It is not without reason that Puerto Vallarta has been called the “Top Vacation Destination in Mexico”,”Friendliest city in the worl”, and even the “Best Place on the Planet to Retire“. This exotic and alluring city is all that and more and gives tough competition to other popular Mexican destinations like Cancun and Los Cabos.
Visitors to the majestic city of Puerto Vallarta will find an endless variety of things to see and do here. Find the best of Vallarta with our ultimate list of things to do and see in the city:
With miles of crystal-blue waters and golden sands, the stunning beaches of Puerto Vallarta rank among the best in Latin America, according to the city’s official tourism site. Playa de los Muertos is the busiest and most cheerful beach in the city for sunbathing and swimming. Here you can also go parasailing or rent a jet ski or play beach volleyball. There are several hotels, restaurants and bars in and around this beach. A few minutes south of the city is Playa Conchas Chinas, which is one of Vallarta’s most affluent and serene beaches. Just south of town is Playa Mismaloya which is famous for being featured in the 1964 film, “The Night Of The Iguana”. The ruins of the construction still exist at the far end of the beach. Los Arcos and Islas Marietas in the Bahía de Banderas are perfect spots for diving and snorkeling, offering a view of plenty of delightful undersea creatures like stingrays, colorful fish and corals.
Swimming with the Dolphins
Several aquatic parks, including Adventuras and Sea Life Park, have pools where professional trainers guide visitors to swim along with tame dolphins. Once the visitor feels confident, he can follow the dolphins out into the shallow waters of the bay into the Pacific Ocean.
The jungles that enclose Puerto Vallarta are full of extraordinary wildlife and extensive tropical flora. Tourists can zip line through the most scenic forests and also enjoy other adventure sports like river rafting and ATV rides.
Exotic Plants & Wildlife
Just outside of PV is the Jardines Botánicos de Vallarta, a tropical garden, featuring more than 3,000 species of plants – orchids, wild palms and agaves scattered with tropical butterflies and hummingbirds in every color possible! It is truly a nature lover’s paradise! Just north of Puerto Vallarta is La Tovara, a natural springs estuary, where you can take a boat tour through winding mangroves and view crocodiles, turtles, raccoons, turtles, iguanas, and many rare species of birds along with different varieties of orchids and lilies.
Art & Culture
If you fancy art and history, PV is just about the best Mexican destination that you could choose. You will find a good collection of art galleries and public sculptures along the streets. These art galleries represent the works of both Mexican and other artists from around the world. The Old Town Art Walk is an annual custom in PV that begins on Halloween Day (October) and goes on right till the month of May. ‘The Art Walk’ is an excellent chance to feel the aura of the electrifying art culture that the city has to offer. Visitors can find historic pieces that symbolize the Mexican culture and Puerto Vallarta’s heritage and also some modern present –day pieces in the city’s art galleries.
PV offers a variety of eco-activities like hiking, bird-watching, dune tours, observing sea lions, crocodiles and endangered bird species. More than 350 species of birds live in this area. Visitors can tour the Sierra Madre jungles on bicycles, horseback rides, ATV trail rides, jeep safaris or air tours.
Foodies will be fascinated by the excellent dining options that PV has to offer. The city contains a plethora of local and foreign cuisine. The local food is also simply extraordinary, and cost is pretty reasonable. Also, every November, the Puerto Vallarta Gourmet Festival is celebrated here which includes gourmet cooking classes, food tastings and special dinners hosted by international chefs in the best restaurants of the city.
Tom Budniak is the owner of PuertoVallartaBestRealEstate.com – Puerto Vallarta #1 real estate agency. He lives and works in Puerto Vallarta. He also manages Puerto Vallarta Blog.