60 Awesome Puerto Vallarta activities
Puerto Vallarta is packed full of activities and adventures.
In fact, there’s so much to do we had to include 60 awesome Puerto Vallarta Activities in our final list.
1. Take a Puerto Vallarta food tour
Or does the secret food tour sound better?
Historically, Puerto Vallarta was a geographically important trade port and has many foreign influences on its culinary style. But this tour is about discovering Mexican food and the best quality cuisine around town.
2. Visit a hidden beach.
Take a water taxi, followed by a long hike to Colomitos or take a Suite Marine yacht and get there in style!
Colomitos is a really small secluded beach surrounded by rich jungle. It really is a little gem in the Banderas Bay.
Check out this top 15 Puerto Vallarta beaches guide to discover other secret beaches.
3. The essential Tequila Tasting tour.
Vallarta Tequila Tastings offer a variety of different tastings. An introduction to Tequila tasting, a Tequila and chocolate pairing (sounds interesting, maybe?), Tequila and Food pairing and tasting. Anyway, when in Mexico….
4. Discover Huichol art
Huichol refers to the Indigenous Huichol Native American from Jalisco, Nayarit, Zacatecas, and Durango. They have a reputation for colorful and vibrant handcrafted art and forms the backbone of the region’s artistic style and palette.
5. Take a short trip to San Sebastian
Established in 1605 and deep in the heart of the Sierra Madre Mountains, San Sebastian was one of the gold and silver mining centers of Mexico. To this day it retains a lot of history, culture, peacefulness, and magic.
6. Go whale watching
For many, getting up close to this huge Humpback whales is a bucket list activity. At the beginning of each year, Puerto Vallarta is a fantastic place to cross this off your list because of the Humpback’s annual migration.
7. Fine dining at Café de Artistes
Excellent for intimate celebrations or important business meetings, this top-notch restaurant has a 5-star reputation in Puerto Vallarta and Mexico. Café de Artistes was established by chef Thierry Blouet
8. Do you want to swim with dolphins?
Swim with the dolphins, get kissed by a sea lion and have fun at the water park. Dolphin Discovery is located 20 minutes from Puerto Vallarta and is the perfect location for families with kids of all ages to get those unforgettable family vacation photographs.
9. Hollywood history at Casa Kimberly
Firstly, Casa Kimberly is a beautiful and romantic hotel, perfect for those on a honeymoon. But originally it was a present from Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor when they visited Puerto Vallarta in the 1960s while making the film The Night of the Iguana.
10. Spend the night on a luxury Yacht with Suite Marine
Experience the yachting lifestyle, spend a day sailing across the Bay, take in a sunset, or go island hopping with Suite Marine.
During high season, Puerto Vallarta is full of tourists and vacationers and everywhere is busy and hectic. But Marina Vallarta remains still, relaxed and quiet. So Suite Marine was born from the idea of offering you the overnight yachting experience … your luxury hotel suite in the Marina.
11. Boundless beauty at the Botanical Gardens
The beautiful Botanical Gardens offer nature walks, guided bird watching walks, educational classes about the local flora and fauna even authentic Mexican food.
12. Take the kids to the Puerto Vallarta Zoo
Puerto Vallarta Zoo has a huge range of indigenous and non-indigenous animals to see and interact with. Some examples include a hippo, tigers, lions, jaguar, leopards, cougars, ocelot, grey fox, jackal, yaguarundi, margay, a wide variety of different bats, armadillo, cottontail rabbits, opossum.
Reptiles include crocodiles, tortoise, black iguana, green iguana, turtles, boa constrictor, rainbow boa, rattlesnakes, Mexican snakes, ball python
13. Catch a water taxi someplace, live the adventure
Catching a water taxi is just like drinking Tequila in Mexico, it’s one of those things that you have to try. They can take you to many hard to reach places across the Banderas Bay. Our tip is to negotiate the price before and enjoy the ride.
14. Mix with the locals at Plaza de Armas
Soak up the atmosphere, watch the salsa dancing and eat the local authentic food. Also, this is where to find the tourist board
15. Try a cooking class at Gaby’s restaurant
Do you love Mexican food? Have you ever wanted to learn how to make real Mexican salsas? Gaby’s restaurant is a popular place most nights but also does cooking classes on Mondays and Friday at 9 am. Not that’s a great opportunity to eat, learn and have fun.
16. If hiking is your thing, then El Nogalito is the place for you
El Nogalito is one of Puerto Vallarta’s rivers flowing from the Sierra Madre mountains. Walk through the natural trails, discover the flora and fauna, and drink from the crystal clear waters.
17. Devour the tacos at Mariscos el Guero
It’s kind of a tradition. Authentic, super tasty and just 20 pesos each. It’s ain’t much more to say! Street name: Calle Francisco I. Madero 291, in the Romantic Zone (Zona Romantica)
18. Drink a margarita and watch the sunset on the beach
Well, this one is a little obvious, we admit. But hey, take a look at that picture and say you don’t want one! Most bars near Los Muertos beach we happily bring you one while you enjoy the sunshine.
19. Do some exercise and hike to the Mirador de la Cruz
The bad side: there’s a lot of steps to the top. Our advice? Go early straight after your morning coffee.
The good side: spectacular views over Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay, perfect Instagram images and you don’t have to worry about going to the gym that day
20. Scuba Diving with tropical fish
The sheltered coves and the temperate waters of Banderas Bay offer great visual clarity for scuba diving in Puerto Vallarta. Sheltered from high winds and rough seas the Banderas Bay is a diver’s mecca. Ancient volcanic activity created unique underwater geological formations such as caverns, arches, tunnels, and swim-throughs.
The coral reef ecosystems of the Puerto Vallarta are home to an assortment of bio-diversity. Hundreds of colorful tropical fish species and many other interesting creatures live here including Sea Turtles, Giant Pacific Manta Rays, Black-tips, Morays, and Octopus.
21. Parasail on the Los Muertos beach
Parasailing is something everyone can do. Los Muertos beach is the closest beach to downtown Puerto Vallarta and full of activities. No training required, just strap on the harness, follow the instructions and fly up above
22. Visit the Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe
The Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe is recognized for its crowned Renaissance-style tower that can be seen from afar.
23. Make chocolate at the chocolate museum
Learn about chocolate making, do a truffle workshop, there’s even a mini chocolate class for the kids. If your kids are reluctant to go on a museum visit, then the Chocolate Museum is the best solution
24. Surf and Shop in Sayulita
Sayulita town is north of Banderas Bay and has a reputation for great surfing and fantastic shopping. The great surf is caused by natural reefs close to the shore and the fantastic shopping because of the local markets, laid-back atmosphere, and small community. If you are staying on a Suite Marine yacht ask us about a day trip to Sayulita. We can hook you up with something special.
25. Start early at the Flea Market on the Cuale river
Everything you need and more is here at the Flea market on the Cuale river. Start early and grab coffee and breakfast. Hunt for bargains and souvenirs. Don’t forget to barter, haggle or negotiate with the dealers.
For more shopping tips and ideas visit our page: Puerto Vallarta Shopping Maps Malls Markets and the Malecon
26. Get a massage next to the sea
There are quite a few massage places dotted around the beaches in Puerto Vallarta but the best ones are with the resorts. This example by Vidanta is part of a larger complex that offers everything from spas, reflexology, aromatherapy, exotic body treatments, and a gym and fitness center.
27. Visit the Predator Movie set at Canope el Eden
In 1897 Arnold Schwarzenegger filmed The Predator in the lush, dense jungle close to Puerto Vallarta. Now at Canope el Eden you can go on 12 different zip lines at a speed of 25mph. The first 2 lines are for beginners. Great for photos and family fun.
28. Visit Pirate Land with the Marigalante Pirate Ship
The Marigalante pirate ship is an authentic Spanish galleon, built in the exact image of Christopher Columbus’s ship the Santa Maria. The ship consists of four decks, an air-conditioned dining room, and a full bar. Several tours are available, including an all-day option with family-friendly activities such as snorkeling and an evening sunset cruise with fireworks and music for dancing. All cruises include meals, an open bar, and an exciting pirate show that is performed in both English and Spanish.
29. Take a taco tour
Like tacos? The advice here is to “come hungry” and experience the authentic Mexican food of Puerto Vallarta. Bilingual guides with Vallarta Eats
30. Try 18 holes of golf on a 5-star golf course
For more about golf in Puerto Vallarta, click on the image below
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Wow! Congratulations! You made it halfway through this extensive, exciting list of 60 awesome Puerto Vallarta activities. Your reward is candy. It’s a little secret place that we’re positive you will love
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31. Reward yourself with the local Mexican candy at La Casa del Dulce
Are you like me and always curious to taste the local candy to see how it compares? Personally, I can’t resist. At La Casa del Dulce you’ll find all the choice you will ever need in one small quaint shop. The address is Basilio Badillo 300 in the Romantic Zone. Puerto Vallarta Maps
32. Basilio Badillo Restaurant Row
Chances are that you will end up on Basilio Badillo street anyway. It’s located in The Romantic Zone and close to La Casa del Dulce in our previous mention. Here there are a ton of restaurants to choose from and the entire street is alive and buzzing during the day and at night time.
33. Learn to dance Salsa
Ritmos Latinos Dance Studios is the real deal. You can find them on street Juarez 479 in the center of Downtown Puerto Vallarta. There’s Mexican food, tequila, culture and then there’s Salsa! Go for it.
34. The free walking tour
Take the Downtown tour on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 9 am. They leave from the tourist office in the town square named Zocalo. Learn about the architecture, history, famous citizens and local tips to better enjoy your vacation. Wear comfortable shoes and bring water, it takes 2 hours. Oh, and it’s not really free, it’s nice to tip the guide with the value that you got from the experience.
35. Contribute to the conservation of baby sea turtles
This actually takes place in Nuevo Vallarta but it’s easy to get to from the center of Puerto Vallarta. Conservation projects have been going on For the past 30 years, in order to protect and save marine turtles, teams of local conservationists help turtles nest on the beach near Nuevo Vallarta. Then when the hatchlings are ready, they release them back into the ocean.
The takes place between July and December. Contact the “Campamento Tortuguero Boca de Tomates” and ask them if you can participate in a scheduled activity. It’s an educational, inspiring experience that the whole family will always remember.
36. Eat Guacamole and Mole at El Mole de Jovita
Mole is a traditional Mexican dish and Jovita’s special recipe is a popular attraction in Puerto Vallarta. They sometimes use the slogan “Holy Moly” and “Love and gratitude” which says it all about the service, atmosphere, and quality of this choice.
37. El Salado Protected Estuary (Area Natural Protegida Estero El Salado)
Located beside Vallarta Marina and Suite Marine and in the middle of the entire city of Puerto Vallarta, El Salado is an”Ecological Conservation Zone”. Protection by the Mexican State is an urban estuary that is home to a wide variety of fish, reptiles, and other animals. Guided boat tours are available
38. Cultural history at Museo del Cuale
Museo del Cuale has an excellent collection of pre-Hispanic ceramics that date back to between 5000 and 2000 A.C. The collections give a good archaeological introduction to the indigenous peoples who lived in western Mexico during this time. The museum information is in both English and Spanish, and admission is free of charge. The museum opens from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10 am to 7 pm
39. Visit the Naval Museum (Museo Naval Puerto Vallarta)
The full name for the Museum is Museo Naval Secretaria de Marina Armada de México. It is now an important reference in Puerto Vallarta and houses more than 150 different cultural objects related to the Mexican Navy. The museum includes interactive exhibits in 14 different rooms. The museum is open every day except Monday.
40. Rancho El Charro
Rancho El Charro is just 15 minutes drive outside of Puerto Vallarta. It offers vacationers scenic horseback rides into the Sierra Madre mountains. Most tours include food, vary in length and level of difficulty and some are appropriate for children.
41. Zip line above the jungle with Los Veranos Canopy Tour
Los Veranos Canopy Tour has 14 zip lines, the largest is 500 feet long, with speeds of up to 30 mph. Guides are fluent in Spanish and English and 4.5 hours in length. The last zip line brings guests to a tequila bar and restaurant by the river.
42. Puerto Vallarta Art Walk Collective
We love this one. The Puerto Vallarta Art Walk is a great website that lists 12 galleries in the city. The walk takes place every Wednesday from 6 to 10 pm until May 29th, 2019. You can research the different galleries before you start.
43. Retreat into Yoga in Puerto Vallarta
Blue Spot Yoga offers hot yoga retreats in Puerto Vallarta and specializes in pranayama, meditation, and kundalini. If you are yoga-centric you can retreat here and discover Puerto Vallarta the rest of the time.
44. Family fun at the water and amusement parks
There are 3 water parks near Nuevo Vallarta all offering amazing attractions for family fun.
45. Concerts, Shows and Events in Puerto Vallarta
In a vibrant and energetic city like Puerto Vallarta, there are continuous concerts, shows, and events to experience. Tennis tournaments, film festivals, gastronomic festivals, as well as business conferences and congresses. Depending on your arrival date you can find out more at the official Puerto Vallarta page.
46. Experience the nightlife in Puerto Vallarta
Play all day, party all night in Puerto Vallarta.
If you are in Puerto Vallarta for the first time consider taking a 5 hour nightclub tour. Skip the line, get into VIP, open bar and go wild on the dance floor. Essential locations include La Vaquita, The Zoo Nightclub, Mandala and Señor Frogs.
For the complete guide to nightlife in Puerto Vallarta, click on the image below.
47. Adventure in the Sierra Madre Mountains with a jeep tour
Vallarta Adventures offers an excellent offroad tour through the jungles surrounding Puerto Vallarta. It’s a great way to discover the old Mexican villages, learn about the ecology and wildlife without excessive walking.
48. Eat and eat more during Restaurant Week in Puerto Vallarta
From May 15 to June 10th is restaurant week in Puerto Vallarta when participating restaurants offer 3-course menus at 50% discounts.
49. Big fishing adventures in Puerto Vallarta
There aren’t many places to go fishing for the big fish but Puerto Vallarta is one of them. There are dozens of great fishing areas around the Bahía de Banderas (Bay of Flags) and along the coast of Puerto Vallarta. Fishing enthusiasts travel here to fish for Marlin, Tuna, Sailfish, and Dorado. To catch the really big fish you will need to go to close by locations such as the Marietas islands, El Morro and El Faro.
For the full Guide to Puerto Vallarta Fishing, click on the image below
50. Taste the coffee, chocolate, and cigars at the Vallarta Factory
Coffee lovers! This is the place for you. It also does a great for breakfast. Treat yourself to something nice at the Vallarta Factory
51. Explore the Marina
Upscale Marina Vallarta is a modern, planned development known for elegant hotels and resorts, sandy beaches, and a large marina that’s home to luxury yachts. It has many upmarket boutiques and restaurants along with a pedestrian boardwalk. The landmark El Faro lighthouse has a rooftop bar with views of the marina and hills beyond. It is also home to some of the Suite Marine boats and yachts.
52. Jet ski safari
Jet ski your way around Puerto Vallarta with the family with Eco Explorer Jet Ski Safari. Take in the views of downtown, the beach, and Los Arcos National Park. Your trip also includes 20 minutes of snorkeling (and equipment), bottled water, one hour of jet skiing, and life vests.
53. Take the family kayaking at Las Caletas
Kayaking is the ideal ecological excursion to explore the fabulous coves and beautiful island shores close to Puerto Vallarta. One of the best kayaking locations in Las Caletas, the famous former estate of a Hollywood director, John Huston. Las Caletas has a beautiful cove with clear shallow-water and a coral garden.
54. The Mexican tradition of Voladores de Papantla
The Voladores de Papantla performances originated in Veracruz. From time to time on the Malecón boardwalk, you might see five elaborately dressed men climbing what looks like a telegraph pole. Four of them launch themselves elegantly off the top, attached only by a rope. It looks scary, but it’s actually pretty spectacular.
55. Support a local charity like the Cat House in Puerto Vallarta
Support a local project by visiting a house full of stray cats! The Purr Project is a feline rescue shelter where you can donate, adopt and visit.
56. Feed a croc at the crocodile sanctuary
El Cora Crocodile Sanctuary in Nuevo Vallarta offers tours to observe crocodiles and turtles and other native species. El Cora is situated between the Flamengo golf club and the Tigre Golf Club where crocodiles are sometimes seen lazying on the greens.
57. Explore the Pitillal neighborhood
Pitillal is a neighborhood that is often missed by visitors but there is plenty to discover if you like going off the beaten track. Try the famed hole-in-the-wall juice spot named “jugos naturales” Paula.
58. El Coleguita has the best seafood in Puerto Vallarta
We did the tacos, the fine dining, the restaurant week and restaurant row. Last but by no means least is the seafood recommendation. El Coleguita on Popa street in Marina Vallarta is a place to return to again and again. The food is inexpensive, delicious, the service is fast and the portions are enormous.
59. Do the Southside shuffle (November to March)
Every second Friday over 20 shops and art galleries on Basilio Badillo in the Romantic Zone stay open late and serve wine and appetizers. Art, jewelry, fashion, collectibles, drinks, live music, food, and people.
60. Skydive over the Banderas Bay and Puerto Vallarta
Sky Dive Vallarta offer breathtaking tandem jumps over Banderas Bay.
Is Puerto Vallarta the place to do your first jump?
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