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15 Best Things to do in Puerto Vallarta

by Somya Khanna
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1. Zona Rom√°ntica

Things to do in Puerto Vallarta
Playa Los Muertos | Photo credit – Matthew Rutledge

Just landed in Puerto Vallarta and want to explore the city at its finest!? Zona Romantica has got you covered. This place is the busiest port in the whole city as it is the hub for all tourists and locals to have the finest time in Puerto Vallarta. Zona Romantica has a number of bars and restaurants lined up for you to experiment in. There is also a huge variety of local shops that sell gift items, traditional products, groceries, trendy boutiques, and many other things. This place is also referred to as ‚ÄúOld Town‚ÄĚ. When you are done with all the wandering around at the local shops, you can visit the nearby beach: Playa Los Muertos, and have a relaxing time there.

Zona Romantica has been rated by travelers as a must-see place in Puerto Vallarta, so whenever you are visiting the city don’t forget to take a detour of this place.

Timings: 24 hours 7 days

Entrance: Free entry allowed

2.Malecón Boardwalk

Things to do in Puerto Vallarta
Malec√≥n Boardwalk | Photo Credit- Hern√°n Pi√Īera

When you have had your share of exploring the city you can relax and just take a walk around the Malecon Boardwalk. It is a broad pathway that follows along the edge of the sea. It’s a beautiful place to walk around and explore the beauty of the city in its most original sense. You can go sightseeing or watch a beautiful sunset while sitting at the benches and enjoying a local snack/meal. It’s a traffic-free zone so you can take a stroll through the Malec√≥n in peace. Do take a walk around the Boardwalk, It is definitely going to be a feel-good experience for you!

3.Parroquia de Nuestra Se√Īora de Guadalupe

Things to do in Puerto Vallarta
Parroquia de Nuestra Se√Īora de Guadalupe | Photo Credit – daryl_mitchell

Parroquia de Nuestra Se√Īora de Guadalupe is a Catholic Church in Puerto Vallarta. It is one of the most important city monuments and has spiritual value for all the Catholics in town. It’s a tall building and adds to the beautiful skyline of PV. The top of the tower is fixed with a huge crown which is extremely gorgeous.

It is always on top of the to-do list of tourists as this church is an inseparable part of Puerto Vallarta‚Äôs history. This place is perfect for you to get your pictures clicked and bring back memories home. Check out this link if you want to know all about Parroquia de Nuestra Se√Īora de Guadalupe.

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

4.Marina Vallarta

Things to do in Puerto Vallarta
Marina de Puerto Vallarta | Photo Credit – BirdsEyePix

Marina Vallarta is considered to be a prime location in Puerto Vallarta. This place provides you with an amazing Resort-like experience with exquisite yachts, boats, and charters. An 18-hole golf course designed by Joe Finger is also located here. You can enjoy trying out different places and exploring options. The view from the place is also amazing so you can plan to take a stroll in this area and skim through restaurants. If you are traveling with family then you should definitely go to the water park which has a lot of fun activities which will keep your children entertained. This place is a bit on the expensive side but if you want to have a luxury experience then this place should be a must-visit for you.

5. Playa de los Muertos

Sunset on Playa de Los Muertos | Photo Credit – EdFladung

One of the most popular shorelines in Puerto Vallarta, Playa de Los Muertos(Dead Man’s Beach) is the best place for you to spend your day. It is located in the Zona Romantica region and has plenty of space to fit a lot of visitors. You can have a fun and relaxing time sitting at the beach enjoying the beauty of the setting sun.

The beautiful turquoise water and white sand add to the view.  It also offers you a lot of fun water activities such as jet skiing, windsurfing, and parasailing. You can also participate in land sports like beach volleyball. There will be local vendors all over the beach trying to sell you stuff. You can buy some souvenirs to bring back home from these vendors at reasonable rates. There are also good restaurants around the beach so you can enjoy a good meal too. Do visit this beach whenever you are in Puerto Vallarta.

Entrance Fees: Free

Timings: Open 24/7

6.Chicabal

Takalik Abaj (600 AC) | Photo Credit – Renata Avila

Chicabal is one of the best-rated beach clubs in Puerto Vallarta. If you want to enjoy the most exclusive party life of PV then this place is a must-go for you! It is located just in front of the Pacific Ocean and is very Picturesque. The sky radiates an orangish tint and provides you with the best opportunity to enjoy party life on open grounds. How fun it is going to be dancing around some dope music and champagne showers dripping all over you while you are in your best party element! Chicabal also has one of the best yacht services, luxurious cabanas, urban gastronomy, and some top-notch music for you to enjoy. If I may say, going to Chicabal should be on top of your list when in Puerto Vallarta.

Address: Avenida, Blvd. Francisco Medina Ascencio 2485, Zona Hotelera Nte. 48333 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., México

Timings: Fri-Sat-Sun from 1 PM to 9 PM

7.Centro Histórico

Centro Historico | Photo Credit – Dennis Sylvester Hurd

Dive into a place that holds historical-cultural relation to the city of Puerto Vallarta. Stroll through the picturesque cobbled streets that provide a historical and cultural atmosphere. The construction of the city is beautiful and there are amazing monuments for you to explore. The restaurants and bars in the surrounding area are amazing where you can dine in and enjoy local food and drinking items. When you are here don’t forget to visit its Plaza de Armas where you can enjoy live music and watch couples dancing.

Address: Centro Histórico, Centro, 48300 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., México

8.Bay of Banderas

Banderas Bay | Photo Credit – Bud Ellison

Bay of Banderas is a 100 km stretch of beach on the west coast of Mexico and is also extremely deep. It is so deep that no instruments have ever been able to determine its actual depth. The horseshoe-shaped bay has a beautiful shoreline with huge cliffs to sandy beaches. There are so many beautiful beaches for you to explore around this area. You can spend your time relaxing or walking around the shoreline or rent a yacht/boat and have an amazing ride over the blue waters. Many water activities are also available at the Bay so you can have a fun time there. It is one of the best attractions of the Mexican tourism industry. If you want to explore all about Banderas Bay then check out this link.

9.Los Arcos de Mismaloya

Snorkelling | Photo Credit – Live Zakynthos

Your trip to Puerto Vallarta is incomplete without visiting Los Arcos de Mismaloya. Los Arcos de Mismaloya is located in Banderas Bay and is a part of a protected National Park called Los Arcos Marine Park It is known for its natural beauty and tropical wildlife. It also provides you with an opportunity to experience some of the best water activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, and much more. The beautiful clear water makes sure that you spot the best of water life while doing these activities.. It has caves and arches through which you can swim. It has vast biodiversity with colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, natural vegetation, and birds overhead. 

Address: Puerto Vallarta- Cihuatlán s/n 48272 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., México

Timings: Open 24 hours

10.Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving | Photo Credit –Manoel Lemos

One of the best things about being in a city full of beaches and bays is that you can have a fun and adventurous time exploring underwater. Get to spot the best of underwater species while scuba diving in Puerto Vallarta. Some of the best places for you to try this water activity are-

  • Marietas Islands
  • Las Caletas
  • Los Arcos
  • El Morro
  • Los Anegados

If you are experienced in scuba diving then you can directly dive into the waters. If not then you can also arrange for private driving lessons and you will be good to go!

11.Mirador Cerro de La Cruz

Mirador Cerro De La Cruz should be your go-to place if you want to enjoy the panoramic view of the city. It is a lookout spot at the top of La Cruz Hill. It is about a 15-20 minutes walk from Malecon. Walking to the top can be a little challenging but the 360 degrees view of the city will totally be worth it! It is the best place for you to relax, recreate and meditate. So whenever you are in Puerto Vallarta don’t forget to have a 360-degree view of the city from the top of this location.

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

Timings: Open 24 hours

12.Casa Kimberly

Casa Kimberly is one of the most luxurious hotels in Puerto Vallarta. It was previously Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s house which has now been recreated into one of the best properties in PV. Both of their houses were connected through a bridge to expand the property. This place has a wide variety of in-house things for you to enjoy like a swimming pool, spas, a terrace garden, and an amazing restaurant. The outside of the Casa Kimberly also provides a suitable environment for locals and travelers to have a bike ride exploring the locality. You can book your lodging into this hotel when you are in Puerto Vallarta and get the taste of luxury at its best.

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

13.Islas Marietas

Parque Nacional Islas Marietas | Photo Credit – Christian Frausto Bernal

The Marietas Islands are a group of uninhabited islands in the nearby town of Puerto Vallarta. It is one of the best-hidden secrets of the place. You can hire a boat ride to get there. There‚Äôs plenty of things that you can enjoy on this island. There are caves, beautiful turquoise water, and green vegetation all over the place. You can also get to witness a lot of water species while exploring this island. It is common to spot hunchback whales during winters. You can travel to the Island on your own or can book a guided tour for the same. Don‚Äôt forget to visit the ‚ÄúLove Beach‚ÄĚ when you are here.

14.Vallarta Botanical Garden

If you want to enjoy the best of natural beauty then Vallarta Botanical garden is a must-go for you. It is a nonprofit organization that aims to protect the natural vegetation of PV. The place has beautiful tropical flowers and various indigenous plants of Mexico. There is also a beautiful tropical pool that you can swim in and a cafe for you to dine in. You can take a self-guided tour of the area and hike through the mountainous regions. 

Address: Carretera Puerto Vallarta, Carr., Costera a Barra de Navidad km 24, 48425 Jal., M√©xico 

15.Magic Towns

Magical Towns are the essence of Mexico’s colonial history. These are municipalities that preserve the country‚Äôs classic genre. Most of the buildings are from the colonial era and tell a lot about traditional Mexico. You can get to listen to a lot of legends by locals and navigate through the traditional history. These are amazing places that you should definitely explore near Puerto Vallarta. Some of the nearby Magic Towns near Puerto Vallarta are-

  • Sayulita: 40 to 60 minutes away
  • San Sebasti√°n del Oeste: about 2 hours away
  • Mascota: about 2 and a half hours away
  • Talpa de Allende: about 3 hours away

Planning a trip to Huatulco!? Check out our post on 13 Best Things to do in Huatulco.


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