Here we leave you an extensive list of all the activities you can do in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit. We anticipate that you will need time.
Walks do not stay in your hotel room watching movies, it is better to practice hiking in the mountains, on the rivers and streams, or along the roads and gaps that lead to the rural area of the municipality of Puerto Vallarta, or from the neighboring municipalities Cabo Corrientes and Banderas Bay. There are multiple safe roads and gaps where you can enter and know overcrowding panoramas, observing regional flora and fauna.
Cycling This sport can be practiced by integrating to one of the clubs that organize “pedalo” on the main avenue to the Malecon, or with some adventurers who throw themselves into the mountains, to trace the nearby mountains. In Banderas Bay there are guides that know the various routes where cycling can be practiced safely and pleasantly, and the starting points go from Bucerías to the rural or Nuevo Vallarta area towards Bucerías and other points.
Horse riding is a noble activity and can be done in several ranches located in the rural area of Puerto Vallarta, on the road to Las Palmas, in front of the mouth there are establishments where horses are rented to travel the nearby places and enjoy nature. There are also options in Bucerías, Sayulita and San Pancho, in the municipality of Bahía de Banderas.
Polo This sport has more amateur every day in the area of Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit. The Patrona Club, located in the town of San Pancho, stands out in a special way, but there are other establishments where they can teach you to practice it. An international polo tournament is held every year that attracts fans and stars of that sport of the international arena.
Swim with dolphins and get to know and at least touch these fascinating marine animals is something that every tourist dreams of doing one day. In the region there are dolphinarium parks in which you have the opportunity to swim with them and have the most beautiful experience, but you can even find them freely in the Banderas Bay, since it is one of the inhabitants of this beautiful region.
Road Trips – in the Banderas Bay region abound the places where small walks can be made and have fun with the family. For example, by bus you can get to San Pancho, the romantic town that has countless attractions and that can only be known walking through its streets. Another point south of Puerto Vallarta is Mismaloya, where you can know the set where the movie “The Night of the Iguana” was filmed, which was a reason for this paradisiacal place to be announced to the world.
Surf this sport is the one that has made Sayulita emerge as an especially vocation for surfers internationally. However, young connoisseurs know that it can be practiced on most beaches in the area, from Punta de Mita, to Jarretaderas, and from here to Mismaloya. You just have to search and find tables and people who teach you how to choose the right wave and overcome them in the best way. In Sayulita and Punta de Mita you can find several surf schools.
Paddle Surf also can be practiced on all beaches and in general throughout the Banderas Bay for its calm waters. Do not miss it if you rest on any of the benches on the breakwater of Nuevo Vallarta and suddenly find that one or more surf paddle players cross on the aquatic horizon. But the same can be found in Mismaloya- south of Puerto Vallarta- than in Punta de Mita, to the north. Sliding on a table, driving with a rowing is something that fascinates young people every day and is part of the new aquatic sports that every day gains more followers in Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City.
Golf -in the region of Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit there are nine golf courses that stand out for the comforts they offer and the team they have. They are designed by great figures of this sport and are a guarantee of recreation and elegant well-being. Among the most recommended golf courses, we must mention El Tigre, in Nuevo Vallarta, designed by Robert von Hagge, that of the Vallarta Vista Complex, projected by Tom Weiskopf, that of Punta Mita, created by Jack Nicklaus, and the club of Golf Marina Vallarta, with the guarantee of the Joe Finger fields.
Tennis was the sport that also projected Nuevo Vallarta in the past, and the busiest courts are in the Los Tules complex, although there are in other hotels in the region, where there are coaches who can teach you how to give the first blows with the racket. Even in the Puerto Vallarta Sports Unit there are tennis and border courts, in which you can practice this energetic sport.
Canopy – sliding into a zip line is exciting for tourists of all ages, and in the region there are almost a dozen canopys, from the oldest located in Chico’s Paradise, to that of the Las Juntas y los Veranos, or that of Sayulita. All have very trained personnel to guide you in this adventure and make your experience the most fun and cheerful.
Bird observation is a little appreciated activity, but in the region there are specific points where macaws and cotorros can be admired, such as the mountainous area in the south, and in the estuaries the Salado, in Jalisco, and the lagoon The Quelele, in Nayarit. In the Banderas Bay Region there are a lot of canoras and chromatic plumage birds. It is well worth getting up early to take an sighting tour and incidentally meet wonderful places.
Diving is a very attractive activity in the region, since the transparency of water allows to catch a very good vision. From Mismaloya to Punta Mita there are multiple establishments with professional guides that can take you to the most attractive points.
Snorkel – practicing snorkeling is very common in Puerto Vallarta, since there are multiple points in the bay where there is a concentration of colored fish and other marine fauna, as well as others where there are spectacular marine rocks and landscapes. The busiest places are the Arcos and Mismaloya, as well as the beaches of the Ánimas and Quimixto, in addition to the Marietas Islands. The advantage to practice this activity is the transparency of water, which allows quite good visibility, although for this you have to choose the best schedules and those can be advised by some professional guide.
Fishing – to go fishing is the most pleasant and relaxing activity for many tourists who come from the interior of the Republic. There are multiple options for this, since in the four marinas of Banderas Bay there are small yachts or boats that are rented to practice this sport. The captains of each boat are the experts who know the places where you can capture a maxi-mahi, a marlin, a sailfish or at least one giant tuna.
Regattas -if you like the practice of the regatta, the MEXORC International Regatta and the Regatta Copa Mexico are carried out annually in Puerto Vallarta, in which around 60 vessels participate. These competitions in the waters of the Banderas Bay are held in March, a month in which the wind blows strong during the afternoon, but is light in the morning and at night. In addition, the bay is a sanctuary for many species, from the humpback whale to the golfin turtles, giant manta and colored fish.
Sailboats -if you prefer to practice the parasailing, Banderas Bay is the best option, since in the first months of the year the wind currents are constant during noon and the afternoon. This is the reason why several Veleo schools have established on the Cruz of Huanacaxtle, also in the marinas of Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta. On the Cruz of Huanacaxtle there are sailboats that are rented for those who do not have their own boat but do not want to miss the opportunity to go to the sea.
Kayak, Jet Sky, Water Sky -these sports are classic in Banderas Bay and in most beaches there are businesses that are dedicated to the income of the necessary equipment to practice kayak, or jet sky, or aquatic motorcycles. On the beach of Nuevo Vallarta, as well as in Puerto Vallarta, on the ‘Holli’ beach, the water motorcycles or the Jet Sky can be rented to walk through the bay.
Workshops -if you want to learn to model with clay, the municipal workshop that is located in the eastern part of the Isla del Rio Cuale is a good option. In the downtown area there are also artist workshops to whom you can watch while doing their works.
Events -Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit are the destinations where the largest number of events are held throughout the year, since around 60 are held, among which the Ceviche Festival and the Oyster Festival in Bucerías. Among the sporting events, the swim competition in open waters that recently celebrated its sixth edition, and there are also marathons and triathlon competitions.
Peregrinaciones -Puerto Vallarta is a Guadalupano town, because its original name is Puerto Las Peñas de Santa María de Guadalupe and therefore in December the traditional pilgrimages to the parish located in the center of the city are held. They are very attractive walks from the spiritual point of view, highlighting among it the “pilgrimage of the favored”, in which those people who feel especially grateful to Our Lady participate. Also in mezcal the fervor Guadalupano is accentuated every time, becoming the point of arrival of the pilgrimages of peoples and colonies of the rest of the municipality of Bahía de Banderas, although most prefer to walk to Puerto Vallarta.
Fishing tournaments in the region There are three traditional fishing tournaments: the International Sports Fishing Tournament organized by the International Sports Fishing Club of Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay and the one that also organizes the Tepic Fishing Club and the Tepic Fishing Club on the cross of Huanacaxtle which gives fans the opportunity to this activity of the entire coast of Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa to compete and seek attractive awards, since among them there are latest model cars. In addition, there are single -day fishing tournaments such as the one organized on the beach of the dead of Puerto Vallarta.
Gastronomic Festival -gastronomy, which in the region has been developed in an impressive way, is one of the most attractive market segments and that is why several events are held during the year, among which the Gourmet International Festival, which it already goes for its twenty sixth edition, as well as the Vallarta Nayarit Gastronomic events in which the new values of local gastronomy are projected and the new proposals of talented chefs and chefs from other cities in the world are also known.
Whale sightseeing -every year Banderas Bay is visited by one of the largest mammals in the world, the humpback whale, which provides an overwhelming show to those who have the opportunity to enjoy it. But not only the humpback whale visits the bay, occasionally they are here gray whales and the main hunchback predator, the Orca, although less frequently. On a very lucky trip you can see the three species. The official season for its sighting begins in the first week of December and culminates the last week of March.
Turtle camps -along the coast of Bay of Banderas exist numerous camps where the reproduction of the golf turtle is taken care of. The best known is the one on the beach of Nuevo Vallarta, but most hotels have their own nests,-under the supervision of hotel personnel-and make turtle releases that are an event, especially for children, since many participate directly in the release of a turtle in marine waters and that helps them acquire ecological awareness.
La Marina Puerto Vallarta is a walk that by itself is worth doing. The visitor can arrive by taxi or urban bus and walk throughout the marina, where there are various restaurants, art galleries, aquatic sports shops and all kinds of crafts. At the same time, you can admire yachts, boats and tourist vessels that are anchored on private docks.
Los Mangos Library is more than a simple library. Actually, it is a cultural enclosure, where painting or modeling workshops, folk dance workshops, artistic exhibitions are held, conferences are provided, and all kinds of cultural events. It is located on Francisco Villa Avenue, next to the Vallarta river subdivision.
API (sea port) The integral port administration is the most important port enclosure in the region, it is the point where the large cruises arrive and tie, but it is also where all kinds of walks and trips can be hired through the bay, including the walks to Yelapa, to the Ánimas and Quimixto. There you can also hire aquatic taxis to travel to any beach. The API, as is popularly known, is located just in the middle of Puerto Vallarta, between the Marina Vallarta and the northern hotel zone.
Naval Historical Museum -nothing like making a trip to the past when visiting this museum, in which you can admire the photos of several vessels, both ancient and some modern that Mexico’s Navy has used in its work to provide maritime security to all Mexicans. You can also admire some weapons, and with it you can have a parameter of the great evolution in the world in this regard. In the museum cafeteria, the visitor can enjoy a good cup of coffee or a full breakfast, while admiring the stained glass window of an impressive sailboat. Hours: Tuesday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays: from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 3:00 p.m. – to 7:00 p.m. Free admission.
Del Cuale Museum on the island of the Río Cuale, almost reaching the mouth to the sea, between the center of Puerto Vallarta and the romantic area, is the small but very well installed archaeological museum founded by the INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History) with more than one thousand pieces from the West region and collection of pre -Hispanic weapons. Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., free admission.
OPC Cultural Prospects Office is the name of this magnificent space located on Juárez Street in the center of the city, in which the most avant -garde and interesting museum projects are exhibited in Puerto Vallarta.
Peter Gray Museum is located inside the University Center of the Coast (Cucosta), with a very interesting Mexican plastic offer from the private collection of Peter Gray and increased with first -order acquisitions and donations. This museum is a small jewel worth visiting.
Manuel Lepe Museum is dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of the works of this artist from Puerto Vallarta. Among the services offered by the museum are: guided tours, theater workshops and classes for children and adults in the community.
Boca de Tomatlán is a small community where the Tomatlán river flows into the sea. Of surprising beauty has a beach of delicate and soft sands in which to swim, snorkel or dive is a privilege. The beach is full of bundles and restaurants that serve the delights of local gastronomy. From here they take aquatic taxis or pangas to other beaches such as Yelapa, the Ánimas or Quimixto. It is 35 minutes to the south of Puerto Vallarta and you access it by car, taxi or bus.
Yelapa is the place where the waters of the mountains and waterfalls come together. One of the most beautiful beaches to the south of Puerto Vallarta to which it is accessed only by sea (from Los Muertos beach or Boca de Tomatlan aquatic taxis are rented). It is ideal for camping, walking, exploring upstream, entering the jungle, visiting the waterfalls and especially climbing them. There are all kinds of services with a lovely naif environment.
Las Animas beach -is one of the beaches that are located further south, on the end of the Banderas Bay, in the municipality of Cabo Corrientes. It is characterized by the white sand and the transparency of the waters. There you can practice snorkeling and other aquatic sports, even if the tourist wishes he can go back in a parachute on the small bay and see the mountains and the lush jungle from the heights.
Los Muertos beach is the most traditional and busiest beach in Puerto Vallarta. In other words, whoever does not know the beach of Los Muertos does not know the destination. There you can admire the beautiful spring that bears the name of the beach, which during the night projects lights of different colors, also from the dock you can admire all the hotels and buildings of condominiums that exist; In general, all Puerto Vallarta can be admired and even the most remote points of Riviera Nayarit, such as the Huanacaxtle Cross.
Camarones beach is a very visited and attractive beach, in the center of Puerto Vallarta. Most of the national tourism that comes from the Bajío reaches that beach because there are very close craft stores, shopping centers, restaurants, and everything offered by the center and boardwalk of Puerto Vallarta. It is a certified beach and has everything necessary for the visitor to enjoy an unforgettable experience in contact with nature.
Conchas Chinas is the first residential subdivision of Puerto Vallarta and many of its houses have interesting history because there have lived all kinds of characters, most of them foreigners, among them artists, musicians, painters and businessmen. The subdivision comprises the entire southern part of the coast, until what was the old Camino Real Hotel, in the mythical beach Las Estacas. Some residences that are attached to the sea have their own beach space or some small pier.
Nuevo Vallarta is the most important residential tourist subdivision of the last decades in Mexico. In it you can find the most important hotels, as well as condominium buildings, beach clubs, a marine and the residential area. Many of the residences that have been developed there, have access to the Estero Canal that runs for about seven kilometers and flows into the sea. It has three golf courses and various tourist facilities.
Destiladeras is the most attractive public beach of the Riviera Nayarit. Of soft sand and clean water, it is an experience to bathe and walk along the almost 500 meters of extension. At the eastern end there is a rocky area that is dangerous for those who do not know, but it is also attractive for those who like to explore. Destiladeras is approximately three kilometers to the west, circulating along the road that goes from the Cruz de Huanacaxtle to Mita’s tip.
Punta Mita is a very attractive place, because from there you can embark to the Marietas Islands. The most popular beach is that of anchlote, and the tourist boatmen offer you the whale watching tour, in the season, as well as the visits to the beach of love in Las Marietas. There are several high quality restaurants where the most sophisticated dishes can be tasted, as well as the traditional ones in the region, such as aguachile, pescado zarandeado.
Sculptures -one of the biggest proud of Puerto Vallarta is being considered an outdoor museum and the different sculptural pieces that adorn the promenade and different parts of the city are a clear reflection of the taste of the Vallartenses for art. During the high season (from December to April), every Tuesday at 9:30 am there is a free (English) tour along the sculptural corridor in the Malecon, where there are works by prominent artists, such as Alejandro Colunga, Bustamante , and Ramiz Barquet.
Isla del Río Cuale – divides the center of Puerto Vallarta in the romantic zone. The island is accessed by the three bridges that cross the QUEMA river (several pendants, very picturesque) offering one of the most beautiful walks in the entire city. Centenary trees offer a unique shadow and freshness, while the visitor walks between artisans, restaurants, the Cultural Center of QUEE and the Archaeological Museum.
Marieta Islands in front of Punta de Mita, at the northern end of the Banderas Bay, are the Marietas Islands, one of the birds of birds with greater biodiversity in Mexico converted into National Park by UNESCO, for its protection. These three small islands house various unique species of birds, while offering the opportunity to immerse themselves in a marine paradise surrounded by turtles, manta, dolphins and humpback whales. The tours leave from Punta de Mita and take 45 minutes to reach the islands where you can practice snorkeling and kayak.
Botanical Garden 20 minutes from Puerto Vallarta, towards the south, is the largest collection of native plants and flowers in the region, especially orchids. The place has a restaurant and shops, surrounded by a jungle environment to spend an unforgettable day between roses, cactus, aquatic flowers and tropical fruit orchards.
Malecon -there is no better place to enjoy Puerto Vallarta than from its boardwalk. Throughout 1 km,-from the Rosita Hotel to the main square-, between sculptures, restaurants, shops, beach art, bars, music and artists of all kinds, Vallarta’s boardwalk displays all its charm. It is an outdoor museum adorned with palm trees, Huicholes figures drawn on the ground.
Los Arcos Marítimo Park to the south of Puerto Vallarta, between Mismaloya and Playa Gemelas, there are five granite islets with heights between 5 and 50 meters above sea level. Three of them have the formation of a natural arch creating one of the emblematic prints of the city. Although it is a protected area, several tourist vessels stop in its surroundings to enjoy its beauty and practice snorkeling and diving.
El Quelele Laguna located between Nuevo Vallarta and the population of Mezcales, is one of the 100 most important places in the country for bird observation, since both regional and migratory species can be found in it.
Romantic Zone is located to the southern side of the Cuale River, formerly called Viejo Vallarta. With all the flavor of the Vallarta of yesteryear, it is the most lively area of the city: galleries, restaurants, clubs, bars, beaches, shops, everything happens in the romantic area! During the high season, in the Lázaro Cárdenas Park, the most famous Farmers Market in the region is installed every Saturday in the morning.
Parish of Guadalupe is the symbol of Puerto Vallarta internationally; It is located on the side of the main square. Its construction began in 1930 concluding 10 years later. The main tower was crowned in 1965 although in 1995 an earthquake destroyed it being replaced by the current, made of fiberglass. The Church of Guadalupe is one of the obligatory points of visit in the city, especially in December when the Virgin of Guadalupe is celebrated and for 12 days mass processions are carried out in its honor.
Main square right in the heart of Puerto Vallarta, also called Plaza de Armas. Adorned with a kiosk, trees and gardeners in addition to a sculpture by Ignacio L. Vallarta, former governor of Jalisco who gave name to the city. A small but full square where exhibitions, dances and quantity of cultural and gastronomic activities are made. It is a forced walk on Sunday afternoon.
Municipal Market in the center of Puerto Vallarta, right next to the Cuale River, is the municipal market, one of our greatest attractions when buying souvenirs. Very colorful, offers visitors all kinds of artisanal items while traveling their corridors on the ground floor. On the second floor is the food area.
Gringo Goulch dominating the entire landscape of the Banderas Bay, the neighborhood known as Gringo Goulch is nestled between the high part of the hill, behind the parish of Guadalupe and the Cuale River. This redoubt was built by and for the first Americans who settled in Puerto Vallarta in the 50s and 60s. Here is the Kimberly house that belonged to actress Elizabeth Taylor. The most beautiful views of the city can be enjoyed from here.
The Muelle de los Muertos is the new pier located on the Los Muertos Beach and offers visitors one of the most beautiful views of Puerto Vallarta. Built in 2013, the structure in the form of a large candle enters about 100 meters to the sea, which allows you to embark, fish, or simply sit and enjoy unique moments on the sea. At night, the dock has changing lighting that makes it spectacular.
The Art walk is an important contribution to the cultural scene of Puerto Vallarta. It takes place every Wednesday from November to April. Participating galleries offer exhibit of important national and international artists. Exceptional paintings and sculptures, fine ceramics, blown glass and many other types of art is what artwalk offers.