Puerto Vallarta is a vacation spot that has been welcoming travellers for a few years, and it’s one of many high places to visit 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 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.
The 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 part of the city you keep in, as getting round is simple.
You’ll, nevertheless, need to select your zone fastidiously based mostly on the vibe you’re after and the funds you have got.
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 – just some minute’s drive from the airport, this space has many accommodations, eating places, malls, a Walmart & Sams Membership.
- Centro (Outdated PV) – smaller properties, residential space, the Malecon (oceanfront promenade) runs alongside right here, many eating places and bars. This space is on the north facet of the River Cuale and provides reasonably priced lodging.
- Centro (Romantic Zone) – positioned on the south facet of the River Cuale, you’ll discover quite a few bars, cafes, eating places and Playa Los Muertos Seashore. This can be a standard space with a big LGBTQ neighborhood. The lodging ranges from funds to high 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 accommodation and neighbourhood guide. And, for a whole rundown on travelling to town of PV, try our detailed guide here.
Finest Issues To Do in Puerto Vallarta
After travelling round Puerto Vallarta extensively and having many unbelievable experiences, I’ve narrowed down the 21 greatest issues to do on this stunning Mexican seaside city.
1. Stroll…In every single place!
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 town, and most areas of PV are reachable by strolling.
Mexico is already one of many cheapest countries to travel to, however when you are able to do issues without spending a dime, like strolling and sightseeing, it can save you much more cash.
This can be a nice approach to see what the distributors are promoting, to folks watch, and 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 footwear because the sidewalks and roads are very uneven.
Be aware: the best time to travel 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 most certainly need to be on the seaside all day.
2. Be a 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 some other nationwide meals group.
Mexican food is a lot greater than tacos and quesadillas and one of the simplest ways to study extra concerning the tasty delicacies is to affix a tour. This can be a must-do in Puerto Vallarta for foodies.
We’ve finished meals excursions all all over the world, and our favourite ones are in Mexico.
In Puerto Vallarta, try Vallarta Meals Excursions. This firm provides 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.
There are a couple of foodie excursions on provide with Vallarta Meals Excursions, however we went on the “Original 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 nicely. You may as well be part of their evening taco tour.
We extremely suggest this tour. Click here to study extra and test out the video we made:
3. See Rhythms Of The Night time (the most effective issues to do in Puerto Vallarta)
When you’re searching for a mini Cirque de Soleil-type cultural present and dinner expertise, then Rhythms of The Night might be one thing you gained’t need to miss.
We noticed this efficiency and though we’re not large followers of enormous group excursions, this present was spectacular and price each penny. This is among the high tours 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. Once 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 outside auditorium, which is surrounded by palm bushes. The seats are all staggered, so although there are folks sitting in entrance of you, you’ll haven’t any points seeing the present.
The present depicts numerous tales of the traditional Hispanic civilization and Mexican folklore. Throughout the efficiency, there’s reside music, dancing, contortionists, hearth twirlers, and extra.
Following the present, you’ll take pleasure in a big buffet dinner earlier than returning to Puerto Vallarta by boat.
When you’re questioning what to do in Puerto Vallarta at night time, that is it. Don’t miss this present. Click here to learn more about the tour and to book tickets.
⇒ See Additionally: Things To Do in Mazatlan – 21 Experiences You Don’t Want to Miss
4. Watch Sundown
There’s simply one thing concerning the sunsets on the Pacific Coast, and particularly, Puerto Vallarta. A number of the best sunsets we’ve ever seen have been from right here. Seize a drink and benefit from the present.
Nice viewing locations embrace 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 seaside bar had been top-notch.
As soon as the solar goes down, the celebration 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 the most effective free issues to do in Puerto Vallarta.
*Be aware: Puerto Escondido is one other epic Pacific Coast vacation spot for sunsets in Mexico. When you have 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 reasonably than the Pacific. I feel this is among the best beaches 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 undertows, and the waves had been enjoyable to swim in.
Different guests have skilled utterly calm water right here, so it actually simply relies on the climate and the time of yr.
There are simply 2 condominium complexes on the seaside and nothing else…not even any bogs. Convey a cooler stuffed with beer, water, and snacks, and spend the day.
The stroll to the seaside is pretty steep and down some uneven steps, but it surely’s price it once you see the view.
To achieve right here, you’ll need to park at Condominios Girasol Sur (in entrance, alongside the street). There is no such thing as a precise parking for the seaside, so that you’ll want to seek out some on the road, or within the few roadside spots in entrance of Girasol Sur Condos.
Alternatively, you may take a neighborhood bus and get dropped off right here. That is by far my favorite beach in Puerto Vallarta. Don’t miss it.
Playa las Gemelas Seashore Tackle: Carr. Costera a Barra de Navidad 2354, Sur, 48390 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico. Click here for directions.
6. Be a part of a Booze Tour (with a facet of meals)
For these of you who wish to drink tequila – it’s Mexico, who doesn’t?! – this tour is for you.
Throughout our latest 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 absorb the alcohol.
The dishes aren’t snacks, however reasonably, 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 top of it, however you’ll study loads concerning the traditions and creation of those alcoholic drinks.
We had an ideal 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 here to study extra concerning the Mex-ology Tequila, Tacos & Cocktails Tour, it’s the most effective issues to do in Puerto Vallarta.
7. Eat Recent Seafood
Whereas Mexico is one in all the best countries in the world for food and there’s undoubtedly a Puerto Vallarta restaurant for everybody, typically it’s good to eat road (seaside) meals.
When you’re an oyster lover, you’ll be completely satisfied to know which you can get contemporary oysters on the seaside. 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 may sit and revel in your plate of meals by the water, or you may take them to go. Squeeze some lime juice, sprinkle with some salt, and add some sizzling sauce in the event you like.
Another choice is to affix this tasty seafood experience 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 may wash all of it down with limitless beer. This unbelievable tour sells out quick. Learn more here.
☞ SEE ALSO: Playa del Carmen Mexico: The Ultimate Travel Guide
8. Go to San Pancho
About an hour’s drive from Puerto Vallarta is the seaside city of San Pancho (San Francisco), which is among the greatest day journeys from Puerto Vallarta.
This small city isn’t as quiet because it as soon as was, but it surely’s nonetheless a pleasant place to go to. What’s stunning is that although it’s not a really large place, there are many things to do in San Pancho.
One of the best ways to study all about San Pancho is to take pleasure in a leisurely bike experience across the city. A motorcycle makes it simple to see a lot of hidden gems and inform tales concerning the space. There are some locations to hire bikes across the city of San Pancho all alongside the principle road.
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 can rent a car, take the bus for round 50 pesos, or join a day tour of San Pancho and close by Sayulita.
Be aware: the ocean at San Pancho is kind of tough and isn’t an ideal place for swimming. You may try 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 cope with the busy site visitors that whizzes alongside the slim streets.
Alongside the Malecon, you have got the attractive ocean on one facet, 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 sizzling spot, particularly within the late afternoon and evenings when it’s a cooler temperature. And really, wandering alongside the Malecon is among the hottest things to do in La Paz as nicely.
A good way to discover a extra off-the-beaten-path space of the Malecon is to join this fun biking experience. Biking gear, meals, and drinks are included. Study extra here.
The place to Keep in Puerto Vallarta
There are quite a few resorts, accommodations, boutiques, hostels, Airbnbs, and residences for hire in Puerto Vallarta. There actually is one thing for everybody, with Booking.com having essentially the most numerous choices of gorgeous residences, accommodations, hostels, and funky household guesthouses.
10. Be a part of a Chocolate Making Class
The Choco Museum is among the many free issues to do in Puerto Vallarta. When you’re all in favour of 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.
There are a couple of tasty lessons out there. Click here for the chocolate truffle class, and click here for chocolate drinks and chocolate bars! Becoming a member of one in all The Choco Museum’s enjoyable workshops and lessons is among the greatest issues to do in Puerto Vallarta when it rains.
Choco Museum Tackle: Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez 128, Centro, 48300 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico. Find it on the map here.
☞ SEE ALSO: Things To Do in Cabo San Lucas – A Record of The Prime 21
11. Be a part of a Mountain Biking Journey
Though lounging by the seaside and devouring tacos is at all times a good suggestion when travelling to Mexico, it is likely to be a good suggestion to get some train each on occasion! This is among the Puerto Vallarta actions you don’t need to miss.
The crew at Jaguar Expertise in Puerto Vallarta provides epic mountain biking trips within the surrounding jungle trails of the Occidental Sierra Madre.
When you’re into journey and being lively, this is among the issues to do in Puerto Vallarta that must be on the high of your checklist.
The routes move by way of villages, waterfalls, rivers, pine bushes, and extra, earlier than ending off at a ranch the place you may loosen up in a hammock, or swim within the pool. All biking gear, information, snacks, and drinks are included. Click here to learn more about Eco Journey and the biking and mountaineering journeys they provide.
*Be aware: in the event you’d reasonably mix train with consuming, Vallarta Meals Excursions has a brand new tour referred to as Bikes & Bites…test it out.
Not into biking, however nonetheless need to be within the mountains?
Though we’ve by no means finished this in Mexico, zip-lining by way of the attractive cover is among the hottest issues to do in Puerto Vallarta. You’ll be on the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains and may journey by way of the jungle over 2 miles (3.2kms) of zipline. This highly-rated ziplining experience is a superb exercise in Puerto Vallarta. And, if you end up within the Yucatan, ziplining is among the greatest things to do in Cancun as nicely.
12. Chill Out on Los Muertos Seashore
That is the seaside south of the Los Muertos Pier. And, as with the stretch of sand north of the pier, there are numerous actions happening — from swimming and browsing to parasailing and boating. Plus, you’ll discover quite a few seaside eating places and bars right here.
There are distributors wandering up and down the seaside as nicely, however they aren’t too pushy. Close to the south facet 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-about the LGBTQ space, which is at all times busy and numerous enjoyable.
We’ve visited this seaside a couple of instances now. Throughout December, the waves had been extremely large and the surf and undertow had been fairly sturdy. The tough water began from the pier and went north to the La Langosta Loca restaurant.
Nevertheless, on the south facet of the pier, the water was calm and youngsters had been swimming. Once we visited Los Muertos seaside in the summertime, the water was calm in all places — and we even noticed a lot of small Manta Rays! All the time be conscious of the ocean and when doubtful, ask a neighborhood if it’s protected to swim.
Los Muertos is among the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta, and in Mexico as a whole. This seaside provides among the greatest water actions in Puerto Vallarta.
Los Muertos Pier Tackle: Francisca Rodríguez 121, Zona Romántica, Emiliano Zapata, 48380 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico. Click here for directions.
☞ SEE ALSO: 51 Awesome Things To Do in Mexico
13. Wander The Outdated City
Puerto Vallarta has a ravishing previous city with cobbled streets and vibrant properties 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 principally to your self.
You’ll come throughout properties 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 may come out close to the Rio River.
For a tremendous view, you may 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. Convey a lot of water and put on good footwear.
Mirador Cerro de La Cruz Tackle: Abasolo LB, Cerro, 48304 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico. Get directions here.
14. Go Scuba Diving
Getting out on the water is at all times 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, try Banderas Scuba Republic. This firm is PADI acknowledged and the crew is PADI licensed.
At this scuba store, you may take lessons and classes to get your certification, or if you have already got your Open Water, you may go for some dives. Whereas scuba diving in Puerto Vallarta isn’t the very best in Mexico, it’s at all times good to get out for a dive.
Whereas scuba diving is much better in Cozumel, round PV you may nonetheless anticipate to see turtles, rays, eels, and extra. Banderas Scuba Republic is positioned within the Romantic Zone, cease by and test them out.
All the time do your individual unbiased analysis when selecting a scuba diving firm. Examine critiques, security, and certifications, and even cease by the dive heart to get a really feel for the place earlier than committing. You can click here to seek for extra PADI-certified dive retailers in Puerto Vallarta.
15. Be a 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 very best 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 Office.
Tackle: 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 here for particulars.
16. Be a 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 unquestionably one of many extra distinctive issues to do in Puerto Vallarta.
Entrance is free, there isn’t any information, however there may be normally wine and tequila given to guests…without spending a dime. 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 here to study extra concerning the Artwork Stroll.
17. Go to the Church Of Our Girl Of Guadalupe
You possibly can’t miss the Church Of Our Lady Of Guadalupe once you go to. Towering over the middle of Puerto Vallarta is that this stunning piece of structure. When 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 non secular 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 among the greatest locations to go to in Puerto Vallarta.
If you end up within the metropolis from December 1 – 12, you’ll be capable to benefit from the celebrations for the Our Girl of Guadalupe Festival, which incorporates candlelight processions, vibrant parades, and naturally, meals.
Tackle: Hidalgo 370, Proyecto escola, Centro, 48300 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico. Get directions here.
18. Go to Mismaloya
Situated 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 Night Of The Iguana.
As of late, 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 beautiful bay is backed by thick jungle, there are eating places lining the seaside and also you’ll have views of the Los Arcos Marine Park. There may be, nevertheless, the Barcelo Resort which takes up a lot of the bay, but it surely’s nonetheless a pleasant place to go to.
When you love horses, this horseback driving journey is a must-do in Mismaloya! This journey provides small teams, and a extra genuine expertise. Learn more and book here.
Tackle: discover Mismaloya on the map, here. Rent a car, take the bus, rent a taxi, or be part of a tour to get to Mismaloya.
☞ SEE ALSO: Things To Do in La Paz, Mexico – A Record of the Prime 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 superb place to buy contemporary produce. This market runs from 6:00am to three:00pm, one year a yr. Click here for instructions.
Additionally, if you would like contemporary produce and fish, try the Municipal Market in December 5. Go early to get the very best collection of seafood.
Within the strip of distributors, you’ll discover meats, greens, tortillas, and different gadgets. This can be a great spot to take meals away, or to create a scrumptious lunch! Visiting a neighborhood market is among the greatest issues to do in Puerto Vallarta. Click here for instructions to the Minicipal Market.
20. Do Some Climbing
You gained’t actually discover mountaineering within the metropolis itself. However, in the event you take a bus, or drive your car out to Boca de Tomatlan, you are able to do a extremely nice day hike to Las Animas. The trail winds alongside the ocean, with the jungle on one facet and the attractive water on the opposite.
Take a look at this highly-rated, affordable day trip — which incorporates transportation from Puerto Vallarta, snacks, snorkelling gear, and a drink on the restaurant on the finish. Discover out extra here.
You’ll hike alongside stone stairs and slim paths, whereas arriving at beautiful secluded bays alongside the best way. When you’re fortunate, you’ll see some whales or dolphins enjoying within the water.
Your 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 seaside, and one of many many eating places on provide.
To get again to Boca, you may take a ship from Las Animas, or hike again the best way you got here. This is among the greatest issues to do in Puerto Vallarta for outside lovers. For extra data on how to do that hike, click here.
For the reason that journey is usually a bit complicated to do by yourself, an ideal choice is to affix this reasonably priced expertise with a neighborhood information, which incorporates meals, drink, and transport. Study extra about this enjoyable day journey here.
21. Spend A Night time On The City
The Puerto Vallarta nightlife is superior. It doesn’t matter what form of celebration you’re searching for, you’ll discover it in PV.
From seaside 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 standard 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 Bar & BBQ House, Players and El Soñador.
For reside music, you may’t go mistaken with Incanto, Roxy Rock House, and La Casa de Hugo. If it’s craft beer you search, you have got 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 very best locations to sip and dance, try our publish: Puerto Vallarta Nightlife – The Best Places to Drink and Dance.
Bonus Actions in Puerto Vallarta
There are a couple of extra distinctive issues to do in Puerto Vallarta that I wished so as to add to the checklist.
22. Volunteer With Canines
When you’re an animal lover, why not spend a couple of hours of your trip in PV volunteering with animals?
Friends 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 outdoors of the middle of town, however be sure to contact Buddies 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, 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 folks per day are allowed to go to this beautiful web site — be sure to book online ahead of time.
Situated a few 1-hour boat experience from the Puerto Vallarta marina, you’ll discover the Marietas hidden seaside. Not solely is the snorkelling and the seaside itself beautiful, however on the boat experience on the market you’ll most certainly spot dolphins, manta rays, and whales. Discover out extra 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 town is kind of touristy, it’s standard for good purpose! We’ve at all times loved our visits right here and I’m certain you’ll as nicely.
Be sure that to pattern the tasty road meals every time you may, discover the native markets, and revel in strolling across the metropolis. Comfortable travels 😀