Puerto Vallarta things to do

The Top 10 Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta

You finally booked that dream vacation to Puerto Vallarta you’ve been wanting to take for years. Now it’s time to start planning your itinerary to make sure you make the most of your limited time in this beautiful seaside town. With so many options for activities, tours, restaurants, beaches and more, narrowing it down can be overwhelming. But don’t stress – we’ve got your back. We compiled this list of the absolute top 10 things you must experience in Puerto Vallarta based on popularity, reviews and local expert advice. From sipping tequila at the best bars to swimming with dolphins and sea turtles, you’ll find something for every interest. Keep reading for the inside scoop on how to spend your days tasting tacos, strolling the malecón, whale watching and soaking up the sunshine in paradise. This is your guide to creating lifelong memories in Vallarta.

Take in the Breathtaking Beaches of Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is home to some of the most stunning beaches, with soft white sand and turquoise waters. ### Playa Los Muertos is the lively beach in the heart of downtown, packed with beach clubs, bars and an exciting atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to people watch while sipping a margarita.

A 10-minute walk south brings you to ### Playa Conchas Chinas, a hidden gem with secluded coves and giant rock formations. This is where the locals go to escape the crowds. Further south, you’ll find ### Playa Gemelas, a pristine twin beach that is ideal for swimming, sunbathing and beachcombing.

For a quieter vibe, head north to ### Playa Camarones. Its gentle waves are perfect for families with kids. Or take a water taxi to the secluded ### Playa Colomitos for a day of utter tranquility. Some beaches like Playa Olas Altas even allow you to dine with your toes in the sand at casual beachfront restaurants.

With over 25 miles of beaches, Puerto Vallarta spoils you for choice. Whether you’re looking to party or find solitude, there’s a patch of soft sand waiting. The beaches are the heart and soul of Puerto Vallarta, so take your time exploring each one. After all, you’re on vacation in paradise! Soak in the stunning sunsets, rolling waves and unforgettable memories. The beaches of Puerto Vallarta will stay with you long after your tan fades.

Outdoor Adventures Abound: Ziplining, Hiking, and More

Puerto Vallarta is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. If you’re looking to get your adrenaline pumping, you can soar over the jungle canopy on a zipline tour. Many companies offer ziplining, with lines up to a mile long and over 200 feet high. The views are breathtaking!

Hiking in the Sierra Madre Mountains

For a challenging hike, head to the Sierra Madre Mountains. Trails like the Camino de la Tuna and the Coyote Canyon trail offer stunning vistas, waterfalls and wildlife spotting. The trails can be difficult, so go with a guide if you’re not an experienced hiker.

Whale Watching and Other Watersports

If you prefer the water, Puerto Vallarta offers tons of options. Whale watching is popular from December to April when humpback whales migrate to the area. You might also spot dolphins, sea turtles or rays. For thrill seekers, rent a jet ski, go parasailing or book a sunset sailing cruise.

Outdoor Adventures for Everyone

Whether you want to soar through the air, hit the hiking trails or ride the waves, Puerto Vallarta has outdoor activities for people of all skill levels. The natural surroundings are ideal for escaping the usual grind. Get outside and enjoy this tropical paradise!

Immerse Yourself in the Vibrant Art Scene

Puerto Vallarta has a thriving arts community with many galleries featuring work by local artists. As you stroll through the cobblestone streets, duck into some of the galleries to get a sense of the colorful artwork depicting scenes of Puerto Vallarta life.

Visit Galleria Dante

This downtown gallery features contemporary art, sculptures, and photography. It showcases innovative pieces from both established and up-and-coming Mexican artists. Even if you don’t buy anything, browsing the bold and edgy artworks is a visual treat.

Check out Galeria Pacífico

For art that incorporates traditional Mexican motifs with a modern twist, head to Galeria Pacífico. You’ll find vibrant paintings, stylized sculptures, and handcrafted jewelry that blend classic and contemporary aesthetics. The gallery has been promoting Mexican art and handcrafts for over 50 years, so you know you’ll discover high-quality, authentic pieces.

Take in an Art Walk

On Wednesday evenings, many of the galleries stay open late for Puerto Vallarta’s weekly Art Walk. As you stroll the cobblestone streets, you can pop into the galleries, meet the artists, enjoy complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and maybe even purchase an original work of art. The Art Walk is a festive, free event that provides an opportunity to experience the city’s art scene with others.

Exploring the local art in Puerto Vallarta allows you to gain an appreciation for the talent and creativity of the area’s artists. And who knows—you might just find a piece that you can’t live without!

Taste Your Way Through Puerto Vallarta’s Culinary Delights


With Puerto Vallarta located right on the Pacific coast, seafood is unsurprisingly one of the highlights of the local cuisine. Fresh fish, shrimp, lobster, and oysters are found in abundance. Some must-try dishes are the garlic shrimp, seafood soup, and fish tacos. Head to any of the beachside restaurants along the Malecon boardwalk for the day’s catch paired with a cold beer and ocean views.

Street Food

Like any good Mexican city, the street food in Puerto Vallarta is delicious, cheap, and plentiful. Look for vendors selling tamales, elotes (grilled corn on the cob), churros, and of course, tacos. Al pastor (marinated pork) and camarones (shrimp) are popular taco fillings. For a late-night snack, grab a torta—a Mexican sandwich stuffed with meat, cheese, beans, avocado, and salsa.


No trip to Mexico’s tequila capital is complete without sampling the local firewater. Do a tequila tasting at one of the many bars along the Malecon or at a dedicated tequila bar like La Tequila Museum. Silver, reposado, and añejo tequilas are all produced in Jalisco, with unique flavors ranging from peppery to caramel-like. Try a tequila flight to find one you love, then order a margarita made with your favorite. Salud!


To shake off your tequila-induced haze the next morning, grab a cup of locally grown coffee. Many restaurants in Puerto Vallarta source beans from Jalisco and neighboring states, then roast and brew them on-site. Sit down for a leisurely brunch at a cafe like Cuates y Cuetes and pair your coffee with chilaquiles, enchiladas or huevos rancheros. The bold, rich flavor of Mexican coffee is the perfect remedy after a big night out.

Puerto Vallarta offers a tantalizing array of authentic dishes that showcase the region’s natural abundance and cultural heritage. Come with an empty stomach—and a thirst for adventure! The flavors of this seaside escape will leave your taste buds reeling and have you plotting your return.

Don’t Miss These Top Tours and Activities in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta offers no shortage of exciting tours and activities to keep you entertained during your stay. Here are a few of the must-dos:

Take a Sunset Sail

A sunset sail aboard a catamaran is the perfect way to enjoy a romantic evening in Puerto Vallarta. As the sun dips below the horizon, you’ll cruise the waters of the Banderas Bay, cocktail in hand, soaking in the peaceful atmosphere and vibrant colors reflected on the water. Several companies offer sunset sails departing from the marina that last 2-3 hours.

Explore the Jungle

The jungles surrounding Puerto Vallarta are teeming with wildlife and natural wonders. Book a jungle tour to go hiking, ziplining, rappelling and more. One of the most popular spots is Los Arcos, a network of granite rock formations eroded into arches and caves. You may spot iguanas, butterflies, and tropical birds along the trails. For adventure, head to Canopy River for ziplining, rappelling and whitewater rafting on the Mascota River.

Take a Food Tour

A food tour is the perfect way to get to know the culinary side of Puerto Vallarta. You’ll follow a local guide to some of the best taco stands, restaurants and street food spots in town. Try everything from juicy carne asada tacos to fresh ceviche. Many tours also visit a local market where you can sample exotic fruits, spices and other regional specialties. If tequila is your thing, some tours also stop by a distillery for a tasting and demonstration of how tequila is made. Buen provecho!

With its natural beauty and vibrant culture, Puerto Vallarta offers endless ways to spend your days. But however you choose to explore, don’t miss out on these top tours to experience all the city has to offer. The memories you make will last well beyond your beach vacation.


Enjoy these ten awesome things to do during your vacation in Puerto Vallarta. From strolling the Malecón to diving with whales, this lively beach town offers plenty of adventures on land and sea. The beautiful beaches, colorful streets, and friendly locals provide a charming backdrop for your explorations. With so many great restaurants, bars, shops, and attractions, you’ll never run out of ways to play in Puerto Vallarta. Just be sure to take some time to relax at the beach and soak up the sunshine between excursions. However you choose to spend your days here, Puerto Vallarta is guaranteed to provide an unforgettable Mexican getaway.