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11 Very Best Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Perched on the coastline of Jalisco state in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta has really gained popularity over the last few decades; and with good reason! Not only is the coastline absolutely gorgeous, but there are so many of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta dotted across the wider region. 

Just like other big-hitting destinations in Mexico like; Tulum and Cancun, Puerto Vallarta is a resort town with heaps to do. Honestly, it’s beautiful and you’re going to have the best trip to Mexico. 

So, to help you have an amazing trip to Puerto Vallarta, we’re sharing our top spots you can’t miss once you arrive. This way, you can spend less time being bogged down with planning and more time exploring the local area. 

Have a great trip to Mexico!

1.) Bahía de Banderas

Best Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta Mexico Marina Vallarta

To be honest, you can’t miss Bahía de Banderas if you’re already staying in Puerto Vallarta. You see, it’s one of the largest bays in the area and where most of the hotels are situated. 

Not only that, there’s heaps to do around the bay itself. Once here, make sure to check out Conchas Chinas Beach which is perfect to visit if you fancy a day by the coastline. Though, a heads up, you will want to bring your own parasol and sunlounger if you’re spending longer at the beach itself. There is very rarely anyone renting equipment on this beach. 

Best Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta Mexico Conchas Chinas

Afterwards, head on over to Los Muertos Beach. This is where the main promenade area of Puerto Vallarta is and well worth visiting for an afternoon.

You see, you can spend the day on the beach, and the early evening in the local bars and restaurants that line the shoreline. We loved La Palapa Restaurant for dinner. Just be sure to reserve a table for sunset – the views are incredible. 

Read more: Best things to do in Tulum

2.) Yelapa Falls Cruise

Best Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta Mexico Sunset Viewpoint

Okay, so, one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta is to book a boat tour. We loved this all-inclusive Yelapa Falls cruise.

Not only will you spend time on the coastline around Puerto Vallarta, but you’ll also get ample time to swim near Yelapa Falls. 

Plus, you’ll have an all-inclusive bar, food, and more onboard. Though, a heads up, be sure to book these cruise tickets before arriving in Puerto Vallarta. Tickets sell out fast at peak times. 

Read more: Best things to do in Cancun

3.) Naval Museum of Puerto Vallarta

Best Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta Mexico Downtown

The Naval Museum of Mexico is a historic site that’s well worth visiting while you’re in Puerto Vallarta. Home to over 150 different exhibits, it’s a great place to learn more about the Mexican Navy and its historical formation of the years.

Honestly, there are so many different rooms that all have interactive exhibits and have a collection of the Mexican Navy uniforms used over the years, too. Visits take around 45-60 minutes and it’s a great place to explore if you’re interested in naval history. That being said, if you’re not, you might want to stick to the beach. 

Also, if you are visiting, remember that the museum is open every day of the week except Mondays.

Read more: Best things to do in Puerto Vallarta

3.) Mismaloya Beach

Best Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta Mexico Mismaloya Arches

South of Puerto Vallarta itself, Mismaloya Beach is well worth a visit if you’re driving around Bahía de Banderas whilst exploring the coastline. 

Mismaloya Beach is wonderful, and whilst it’s not as popular as Puerto Vallarta’s beaches it’s just as great. 

Once here, you can hop on a boat tour from one of the vendors on the shoreline and easily hop over to Los Pescadores Restaurant for their ceviche. It’s so good. 

One thing to note, Mismaloya Beach is small and it can be nice and quiet when you visit. You can easily have the opposite with heaps of boats and a few crowds. 

If you’re not keen on crowds, I’d stick to some of the closer (and smaller) beaches near Puerto Vallarta itself. 

Read more: Best things to do in Merida

4.) Bucerías

Best Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta Mexico Bucerias

Just north of Puerto Vallarta, Bucerías is a lovely seaside town to visit around Bahía de Banderas. It’s one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta for a day trip. 

Now, the beach of Bucerías might be slim, but it stretches for miles! Not only that, it’s a great beach to rent a lounger, pop into the beachfront bars or just take a stroll around the streets. 

Best Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta Mexico Bucerias

Feeling peckish? Head over to Fat Boy Seafood for their freshly baked fish. It’s so good. Also, if you’re staying longer, head for dinner at La Negra. Their ribeye tacos are incredible. 

Read more: How to get to Isla Holbox 

5.) Zona Romantica

Best Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta Mexico promenade Malecon Playa de los Muertos beach

Perched on the southern coastline of Puerto Vallarta, Zona Romantica is a neighbourhood that’s filled with bars, eateries and Los Muertos Beach Pier.

Best Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta Mexico Los Muertos Pier

Not only that, you’ve got Olas Altas Beach which lines the area, too. You can easily spend the day in the area itself and it’s perfect if you want to chill and have easy access to the local bars and restaurants. 

For a yummy dinner, pop into The Blue Shrimp. Their lobster tails are incredible. That being said, if it’s tacos you’re after, then head over to Pancho’s Takos

Read more: Best things to do in Cancun

6.) Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Best Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta Mexico Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral

Not too far from the Naval Museum of Puerto Vallarta, visiting the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta if you’re interested in the region’s local history. 

The church itself is almost 100 years old and it’s so beautiful to see. Now, a visit here won’t take too long; around 20 minutes but it’s so easy to see as you stroll the shorefront.

Best Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta Mexico Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Church

Afterwards, for a tasty bite to eat, head over to Coco’s Kitchen for brunch. It’s an unfussy joint that serves up some of the best chilaquiles in the area. 

7.) Isla Cuale

Best Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta Mexico Cuale River Island

If you’re spending some time exploring the streets of Puerto Vallarta, then make sure to stop off at Isla Cuale. Easily reached via the bridges, this small river island is home to small galleries, markets and foodie spots that are lovely to visit. 

Once here, check out the Cuale Island Flea Market. Now, a heads up, you will need to haggle but it’s a great place to stop for a souvenir whilst you’re here. 

Afterwards, head over to River Cafe for a fine dining spot in Puerto Vallarta. They have some of the best dishes (we loved the mahi-mahi), but you do need to book if you’re heading over at dinnertime. Tables do fill up fast. 

Read more: Best things to do in Cancun

8.) Palo Maria Waterfall

Best Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta Mexico Palo Maria Waterfall Puerto Vallarta Jalisco

Around a 35-minute drive from Puerto Vallarta, Palo Maria Waterfall is worth the trip if you want some time away from the beach. Now, a heads up, it’s quite hard to find the trail to the waterfall itself, it can be a tough find if you don’t know the area very well. 

Once here, you can swim and explore the local area. Though, watch out for the spiders on the trail; they are huge! For this reason, we’d always recommend heading here with a guide if you’re interested. 

Read more: Best things to do in Tulum

9.) Los Aros

Best Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta Mexico Mismaloya Arches

The Mismaloya Arches, in Los Arcos National Marine Park, are beautiful and just shy of the shoreline of Bahía de Banderas at Mismaloya.

These vast granite stacks and islands are so beautiful to sail around and you can easily make a day of it when booked on a boat tour. 

Best Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta Mexico Mismaloya Arches

Not only that, but you can easily book this stand-up paddleboarding tour around the Mismaloya Arches which is absolutely stunning.

It’s a great way to explore the stacks and you’ll even get to go inside the grottos and caves that make this area so beautiful. Best of all, this tour avoids the crowds and you’ll even get to see the Bioluminescent plankton that thrive in this region. 

10.) Majahuitas Beach

Best Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta Mexico Majahuitas Beach Cabo Corrientes

If you want a more chillout beach on Bahía de Banderas, then head over to Majahuitas Beach. Best reached by boat, it’s a more secluded and totally pristine beach that’s perfect to visit as you sail the bay.

Best Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta Mexico Majahuitas Beach Cabo Corrientes

Now, lots of tours Yelapa will stop off here for snorkelling. That being said, if you want a full day here, you’ll want to charter your own boat.

This can be a little pricey in peak seasons but it’s one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta if you want a sailing day. 

11.) Jorullo Bridge

Best Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta Mexico Jorullo Bridge

Around a 35-minute drive from the centre of Puerto Vallarta, Jorullo Bridge is well worth a visit when you’re in the area and want a more active day while on vacation. 

Now, you can hike the hills in this region, but we love this ATV tour that will take you around the trails of the Sierra Madre Occidental and Jorullo Bridge itself. Best of all, after you’ve driven your ATV around the dirt trails, you’ll get to try some local tequila, too. 

Read more: Best things to do in Tulum

10 Best Things To Do In Tulum, Mexico


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