Latin America

10 Best Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta in 2023!

Updated on:  
October 23, 2022
Reading Time:  
5
 minutes
Grace Reveley
Grace Reveley
Contributor
https://www.gracereveley.com
From beautiful sandy beaches, mouthwatering food, and loads of fun activities, Puerto Vallarta rocks! Find out the top ten things to do in Puerto Vallarta when you visit Mexico.

Puerto Vallarta is one of the most popular and fun cities in Mexico. Whether you're looking for a relaxing or adventurous vacation in Mexico, you won't run out of things to do in Puerto Vallarta! 

Stick to our jampacked itinerary, and you won't have to scour the internet for things to do in Puerto Vallarta.

puerto vallarta sunset
Image Courtesy of Quino Al on Unsplash

Why is Puerto Vallarta so popular? 

Puerto Vallarta is a popular destination for several reasons. Firstly, the city offers a variety of activities and attractions to keep visitors entertained. And the weather? Well, it's almost always perfect, with sunny days and cool evenings. Plus, the city is home to some of the best beaches in Mexico. 

Puerto Vallarta is also known for its delicious seafood, and the city has a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere with an abundance of great restaurants. Another big drawing card is that Puerto Vallarta is extremely affordable. 

How Much Does it Cost to Visit Puerto Vallarta?

Well, that all depends on what kind of trip you're looking for. If you like to spend your days lounging on the beach with a margarita in hand, then you can probably get by on a pretty tight budget. 

Prices for food and drink are very reasonable, and there are plenty of cheap rooms to be found if you don't mind being a little bit out of the way. 

However, if you're planning on doing some fun activities in Puerto Vallarta (or indulging in a few luxury items), then you'll need to have some cash to spare. But on the whole, Puerto is affordable, and even the prices for special activities are super reasonable.

10. Climb the Mirador Cerro de La Cruz

The Mirador Cerro de la Cruz is a stairway of 100 plus stairs winding up a hill. The climb up to the Mirador Cerro de la Cruz is well worth the effort, offering stunning views of the city below. 

The first thing you notice is the unique rock formations that make up the hill. As you climb the stairs, you can see more and more of the cityscape unfolding before you. 

Eventually, you reach the top of the hill, where a large cross marks the highest point. From here, you can take in panoramic views of Valparaiso, making it the perfect spot to watch the sunset. 

This is a fun thing to do in Puerto Vallarta that will cost you nothing but the sweat of your brow!

9. Relax on Playa las Gemelas

Playa las Gemelas is a beautiful twin beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The name Las Gemelas means "the twins" in Spanish, and the beach lives up to its name, with two stunning crescent-shaped bays that are connected by a narrow strip of sand. 

The water at Playa las Gemelas is crystal clear and fairly shallow, making it a great spot for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. 

Playa las Gamelas is about 15km outside of Puerto Vallarta. It's a quiet peaceful beach and one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta if you're looking for a chilled day out in the sun and the sand. 

playa las gemelas puerto vallarta
Image Courtesy of Fabio Fistarol on Unsplash

8. Learn the Culture of Magic Town

When it comes to cultural things to do in Puerto Vallarta, a trip to San Sebastian del Oeste is a must! Treat yourself to a day of exploring this little town that's referred to as 'Magic Town.' 

San Sebastian del Oeste is a little slice of Old Mexico that's been carefully preserved. The stucco houses with red tile roofs, the cobblestone streets, and the wrought-iron balconies are reminiscent of a time gone by. 

But don't let the quaint setting fool you – this town has a vibrant community with a rich culture. The streets are lined with stalls selling Mexican specialties like tacos, tamales, and pozole. 

You'll fall in love with 'Magic Town,' an experience to add to the memory banks!

7. Explore Puerto Vallarta Beaches

Let's take a tour of some of the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. After all, beach hopping is one of the main things to do when you're here!

Playa de los Muertos

Starting with the north end of town, we have Playa de los Muertos, or "Beach of the Dead." This is a stunning beach with soft white sand and crystal-clear water. The name comes from a nearby cemetery, but don't let that creep you out from enjoying this beach. 

Playa Olas Altas

Just south of Playa de los Muertos is another great beach, Playa Olas Altas. This one is popular with locals and tourists alike, and it's easy to see why. The beach is beautiful, filled with plenty of restaurants and bars nearby for grabbing a bite or a drink. 

Playa los Camarones

Further south is Playa los Camarones, or "Shrimp Beach." This one is definitely worth a visit and is a bit of a quieter beach if you're trying to get out of the hustle and bustle. 

The sand here is bright white, and the water is a beautiful turquoise color.

6. Visit The Malecon

The Malecon is a boardwalk that runs along the beachfront in downtown Puerto Vallarta. It's a famous spot for locals and tourists, and it is easy to see why. 

The Malecon is a great place to relax and take in the incredible views of the city and the ocean. It is an excellent place to people-watch, as there is always something interesting happening along the boardwalk. There are often street performers, musicians, and jugglers playing their trade, and the atmosphere is always festive. 

A trip to Puerto Vallarta isn't complete without a stroll down The Malecon. Without a doubt, one of the things to do in Puerto Vallarta that you have to add to your itinerary!

malecon puerto vallarta
Image Courtesy of Florian Wehde on Unsplash

5. Take a Boat Trip in The Bay of Banderas

Puerto Vallartas is located in The Bay of Banderas. Banderas is the largest bay in Mexico and a popular tourist destination for its beautiful beaches, diverse marine life, and lush vegetation. 

There are plenty of awesome activities to choose from if you want to explore the bay or get out on the water. 

Take a boat ride to see some of the area's incredible dolphins, whales, and sea turtles. Enjoy a sunset cruise, go on a snorkeling adventure or buckle up for a zipline and speedboat experience. There are so many things to do in Puerto Vallarta if you want to explore its iconic Bay of Banderas.

4. Walk Down the Zona Romantica

Zona Romantica is a vibrant and colorful area in Puerto Vallarta adjacent to Playa de los Muertos, or "Beach of the Dead." The cobbled streets are lined with quaint cafes and thriving bars and restaurants. Taking a stroll through Zona Romantica is one of those nice things to do in Puerto Vallarta after a long day at the beach. With plenty of spots to choose from if you're in the mood for a cocktail or a snack. 

The area also boasts fantastic markets, so it's a great place to go shopping for keepsakes and gifts. 

3. Explore Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish

If you're looking for a beautiful church, look no further than Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. Mexican churches have a reputation for being unique, and the Parish has become an iconic example of this legacy.

The parish is regarded as the heart of Puerto Vallarta. The bell tower presides over the city and is a magnificent sight. You can also take a tour of the church, which will allow you to walk to the top of the tower and take in a panoramic view of Puerto Vallarta and the Bay of Banderas. 

Because this gorgeous church is nestled so near the busy part of town, it's one of those lovely things to do in Puerto Vallarta if you're looking for a little tranquility. 

The gardens surrounding the church are cool, quiet, and peaceful. The perfect place to take a micro break in the middle of a busy day.

2. Join a Food Tour

A food tour is one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta! Go on, spoil yourself.

When you join a food tour in Puerto Vallarta, you're not just getting a delicious meal. You're also getting a front-row seat to the city's vibrant culture and history. Not to mention, it's a great way to meet new people and explore new neighborhoods. 

There are a variety of tours to choose from. You can even do a tequila sampling while you're at it. So, what are you waiting for? Join a food tour and tantalize your taste buds!

tacos puerto vallarta mexico
Image Courtesy of Tai on Unsplash

1. Visit the Islas Marietas

Searching for exciting things to do in Puerto Vallarta? Visit the islas Marietas!

The Marietas islands are one of Mexico's most popular tourist destinations, and it's easy to see why. These are a group of small islands located just off the coast of Puerto Vallarta. 

Visitors can enjoy plenty of sun and sand, as well as snorkeling and scuba diving in the clear blue waters. There's also an abundance of wildlife, including dolphins, turtles, and over 200 species of birds. 

In addition, the Marietas Islands are home to two volcanic crater lakes, which offer stunning views. And if that's not enough, there's also a hidden beach inside one of the islands that can only be accessed by swimming through a cave! 

Plan for a memorable trip with Pilot

Pilot plans, travel planning app

Puerto Vallarta has so much to offer, and it's a trip you won't regret taking. Start planning your vacation by booking any of these top hostels in Mexico. If you're wondering how to build the perfect itinerary to make the most of this incredible city, then we have just the thing for you.

Pilot is your brand new trip planner that helps you discover and build travel itineraries connecting you to resources everywhere. Make the planning experience more fun by collaborating with your travel buddies! 

Pilot makes it fun and easy to share and relive your favorite travel memories with many useful features!

Did we mention that it's completely free? Try it out now!

Published on:  
October 20, 2022

Disclosure: FlightDeck & Pilot are supported by our community. We may earn a small commission fee with affiliate links on our website. All recommendations are independently reviewed and unless otherwise specified, FlightDeck has no sponsored affiliations with we review.