Looking for things to do in Puerto Vallarta? Guadalupe “Lupita” Limon has a name worthy of any great author or story character. A native of Puerto Vallarta and Tour Supervisor for Amstar, Lupita knows the in’s-and-out’s of this cultural and beach haven on the Pacific. If you’re looking to travel to Puerto Vallarta, make sure you check out these savvy travel tips.
Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta has seen an increase in visitors in recent years, and for good reason. There’s something special about our town, and it only continues to get better with the contributions of national and international guests who fall in love and soon thereafter become local residents.
One of the questions we get a lot from people who are visiting for the first time involves the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta. While that is a hard question to answer, because even for those of us who live here it seems like there is always something new to see, do or savor, I’ll do my best to answer some of our most commonly asked questions about the top Puerto Vallarta excursions and activities as well as where to get a bite to eat and, “Hey, what’s the weather like?!”
Puerto Vallarta Weather
First things first. “What’s the weather like in” …January, February, June, March, December, etc.” You get the point, and we do too. You’re making plans to spend your hard-earned money for more even well-deserved vacations. Even though you know nobody can predict much less control the weather, you’d like to have an idea of what to expect. Well, how’s this sound? Puerto Vallarta has over 300 days of sweet ‘ole sunshine! Vitamin D? Check!
In fact, Puerto Vallarta’s climate is much like that of Hawaii. The coolest months of the year are from November through February, when you can expect temperatures to average in the 70’s. Like further up north, spring runs from around March through May with the temp around a comfortable 85 degrees. Summer can get hot and humid, and there are more chances of morning or afternoon rains. Summer is also hurricane season in Puerto Vallarta, an unlikely but ever-present possibility.
But what, you ask, can do you do when on rainy days in Puerto Vallarta? Play in the rain!
Puerto Vallarta Restaurants
If you’re anything like me, your mouth will start to water just thinking about what to eat in Puerto Vallarta. An easier question might be what not to eat because the cuisine here is as yummy as it is diverse. Fish on a stick? Most definitely. Fresh caught fish? Tamales? Ceviche? And the list goes on and on.
And knowing where to eat in Puerto Vallarta is just as important as knowing where to stay or what tours to go on. Of course, if you’re staying at one of the all-inclusive resorts in Puerto Vallarta then most of your meals will be enjoyed and digested within the confines of your hotel. However, for those of you outside of the all-inclusive packages or simply looking to try something savory and new, here are some tips. Tip #1: Don’t be afraid to eat street food. Just make sure that where you do decide to eat is frequented by lines of locals awaiting some tasty treats.
In terms of the best Puerto Vallarta restaurants, all I can say is this: there’s way more to choose from than you can ever imagine. Some of the more popular and recommended restaurants include Café des Artists, Le Kliff, Vista Grill and La Palapa, among many sumptuous others. Plus, each year Puerto Vallarta hosts the Festival Gourmet International – a local tribute to the best in delicious cuisine.
Puerto Vallarta Nightlife
While many people are taken away but the stunning beauty of our town’s many incredible vistas, it’s a real treat to experience the beauty of this pearl of the Pacific when the lights—and the sun—go down. Puerto Vallarta nightlife is a wonderful fusion of Mexican and cosmopolitan flaires. Home to a vibrant cultural scene, great cuisine as already mentioned, and a healthy love of a good tequila, Puerto Vallarta offers visitors some great nighttime activities apt for families, couples or singles.
If you’re looking for a fun evening dinner show, there’s none better than Rhythms of the Night, a spectacular performance that pays tribute to an ancestral civilization as revealed through music and modern dance (plus an open bar and a candlelit dinner buffet). Looking for a romantic toast with the one you love? Consider Twisted Palms Rooftop Lounge. How about shaking a leg and falling in love at the same time? Mandalas are the place to go!
Puerto Vallarta Excursions
Of course, food, drink and be merry is all fine and good, but there’s also another aspect which should not be ignored: fun and adventure. You see, our town is situated in a privileged geographic position between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Madre Mountains. In other words, we can really go all-terrain with the tours and activities in Puerto Vallarta, sometimes both at the same time.
The question is, however, with so much to do in Puerto Vallarta and so few vacation days, what should I recommend? Of course, the answer will vary according to each person or group. Some people are more adventurous, others prefer culture or the sea. So the easiest way to explain is perhaps to tell you what are some of our most popular tours:
It may sound cliché to talk about a destination and say that no visit is complete without a visit to… (fill in the blank). That said, however, a Marietas Islands tour is definitely up there on the bucket list of things to do in Puerto Vallarta. Islas Marietas is a great place to snorkel, dive and swim in an aquatic wonderland surrounded by volcanic formations and lush tropical jungle. You’ll even get a chance to visit Hidden Beach!
Leave behind the all-inclusive hotels and dive into the fascinating land and seascapes of Puerto Vallarta on the Outdoor Adventure tour. Combine a thrilling ride aboard a speedboat to the secluded Puerto Vallarta beach of Boca de Tomatlan, located on the southern shores of Banderas Bay. You’ll then take a 4×4 Unimog 2,000 ft. above sea level for some canopy-style exhilaration zip lining over the jungle, traversing suspended bridges and rappelling down mountain waterfalls. Who says me?
This hidden gem was once the home of the great Hollywood director John Huston. Today, the former playground of Huston has been converted into a private nature reserve for all to enjoy. The thing I like most about Las Caletas, on top of the fact that it such a beautiful place to visit, is that there are some many different things to do that there really is something for everyone. Would you prefer a massage in a gorgeous tropical setting? Got it. How about paddle boarding, snorkeling or kayaking? Yes, yes and yes. Prefer to take a stroll through orchid gardens and visit an interactive parrot center? Las Caletas offers all of this and much, much more!
Puerto Vallarta Map
Okay, so this last point is less about things to do in Puerto Vallarta and more about where your hotel or all-inclusive resort is located. I’ve added this map to help you get a better idea of where you’ll be staying and where it’s located in relation to places like downtown Puerto Vallarta. I hope it helps!
Oh, and speaking of Old Vallarta, something you should miss is a stroll along the Malecon (boardwalk). Simply enjoy the ocean breeze and check out the nice shops and restaurants that can be found in this corner of our beautiful Vallarta!
Did I leave something out? Feel free to ask me about it in the comment section. I’ll do my best to answer all your questions!
Note: All photos courtesy of the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board