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12 Best Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful resort city located on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. It has been voted one of the most popular vacation spots in Mexico for its stunning beaches, lush jungles, and vibrant culture. If you're looking for the best way to experience Puerto Vallarta, this article will provide a comprehensive guide to the best things to do In Puerto Vallarta while visiting this paradise-like destination.

1. Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta

The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a parish located in the center of Puerto Vallarta. It is a place of worship that has been standing since the late 1800s, when it was built with contributions from local citizens. The church features an impressive white stone facade and a large bell tower that can be seen from many locations throughout central Puerto Vallarta.

Inside, the church is adorned with religious artwork and vibrant colors, giving visitors a sense of peace and serenity as they enter. Masses are held daily, drawing crowds from all over town to celebrate religious holidays and honor their faith each week. The annual celebration in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe takes place near the church every December.


Address: Hidalgo 370, Proyecto escola, Centro, 48300 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico

Phone: +52 322 222 1326

2. Marina Vallarta

Marina Vallarta

Marina Vallarta is a luxurious resort located in the Puerto Vallarta region of Mexico. It offers its guests fantastic opportunities to unwind and relax, with stunning views of the picturesque bay and its warm waters. The marina itself has been designed to offer a tranquil atmosphere, with many restaurants and stores surrounding it. Visitors can take part in exciting activities in Puerto Vallarta such as boat tours, scuba diving, fishing trips, jet skiing or explore nearby beaches.

The area of Marina Vallarta is well-known for its excellent combination of modern sophistication and Mexican culture. From cobbled streets lined with colorful shops to vibrant nightlife spots - it has something for every Puerto Vallarta traveler. There are plenty of bars and some of the best restaurants serving delicious local meals, as well as world-renowned seafood dishes.

3. Bay of Banderas

Bay of Banderas

The Bay of Banderas is one of the best attractions in Puerto Vallarta. Situated on the western coast of Mexico, it offers fantastic views and lots of fun activities that make it a great destination for tourists. One of its main draws is the whale watching, as this bay is home to a variety of species including humpbacks and orcas.

For those looking for something more low-key, there are also plenty of opportunities for swimming, sailing, kayaking or simply relaxing on the beach and soaking up some sun. There's no shortage of restaurants, bars and nightclubs to enjoy either - providing plenty in terms of entertainment both day and nighttime.

For tourists who don't have access to a boat but still want to explore the area further there are also boat tours available which can take visitors out into the open sea so they can get an even better look at what makes this place so special.

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4. Playa De Los Muertos

Playa Los Muertos

Playa Los Muertos, located around Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is an awe-inspiring beach that serves as a reminder of Mexico’s vibrant culture. The name translates to “Beach of the Dead” and holds special spiritual significance within Mexican folk culture. Its golden sand and beautiful turquoise waters attract vacationers from around the world.

This peaceful beach in Puerto Vallarta is perfect for those hoping to relax in the sun or take part in Puerto Vallarta activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, or even parasailing. At nightfall, Playa De Los Muertos comes alive with nightclubs and restaurants playing music until the early morning hours. The atmosphere here is full of life and warmth that can only be experienced by visiting this mesmerizing place in Mexico.

5. Vallarta Botanical Garden

Vallarta Botanical Garden

Visiting the Vallarta Botanical Garden in downtown Puerto Vallarta is an unforgettable experience, and one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta. The grounds are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna that make it a true paradise for nature lovers. As you walk through the gardens, you are captivated by the lush vegetation, vibrant colors, and stunning views. The garden includes over 3,000 species of plants from all around the world that surround you with beauty and tranquility.

Aside from its natural beauty, there are plenty of free things to do at the garden. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about local wildlife or wander on their own through pathways lined with banana trees and bright flowers. Guests can also explore butterfly pavilions filled with hundreds of colorful butterflies or visit nurseries where they can purchase exotic varieties to bring back home.


Address: Carretera Puerto Vallarta, Carr. Costera a Barra de Navidad Km 24, 48425 Jal., Mexico

Phone: +52 322 223 6182

6. Los Arcos National Marine Park

Los Arcos National Marine Park

Los Arcos National Marine Park is located in the Sea of Cortez, near the city of Puerto Vallarta. This incredible marine park is home to some of the world's most diverse and unique ecosystems. The majestic coral reef provides a natural habitat for an array of sea creatures, including dolphins, turtles, sharks, and many species of fish.

Many visitors also come to Los Arcos to take advantage of its amazing Puerto Vallarta snorkeling opportunities. Here you can swim amongst vibrant coral formations and observe colorful tropical fish in their natural environment.

Swimming with the ocean’s inhabitants isn't the only thing that Los Arcos has to offer though; this national park has plenty of popular things to see for land lovers as well. Visitors can enjoy relaxing on white sandy beaches or take an unforgettable kayaking tour through mangrove forests – perfect if you love bird watching.

7. Casa Kimberly

Casa Kimberly in Puerto Vallarta

Casa Kimberly in Puerto Vallarta is a stunning and luxurious estate with a fascinating history. The estate was owned by the actor Richard Burton and his wife Elizabeth Taylor in the 1960s, who used it as their home away from home. Today, Casa Kimberly offers visitors the chance to experience its beauty firsthand.

The villa has been lovingly preserved over the last few decades, displaying all of its original features. The gorgeous Spanish colonial architecture includes terracotta roof tiles, patterned ceilings and ornate wrought iron balconies that look out onto spectacular ocean views. Inside the villa guests are taken back to an era filled with glamour and sophistication. Richly decorated rooms feature dark mahogany furniture interspersed with exotic artwork from around the world.


Address: C. Zaragoza 445, Centro, 48300 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico

Phone: +52 322 222 1336

Best Flights To Puerto Vallarta

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Puerto Vallarta. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Puerto Vallarta.

8. Zona Romántica

Zona Romántica Puerto Vallarta

Zona Romántica, also known as the Old Town, is a vibrant and colorful neighborhood in Puerto Vallarta. This area is home to a variety of unique restaurants and shops, charming cobblestone streets, stunning architecture, and friendly locals. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner with your significant other or an afternoon spent exploring the area’s galleries and boutiques, Zona Romántica is the place to be.

No visit to Puerto Vallarta would be complete without spending time in Zona Romántica. The vibrant colors of the buildings along with the tropical flowers that line the streets give this area its own distinct charm that cannot be found anywhere else in Mexico.

9. Museo Histórico Naval de Puerto Vallarta

Museo Histórico Naval de Puerto Vallarta

Museo Historico Naval de Puerto Vallarta is one of the best places to visit if you want to learn about Mexico’s naval history. Located in the old Mexican Navy base, this museum features a plethora of artifacts and information about Mexico’s rich maritime history.

Guests can explore the many exhibits, including original guns from ships constructed in Europe, old maps from Spanish expeditions to the New World, and models of historical vessels which showcase how they were put together and operated.

Furthermore, visitors can also learn about battles fought by the Mexican Navy over several centuries as well as details on early exploration and settlement by Spanish sailors. The museum offers much more than just artifacts and exhibits; there are also interactive activities such as workshops that provide hands-on experience with navigation tools such as compasses and sextants.


Address: C. Zaragoza 4, Centro, 48300 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico

Phone: +52 322 223 5357

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10. Islas Marietas

Islas Marietas

If you are planning a day trip during your stay in Puerto Vallarta. The Islas Marietas, located off the coast of Mexico in the Pacific Ocean, is a small group of islands that offer an amazing array of natural wonders. The islands are made up of two main islands and several smaller surrounding islets. These uninhabited islands are known for their beauty and unique wildlife living within them.

The Islas Marietas National Park has been declared a protected area by the Mexican Government due to its delicate ecology and abundance of endemic species of plants and animals. Within this park lies one of the most beautiful places on earth – Hidden Beach, or Playa del Amor as it’s called in Spanish. It is reached by swimming through a tunnel-like opening in the rocks which leads to an amazing secret beach surrounded by high cliffs on all sides.

11. Mirador Cerro de La Cruz

Mirador Cerro de La Cruz in Puerto Vallarta

The Mirador Cerro de La Cruz in Puerto Vallarta is an incredible lookout point that offers some of the best views in all of Mexico. Perched atop a hill, this breathtaking spot allows visitors to take in the panoramic vistas of the Bay of Banderas, stretching out into the horizon. In addition to its stunning landscape, it also boasts lush vegetation and a variety of exotic birds which can be spotted flitting around or perched atop branches. 

The path up to the lookout winds through tropical palm trees as well as bright bougainvillea blossoms. At its peak sits a 10 meter cross formed from rocks and shells, giving it its namesake – Mirador Cerro de La Cruz. From this point one can admire the sunset over the water or take photos with friends and family against an unparalleled backdrop.


Address: Abasolo LB, Cerro, 48304 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico

12. Yelapa

Yelapa fishing village in mexico

Yelapa is a beautiful small fishing town in Mexico just south of Puerto Vallarta. It's an ideal spot for day trippers, boasting some of the best beaches. With crystal clear waters and pristine white sand, it's no wonder why Yelapa is a top spot for travelers looking for a great day trip from Puerto Vallarta.

Taking the ferry to Yelapa is easy; the ride takes only 45 minutes, providing ample opportunity to take in in the beauty of Banderas Bay as you make your way there. Once you step off the boat into this tranquil paradise, you'll find everything from kayaking and snorkeling to hiking trails through dense jungles or horseback riding on deserted beaches. There are plenty of free activities to choose from while exploring this charming Mexican village and its amazing culture.

Best Flights To Puerto Vallarta

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Puerto Vallarta. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Puerto Vallarta.


Q: Is it worth it to go to Puerto Vallarta?

A: One of the main attractions in Puerto Vallarta is its pristine beaches. With warm turquoise waters and golden sands, these beaches provide a perfect setting for sunbathing, swimming, or simply taking a leisurely stroll along the shoreline. Additionally, water sports enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities for snorkeling, scuba diving, jet skiing, and fishing. The iconic Los Muertos Beach is especially popular among tourists due to its lively atmosphere and proximity to restaurants and bars.

Apart from its natural beauty, Puerto Vallarta also boasts a rich cultural scene that adds depth to any visit. The city's historic center showcases traditional architecture with cobblestone streets lined with art galleries and boutique shops. Furthermore, it hosts various festivals throughout the year that celebrate Mexican traditions such as Day of the Dead or Mariachi music festivals.

Q: Is it safe to swim in Puerto Vallarta?

A: Puerto Vallarta has many beautiful beaches where swimming is generally safe. Many of the popular tourist beaches have marked swimming areas where lifeguards are present, making it safer for visitors. These designated areas often have flags indicating the status of the water conditions - green being safe, yellow indicating caution, and red meaning danger. It is crucial to follow these indications and avoid going into the water if red flags are out.

Q: Which part of Puerto Vallarta has the best beaches?

A: When it comes to the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta, there are a few areas that stand out. One of the most popular spots is Playa de los Muertos. This beach offers a vibrant atmosphere with numerous beach clubs and restaurants lining its shores.

Another top-notch beach in Puerto Vallarta is Playa Conchas Chinas. Situated just south of the city center, this tranquil beach offers a more secluded setting compared to Playa de los Muertos.

Lastly, Las Animas Beach should not be missed when searching for pristine shores in Puerto Vallarta. Located on Banderas Bay's southern shore, this stunning beach is accessible only by boat or water taxi – adding an adventurous element to your visit.

Q: What are the best free things to do in Puerto Vallarta?

A: One of the best free things to do in Puerto Vallarta is to explore its beautiful beaches. Stretching along Banderas Bay, the city boasts several pristine sandy shores where you can bask in the sun and take a refreshing dip in its crystal-clear waters.

In addition to beach hopping, taking a stroll on Puerto Vallarta's Malecon is another fantastic free activity. This iconic seaside boardwalk spans about 1.5 miles and offers breathtaking views of the ocean along with vibrant street art and sculptures.

Q: What are the best family things to do in Puerto Vallarta?

A: One of the must-visit attractions for families is the Vallarta Botanical Gardens, kids can explore the different themed gardens and learn about various plant species, while adults can marvel at the amazing views of mountains and rivers. The garden also hosts educational workshops and events, making it a perfect blend of fun and learning.

Another fantastic family-friendly activity is visiting Los Muertos Beach. This vibrant beach not only offers golden sand and crystal-clear waters but also has an array of water sports activities suitable for all ages.


Book Your Hotel In Puerto Vallarta

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Book Your Flight To Puerto Vallarta

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Need a Rental Car In Puerto Vallarta?

Here is a budget-friendly car rental resource. No matter where you’re traveling, you’ll be able to find the best — and cheapest car rentals in Puerto Vallarta here.

Looking for an Airport Transfer Service In Puerto Vallarta?

If you are looking for a convenient and affordable option to get to and from the airport in Puerto Vallarta, here you will find all the answers to book your next airport transfer in Puerto Vallarta.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illnesses, an injury, luggage theft, and even trip cancellations. It’s a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong during your trip. I never travel to Puerto Vallarta without it as I’ve had to use it several times in the past. My favorite travel insurance companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the Best Travel Companies to Save Money With?

Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you go to Puerto Vallarta. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m taking a trip. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Mexico:

Be sure to visit our Mexico Travel Guide for even more travel tips.

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