Puerto Vallarta is a popular tourist destination located in Mexico’s Jalisco state on the Pacific coast. Famed for its vibrant nightlife and gorgeous scenery, there are also plenty of other attractions in the surrounding area.
Puerto Vallarta is a resort town on Mexico’s Pacific coast, in Jalisco state. It is known for its beaches, water sports and nightlife scene. Its cobblestone center is home to the ornate Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe church, boutique shops and a range of restaurants and bars. El Malecón is a beachside promenade with contemporary sculptures, as well as bars, lounges, and nightclubs.
In-town beaches include Playa Camarones and Playa Los Muertos, both featuring hotel resorts and water sports. Elsewhere around the Bahía de Banderas (Bay of Flags), there are many sandy stretches, such as Playa Mismaloya, a sheltered cove with clear water suitable for snorkeling, as well as the Punta de Mita headland, a popular surfing spot.
Offshore are the uninhabited Islas Marietas, known for scuba diving and whale-watching. Fishing charters specialize in a big game, such as marlin and tuna. Inland golf courses abound.
Public art lines the scenic Malecón, the spectacular Sierra Madre cascades over the town, and there are plenty of traditional fishing and mining villages nearby.
A great way to experience the town and surrounding areas is to take a tour.
These are the best tours you can take in and from Puerto Vallarta.
1. Whale Watching Boat Tour
This is a fantastic tour for animal lovers to experience the wildlife just off the coast of Puerto Vallarta.
You will be taken out into the water with an experienced guide, who will help you spot the whales that swim nearby. A short trip to the Marietas Islands is also included, where you can swim beneath the Playa de Amor archway.
Snorkeling equipment is included for you to spot the fish in the clear water. Free breakfast and open bar is also provided.
2. Vamonos Nightlife Tour with Open Bar
If you are looking to experience the Puerto Vallarta nightlife, this is a fantastic tour of the best clubs in town.
Pick up and drop off from your hotel is included and a licensed tour guide is provided to ensure safety. You will visit three clubs across the town, where you will be able to enjoy VIP entry and an open bar.
The clubs are specially selected to showcase the vibrant nightlife Puerto Vallarta has to offer. You will also be taken to the street parties where you can enjoy live music and dancing in the open air.
3. Puerto Vallarta City Tour
This half day tour is a great option if you want to take in all the best attractions and sights in the city.
You will be guided along the boardwalk, into some important religious sites, and through the largest shopping market in the area. Lunch, tequila, and samples of Mexican food are included to enhance your cultural experience.
The bus will pick you up from your hotel and the tour guide is fully licensed and local to the area. You will also be given some free time in the market to shop at your own pace and take in the atmosphere.
4. Marietas Islands Snorkel and Sail Day Trip
The Marietas are a beautiful chain of islands just a short boat trip from Puerto Vallarta. This tour takes you out to the islands and allows you to snorkel in the gorgeous waters surrounding them.
You will enjoy some free time on one of the most secluded beaches on the islands. Continental breakfast and a light lunch are included as part of the tour. After snorkeling, you will have access to an open bar.
Snorkeling equipment is included and there are plenty of stops for photo opportunities with the stunning scenery.
5. Pirates of the Bay Dinner Cruise
Enjoy a unique dinner experience aboard a replica pirate ship with this cruise around the bay of Puerto Vallarta.
The immersive performance depicts many different aspects of local history and culture through the theme of pirates. Not only is this a great entertainment experience, but you will also learn about the pre-Hispanic culture of Mexico.
A three-course dinner is provided on board, as well as an open bar. The night finishes with a majestic firework display over the harbor.
6. Puerto Vallarta Outdoor Adrenaline Adventure
Enjoy all of the major adrenaline-pumping activities in the region with this half-day tour.
You will begin with a ride in a speed boat before continuing on to a 4×4 journey through the region to the Sierra Madre Mountains. Whilst in the mountains, you will enjoy an adventurous trek that includes rope bridges, zip lines, and mule rides.
This tour is designed to be environmentally-friendly, which is perfect for eco-conscious guests. Light snacks are included and you will finish your adventure with the chance to swim in natural pools.
7. Yelapa and Majahuitas Beach Adventure
Departing from Puerto Vallarta, this boat trip takes you to Majahuitas Beach.
While there, you will have full access to snorkeling and kayaking equipment, allowing you to enjoy the crystal clear waters that lap against the pristine beach. You will be provided with a continental breakfast on the beach before snorkeling, and a light lunch afterward.
The tour then continues to Yelapa, where you can enjoy a hike through the lush forests. An open bar is available on the journey back to Puerto Vallarta.
8. Las Caletas Beach 7-Hour Tour from Puerto Vallarta
The beach of Las Caletas is very secluded, giving you the perfect opportunity to unwind amidst the stunning scenery.
This tour starts with a short catamaran ride from Puerto Vallarta to Las Caletas. Whilst on the beach, you have the option to sit back and relax or enjoy one of the many activities included with your tour.
Paddleboarding, cooking classes, and mezcal tasting are all popular options. There are also child and teen-friendly activities, making it a great trip for families.
9. Beaches, Botanic Garden and Bakery Tour
This tour allows you to sample a few different aspects of local life and takes a much more cultural slant than the other beach visits. You will begin with a visit to the Botanic Gardens to check out the native flora and fauna.
Afterward, you will be taken to a local bakery and distillery to learn about local bread making and the production of La Raicilla – a local liquor.
Samples of baked goods and beverages are included. After a short trip to the fishing village of Tehuamixtle, the tour finishes up with a visit to Playa de Amor beach.
10. Canopy River Zip Line Tour
Explore the lush forests of Mexico in style with this zip line tour. You will be given a thorough safety briefing before starting your tour, which takes place at over 11 different zip lines and stations.
After your zipline experience, you will visit a local tequila factory, where you can sample the famous Mexican liquor.
A 20-minute mule ride is included to finish up the tour, as well as transportation from Puerto Vallarta.
11. Full-Day Tour To San Sebastian
For a more local experience, this tour to San Sebastian is an excellent option. The old mining village is packed with character and charm, and this tour lets you take in the history and culture of Jalisco.
You will be treated to a tequila tasting experience and a full lunch at a traditional Mexican restaurant.
There is also a visit to a coffee hacienda, letting you get up close with the industries that keep the region alive. Pick up and drop off from central Puerto Vallarta hotels is included.
12. Exclusive Mexican Cooking Class with a Local
Mexican cuisine is famous across the world, but navigating the wide range of flavors and textures used can be tricky.
This class aims to teach you the basics of making a great Mexican meal, infusing local traditions with modern cooking practices. The tour is provided by a team of highly qualified chefs.
Wine tasting is included with your meal after the class. You will be given the recipe so you can try it out again when you get home.
13. Aquaventuras Park Day Admission and Lunch
A popular attraction for families, Aquaventuras is a large waterpark packed with fun activities.
This ticket gives you full day admission to the park as well as a complimentary lunch. There are 12 water slides and a lazy river in the park, as well as numerous restaurants, refreshment stands, and other attractions.
If you are traveling with kids, this is a great way for them to let off some steam. There is also a large swimming pool area for adults to sit back and relax.
14. Puerto Vallarta River Hiking Tour
Get up close with the beautiful nature of Puerto Vallarta’s surrounding rainforest in this three-hour hiking tour. You will experience the lush vegetation, quaint waterfalls, and unique wildlife as you hike through the El Nogalito Eco Park.
Environmentally conscious visitors will love this experience that takes care not to disturb the local ecosystem, and also funds local conservation projects. A snack, water, and free tequila tasting are also included.
15. Sierra Madre Jeep Safari with Lunch
The dramatic Sierra Madre mountain range is a vibrant area filled with traditional villages, dense forest, and spectacular views.
This off-road adventure allows you to explore the region on a jeep, departing from Puerto Vallarta. A traditional Mexican lunch is included, as well as a small tequila tasting and continental breakfast.
You will observe locals making typical food, and learn all about their stories. The tour finishes at a secluded beach where you can enjoy an open bar and some free time to unwind.