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36 Best Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

There are so many amazing things to do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It’s a beautiful Mexican city that lies on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Puerto Vallarta has it all: it’s vibrant and fun, there’s delicious food, and there are many great outdoor adventures and attractions.

Justin and I spent a week in Puerto Vallarta and it really wasn’t enough. We would love to return for at least a month to explore the city more slowly, using Puerto Vallarta as a base to travel to neighboring small towns and villages. If you’re like us and you only have a week in PV, you can get a great overall feel for the city. Then, immediately plan your next vacation here!

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Best things to do in Puerto Vallarta

In this Puerto Vallarta travel guide, we’ll cover some basic info about the city. Then, we’ll show you all of the best things to do within the city limits. Most of these places are walkable and you can get around the city on your own two feet. Then, we’ll describe the best tours from Puerto Vallarta that you might want to add to your Puerto Vallarta itinerary.

An Overview of Puerto Vallarta Zones / Neighborhoods

Looking back from Centro to the Hotel Zone in Puerto Vallarta Mexico

Located on Banderas Bay on the Pacific Coast, Puerto Vallarta is divided up into zones that are the main neighborhoods of the city. These are all located to the south of the airport. For reference, it doesn’t take long to get from the airport to the Hotel Zone. Our resort, Dreams Vallarta Bay, was only about a 10 minute drive from the airport and a 5 minute drive into downtown (~20 minute walk).

To the north of the airport, you leave the state of Jalisco and enter Nayarit. This is where you’ll find Neuvo Vallarta and the North Zone. I won’t be covering these regions in any detail in this article as we didn’t travel there. Many people choose to stay in Neuvo Vallarta instead of Puerto Vallarta because there are many beautiful beaches and resorts there, too.

Los Arcos

In Puerto Vallarta, these are the five zones: Marina Vallarta, Hotel Zone, Downtown Puerto Vallarta (Centro), the Romantic Zone (Old Town), and the South Zone. Almost all of the activities you’ll find listed in this guide are located in downtown Puerto Vallarta or the Romantic Zone. Like I mentioned above, we stayed in the Hotel Zone, though you can also stay in Centro or the Romantic Zone to be even closer to the action.

Best Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta: Walk the Malecon

Starting point of the Malecon, The Millennia statue
Starting point of the Malecon, The Millennia statue

One of the most popular things to do in Puerto Vallarta is walk along the Malecon. The word “malecon” means boardwalk or pathway that runs along the edge of the coast. The Malecon starts on the north end at the statue, “Los Milenios” (“The Millennia”) and continues south to the Muelle de Playa Los Muertos, the large pier.

The Malecon, boardwalk in Puerto Vallarta

The vast majority of the Malecon is pedestrian only, so you can feel comfortable and safe walking here. It’s the center of all the action in Puerto Vallarta during the day and it becomes a hub for nightlife in the evening. There are rows of shops, restaurants, cafes, and even local entertainment, too. Here are some of the things you can see and do on the Malecon.

Watch the Danza de Los Voladores de Papantla

The Papantla Pole Flyers, also known as Los Voladores de Papantla or the Papantla Flying Men

The Papantla Pole Flyers, also known as Los Voladores de Papantla or the Papantla Flying Men, is one of the most interesting things you’ll see in Puerto Vallarta. This traditional ritual ceremony was inscribed by UNESCO in 2009 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The Papantla Pole Flyers, also known as Los Voladores de Papantla or the Papantla Flying Men

It is a a fertility dance performed by several ethnic groups in Mexico and Central America. During the ritual, four men climb to the top of a tall wooden pole. A fifth man plays a small drum and a flute, performing songs dedicated to the wind and the sun.

The Papantla Pole Flyers, also known as Los Voladores de Papantla or the Papantla Flying Men

The four men are attached to the pole with long ropes. They fling themselves from the top of it, slowly twirling upside-down around the pole and lowering down to the ground. In our case, one of the men who twirled in the air also played a flute while hanging upside-down, which is quite the feat!

If you would like to see the Danza de Los Voladores de Papantla in action, take a look at my Instagram post all about the Malecon. The last image in this carousel is actually a video of this traditional performance that we observed in Puerto Vallarta.

See the Public Art Sculptures

Open air sculpture gallery in PV

While there are many art galleries in Puerto Vallarta to visit, you’ll find lots of public art, too. This public art is outdoors for everyone to enjoy for free, at any time of the day. There is an open-air sculpture gallery along the Malecon where you’ll stumble upon many works of art.

Open air sculpture gallery in PV

I already mentioned “The Millennia” earlier, which is located on the northern end of the Malecon. When I mention the Puerto Vallarta sign later in the article, there’s another sculpture there, too (“The Boy on the Seahorse”. Here are a few more sculptures and statues to discover on the Malecon.

Origin and Destination scultpures
Origin and Destination

“Origin and Destination” is located on the corner of Allende and the Malecon. There are five sculptures within this display that represent humanity, knowledge, music, and time.

The Rotunda of the Sea sculptures
The Rotunda of the Sea

“La Rotonda del Mar” (“The Rotunda of the Sea”) is another impressive collection of sculptures on the corner of Aldama and the Malecon. These are eight high-back chairs with exaggerated human anatomy and fantasy imagery.

In Search of Reason
In Search of Reason

“In Search of Reason” is another sculpture where figures are seen climbing up a ladder. People love to climb up this ladder (I saw a bunch of kids climbing it when I was there). Just be careful if you decide to do this – watch your step and don’t fall off!

The Friendship Fountain

The Friendship Fountain is a beautiful work featuring three dolphins leaping into the air. The sculpture was designed by a sculptor from Santa Barbara, California. Puerto Vallarta and Santa Barbara are sister cities.

Watch an Artist Create Sand Sculptures

Sand sculptures on the Malecon

In addition to public art, you might have the opportunity to watch an artist create a sand sculpture before your eyes. We watched a man carving a beautiful sculpture out of sand right on the Malecon. It’s so detailed and truly amazing that someone can make this from sand.

Sand sculpture wishing well on the Malecon

We also saw a smaller sculpture beside it with a small “wishing well” where you can donate some coins to make a wish.

Get a Photo With the Puerto Vallarta Sign

Puerto Vallarta Sign

Did you even visit Puerto Vallarta if you didn’t get a photo with the sign? You can’t miss the Puerto Vallarta sign when you walk past it on the Malecon. There are brightly painted letters that spell out Puerto Vallarta, and there might even be a little queue of visitors waiting to get their photo taken with it.

This Puerto Vallarta landmark was created for World Tourism Day in 2016. In between “Puerto” and “Vallarta”, you’ll find a seahorse statue, one of many statues and public art along the Malecon.

Go Shopping at Little Markets and Unique Stores

Things to do in Puerto Vallarta - Go shopping on the Malecon

There are lots of shops on the Malecon where you can find unique handcrafted goods and local souvenirs. Some things that you can find while shopping in Puerto Vallarta include handblown and painted glassware, Talavera pottery, bottles of tequila, colorful art made by the Huichol tribe, silver jewelry, coffee beans, vanilla, and beach sarongs.

Things to do in Puerto Vallarta

We really loved this shop on the Malecon that featured bead art produced by members of the Huichol tribe. You can’t miss the building (it’s brightly painted!) and there are colorful beaded animals for sale. We brought home some as gifts and one for ourselves, too.

Visit the ChocoMuseo Puerto Vallarta

Did you know that Puerto Vallarta has a chocolate museum? You can learn about the history of chocolate and how it is made from cacao. The museum also has lots of great interactive workshops, including how to make chocolate, truffles, or mole sauce. This is a bean to bar workshop at the ChocoMuseo. You’ll learn how to roast and grind cocoa beans, prepare three traditional chocolate drinks, and you’ll get to take home the chocolate you’ve made.

Muelle de Playa Los Muertos (Los Muertos Beach Pier)

Muelle de Playa Los Muertos (Los Muertos Beach Pier)

The pier at Los Muertos Beach is a must visit in Puerto Vallarta. It was designed by an accomplished and award winning architect and unveiled in 2013. Its design is modern and nautical-themed, reminiscent of a sail. At night, it is illuminated with changing colors.

Muelle de Playa Los Muertos (Los Muertos Beach Pier)
Muelle de Playa Los Muertos (Los Muertos Beach Pier)
Muelle de Playa Los Muertos (Los Muertos Beach Pier)

The Los Muertos Beach Pier is free for everyone to enjoy at any time of the day. Go for a wander out along the pier, admire the architecture, and enjoy the beautiful views all around. You’ll see the beach, buildings lining the beach, and mountains off in the distance. This beach pier is located in the middle of the Romantic Zone on the southern end of the Malecon.

Get Instagram Worthy Photos at the Colorful Buildings

Colorful buildings in Puerto Vallarta / Colorful facades

When I was researching our trip to Puerto Vallarta, I kept seeing the same photo of these bright and colorful buildings. Yet, no one would explain where to find them. I’m going to save you the trouble and tell you exactly where to see the colorful buildings in Puerto Vallarta.

They’re located in the Romantic Zone, and it turns out that they are not really colourful buildings at all. In fact, they are the facade of a hotel. Walk to the Playa Los Arcos Hotel on the corner of Olas Altas and Basilio Badillo where you can’t miss them.

Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta: Mirador el Cerro de la Cruz

Mirador el Cerro de la Cruz

Mirador el Cerro de la Cruz (The Cross on the Hill Lookout) offers one of the most amazing views in Puerto Vallarta. It’s 100% free to visit and one of the best free things to do in Puerto Vallarta. Like many lookouts, it requires a little work to get to the top. Trust me, it’s totally worth it!

Mirador de la Cruz

Mirador de la Cruz is about a 15-20 minute walk from the Malecon. You’ll start at the dead end at the far eastern side of Abasolo Street. As it will be a steady uphill climb to reach the end of Abasolo Street, I recommend taking an Uber or a taxi here. It will save you a lot of work, and you can save your energy for climbing the hill/stairs.

Mirador el Cerro de la Cruz

Once you’re at Abasolo Street, there is an uphill climb to the staircase. Once you reach the staircase, you’ll see two sets of stairs and a funicular. The funicular was not operating when we visited, so we had to climb the stairs to the top. I spoke to a friend of mine who visits Puerto Vallarta frequently and she let me know that the funicular hasn’t been operational during any of her visits. This makes me wonder if it still works at all?

Mirador el Cerro de la Cruz

We climbed the stairs to the top of the La Cruz hill, and it wasn’t too much work. Mirador La Cruz del Cerro offers a couple of different vantage points. One of these is right by the giant cross and looks out to the surrounding mountains extending off into the distance.

Mirador el Cerro de la Cruz
Mirador el Cerro de la Cruz
Mirador el Cerro de la Cruz

The most popular viewpoint is situated on the opposing side at the additional staircase structure. Climb up a couple more flights of stairs and you’ll be treated to panoramic views overlooking Puerto Vallarta and the Pacific Ocean. These views are spectacular and not to be missed.

Visit the Vallarta Botanical Gardens


The Vallarta Botanical Gardens are absolutely gorgeous. You can visit the plant conservatory, forest preserve, experience the nearby hiking trails, visit a vanilla plantation, and more. Relax among orchids, cacti, and coffee trees. You can marvel at butterflies and hummingbirds that are native to the area.

You’ll need to take an Uber or taxi to the Vallarta Botanical Gardens as it’s located about 30 minutes from Centro. There’s also the local bus to “El Tuito” at the corner of Carranza and Aguacate streets, in the Romantic Zone. The bus stops here every 30 minutes and you can take it back to PV, too. The fare is 30 pesos.

You can also visit the Vallarta Botanical Gardens as part of a tour if you don’t feel like taking public transportation. There’s a tour that visits the gardens, a distillery, and also includes a coffee tour. Book your tickets here.

Discover Beautiful Street Art

Street art in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is a very colorful city. One of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta is discover all of the murals and street art. Nearly around every turn, you’ll find art splashed across the walls. While you can see public art in the form of sculptures on the Malecon, the street art is all over town.

Street art in Puerto Vallarta
Street art in Puerto Vallarta
Street art in Puerto Vallarta
Street art in Puerto Vallarta

You can find colourful street art by walking around Centro and the Romantic Zone. Some of these are on the streets near the Malecon, others are on the way to local restaurants, and some we discovered coming down the hill from Mirador de la Cruz.

Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe

One of the most memorable landmark buildings in Puerto Vallarta is the Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish (Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe). Notably, there is a large crown at the top of its main clock tower. You can admire this beautiful church in downtown Puerto Vallarta, and it’s only a short walk from the Malecon. The church recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, and it is free to visit.

The Artisan Market on Isla Cuale (Cuale Island)

Isla Cuale (Cuale Island)

Isla Cuale (Cuale Island) is a small island off the Malecon boardwalk. You’ll walk over a bridge that crosses Cuale Island. I suggest making a diversion and taking a stroll on the island itself.

Isla Cuale (Cuale Island)

You will find lots of artisan booths with all sorts of unique handmade wares and souvenirs. If you love visiting museums, there’s the Cuale Archaeological Museum on the island that has a fantastic collection of pre-Columbian figurines.

Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta: Take a Walking Tour

Palm tree and Pacific Ocean

Taking a walking tour with a local guide can be one of the best ways to learn about a new place. There are a number of walking tours in Puerto Vallarta, both paid and free.

For a free two-hour walking tour led by a certified guide (arranged by the Municipal Tourism Office), meet at the Municipal Tourism Office in the Old City Hall building. You’ll walk through the historic old town, learning about Puerto Vallarta’s history, architecture, culture and more. The tours happen every Tuesday and Wednesday at 9:00am and 12:00pm, as well as Saturdays at 9:00am.

You can also have a more personalized and intimate experience by scheduling a private walking tour for just you and your partner/group. This is a very well reviewed two hour walking tour where you’ll learn about the history of the city, check out the street art, visit the local market, sample food, and more. Book your tour here.

See Rhythms of the Night

Rhythms of the Night is the number one activity on the list of things to do in Puerto Vallarta. It’s an evening experience that you won’t soon forget! It all starts on a boat cruise at sunset through the Bay of Banderas.

Then, you’ll be welcomed onto the beach for an authentic dinner beneath the stars as you watch the Rhythms of the Night performance. There are vibrant dancers and drummers in spectacular costumes. Book your ticket to Rhythms of the Night ahead of time as it’s likely to sell out nightly.

Best Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta: Go to the Beach

Playa Camarones

Of course, spending the day at the beach is one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort with a nice sandy beach for this reason. If you don’t want to stay at a resort, don’t fret. There are beautiful beaches in and around Puerto Vallarta that are easy to access.

Justin in Puerto Vallarta at the beach

Playa Camarones (“Shrimp Beach”) is one of the cleanest beaches in Puerto Vallarta that’s also Blue Flag certified. This stretch of beach is along the northern edge of downtown Puerto Vallarta (near “The Millennia” sculpture on the Malecon). You can sunbathe here, enjoy food and drinks from the restaurants and bars that line the beach, or even participate in some watersports.

Playa Los Muertos

Playa Los Muertos is one of the most popular beaches in Puerto Vallarta. It’s south of Centro and located in the Romantic Zone. Los Muertos Beach is a very lively place. You can try watersports, go swimming, or sample drinks and food from restaurants and bars. The Los Muertos Pier offers a great view of the beach and the surrounding area.

Playa Los Muertos

Lastly, Playa Las Gemelas is a pair of small beaches about 9km south of Puerto Vallarta. This is one of the prettiest beaches in Puerto Vallarta, but also one of the smallest beaches. It can get quite busy and crowded here on weekends and during the high season. There aren’t any vendors or shops on the beach, so make sure you bring everything you need for the day with you.

See Whales and Dolphins From the Coast

Whales in Puerto Vallarta

If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see whales and dolphins from the shores of Puerto Vallarta. Going whale and dolphin watching is one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta. While it might be best to book a tour, you may be able to spot some whales from the beach if you’re looking closely.

Whale alert bell

Whale watching season runs from December to March in Puerto Vallarta, though it can extend from November to May sometimes. January and February are the best months for spotting whales. Our resort had a “whale alert bell” that they’ll ring if someone sees a whale, in order to alert others to look out to the ocean!

Puerto Vallarta Nightlife

Dance Again

Puerto Vallarta is a super popular destination for its nightlife. While you can hit up the well-known tourist traps like Señor Frogs, I don’t necessarily recommend that spot in particular. In Puerto Vallarta, there’s really something for everyone when it comes to nightlife.

You can visit chill pubs, local craft breweries, beach bars, nightclubs, cocktail bars, LGBT-friendly bars, sports bars, live music venues, and so much more. Puerto Vallarta is one of the most gay-friendly destinations with lots of gay bars and a huge pride celebrations. The Romantic Zone is home to most of the LGBT-friendly bars.

Whether you enjoy dancing, sipping cocktails or wine at a wine bar, or meeting new people, Puerto Vallarta has some of the best nightlife around. You could hop from one bar to the next and likely not try them all across several vacations in Puerto Vallarta. If you want to party like a VIP, check out this nightclub tour where you’ll have unlimited drinks and skip the lines at three trendy clubs (with reserved tables, too).

Stay at a Beautiful Resort in Puerto Vallarta

Dreams Vallarta Bay Resort

While you might opt to stay at a local hotel or Airbnb apartment, Puerto Vallarta has many luxurious all-inclusive resorts. It all depends on what kind of holiday you’re looking for. We were searching for something super relaxing where we could relax by the beach and pool with unlimited food and drink. If you’re looking for a stress-free and worry-free vacation, consider one of Puerto Vallarta’s all-inclusive resorts.

Dreams Vallarta Bay Resort

Dreams Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa is a luxurious five star property by AMR Collection, nestled on the edge of a golden sand beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. There are two resorts at this location. Dreams Vallarta Bay is a family-friendly resort, while Secrets Vallarta Bay is an adults-only resort. 

Dreams Vallarta Bay Resort

Justin and I stayed for one week at the Dreams Vallarta Bay resort, although we had day passes to the Secrets Vallarta Bay resort and divided our time between both properties. You can enjoy time at the beach and pool, yummy tropical drinks, and a luxurious place to call home. We loved the views from our balcony, which even had a jetted tub on it. Want to stay elsewhere in town? Browse this handy map for accommodations in Puerto Vallarta.

Watch the Sunset in Puerto Vallarta

Sunsets in Puerto Vallarta

It goes without saying that you need to watch the sunset in Puerto Vallarta every night if you can. When we visited Puerto Vallarta, there was a brilliant sunset every evening without fail.

You can watch the sunset from the Malecon, from your resort or hotel’s beach, from a rooftop restaurant like La Traviata, or from the Mirador el Cerro de la Cruz. As long as you’re facing the Pacific Ocean, you’re in for a treat.

Dine at Amazing Restaurants in Puerto Vallarta

Vegan food in Puerto Vallarta

There are so many awesome restaurants in Puerto Vallarta that you’ll love. It goes without saying that you’ll be able to try authentic Mexican food in Puerto Vallarta. However, there are a variety of restaurants for every taste with all kinds of cuisine. I also loved the low costs of dining out at restaurants in the city. Even ordering a taco feast didn’t seem to cost too much!

Vegan food in Puerto Vallarta

Justin and I went to several vegan restaurants in Puerto Vallarta, as well as vegan-friendly ones. We mostly ate Mexican food, but also enjoyed Italian food and even vegan ramen. Some of our favorite restaurants included 100% Vegana Taqueria, The Green Place, Mr. Vegan, Restaurante Vegetariano Mary, Vegan Ramen Mei and La Traviata.

Visit Craft Breweries in Puerto Vallarta

Beer in Puerto Vallarta

Love beer? While we had our fair share of Coronas at the all-inclusive resort, I prefer heading out to the local craft breweries to sample the local brews. Puerto Vallarta is home to three craft breweries: Monzon Brewing, Los Muertos Brewing, Los Cuentos, and Cerveza El Terrible.

Los Muertos Brewing has two locations, one of which is located downtown near Monzon Brewing, so you could visit both of them in one trip. El Terrible is far from the tourist area in the northeast end of town, though you can pick up bottles at the local liquor stores.

Don’t feel like planning your day? You can take a three hour tour with a local guide to sample up to 15 different kinds of craft beer in Puerto Vallarta. The Craft Brews and Bites tour features Mexican-produced microbrews and the city’s best pizza.

Coffee Shops and Cafes in Puerto Vallarta

La Ventana coffee shop

I’m a massive fan of coffee and coffee shops, and there’s no shortage of fabulous cafes in Puerto Vallarta. Yes, you’ll find Starbucks in PV, but you’ll also be able to visit a variety of independently-owned coffee shops, too.

La Ventana coffee shop
La Ventana coffee shop

Though there are a number of coffee shops in Centro and the Romantic Zone, one of my favorite coffee shops is La Ventana. There are a variety of hot and iced beverages, and you can request plant-based milk here (I believe they have soy and almond). There’s a cute patio on the side of the street or you can sip coffee in the small plant-filled indoor cafe.

Best Tours From Puerto Vallarta

While I love all of the free things to do in Puerto Vallarta, you can discover so many other interesting sights and attractions by booking a tour. These tours will allow you to explore the natural wonders of Puerto Vallarta. The adventures you have here will create a lifetime of memories!

Islas Marietas National Park & Hidden Beach

Take a day trip to the Marietas Islands and the Hidden Beach for an unforgettable day. There’s a maximum capacity of 15 people on this small group tour. In fact, access to the Hidden Beach is protected and limited to a set number of visitors per day to protect the wildlife at the national park.

While you’ll only be able to spend 15-20 minutes at the Hidden Beach (time is limited by the national park), it’s a once in a lifetime experience. You’ll also be able to go snorkeling and enjoy some other beautiful regions around the Marietas Islands on this trip. Book your tour here.

Take an ATV Tour Through the Jungle

Seeking an adventure? You can ride ATVs and go zip lining all in one tour! Travel by ATV through small villages and through the Sierra Madre Mountains. Fly through the jungle on an exhilarating zipline. As you experience this adventure, you’ll get to see some of the most beautiful areas of Puerto Vallarta, too. Book your tour here.

Yelapa and Majahuitas (Snorkeling Trip)

From Puerto Vallarta, you’ll take a boat cruise to the brilliant coves of Yelapa and Majahuitas. Admire the scenery and you might be able to spot some dolphins and whales. Go snorkeling at the Majahuitas Cove for the chance to see amazing marine wildlife. Then, you’ll be able to enjoy the breathtaking Yelapa beach and its hidden waterfall. Book your tour here.

Go Snorkeling or Scuba Diving

Scuba Mexico

Puerto Vallarta is an excellent destination for snorkeling and scuba diving. There’s so much life to discover under the sea. While it might not be as amazing as the Caribbean for snorkeling (Cozumel and the Riviera Maya in particular), you can still see lots of fish and sea life in Puerto Vallarta.

You can book this snorkeling tour to Los Arcos National Marine Park, where you’ll surely see lots of wildlife in this protected marine zone. You’ll explore underwater caves, coral reefs, and beautiful beaches. You can also go scuba diving with a 5-star PADI center where you can choose from several renowned diving locations.

Go Skydiving

This is for the adventurous folks out there! You can go skydiving in Puerto Vallarta. Soar up in the sky high above the mountains, the city and the Pacific Ocean. I am a little bit too scared to try skydiving, but I know that there are adrenaline junkies who would adore this adventure. Book your skydiving tandem jump here.

Go Parasailing

Ever wanted to try parasailing? Puerto Vallarta is the perfect place to try it for the first time (or a great tour for veteran parasailers, too). You’ll start right from the beach and sail high up in the air for a bird’s eye view of Puerto Vallarta. I love parasailing for the breathtaking scenery and the fact that it’s so quiet and peaceful up in the sky. Book your parasailing trip here.

Take a Whale Watching Tour

Whale watching Puerto Vallarta

As I mentioned earlier, Puerto Vallarta is an amazing destination for whale watching and dolphin watching. Your best odds of seeing whales is to travel to PV between December and March, especially in January and February.

While you can see them from time to time from the shore, it’s best to take a whale watching tour. Your guides will be able to point out the whales so you can see these incredible creatures up close. Here is a highly rated half day whale watching tour I know you’ll love.

Hop On Hop Off Bus in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta has its own Hop On Hop Off Bus. Buses run every hour and make various stops around the city. Get off the bus whenever the points of interest strike your fancy. Get back on the bus when you’re done. Your ticket also includes a tequila tasting, a lounger on Mangos beach, and entry to a chocolate factory.

Best Day Trips From Puerto Vallarta

Want to get outside of Puerto Vallarta? Puerto Vallarta is a fantastic base for exploring the region, whether you stay in Jalisco or venture out to Nayarit. There are a number of small towns and villages near Puerto Vallarta to check out. You can visit some of these places on your own by renting a car, taking a taxi or public bus, or taking a tour.



One thing that we had planned to do (but didn’t end up having the chance) was to take a day trip to Sayulita. Sayulita is about an hour’s drive from Puerto Vallarta, but it’s a great little spot to spend the day from what I heard from friends. You can enjoy the beach, go surfing, wander around the little restaurants and cafes, and more.

It’s possible to reach Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta by public bus, hiring a driver, or taking an Uber. You might have issues taking an Uber back to Puerto Vallarta from Sayulita, so plan for alternate arrangements back if you take an Uber to get there. To make your journey extra easy and enjoyable, you can book a day trip tour to San Pancho and Sayulita.

San Sebastian del Oeste

San Sebastian del Oeste is a remote tropical village surrounded by the mountains and lush greenery. It was once notable for its silver mines. Today, only about 600 people live in the sleepy village of San Sebastian. Walk on cobblestone streets to marvel at the old architecture and the colorful village square. You’ll also visit an organic coffee farm and a silversmith workshop. Book your day trip here.

El Tuito

El Tuito is another little town near Puerto Vallarta that’s a bit under the radar. The town’s name means “small beautiful valley” and it’s a bright and vibrant place to visit. During your day in El Tuito, you’ll learn about the town’s history on a walking tour, visit the botanical gardens, sample food and drink from an artisan bakery and a local distillery, and enjoy an authentic traditional Mexican lunch. Book your day trip here.

More Travel Blog Posts About Mexico

Seeking inspiration and advice for more upcoming trips to Mexico? Here are some more travel articles that can help you:

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