Wonderful beaches, lush jungles and sparkling waterfalls create one of the most alluring landscape that one could admire from the balcony of their five star hotel room in an incredible resort, after a long day running around world-class shops and gourmet restaurants. This is Puerto Vallarta, the tropical wonderand found in Mexico.
Perfect for a romantic trip, Puerto Vallarta is known for its tropical wet and dry climate (rainy summers and relatively dry winters). The ideal time for a trip here is November to April, during the dry season. But no matter what time you decide to visit Puerto Vallarta, the water is most likely going to be warm.
The residents of Puerto Vallarta are very friendly and generally willing to help with directions and other requests.
Here are a few things you can do in Puerto Vallarta when you’re not sunbathing on one of the beautiful golden beaches:
Vallarta Botanical Gardens is located high in the glorious Sierra Madre Mountains. They are actually easily accessible, just 12 miles south of Puerto Vallarta. Here, you can admire thousands of different species of plants, living in a unique tropical dry forest ecosystem, about 400 meters above sea level. Palm Gardens, Rose Garden, Tree Fern Grotto, Orchid House, Jungle Trails, Tropical Bird Watching, Agave Gardens, displays of Mexican Wildflowers and the Carnivorous Plant Collection are some of the amazing things that you will find here.
2. Whale watching
Puerto Vallarta’s whale watching season runs from December to March of every year. You will witness a great nature whoe, with humpback whales in the top line, followed by dolphins, porpoises and other animals. The tours will take you to see the whales and their calves in Banderas Bay.
3. Scuba Diving
One of Mexico’s top dive destinations, Puero Vallarta has a lot of rental shops along the beaches for you to be able to get everything you need for a great scuba diving session.
The greatest surf spots are in Banderas Bay. You can reach these sports either solo or with a local surfing instructor. You will find a spot for you, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer. The most populat surf spots are Veneros, Burros, la Luncha, Punta de Mita, San Pancho and Sayulita. You will find everything you need around here, from surfboard rentals to surf instructors and, of course, the perfect waves.
The Los Arcos underwater caves and Marietas Islands caverns are the best snorkeling areas in Puerto Vallarta. The variety of marine species is not impressive, but the great amount of fish swimming around you is absolutely fascinating.
6. Canopy Tour / Zip lines
If you’re open to a little adrenaline, you can go on a canopy or a zip line tour. You can fly over the tree tops and experience an exhilarating rush, while of course, you are securely fastened and completely safe.
As the second largest bay in North America, Banderas Bay offers a very rich biodiversity, stunning beauty, romantic sunsets and relaxed sailing. It’s calm waters are perfect for sailing during the day, during the sunset, with the whales or privately.
When the wind is good, you can see up to 30 people kite-surfing on a Sunday in Bucerias, a fishing village north of Nuevo Vallarta. It is one of the best places for such an activity, since the waters are really calm, the shoreline is extended and it is not yet too crowded with kite-surfers.
Take a sky high trip anywhere you like. In Puerto Vallarta, pretty much every beach you can think of is good for parasailing and a trip usually lasts around 15 minutes.
10. Jet Skiing
You can rent a jet ski at almost any beach you can think of, and for how long you’d like. You can rent it by the hour and it is a great experience.
11. Horseback Riding
If you feel like going on a long fascinating and also relaxing trip into the small villages and through the forests of Puerto Vallarta, you can look around for a ranch in town that offers the horseback riding experience.
12. Turtle-Watching & Repatriation
Mexico’s turtles are in a lot of danger because of the predators that catch the newly hatched baby turtles that are
trying to get to the safety of the ocean. Some tour companies offer educational programs with hands-on activities that help save Mexico’s turtles. Volunteers taking part in these programs dig up the eggs that the female turtles lay in their nests in the sand, than they re-bury them somewhere safer, away from predators. When the eggs hatch, a lot more baby turtles have the chance to make it safe to the ocean. Anyone can be a part of these programs.
13. November Festival
Puerto Vallarta is a very animated place with so many things to do. It is impossible for a visitor no
t to find something that he likes doing in this place. Check out the November Festival, a great opportunity to party and enjoy yourself at some of the many cocktail parties, wine and tequila tastings, cooking classes, concerts, gala dinners, art expos and screenings that this great festival includes.
14. Other things not to miss in Puerto Vallarta:
The Los Arcos Marine Natural Area – for sorkeling in warm crystalline waters; the Ixtapa Archelogical Zone – this historical site dates back more than a thousand years; Zona Romantica or Old Town – a great place to stroll through and take in the many restaurants, bars and cafés; Malecón boardwalk – take a walk along the boardwalk and breathe in the refreshing ocean air.