133+ Things to do in Puerto Vallarta for your Holidays

Puerto Vallarta is nowadays a reknown destination for holidays for both Mexicans and North Americans and also a great place for retirement. Being known as an heavenly destination, it is also a great place for business and investment.

With more than 6 200 000 tourists flying to Puerto Vallarta in 2022 (which 57% came from abroad) and more than 35 000 US and Canadian citizens living in Puerto Vallarta, the town offers a great deal of activities and things to do to enjoy your stay or living in Puerto Vallarta.

View of the bay of Puerto Vallarta

Panaramic view of Los Arcos from the shore

As I have been living more than ten years in Puerto Vallarta for business purpose, I have discovered many things to do here with my Mexican friends. I wish I could say I have done it all, but I still have some activities to check on this list of more than 133 activities to do in Puerto Vallarta.

Obviously, if you have already come to Puerto Vallarta and you have done things that are not listed here, feel free to leave a comment about it, I will be please to add it to this list.


  1. Cultural Activities in Puerto Vallarta (16)
  2. Tours & Outdoors (15)
  3. Shows & Events (10)
  4. Sport & Adventures (20)
  5. Visit Around Puerto Vallarta (20)
  6. Shopping (9)
  7. Leisure & Relaxation (25)
  8. Beaches of Puerto Vallarta (7)
  9. Food, Chefs & Restaurants (7)
  10. Health (5)

 hiking on the beach shore in puerto vallarta

Turquoise waters of Colomitos beach, from the hill. This is a great hiking to do in family

1. 16 Cultural Activities

While Puerto Vallarta has not much of history compared to Archaeological sites or other colonial cities of Mexico, you still have some fun cultural acitivities to do in town:

  1. Historic Naval Museum: Located in the middle of the Malecón, you will pass by this Museum while enjoying the sunset (calle Zaragoza num. 4. Col. Centro, tel: 322 223 5357)
  2. Anthropology Museum Cuale: This small museum is located down town in the middle of the handcraft market on the Cuale Island.
  3. Traditional Breakfast in the Jungle: The canopy River Park is a place with a huge Palapa restaurant where you can have a typical Mexican brunch on weekends in the middle of the jungle. Located 5 kilometers (3 miles) away from Puerto Vallarta in the jungle, you will need a ride or to catch a taxi to go there. Find it on Google map Here.
  4. Visit Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe: located down town, this is the most important Parish of Puerto Vallarta and is often used for weddings and other religious celebrations.
  5. Discover Huitchol Art: Huitcholes name themselves Wixárika and have been living in the region for centuries, they do not mix a lot with other Mexicans and foreigners. You can discover they art made of thousands of colored beads glued on tipical objects.
  6. Municipal Ballet Xiutla: This is a free event showing traditionnal folklorik dances every Friday at 7h30 PM in Plaza Lázaro Cardenas and every Sunday at 8h00 PM at the amphiteater of Los Arcos, located in the middle of the Malecón.
  7. Charro Festival, February: Puerto Vallara welcomes each year the International Charro Festival from the end of January to February 5th (which may change) with several teams from the US. Mexico as a long tradition of horse riding that can be seen during such a show.
  8. Learn to Dance Salsa and Merengue: dancing is sharing the Mexican culture. You will easily find someone to teach you in a dancing bar or even a dance teacher. Or check online to find one, this will be easy.
  9. Tequila Tasting: it is difficult to come to Mexico without knowing about Tequila. You will find a lot of shops dowtown that propose Tequila and will explain to you the process of Tequila making.
  10. Hacienda Tour: Haciendas are very traditional in Mexico, some of them allow you to have a tour and see how they make the Tequila, offer horse back riding and other outdoor things to do. Haciendra Doña Engracia allows you to visit and discover the process of Tequila making and some other activities.
  11. Experience Temazcal: A Temazcal is a spiritual ceremony, consisting of a hot vapor bath inside a small cavity underground or in some kind of tent. You will sweat a lot and be in company of a guide "Temazcalerao" that will burn oils and prey for the cleaning of your body and soul. This is a very old tradition of Mesoamerican cultures that is growing a lot in popularity nowadays. Rancho Madre Tierra offers such activity among others, you can also find it down town puerto vallarta here.
  12. Learn Spanish: Learning spanish could be a good way to enjoy your time in Mexico as you miss so much when you are unable to talk to locals in their own language. They will treat you differently and share more of their culture and see you with different eyes. There are many language school in Puerto Vallarta. Spanish School Vallarta is one of them.
  13. Organic Mexican Coffee: if you like coffee, you will enjoy many small coffee shops in Vallarta that toast and prepare their own blend of Mexican coffee. Organic Café is well know coffee shop with more thant 25 years operating in Vallarta and they have 4 locations you will find here (Las Glorias, Versalles in front of IMSS, Centro and Pitillal)
  14. Voladores de Papantla: Each evening at 6pm during winter time, you will find those flying men on the Malecón flying upside down above the beach. Between calle Pipila y Leona Vicario, located here on Google Maps. Look for more information about Papantla Pole flyers here.
  15. Catrinas: Catrinas are deeply representative of modern Mexican culture and you will observe the biggest Catrinas in the world exposed in Puerto Vallarta on the Malecón at the beginning of Novembre, while the mexican honor the day of the dead on November 1st.
  16. Help Orphans:You enjoy Puerto Vallarta and you want to give back. RisePV is an Orphan Shelter with private funding you can help with your time or money to help local orphans to get a better life.

the famous catrinas of Vallarta for the day of the deadCatrinas on the Malecón of Puerto Vallarta for the day of the dead 

 2. 15 Tours and Outdoor Activities

Located on the shore and close to the mountains, Puerto Vallarta offers many outdoor options for those looking for fun things to do in contact with nature and being in touch with wild animals:

  1. Whale watching: this might be one of the best excursion of Puerto Vallarta. From Novembre to April, you can see the whales migrating the the bay and have a tour with a boat to watch them from closer. You will easily find local operators for such a tour that propose this to you while you are walking in town or on the Malecón.
  2. Swim with dolphins: you will find various tours offering your to swim with dolphins into the wild, as well as swimming with sea lions. All the main operators located downtown or in your hotel will propose you this kind of excursion.
  3. Free sea turtles in the ocean: as you may not know, on the coast of Jalisco and Nayarit, several species of sea turtles come to nest and their eggs hatch from July to December. Different local programs and NGO focus on saving the eggs to help regrow the natural sea turtle population. You will find several of these organizations in town or around proposing you to free sea turtle and to receive explanation of their work. One of them is located in Boca de Tomates (in touch with the airport), other one in Mayto and another one in La Peñita de Jaltemba. The hotel Mariott has also such a free turtle program, you will also find such a turtle camp in Sayulita and Nuevo Vallarta.
  4. Visit the Zoo of Puerto Vallarta: this is a private zoo with a vast variety of species and a lot of felines, you can even play with baby lions or tigers as this is zoo is one with the most birth of felines in the world. You will find information here about it.
  5. Visit Las Islas Marietas: located few miles away from the shore, this is a unique experience as you will be able to scuba dive and get through a tunnel to access to an enclosed beach in the middle of the island. This is a unique place in the world it worth experimenting.
  6. Visit the Botanic Garden: located 40 minutes away from vallarta, it offers you the possibility to relax, a restaurant, to hike in nature.
  7. Visit Los Arcos: take a boat to visit the famous impressive rocks of Puerto Vallarta, in the sea close to the shore, you will be able to do snorkeling and see wildlife. Generally, the tours that brings you to Los Arcos pursue to Playa Las Animas & Plata Quimixto to finish the day.
  8. Visit the Waterfalls: Palo María and the Eden are two waterfalls that worth the sight during the rainy season, from May to October. Do not expect much if you come in winter.
  9. Camp in Mayto: Mayto is a remote village south Puerto Vallarta, 2h30 away by car. This remote and savage beach offers different options to camp, stay in a hotel and a few restaurant lets you eat fresh foods. This is not a luxury place but a great place to find peace and nature.
  10. Hike to Colomitos Beach: Colomitos is one of the most beautiful beach, and certainly the smallest one. It is beautiful, but avoid going there on weekends as it will be full of noisy. To get there, you can rent a boat from Boca de Tomatlán or grab your choose and follow the hiking trail to get to Colomitos. It is a short hike, 1 mile, but the trail is rough with hills to climb and quite physical.
  11. Take a food tour in Vallarta: there are more than 1000 restaurants in Puerto Vallarta and certainly much more tacos booth in the streets. If you enjoy food and love to discover new tastes, you will find Vallarta Food Tours and VallartaEats to show you the way of culinary adventure.
  12. Go to a Rancho: you will find different kinds of acivities in Ranchos around Puerto Vallarta, from watching to hiking or horse back rinding, or even stay in a lodge, depending on the Rancho you will choose. Here are few of them: Rancho Jorullo, Rancho Primavera in El Tuito, 1 hour away from Puerto Vallarta or Rancho Capomo for a day in nature.
  13. Hot Springs: There are several hot springs around puerto vallarta where you can chill and enjoy nature. Hot Springs of Nuevo Ixtlán (close to Rincón de Guayabitos) and Jamurrca are located in Nayarit. The closest one from Puerto Vallarta is La Desembocada, 2 miles after Ixtapa. This is not a fancy place, but a rustic one. You will prefer to stay at La Dulce Vista to rest and go walking to the hot springs which is very close.
  14. Watch the crocodiles: this can be seen as a joke, but you will be able to see crocodiles almost everywhere in Puerto Vallarta. Sometimes in the river mouth El Holy (Behind Las Isla Shopping Village), in La Marina (always) and very often on golf course. Crocodiles can be seen from distance and taken into consideration and respect as every year occur accidents with them.
  15. Bird Sightings: there are more than 360 species of birds that can be seen in Vallarta, because they live or migrate to Vallarta. You can book a bird watching tour with PVTour or any other tour operator like Wild Life Connection.

visit islas marietas, things to do in puerto vallarta

Aerial View of Marietas Island with its famous beach inside in the middle of the land

3. 10 Shows and Events to assist

Vallarta offers and intese night life with lots of bars, restaurants and shows that are always different. You will find some local shows and events that occur each year and are worth to be done: 

  1. Rythms of the Night: this is certainly the best show of Puerto Vallarta, with more than 25 years of existence, it is one of the best show in Mexico. If you can afford only a few things to do in PV, you should seriously consider this show. All tourists agents in Puerto Vallarta will propose you the show to book.
  2. Pirate Ship Cruise MARGALANTE: This famous show in the sea is made on a replica of the Santa María ship by Christophe Colomb when he arrived in America. They offer you a cruise, a pirate fight show, and beach excursions to live 100% your day. Visit their website site to book your cruise.
  3. Drag Show: Puerto Vallarta is rekown destination for gay from North America. So there is a lot of shows of drag available all year long, especiallly during winter time. You will find the shows announced on GayGuideVallarta or on GayPV
  4. Musical Events: during all winter time, you will find concerts and musical events in Puerto Vallarta or in the surroundings, you can find the list of musical events here. Conexion Beach Festival occurs in Mayto in February, 2h30 away from Vallarta while Majahuitas Music Festival is much closer to Vallarta. OndaLinda is another select music festival in the luxurious Careyes hill.
  5. Muay Thaï fights: Puerto Vallarta has numerous clubs of Muay Thaï and various MMA clubs and each year you can assist to various Muay Thaï fights occuring in the Demonio Blanco Arena or in the Arena of Pitillal. The Paloma's arena generally does not receive such events. You will also find such fights in Bucerias where various MMA clubs and Muay Thaï clubs are present.
  6. International Fishing Contest: Every year, fishermen from all american come to participate to this fishing event in November to fish Marlin, broadsword fish or Dorado. Check this out here.
  7. Open Tennis Vallarta: In march, you can attend the Puerto Magico Open affiliated with ATP.
  8. Marathon of Puerto Vallarta: at the end of April, you can praticipate or assist at the marathon event of Puerto Vallarta, you can check this out here.
  9. Ultra Trail Mont Blanc: occuring for the first time in Vallarta in 2022, this international event will repeat in November 2023 with different distances available.
  10. Real Estate Fair: on February 4th, the real estate fair aim at bringing together investors, borkers, lawyers and real estate agents. This is a free event.

 Rhythm of the night show in Puerto Vallarta, must do event

The famous show of Rhythms of the Night on an isolated beach

4. 20 Sports and Adventures Activities

If you are looking for adrenaline, Puerto Vallarta for sure is a place for you. The location on the shore, the environement made of wild mountains and tourist agencies offer a wide range of activities you will enjoy alone or in family.

  1. Skydiving: Skydiving in Puerto Vallarta is a unique experience as you will fly over bandras bay with a view on the mountains to land on the beach. All tour operators can offer you this activity or you can check directly with them here.
  2. Parasailing: from the beach, you will find easily local operators to offer you the opportunity to parasail along the shore and see the ocen and Puerto Vallarta from 40/60 meters high.
  3. Rent a Plane: to explore Mexico. Puerto Vallarta has an international airport with a private Aerotron offering Air taxi service allowing you to jump in a plane to go wherever you want in Mexico. You can chose from a small single engine plane or a big turbine airplane.
  4. Airplane Tours over Banderas Bay: You do not need to go somewhere to catch a plane, just book a tour over Vallarta and the bay to discover from the sky the mountains, hidden beaches and the panorama sourounding Puerto Vallarta, contact Airplane Tours Vallarta for such an experience.
  5. Rent an Helicopter: You can rent an helicopter to move along the bay or get you to Guadalajara for business if required. Contact Interentals concierge service agency to get more details about this service.
  6. Ride ATV in the jungle: Many companies offer ATV ride in Puerto Vallarta and around, allowing you to drive in dirt, rivers and jungle. You will easily find tour operators offering such an activity in town or you can check here
  7. Scuba Diving: Many scuba diving schools are present in Puerto Vallarta with professionals with international degrees able to teach you the basics to get your first degree or explore undersea caves in El Morro. You can contact Rodolfo from Silent World Divers or Twin Dolphins diving company.
  8. Ship Wreck Exploration: This is quite a unique activity in Vallarta. Few years ago, several ships have been voluntary wrecked in front of Garza Blanca beach, few miles into the sea. 3 or 4 wrecks are waiting for you by 25 meters depth where wildlife as already started to conquer the wrecks. More information here
    diving in vallarta                                    Shipwreck diving in puerto vallarta (source)
  9. Deep Sea Fishing: The bay of Bandras is full of life, with dolphins, whales and manta ray and other animals you do not want to know about. Tuna, Marlin and broadsword fishes are very prolific far from the shore and a magnet for all fishermen. You will find a boad and their crew at La Marina and every tour operator can propose you such an excursion.
  10. Shore Fishing: If you came with you fhising rods or can rent one, you will be able to fish from the shore and the size of the fishes will impress you. The general rule is to fish from 6 to 9 AM close to the river mouthes in Vallarta. Other well know places to fish from the shore are Mayto and Chimo, few hours away from Vallarta.
  11. Spear Fishing: Banderas Bay is a reknown place for people looking to fish Tunas spear fishing. The easier way to proceed is to contact one the best, Sebastian in Punta de Mita run SPEARMEX company well organized to bring you to fish with him or in Mismaloya, contact them through their facebook page.
  12. Mountain Bike: The mountains around Vallarta offer a lot of trails for you to enjoy biking in the jungle. You will find different bicycle shops offering excursion to mountain bike. Ecoridemex organize such excursion, run by Rogelio, he will help you get on track for your mountain bike excursion.
  13. Hiking at El Mono Hill: between Punta de Mita and Higuera Blanca, El Mono Hill will allow you to enjoy a 360° mesmerising view at 1150 feet high. The average duration of the hike is 4 hours and the trail can be tricky to find if you do not kown already the place. You can find local guides to go hiking there.
  14. Horse Back Riding: Mexicans are still using a lot horses in the country side and you can even see some Vaqueros sometimes downtown. There is plenty of opportunity to do horse back riding in Vallarta. Every tour operator propose such activity, Rancho Capomo or Rancho El Charro among others.
  15. Zippling: this is another common activity offered by tour operators in Vallarta. Many adventure park have their own ziplines in the jungle allowing to fly over the trees. Any tour operator propose this activity.
  16. Golfing: there are 10 golf courses located between Puerto Vallarta and Punta de Mita, more than enough for you to find the perfect one. Vista Vallarta is a golf course located up the hill into the jungle while La Marina golf course is almost down town, 5 minutes away from the airport and 15 minutes from the Malecón. 
  17. Surfing: There is different surfing spots along the bay to surf depending of the swell. El Holy is downtown, behind La Isla Shopping village and is a good (but small) spot when huricanes' swell come in. Quimixto is an exotic surfing spot south Vallarta where you need to go with boat from Boca de Tomatlán. All the others surfing spots are located north in the Nayarit state. You will need a ride and 1 hour to reach them.
  18. Paddle: Paddle is now a common activity in Vallarta and many tour operators and hotel allow you to grab a rent one. You have tours of paddle with guide to show you different spots on the shore.
  19. Jet Sky: you will find tour operators proposing you this activity or locals passing by on the beach to rent their own jet skies. The usual price is 1500 pesos for half an hour.
  20. Tennis: You will find different tennis courses in town to play tennis. The Sheraton Hotel has four tennis courts where you can play, Puerto Vallarta Open has also 4 courts of tennis available and the Narval Club, with is nice restaurant bar has also 4 tennis courts available.

cerro del mono hiking close to vallarta

View on Punta de Mita and Higuera Blanca and the Ocean from El Mono Hill

5. 20 Visits Around Puerto Vallarta

While Puerto Vallarta is pretty small, it can be busy and noisy during winter time and maybe you will enjoy getting out of the town to visit different places few hours away from Puerto Vallarta.

From Vallarta to the North

  1. Bucerías: 30 minutes away from Vallarta, you will enjoy a small downtown on the beach with small restaurants and an active nightlife
  2. La Cruz de Huanacaxtle: 45 minutes away from Vallarta, La cruz is famous for its market of fish and food and craft market on sundays morning and its Marina.
  3. Punta de Mita: 1 hour from Vallarta, this is a small Mexican village known for its beach and its surf spot in touch with the famous resort of Punta de Mita.
  4. Sayulita: 1h15 minutes from Vallarta, this the famous Hippy village that starts to be crowded now. You can enjoy the beach, surfing, a small down town and all the restaurants on the shore.
  5. San Pancho (San Francisco): 1h30 minutes from Vallarta, this is a small village with a large beach where you can find peace and a lot of small restaurants
  6. Lo de Marcos: 1h45 minutes from Vallarta, similar to San Pancho, very nice beach with few poeple
  7. Rincón de Guayabitos: 2 hours away from Vallarta, this a small town with a large beach where you can also see whales in winter time.

lo de marcos beach

Lo de Marcos beach

From Vallarta to the South

  1. Mismaloya: 30 minutes away from Vallarta, this a small village with a nice beach front and small restaurant, easy to reach from Vallarta
  2. Boca de Tomatlán: 40 minutes from Vallarta, this small fishermen village offer an incredible view of the mountains over the sea, is a port to get access to manu beaches located south and the start of the hiking trail leading you to Colomitos Beach and Las Animas Beach.
  3. El Tuito: 1h30 from Vallarta, this small town is located in the mountains, the climate there is totally different from Vallarta and there are very few tourists. You will find local foods and some Ranchos to rest in the middle of nature.
  4. Chimo: 3 hours from Vallarta, this very small fishermen village is at the extreme south of the Bay. There is no tourism there but you can go to dive, fish or hunt.
  5. Mayto: 2h30 from Vallarta, coming from El Tuito, this is a isolated beach with incredible view to the ocean, there are few Hotels and camping to rest in the middle of nature, fish and make bone fires. This is a great place to regenerate in the middle of wildlife.
  6. Tehuamixtle: 2h45 from Vallarta, located few kilometers from Mayto, this small fishermen village is known in the region for its view on the ocean and its Oysters.
  7. Punta Perula: 3 hours from Vallarta is a small fishermen village that is growing fast now with a very long beach of thin sand and little waves as the bay is protected from the swell. You will find restaurants and hotels there.
  8. La Manzanilla: 4 hours from Vallarta, is a small village with a nice beach at the end of a small and quiet bay.

opal mine hunting in Magdalena de los opalos

View of the Colonial town of Magdalena de los Opalos, famous for its Opal mines

From Vallarta Inlands:

  1. San Sebastian del Oeste: This small colonial village is nested in the mountains 1h30 minutes from Vallarta. You can ride ATVs, stay in an hacienda, discover coffee crops and coffee making and chill in this peacefull village, 100% Mexican which alocate few very nice restaurants.
  2. Mascota: is a another little colonial village in the mountain few hours away from Vallarta located after San Sebastián del Oeste.
  3. Talpa de Allende: this small town is located after mascota and is also a small colonial town know for its production of natural chewing gum
  4. Magdalena de los Opalos: This small town is 4 hours away from Vallarta, 1 hours away from Tequila and is know for its Opal Mines that are still actives nowadays and the source of many opal jewelry sold in Vallarta. The down town is small but nice and you will enjoy hunting Mexican opals before visiting the gemstone shops of the town.
  5. Tequila: Does it need presentation? Reknown for its Tequila production, this is a colonial town that offer nice Haciendas to rest, Tequila making process discovery and nice restaurants.


shopping jewelry in puerto vallarta Jewelry made in Puerto Vallarta by Vivalatina Jewelry, custom jewelry service here

6. 9 Shopping Activities

Vallarta is not your dream destination if you want to be shopping during your holidays. But a lot of Mexican crafters and jewelers offer unique products on the beach or downtown and there are a few malls.

  1. Galerías Vallarta: this is a mall with brands located in front of the Cruise Port, also called Liverpool (because of the shop inside the mall)
  2. La Isla Shopping Village: this is an openair mall very close to the beach of Flamingos with lots of Jewelry shops
  3. Art: you will find a lot of art galleries down town and in the Romantic Zone, you will find them on GoogleMaps here. With more than 16 art Galleries in Vallarta, you will find a lot to discover.
  4. Art Jewelry: Hans Casanova is a local jewelry creator and artist, born in Chile that craft unique silver jewelry you will be able to meet in calle Lazaro Cardenas, #236-F, Col Emiliano Zapata (down town).
  5. Custom Jewelry: Get your custom jewelry made in Puerto Vallarta, using our online jewelry service.
  6. Old Town Farmers Market: located in Olas Altas on Saturdays, you will find local products, crafts and silver jewelry
  7. Mercado Municipal Rio Cuale: located on Rio Cuale, on the north side, you will find crafts, souvenirs and traditional clothes.
  8. Marina Vallarta Market: at La Marina, this market is open on Thursday night, you will find foods, crafts, clothes and jewelry.
  9. Buy your Place: this is more an investment than shopping but the real estate business is very active in Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta and all the bay area. A lot of local and US real estate agents will give you all the information required to know more about buying opportunities in town. Karine is one of them, working with Century21 agency.


beach of vallarta located north from the town 

7.  25 Leisure & Relaxation Activities

This is the backbone of Puerto Vallarta, between mountains, beaches and jungle you will find unique places to relax and enjoy corporal care, wonders and relaxation.

  1. Diner with view on the Bay: many places offer a unique view while enjoying incredible foods. El Barracuda will let you enjoy the night your feet in the sand while el Mangos offer the same for your brunch. Several rooftops down town let you see the sun set sipping your cocktail as the Barcelona Tapas. There are many more you will enjoy discovering.
  2. Walk on the Malecón: early in the morning, you will enjoy the peace of the pelican's flight. In the sunset, the nightlife will energize you.
  3. Explore Puerto Vallarta Walking: Vallarta is like a village, with hills and hidden corners you will enjoy to discover while walking from Olas Altas to the other side of the Malecón going by the Cuale Island, and you will discover unique restaurant like gems in a shell.
  4. Mirador de la Cruz: you can access this belvedere walking from down town and get an impressive view of the town with the bay. From the Mandala bar on the Malecón, walk straight to the hill.
  5. Mirador de Los Arcos: located south of Vallarta, you will need a ride to reach it. You can stop by while you are on your way to Mismaloya.
  6. Brunch on the Beach: at playa de los muertos. You will find a lot of restaurant to take you coffee in front of the ocean, your feet in the sand.
  7. Walk at La Marina: you will enjoy the show of yatchs getting in and out of the port, discover many nice restanrant and maybe see some the large crocodiles resting on the rocks of the pier.
  8. Walt at La Zona Romantica: this is the most animated part of the town with lot of shops and restaurants
  9. Visit Versalles: this neighborhood is not down town and you will need to catch a cab to get there. You will find a lot of unique restaurants as well as many new condos with a nice admosphere, cooler than the Romantic Zone.
  10. Visit El Pitillal: now connected to Vallarta as the town got bigger. This is a 100% mexican part of the town where you will find a church and many mexican stores and restaurants. If you want to get out of the touristics trails, you should get there to have a look.
  11. Visit the Rio Cuale Island: you will not feel being in town while walking on the island. You will find artists, shops, a museum and squirrels and three restaurants close to the beach.
  12. Watch Crocodiles: if you could not see crocodiles at La Marina, you will find them at el santuario El Cora or at El estero el Salado.
  13. Learn about Butterflies: Discover the Butterfly Sanctuary, located close to the Vallarta Vista Golf course. Many tours offer this activity.
  14. Free Art Walk: Every wenesday, you can enjoy a walk throught the 16 art galleries of Puerto Vallarta from 6 to 10 pm. There is no guide and there is no fee, but you can meet other people interested in art.
  15. Visit Casa Kimberly: Vallarta got know in the world because of the Romance of Elizabeth Taylor with Richard Burton who where living their hidden love living in two separated houses connected by a bridge. Located in Calle Zaragoza #445, the house is now a luxurious Hotel Boutique.
  16. Massage and Spa: you will find a lot of massage services and spa in Vallarta to have a break and relax. You will find them everywhere.
  17. Luxury Cruise: many yatches offer the possibility to be rented for a day or more with the crew to get a day off at sea. Interentals is a concierge service that will help you get exclusive excursion on yatches. Some tour operators also offer such services.
  18. Private swimming teacher: for you (adults) or your kids, you will have a private instructor to teach you in the pool or in the ocean. Get in touch with Christophe to have more informations in Spanish, French or English.
  19. Get a Nanny: so you can enjoy your time as lovers. This babysitting company is specialized or you can get in touch with Interentals special concierge service to get the Nanny that fits you.
  20. Cooking Class: Gastronomy is a huge activity in Vallarta with numerous restaurants available offering Mexican and internationnal food. You can learn to cook Mexican food with local chefs with Cook In Vallarta or with a local Mexican Chef as Miriam Flores.
  21. Craft Beers & Tacos Degustation: discover local craft beers and breweries on a unique tour with Vallarta Mexology Tour.
  22. Mezcal & Raicilla Tasting: You certainly already know about Tequila, but the Mezcal is gaining a lot in popularity lately with numerous local productors in Jalisco and Oaxaca. Mezcal is closer to Wisky taste than Tequila, you can enjoy tasting Mezcal and Raicilla with El Tasting Groom or Vallarta Tequila Tastings
  23. Bus Tour Party: you can rent the bus tour of Puerto Vallarta to get your private tour by night to party on the road.Contact Oswaldo to book your private night tour and get more information on their website.
  24. Private Wine Degustation: For marriage or anniversaries, you can book your private wine degustation with Frida's Wine Patio or get your private event in your place. Check their Instagram Account.
  25. Private Yoga Teacher: You will find in Vallarta many places where you can practice Yoga. However, you can also get your own instructor, Denisse is a certified Yoga Teacher with years of experience speaking English, French and Spanish.

 beach front view in boca de tomatlan

8. Beaches of Puerto Vallarta

Vallarta and Banderas Bay are famous for the numerous beaches you can relax on. Many hotels and condos have their own private beaches (artificialy made by Tecnoceano) but the majority of tourists do not even know about the best beaches of Vallarta, here they are:

  1. Visit Playa Yelapa: You will have access to Yelapa only by boat, coming from Boca de Tomatlán. Yelapa is very small village with a nice beach and various hotels and restaurant to stay one or a few days.
  2. Visit Playa Quimixto: this beach is also available by boat only (or walking 4 kilometers from Boca), it is a nice beach in the jungle where you can surf when the swell comes from north. You will find few restaurant and a camping.
  3. Visit Playa Gemelas, Playa Esmeralda and Playa Palmares are three beaches with thin sand, little waves and easily accessible with a car from Vallarta.

yelapa beach close to puerto vallarta

There are several things  you can do in Vallarta:

  1. Familly Photos on the Beach: Many photographers offer their services so you get memories of your family vacations in Vallarta. Aldo Tovar is one of them, check is Instagram account here
  2. Propose your Fiancée on the Beach: if you come from the cold, proposing on the beach of Vallarta is a fun thing to do. You will get some more ideas on how to propose on the beach here.
  3. Get Married on the beach: Vallarta is a famous destination for weddings on the beach, a lot of companies are specialized in organizing your private beach wedding like Adventure Weddings or you will find hotel with their own venue for your wedding. If you are planning a destination wedding in Puerto Vallarta or Punta Mita check this site https://wconcept.mx/
  4. Rent a luxury beach front house with Patricia from Interentals wherever you wish along the coast from Vallarta to Punta de Mita.

 best retaurant with view in Puerto Vallarta

9. Food, Chefs and Restaurants

Tourism in Vallarta lead to a strong development of the food industry with hundred of restaurants and Tacos booths all over the area leading rekowns chefs to set up their restaurant in the area.

  1. Get a Private Chef: with more than 150 private chef in town, you can have your own chef to cook for you in your place for a special event. Get in touch with Take a Chef or Catering PV to find one.
  2. 36 Restaurant & lounge: located in El Faro at La Marina, you will have the pleasure to diner in hight with a nice view on the Marina to see the sun set. Remodeled in 2023, the restaurant has its own chef, an impressive list of cocktails & champagnes and an art gallery at the entrance.
  3. Food Tour: allows you to have a great and quick experience of the various tastes you will find in town. Vallarta Food Tour is specialized in such event to make it easier for you.
  4. Restaurant Week: Each year, during 3 weeks from May to June, 40+ fine restaurants propose special menus creating a gastronomic event in Puerto Vallarta we all enjoy. The chefs create new recipes and get creative.
  5. Ceviche Festival: On February 5th, 2023, is organized the 13th edition of the Ceviche Festival with around 20 sea food restaurants from the Bay competing for the best Ceviche from the Bay.
  6. Festival Gourmet: Each year, in November, during 10 days the festival Gourmet is the main gastronomy event of Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay. With 65 chefs and 32 restaurants, you will have the opportunity to enjoy unique food and recipes.
  7. Café des Artistes: it is difficult not to recommand this Restaurant founded by Thierry Blouet in 1990, it is nowadays a Vallarta's iconic restaurant, a must go if it is your first time in Vallarta.

 health and clinic services in vallarta

10.  5 Useful Health Services

With the rising cost of medical care in north America, it can be as much as 75% more economical to get medical attention in Mexico than in the US. Take into account that Vallarta is a touristic place, and so is more expensive than other Mexican cities. Anyway, in Vallarta you will find good doctors, fluent in English able to treat you for a fraction of the cost compare to the US.

  1. Mens Check Up: the ANKU Clinic offers check up and treatments for men about Urogoly and sexual diseases, you can see Dr Pedro to get your check up.
  2. Traumatologist and Orthopedist: Dr Manuel Hernandez is a specialist, he also works with ozon and regeneration with stem cells. You will find him in the hospital in front of Plaza Caracol.
  3. Hemodialysis and Renal Failure: Dr Alfonsa Contreras is specialized in such troubles, he speaks very well English and can assist in moving delicate patients by plane if required.
  4. Nutrition: Noe Reyes is specialized in nutrition, him and his team are able to help you get to your target, you can get in touch with them through their website.
  5. Reiki and Healing Sessions: Alternate medicine is growing fast in Mexico, as it has never felt the culture of Mexican people. You will find such services with I Reiki You or Healthy Healing Goddess


This list gives you a pretty accurate view of all you will be able to do, see or experience in Puerto Vallarta.

Please feel free to add your suggestion if you feel it would make that list even more useful.


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