12 Best Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

by Jen
Best Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
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Are you thinking about visiting Puerto Vallarta this year? Here are some of the best attractions in Puerto Vallarta. Your mind will be blown by these captivating sights and destinations!

Ah, Puerto Vallarta! This gem on Mexico’s Pacific coast offers stunning beaches and a playground of adventures. I’ve wandered the charming streets of the Zona Romantica and lounged on the sun-kissed sands of Los Muertos Beach, and trust me, the experiences here are unforgettable.

In Puerto Vallarta, excitement awaits around every corner. From zip-lining through lush jungles to savoring local flavors, or soaking up the laid-back vibe, this place has it all.

Ready to uncover the best places to visit in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico? Let’s embark on this journey together, where each day promises fun, sun, and memories to last a lifetime!

The top places to visit in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico right now

Best Places to Visit in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Eager to discover the most beautiful places in Puerto Vallarta? Situated on Mexico’s Pacific coast, this lively city is packed full of amazing attractions for every kind of traveler.

Whether you’re captivated by bustling streets and cultural hotspots or seeking serene moments on sun-drenched beaches, Puerto Vallarta offers it all. Get ready to dive into the must-visit locations in Puerto Vallarta that you absolutely can’t miss!

1. Stroll Along the Malecón

There’s nothing quite like a stroll along the Malecón in Puerto Vallarta. This iconic boardwalk is a vibrant tapestry of culture, art, and ocean views. As I walked here, the lively atmosphere and stunning sculptures along the seafront truly captivated me. It’s a place where the spirit of Puerto Vallarta comes alive.

You’ll find street artists, musicians, and local vendors adding to the Malecón’s charm. Don’t miss the chance to snap a photo with the famous “Boy on the Seahorse” statue! My advice? Grab a gelato and watch a spectacular sunset. It’s a simple yet magical experience.

For those wondering about fun places to visit in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, the Malecón is a must-see. Whether you’re here for a morning jog or an evening wander, this bustling boardwalk offers a glimpse into the heart of the city. Trust me, it’s an experience that perfectly blends relaxation and excitement!

Exploring Malecón is one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Puerto Vallarta’s Malecón: a vibrant blend of art, culture, and ocean views where the spirit of the city thrives.

2. Relax on Los Muertos Beach

Los Muertos Beach is a slice of paradise in Puerto Vallarta. One of Mexico’s best beaches, this place h is perfect for those who love a mix of relaxation and activity. I spent an afternoon here, lounging under a palapa, and it was blissful.

The beach offers more than just lounging. You can try parasailing or jet skiing for an adrenaline rush. The beachside restaurants serve delicious seafood and cocktails – perfect for a beach day feast. I recommend trying the fresh ceviche here. It’s absolutely delicious!

If you’re wondering what to do in Puerto Vallarta, spending a relaxing day on Los Muertos Beach is a top pick. It’s a lively spot where you can soak up the sun, enjoy water sports, and immerse yourself in the local vibe. A day here is a day well spent!

Los Muertos Beach offers a perfect blend of relaxation and activity, where lounging under a palapa feels blissful.
Los Muertos Beach offers a perfect blend of relaxation and activity, where lounging under a palapa feels blissful.

3. Explore the Zona Romantica (Old Vallarta)

The Zona Romantica in Puerto Vallarta is a charming must-visit. This area, also known as Old Vallarta, is a picturesque neighborhood brimming with character. Strolling through its cobblestone streets, you’ll be enchanted by the colorful buildings and quaint cafes. It’s one of the best places to go in Puerto Vallarta for good reason.

Here, you’ll find a wonderful mix of traditional Mexican culture and modern amenities. The local markets are perfect for picking up unique souvenirs. The art galleries are a personal favorite. They showcase incredible works by local artists. I highly recommend visiting Zona Romantica during the evening when the streets come alive with music and outdoor dining.

Looking for the best Puerto Vallarta attractions? Zona Romantica offers a delightful experience. A walk through these lively streets is a journey through the soul of Puerto Vallarta.

Puerto Vallarta's Zona Romantica is a picturesque Old Vallarta with colorful buildings and quaint cafes.
Puerto Vallarta’s Zona Romantica is a picturesque Old Vallarta with colorful buildings and quaint cafes.

4. Visit the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is an iconic landmark in Puerto Vallarta. Its elegant crown and bell tower are not just architectural marvels – they’re symbols of the city’s spirit. When I first saw the church, its intricate details and serene ambiance completely took my breath away.

Located in the heart of the city, this church is a cultural treasure. The interior is just as stunning, with beautiful artworks and a peaceful atmosphere. If you can, visit the church during a service to experience its spiritual vibrancy.

All travelers compiling a list of what to see in Puerto Vallarta should check out the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It’s a place that connects you with the local history and culture. And don’t forget to check out the surrounding area – it’s full of charming streets and cozy cafes. A visit here is a serene break from the bustling city life!

The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is an iconic landmark symbolizing the city's spirit with elegant architecture.
The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is an iconic landmark symbolizing the city’s spirit with elegant architecture.

5. Take a Boat Trip to the Marietas Islands

Hands down, one of the most fun things to do in Puerto Vallarta is to take a boat trip to the Marietas Islands. These islands are a natural wonder, famous for their hidden beach and diverse marine life. When I visited, the crystal-clear waters and the abundance of colorful fish were simply mesmerizing.

The highlight here is the Hidden Beach, a secluded paradise accessible only at low tide. It’s like stepping into another world! Make sure to bring your camera for this one. And if you’re into snorkeling or scuba diving, this is your haven. The underwater scenes are breathtaking.

For those seeking unique things to do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, this trip is a winner. My advice is to book a tour with a reputable company to get the full experience. I used Vallarta Adventures, and I can personally vouch for their high-quality tour. This is one of those moments where you truly connect with the wonders of the natural world!

Experience Marietas Islands: a thrilling boat trip revealing hidden beaches and diverse marine life in crystal-clear waters.
Experience Marietas Islands: a thrilling boat trip revealing hidden beaches and diverse marine life in crystal-clear waters.

6. Enjoy Water Sports at Nuevo Vallarta Beach

Nuevo Vallarta Beach is where the fun’s at in Puerto Vallarta! This beach is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. The wide, sandy beach is perfect for activities like kite surfing and stand-up paddleboarding. For families, this is one of the best places to visit in Puerto Vallarta with kids.

What’s great about Nuevo Vallarta Beach is its family-friendly vibe. The waters here are calm, which makes it ideal for swimming and floating around. If you’re into something more relaxing, beach volleyball is a popular pick.

Looking for fun places to visit in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico? Vallarta Beach is a top choice. It’s not just about the water sports. It’s about the lively atmosphere and the joy of being outdoors. My tip: rent a kayak and explore the coastline at your own pace. It’s a fantastic way to see the beauty of Puerto Vallarta from a different angle! Fly to Mexico and this is one of the first things you’ll want to do in Puerto Vallarta.

Nuevo Vallarta Beach is one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Nuevo Vallarta Beach: a water sports paradise in Puerto Vallarta, perfect for families and kids’ adventures.

7. Go Whale Watching (Seasonal)

Ever dreamed of seeing majestic whales up close? In Puerto Vallarta, this dream comes true! Whale watching here is an experience that will leave you in awe. From December to March, the bay becomes a haven for humpback whales. Seeing these gentle giants in their natural habitat is simply magical.

The tours are not just about spotting whales – they’re educational too. You’ll learn a lot about these magnificent creatures from the knowledgeable guides. The moment a whale breaches the water’s surface is breathtaking!

Remember, this activity is seasonal, so plan your trip accordingly. It’s a rare opportunity to connect with nature and witness the beauty of marine life. Make sure to bring a camera with a good zoom to capture these incredible moments. This is one of the most unique things to do in Puerto Vallarta that you shouldn’t miss!

Puerto Vallarta offers a magical experience: whale watching from December to March, witnessing humpback whales.
Puerto Vallarta offers a magical experience: whale watching from December to March, witnessing humpback whales.

8. Visit the Vallarta Botanical Gardens

Get ready for a lush escape! The Vallarta Botanical Gardens are a green wonderland in Puerto Vallarta. The first time I visited, the array of exotic plants and flowers was simply stunning.

Located in the Sierra Madre Mountains, these gardens offer a refreshing break from the beach scene. You can explore walking trails, spot colorful birds, and even take a dip in the river. The orchid conservatory is a must-see – it’s like stepping into a floral paradise!

For those curious about the best places to see in Puerto Vallarta, the Botanical Gardens are a unique choice. It’s a chance to immerse yourself in nature and learn about Mexico’s diverse plant life. I recommend bringing a picnic and enjoying a lunch surrounded by the beauty of the gardens.

This tranquil spot is perfect for nature lovers and those looking for a peaceful day out. Trust me, the serene vibes and natural beauty here are a true breath of fresh air!

Vallarta Botanical Gardens is a lush green wonderland boasting stunning arrays of exotic plants and flowers.
Vallarta Botanical Gardens is a lush green wonderland boasting stunning arrays of exotic plants and flowers.

9. Go Zip-lining in the Jungle

For an adrenaline-packed adventure, Vallarta Adventures’ Extreme Zip Line Canopy Adventure in Puerto Vallarta is a must-try! Imagine soaring through the air on Mexico’s longest and fastest zip line – it’s an experience that will leave you buzzing with excitement. The views of the lush jungle and flowing rivers from above are simply breathtaking.

Zip-lining is definitely one of the coolest things to do in Puerto Vallarta. Stretching over 1,200 meters, you’ll reach speeds of over 60 mph with Vallarta Adventures’ zipline. How exciting is that? Just remember to bring a GoPro or a camera to capture these unforgettable moments.

Vallarta Adventures offers a well-organized and safe experience, which makes it perfect for both thrill-seekers and first-timers. The friendly guides ensure you’re comfortable every step of the way.

This thrilling experience offers a unique way to connect with Puerto Vallarta’s natural beauty. Believe me, it’s an adventure you won’t forget!

Experience the thrill at Vallarta Adventures' Extreme Zip Line Canopy Adventure.
Experience the thrill at Vallarta Adventures’ Extreme Zip Line Canopy Adventure. | Image Source: https://www.vallarta-adventures.com/

10. Take a Tequila Tour

Embarking on a tequila tour in Puerto Vallarta is like stepping into a rich world of flavors and traditions. I recommend Finca 18’s Tequila Tour. The experience I had here was not only educational but also incredibly fun.

Finca 18 offers a comprehensive look at the tequila-making process, from harvesting the agave to the final distillation. The guides are passionate and knowledgeable, which makes the tour both informative and engaging. And the tasting session? It’s a revelation of flavors that will change the way you think about tequila.

This tequila tour is a standout choice if you’re looking for amazing things to do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It’s an opportunity to delve into Mexican culture and savor tequila in a way you’ve never done before. My advice: don’t miss the chance to try their premium tequilas – they’re a game-changer!

This tour is a must for anyone who loves tequila or wants to understand more about this iconic Mexican drink. Check it out!

Discover the rich world of flavors and traditions on a tequila tour in Puerto Vallarta, like the Finca 18's Tequila Tour.
Discover the rich world of flavors and traditions on a tequila tour in Puerto Vallarta, like the Finca 18’s Tequila Tour.

11. Experience the Vibrant Nightlife

Craving a night to remember in Puerto Vallarta? The city’s nightlife is an electrifying mix of colors, music, and energy! From beachfront bars to chic nightclubs, there’s a rhythm here for every kind of night owl.

The Malecón area is a hotspot for nightlife. Here, you can hop from trendy bars to lively dance floors, all while enjoying the ocean breeze.  For a taste of local culture, check out a live Mariachi performance. It’s an experience that truly embodies the spirit of Mexico.

Without a doubt, one of the best Puerto Vallarta things to do is diving into the local nightlife. It’s not just about partying – it’s about experiencing the city’s vibrant energy. Try a cocktail made with local tequila or mezcal to kickstart your night!

Puerto Vallarta’s nightlife is a dynamic blend of traditional and modern, perfect for creating unforgettable memories. A night out here is like no other!

Puerto Vallarta's nightlife: an electrifying mix of colors, music, and energy.
Puerto Vallarta’s nightlife: an electrifying mix of colors, music, and energy.

12. Sample Local Cuisine

Exploring the local cuisine in Puerto Vallarta is an adventure for your taste buds. Every corner of this vibrant city offers a unique blend of traditional and contemporary flavors. I still savor the memory of the fresh ceviche I enjoyed by the sea – a true taste of the ocean’s bounty.

As you meander through the lively streets, the array of dining options is astounding. Street food stands are gems, offering authentic Mexican delights like tacos al pastor and hand-made guacamole. If you’re looking for a scenic dining experience, the restaurants along the Malecón serve up exquisite dishes against the backdrop of the Pacific.

Indulging in the local food scene is essential when discovering what to see in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It’s an opportunity to connect with the city’s rich heritage through every bite. Be adventurous with your choices – you might discover your new favorite dish!

In Puerto Vallarta, savor a culinary adventure blending traditional and contemporary flavors.
In Puerto Vallarta, savor a culinary adventure blending traditional and contemporary flavors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Puerto Vallarta.

What is Puerto Vallarta best known for?

Puerto Vallarta is famous for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich cultural heritage. It’s a place where the beauty of the Pacific Ocean meets the charm of traditional Mexico. The Malecón boardwalk, with its sculptures and street performers, is iconic. Also, the city’s reputation for incredible seafood and friendly locals is well-deserved.

How many days do you need in Puerto Vallarta?

I recommend at least 5 to 7 days in Puerto Vallarta. This gives you enough time to explore the main attractions, relax on the beach, and maybe even take a day trip or two. If you can stay longer, it’s worth it to really soak in the local culture and lifestyle.

Is there lots to do in Puerto Vallarta?

Absolutely! From water sports and boat trips to exploring the Zona Romantica and enjoying the local cuisine, there’s a lot to do in Puerto Vallarta. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or looking for relaxation, Puerto Vallarta caters to all kinds of travelers.

People strolling by the bay in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico.
People strolling by the bay in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico.

Which is the best part of Puerto Vallarta to stay?

For a first-time visitor, staying in the Zona Romantica or near the Malecón is ideal. These areas are central, full of life, and offer easy access to beaches, restaurants, and nightlife. If you prefer something quieter, the Marina Vallarta area is a great choice.

What month is best for Puerto Vallarta?

The best time to visit Puerto Vallarta is between April and June when the weather is pleasant, and the tourist crowds have thinned out. The whale watching season, from December to March, is also a fantastic time, though it’s busier.

Is Puerto Vallarta cheap?

Puerto Vallarta can be budget-friendly, depending on your travel style. Eating at local restaurants, using public transport, and choosing budget accommodations can keep costs low. However, if you opt for luxury resorts, fine dining, and private tours, it can be quite expensive.

The top things to do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for all types of travelers
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