Whether you just want to be lazy on a beach and sip margaritas all day long or you’re ready to conquer the sky on a paraglider, you can be sure you’re going to have a lot of fun in Puerto Vallarta. Mexico’s prettiest beach destination, Puerto Vallarta awaits on the coast of the Pacific Ocean with awesome activities and memorable adventures. This lovely resort town has something for everyone and mixes and matches with talent and elegance historical sights, romantic charm, and modern amenities.
Tourists usually gather in El Centro and the Zona Romántica, where they fall in love with the city’s cobblestone streets and quirky shops. Marina Vallarta is where the yachts dock and tourists come to stay at luxury hotels and shop at trendy shopping centers, while the miles of gorgeous beaches stretch from Costalegre to Riviera Nayarit accompanied by fine dining restaurants and cool nightclubs.
Take it easy on the beach
Not exactly an adventure per se but nevertheless a super fun thing to do, relaxing on one of the picture-perfect strips of powdery white sand is the number one choice for many travelers who visit Puerto Vallarta. Playa Los Muertos awaits in the Romantic Zone, a perfect beach for sunbathing and swimming close to the central square and by far the most popular in the area. Great not only for sunbathing but also for beach volleyball, boat and banana rides.
However, the most beautiful beaches await farther afield, especially in the southern part of Banderas Bay. Beaches like Las Caletas and Playa de Las Animas are more secluded and serene, ideal for families and couples. Playa Quimixto has as a backdrop a pretty fishing village framed by lush jungle, while Majahuitas perfectly depicts a corner of exotic paradise.
Just 20 minutes by car from the central Puerto Vallarta, you’ll find the lovely Playa Las Gemelas, a majestic beach caressed by turquoise water, while 30 minutes by boat awaits Playa Yelapa, an authentic beach town untouched by tourism and fancy resort hotels.
Discover the aquatic paradise
Water adventures are the best kind of adventures in Puerto Vallarta. Book a snorkeling excursion to Los Arcos and discover a group of three small islands adorned with beautiful arches and embroidered with little caves where rays, puffer fish, sea turtles, and other marine life have found a home.
Bahía de Banderas is the perfect spot for diving, especially during the humpback season from November to March, when you’ll have the chance to spot whales and their calves enjoying the warm waters of Mexico before returning to Alaska.
A boat trip to the beautiful Islas Marietas should also be added to your itinerary, especially if you love snorkeling among colorful reefs where sergeant majors, rainbow wrasses, and giant damselfish live in harmony.
Feed your adrenaline hunger
If water adventures are not enough for you or you simply need something more exciting like zip-lining upside down, Puerto Vallarta will not disappoint you. Many tour companies provide trips into the Sierra Madre Mountains where you can satisfy your appetite for action-packed activities. Zip-lining over a gorge in the Orquideas River, rappelling down waterfalls or off-road adventures are all yours for the taking. Hiking, horseback riding, or mountain biking also are great options for outdoorsy travelers, as are canopy tours and village tours. You can even visit a distillery specialized in making raicilla, a Jaliscan spirit produced from the agave plant.
Nature lovers shouldn’t miss a visit to the Vallarta Botanical Garden, a floral paradise where they’ll discover a frenzy of colors and perfumes. The botanical garden is a great place for a short hike or a swim in the Horcones River while admiring the surrounding picturesque mountains.
Join the food and party extravaganza
Once the adrenaline hunger is tamed, you can book a food tour and discover the amazing variety of Mexican foods that Puerta Vallarta has to offer. Don’t hesitate to try the street food but also book a table at one of the sophisticated restaurants in the city.
Try the amazing brunches at the River Café, enjoy the fancy ambiance at the Café des Artistes, and discover the European-inspired specialties at the high-end Blanca Blue restaurant. Each experience will be unique and memorable. If you happen to be in Puerto Vallarta in mid-November, don’t hesitate to attend the annual Gourmet Festival.
After taking a moment or two to admire Puerto Vallarta’s famous sunsets from the Muertos pier of Vista Grill restaurant, head to one of the vibrant nightclubs along the Malecón, the beautiful beachfront boardwalk home to a superb collection of sandcastle art and sculptures. Want to take partying to the next level? Join a bar hopping tour and experience the nightlife with a touch of local charm.