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a white aged sign on an old stone pole that says Puerto Vallarta

Things To Do in Puerto Vallarta

Whale Watching, Zip Lining, Hidden Beaches, Arts & Culture, and more

Whether you want to just sit and soak up the sun on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta, take a whale watching trip, a jungle excursion, or enjoy some adventure, there are plenty of things to do in Puerto Vallarta. And make sure to take a trip to downtown where you can explore local Mexican cuisine, nightlife, and the arts and culture Mexico is known for.

A humpback whale breaching the ocean waters

Water Activities

There is an abundance of things to do in and on the water in Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay. Here’s a list of to where you’ll get your toes (and more) wet…

  • Take a whale watching tour
  • Swim with dolphins and sea lions
  • Go for a day trip on a sailboat
  • Swim, snorkel and scuba dive
  • Kayak and paddleboard
  • Go jet skiing
  • Take a sunset cruise
  • Snorkel or scuba dive to the Hidden Beach at Islas Marietas
  • Spend the day relaxing and snorkeling at Playa las Gemelas
  • Go snorkeling at Los Arcos National Park
  • Take a cruise on a Pirate Ship
Some people crossing a rope bridge in the jungle

Adventure Activities

Because Puerto Vallarta is located on both the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Madre Mountains, there are a lot of fun attractions to see and activities to do in Puerto Vallarta. Whether you want an extreme adventure, or an entertaining experience, there are activities for everyone.

  • Take a zip line tour through the jungle
  • Spend a day at Ocean Mania Water Park
  • Go mountain biking
  • Bounce around through the jungle on an ATV or UTV tour
  • Take a horseback ride through the Sierra Madre mountains
  • Go skydiving or parasailing
  • Hike to Mirador de la Cruz and get a bird’s eye view of Puerto Vallarta
stone arches along the beach

Arts, Culture & Food

Puerto Vallarta is rich in Mexican culture. You can spend days walking through the markets, visiting museums, strolling adorable old towns and villages, eating local foods, trying tequila and mezcal, and so much more. The only thing you’ll be missing is more time to explore more!

  • See ALMA, by Rhythms of the Night, a spectacular Cirque du Soleil dinner show on a nearby island
  • Visit the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden
  • Walk along the Malecón de Puerto Vallarta – an oceanfront promenade with live shows, art, street food, restaurants with access to the beach, live music, and more
  • Take a Taco Tour and eat your way through part of downtown Puerto Vallarta
  • Have Dinner at the Iguana Restaurant and Tequila Bar in Casa Kimberly (Elizabeth Taylor’s former home)
  • Spend the day at Playa de Los Muertos, the most popular beach in Puerto Vallarta
  • Take a boat ride to Yelapa, a sleepy town that can only be reached from Puerto Vallarta by water taxi
  • Walk through the Zona Romantica, a fun and lively place with lots of great restaurants and bars, as well as being a popular area with the LGBTQ+ community. You can even take in a drag show
  • Eat at Casa 449
  • Take a day trip to Bucerias and try surfing, windsurfing, boogie boarding, and kite surfing. Various sand art competitions happen here as well, and Thursday evenings are art walk night, not to mention the great local restaurants and flea market
  • Visit the nearby Bohemian surf town Sayulita
  • Spend the day at the Majahuitas Music Festival
  • Partake in an art walk on Wednesday nights
  • Shop at the Municipal Market of Colonia Emiliano Zapata where you’ll find fresh produce, meats, vegetables, tortillas, take food away, or a delicious lunch
  • Walk across the swinging wood bridge to Cuale island, known for its art galleries, flea market, and restaurants
  • Take a day trip to Tequila, the town where the spirit originated
A black slate sign with TAKE A TOUR written on it in white chalk with the O as a stopwatch

Tour Companies

Planning your vacation and what to do can be daunting. But we can recommend some helpful tour companies that can take the burden off and help you plan your perfect Puerto Vallarta adventures:

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