the top of Could, 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 Woman Of Guadalupe

You’ll be able to’t miss the Church Of Our Woman Of Guadalupe if you go to. Towering over the middle of Puerto Vallarta is that this lovely piece of structure. In case you’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 without doubt one of the greatest 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 Woman of Guadalupe Competition, which incorporates candlelight processions, vibrant parades, and naturally, meals.

lady of guadalupe church in puerto vallarta mexico

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 Night time Of The Iguana. 

Lately, 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 seashore and also you’ll have views of the Los Arcos Marine Park. There may be, nonetheless, the Barcelo Resort which takes up a lot of the bay, however it’s nonetheless a pleasant place to go to.

los arcos and mismaloya beach

☞ SEE ALSO: Issues To Do in La Paz, Mexico – A Record of the High 21

19. Examine 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 good place to buy recent produce. This market runs from 6:00am to three:00pm, 12 months a yr. Click on right here for instructions.

Additionally, if you would like produce and fish, try the Municipal Market in December 5. Go early to get the most effective choice of seafood.

Within the strip of distributors, you’ll discover meats, greens, tortillas, and different gadgets. This can be a good spot to take meals away, or to create a scrumptious lunch! Visiting a neighborhood market is without doubt one of the greatest issues to do in Puerto Vallarta. Click on right here for instructions.

eating tacos at the markets in puerto vallarta

20. Do Some Mountain climbing

You gained’t actually discover climbing within the metropolis itself. However, should you take a bus, or drive your automobile 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 attractive water on the opposite.

You’ll hike alongside stone stairs and slim paths, whereas arriving at pretty secluded bays alongside the way in which. In case you’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 supply.

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 without doubt one of the greatest issues to do in Puerto Vallarta for out of doors lovers. For extra info on how to do that hike, click on right here

boca de tomatlan

21. Spend A Night time On The City

The Puerto Vallarta nightlife is superior. It doesn’t matter what type of a celebration you’re on the lookout for, you’ll discover it in PV.

From seashore 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 well-liked Malecon nightclubs (Zoo, Mandala or La Vaquita) or watch your favorite sports activities workforce on the large display at locations like El Torito Sports activities Bar & BBQ Home, Gamers and El Soñador

For stay music, you’ll be able to’t go flawed with Incanto, Roxy Rock Home, and La Casa de Hugo. If it’s craft beer you search, you might have a few choices in Puerto Vallarta. Don’t miss Monzon and Los Muertos. For cocktail lovers, try El Colibri, Bar La Playa, and Twisted Palms.

To study extra about the most effective locations to sip and dance, try our submit: Puerto Vallarta Nightlife – The Greatest Locations to Drink and Dance.

Bonus! Volunteer With Canines

In case you’re an animal lover, why not spend a couple of hours of your trip in PV volunteering with animals?

Mates of Puerto Vallarta Animals wants volunteers to spend time with the canine (and cats!) on the shelter. You’ll be able to assist out by strolling canine, feeding them and naturally, giving them plenty of love and a spotlight. 

The Acopio shelter is situated just a bit bit outdoors of the middle of town, however be sure to contact Mates of PV Animals first earlier than arriving on the shelter. Study extra about how one can make a distinction in a shelter canine’s life, right here

walking dogs things to do in puerto vallarta
Spend a morning strolling the attractive rescue canine in Puerto Vallarta

Now You Know What To Do in Puerto Vallarta

I hope this record of issues to do in Puerto Vallarta helps you propose your journey. Whereas town is kind of touristy, it’s well-liked for good motive and we actually get pleasure from our visits right here.

Be certain that to pattern the tasty road meals at any time when you’ll be able to, discover the native markets, and luxuriate in strolling across the metropolis. Tell us what you’d add to this record within the feedback beneath. Joyful travels 😀

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