Puerto Vallarta is mainly known for its beaches, water sports, and nightlife scenes. However, this is not it, there are so many more to do here including all of the above. Today, we will learn about all the things to do in Puerto Vallarta to create the perfect travel plan ever for this summer.
You will find enticing beachside promenades with contemporary sculptures, as well as bars, lounges, and nightclubs in Puerto Vallarta. Hence, we do know that it is extremely confusing when it comes to making a list of places to visit here.
Therefore, just to cater to all your problems, we have come up with a tailor-made travel guide for you. We will discuss only the best places to visit and the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta so that you have a clear picture in your head by the time you finish reading.
Let’s dive right into it!
List Of Exciting Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta
1. Rhythms Of The Night, Dinner Show
The Rhythms of the Night tour is probably one of the best Puerto Vallarta things to do at night. It has a full-fledged evening vibe. Starting off with a sunset toast to dinner on the cruise over the Bay of Banderas, it has everything that you desire.
On this 1 hour cruise, you can enjoy drinks on board with your partner or your besties while enjoying the famous Puerto Vallarta sunset that will literally make your heartthrob.
- Address: Las Caletas
- Time To Spend: Summers
- Attraction Points: Bay of Banderas
- Approximate Cost: From $126.76
2. Islas Marietas, National Park
The Marieta Islands or the Islas Marietas are breathtakingly beautiful. This area covers several isolated tiny islands, you will probably need boats to go and check them all out. It is a perfect fit if you are looking for a place to relax and explore some of the best natural beauty Puerto Vallarta has to offer.
They offer a full-day tour that will take you around the national park, where you will enjoy a fun and relaxing day of traveling on the catamaran, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and many more.
- Address: A few miles off the coast of the state of Nayarit, Mexico.
- Time To Spend: June
- Attraction Points: Hidden Beach, Playa del Amor
- Approximate cost: $62
3. Food Vlogging/ Tour, Puerto Vallarta
If you love mini food vlogs, go check out this stunning street food taco place at La Zona Romantica if you are a fan of Italian food. It’s absolutely okay even if you don’t want to vlog. Just do not miss their taco, you will regret it. You can also take a food tour where they will treat you to a visit to a tortilla factory, bakery, and ice cream shop to end the day, in addition.
They sell almost every taco variant that exists in this world. Be it beef, pork, or even seafood tacos, they have it all. Just name it!
- Address: Av México 1193-A, 5 de Diciembre, 48350 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico
- Time To Spend: Anytime.
- Attraction Points: La Zona Romantica
- Approximate cost: $52-$85
4. Magical Malecon
If Puerto Vallarta had a go-to spot, it would be its iconic Malecon. This mile-long walkway that embraces the coast takes visitors on a journey from Centro down to the Zona Romantica, or the historic district. On the way, you can intake the stunning views of the Bay of Banderas and jungle-covered mountains,
See the beautiful red-tiled roofs of downtown, stroll past many of the hottest restaurants, and view the city’s sculptures, beaches, and live street performances. Here, you will find the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta Downtown.
- Address: Paseo Díaz Ordaz S/N, Centro, 48300 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico
- Time To Spend: Any season.
- Attraction Points: Zona Romantica.
- Approximate cost: $7.49
5. Mirador De La Cruz, Hikin
Mirador de la Cruz offers the prettiest viewpoint in Puerto Vallarta. This hike starts at the foothills just outside of downtown and there are signs along the way. Just head to the end of Abasolo Street to get to the stairs.
The hike will take just about 15 minutes, but you will definitely get to take some time at the top to enjoy the splendid views over Puerto Vallarta and the ocean. There are a lot of steps up to the viewpoint, over 200 to be exact, so bring some water and take a few breaks along the way.
- Address: Abasolo LB, Cerro, 48304 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico
- Time To Spend: July
- Attraction Points: Abasolo Street
- Approximate cost: $7.49
6. ATV Ride In The Jungle
Riding an ATV in the jungles here is probably one of the most unique things to do in Puerto Vallarta. Do you know what makes it even more special in Puerto? Here you get to ride through the jungle and some of the adjoining remote villages as well. Going on an ATV tour is always a fun way to spend a few hours.
Also a heads up, you can book the spot at the same place as the film, “The Predator” with Arnold Swaranegar was filmed. It will be unforgettably historic!
- Address: Mountain Jungles in Puerto Vallarta.
- Time To Spend: Apr-June
- Attraction Points: “The Predator” with Arnold Swaranegar’s location
- Approximate Cost: Shared $42.75 Solo $67.50
7. Outskirts’ Beaches
Puerto Vallarta has some of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico on the outskirts. Unfortunately, those beaches are not in the city. The city itself is fenced with a shoreline, but these beaches tend to be incredibly crowded and jam-packed with restaurants and activities. To the south of Puerto Vallarta are two pretty beaches.
One is Playa Las Gemelas which is a discreet beach to the south of Puerto Vallarta on a stretch of sugary sand. You won’t see many tourists here, but that’s the beauty of it. Playa Mismaloya is in the next small beach town down from Puerto Vallarta, called Mismaloya. These are one of the best beaches near Puerto Vallarta.
- Address: 10 miles to the south of central Puerto Vallarta
- Time To Spend: Summers.
- Attraction Points: Playa Mismaloya
- Approximate cost: $693 per week.
8. Scuba Diving At Vallarta
This is one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta in July. Around Puerto Vallarta, there are some pristine bays, reefs, and marine reserves where you can see marine life and colorful coral. Exploring the underwater ecosystem is absolutely aesthetic and I’m sure you’ll have a great experience.
There are some really great scuba diving companies in Puerto Vallarta that are PADI certified and completely safe for tourists. You can choose between going on a fun dive or you can even join a tour. Not to mention, snorkeling is always a blast too and a great alternative to scuba.
- Address: Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
- Time To Spend: Summers, July.
- Attraction Points: Snorkeling point.
- Approximate cost: $139
As mentioned, Puerto Vallarta has the prettiest beaches of all and hence this is yet another one of the same sort. That being said, it means that it can often be difficult to find your own private stretch of sand. But that’s where Yelapa makes the entrance. It is one of the secret gems in Puerto Vallarta and one of the most beloved hideaways for locals.
This crescent-shaped sandy beach is just 20 miles to the south of Puerto Vallarta. It’s all about guesthouses, small hotels, and a handful of palapa-style beach restaurants.
- Address: Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico
- Time To Spend: Summers, May-June
- Attraction Points: palapa-style beach restaurants
- Approximate cost: $700
10. Deep-Sea Fishing
If you are someone who is fond of fishing culture, you can go sport fishing in Puerto Vallarta and have the chance to catch fish such as wahoo, sailfish, skipjack tuna, and dorado. Or another good alternative for the same is that you can even take a fishing tour instead of going fishing yourself.
This fishing tour takes you out on a specialized fishing boat with your own group, 4 people max. It is also a private fishing charter where all the gear and bait are provided and your expert guide will teach you everything you need to know. All sorted!
- Address: Av Paseo Dela Marina, 205 Col., Marina Vallarta
- Time To Spend: Any season.
- Attraction Points: Surfing Spots nearby.
- Approximate Cost: 4 hrs: $270 USD
11. Sayulita Day Out
Sayulita makes a perfect and common day trip from Puerto Vallarta. It is however not located in Puerto Vallarta but is just over the border in the state of Nayarit. Earlier, this bohemian surf town used to be sleepy and geared toward backpackers and surfers.
But a recent discovery has morphed it into a veritable cultural gem of all its own, packed with small restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries. Plan your vacation here around Easter and New Year’s, when the shores are brimming with tourists and nostalgic old-timers.
- Address: village on Mexico’s Pacific coast backed by the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains
- Time To Spend: October
- Attraction Points: small restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries
- Approximate Cost: Dining out: $200
12. Watch The Whale
This is probably the craziest thing that you can think of doing in Puerto Vallarta. Watching a humpback whale as it crests the surface of the ocean is an incredible sight. There’s just one thing that you should really keep in mind. The prime whale-watching season runs from early December to late February or early March, hence, this is one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta in December.
Enjoy watching the whales coming together in the warm waters of Puerto Vallarta’s Banderas Bay to have their babies. And although you can bring your binoculars and look for whales from the shore, try the Malecón walk since it’s the best.
- Address: Jalisco
- Time To Spend: December
- Attraction Points: Sea lions and whales.
- Approximate cost: $72 for adults and $48 for kids
13. Witness The Prettiest Sunset
Even if you don’t have humongous plans for the tour, there is still something in Puerto Vallarta that you can do for free. Visit any beach and witness the most beautiful sunset you will ever see. There’s something about the sunsets on the Pacific Coast, and in particular, Puerto Vallarta that makes you want to never leave the shore.
Grab a drink and enjoy the view with your partner. Other great viewing places include anywhere along the Malecon, up the hill behind the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, or from El Barracuda which is our favorite beach bar.
- Address: El Faro Lighthouse Bar, Hotel Mousai’s Rooftop, The Malecon, El Solar, Horseback Riding, Yelapa.
- Time To Spend: According to your schedule.
- Attraction Points: Malecon walk
- Approximate cost: $7.49
14. Botanical Gardens, Vallarta
If you want to take a stroll in the most pretty garden in Puerto, you should definitely try the popular Jardín Botánico Vallarta or simply known as the Vallarta Botanical Gardens. They feature a wide range of wildflowers, including orchids, and insect life that provides a relaxing and romantic getaway from the regular chores.
Some tourists expected to spend one or two hours but ended up staying the entire day since they loved the serene experience. Here, you can also boulder the jungle’s rocks and swim in a section of the river. The gardens are generally open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 pm and cost around $10 per adult.
- Address: Jalisco
- Time To Spend: Any season, 9 am to 6 pm
- Attraction Points: Jungle, river.
- Approximate cost: $10
1. What Are The Top Attractions To Visit In Puerto Vallarta?
- Botanical Gardens
- Islas Marietas
2. What Are The Most Popular Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta With Children?
- Mismaloya Beach.
- Pirate Ship Vallarta.
- Sea Safari and Horseback Riding Tour.
- Los Veranos Canopy Tour.
- Puerto Vallarta Romantic Zone.
- Las Animas Adventure Park.
- El Faro Lighthouse.
- Los Muertos Pier.
3. How Do I Not Look Like A Tourist In Puerto Vallarta?
- Do leave the resort.
- Do use coral reef sunscreen when snorkeling or diving.
- Do eat the street food.
- Do get a permit if you want to visit Hidden Beach.
- Don’t leave your garbage on the beach.
- Don’t assume everyone speaks English.
4. What Is The Best Month To Go To Puerto Vallarta?
The best time to visit Puerto Vallarta is between April and June when the weather is pleasant and the room rates are affordable. If you’re interested in whale watching, however, visit from December to March.
I know there are a lot of things you can do in Puerto Vallarta and you can get confused very easily. But with the help of this article, you will be able to shortlist your favorite places among the topmost visited ones in Puerto Vallarta. First, you need to shorten it to your location, then your budget, and lastly the ambiance.
If you are going with your family, choose a hotel near the beach and if you are planning to take your date, choose a more romantic place like the sunset beaches, etc. That’s it, you’re done!