Things to do in Puerto Vallarta

Far from being a sleepy coastal town, you'll find plenty of boat trips, diving, and horseback riding here.

Our most recommended things to do in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta: Rhythms of the Night Cruise & Dinner Show

1. Puerto Vallarta: Rhythms of the Night Cruise & Dinner Show

Spend your evening in Puerto Vallarta with a scenic sunset cruise and an exciting acrobatic dinner show. Float through the Bay of Banderas and witness Puerto Vallarta's most acclaimed dinner show, Rhythms of the Night, written and directed by Gilles Ste-Croix, the co-creator of Cirque du Soleil. Your evening begins with a scenic cruise through the Bay of Banderas at sunset. Be welcomed by dancers, drummers, and jungle creatures who guide you onto the beach for a sumptuous dinner. Enjoy the feast as the palm trees sway overhead, with sounds of the ocean against the nearby shore. Watch the Rhythms of the Night, a performance inspired by the Aztec legend of prior civilizations and the human race’s evolution and decline. The show interprets this creation myth through pulsating rhythms, vibrant dances, intricate costumes, but perhaps above all, spectacular acrobatic skill. 

Vallarta: Yelapa Waterfall & Majahuitas Snorkel Adventure

2. Vallarta: Yelapa Waterfall & Majahuitas Snorkel Adventure

Depart from Puerto Vallarta and set off on a boat cruise towards the tropical paradise coves of Yelapa and Majahuitas. Admire the picturesque coastal scenery, where dolphin encounters and humpback whale sightings (in winter) are common occurrences.  Make your first stop at the breathtaking shores of Majahuitas Cove. With its untouched sandy beach and crystal clear water, it's the perfect hideaway for a day of snorkeling, paddle boarding, and kayaking with an expert guide. Accessible only by boat, Majahuitas Cove features spectacular marine wildlife protected from the human hustle and bustle of nearby Puerto Vallarta. Enjoy the opportunity to snorkel here with all equipment included by the crew. Then, head over to Yelapa, which offers another incredible option for a scenic beach retreat. Nestled in a stunning natural cove, this tiny community is free of any roads and surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. This tour gives you the opportunity to relax on Yelapa beach and explore the surrounding area, where stunning tropical wildlife and a hidden Yelapa waterfall lay just minutes from the shore. Stroll through the charming fishing village to the cascading, Cola de Caballo waterfalls and jump into the refreshing water, or simply sit and enjoy the natural beauty. Browse through the native artisan handicrafts along the way, then kick back in the sun at Yelapa's expansive beach where the river streams into the ocean, surrounded by an incomparable green mountains landscape. Whether you hike to the waterfalls, snorkel, or bury your toes in the sand, you’ll be struck by the idyllic beauty of these tropical retreats. As you cruise back to Puerto Vallarta with an open bar and onboard fiesta, wrap up a perfect day with some great music, dancing, and unforgettable entertainment provided onboard.

From Puerto Vallarta: Sailing Day Trip to Islas Marietas

3. From Puerto Vallarta: Sailing Day Trip to Islas Marietas

Discover the beautiful landscapes and diverse marine life of the Islas Marietas National Park on this sailing day trip from Puerto Vallarta. Learn about local history and dive further into your natural surroundings with help from your bilingual guide.  Start this adventure by boarding the boat at the waterfront in Puerto Vallarta. Relax as you glide over the water, savoring a delicious continental breakfast or a refreshing drink from the boat's open bar.  Admire stunning landscapes as you head to the islands. See a sanctuary of migratory birds and a great diversity of marine life. Listen as your guide shares the history surrounding this sanctuary of this site that has been declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. Once on the perimeter of the islands, have the opportunity to learn more about their whimsical rock formations and venture into natural caves and caverns. Continue exploring the area with the high-quality snorkeling gear.  Have the opportunity to appreciate more than 100 species of fish that inhabit this majestic and secluded place and tour the area on a paddleboard and kayak. Search for the dolphins that sometimes accompany the boat and from December to March keep an eye out for humpback whales. Return to your meeting point full of memories at the of your sailing experience. 

Puerto Vallarta: Hop-On-Hop-Off City Bus Tour

4. Puerto Vallarta: Hop-On-Hop-Off City Bus Tour

Explore Puerto Vallarta and its downtown, beautiful streets, beaches, and key landmarks from an open-top bus. Hop on the bus at any of the 20 official stops, and discover the highlights of the city such as the Malecon, Mismaloya Beach, and Marina Vallarta. Discover the city at your own pace and hop on and off the bus at the landmarks of most interest to you. Benefit from the commentary from an audio guide, and learn more about the history of the city and the sights you will see.

Puerto Vallarta: Pirate Cruise with Dinner and Show

5. Puerto Vallarta: Pirate Cruise with Dinner and Show

Embark on a pirate cruise in Puerto Vallarta for an exciting night of eating, drinking, and being very merry at sea. Board a stunning replica galleon and be welcomed by your crew of pirates. They are your hosts for a Puerto Vallarta night cruise like no other and will ensure that a good time is had by all. After boarding your mighty and sea-worthy 700-ton galleon, your nautical and culinary experience begins. Enjoy dinner under the sea, tasting delicious meals with seven delicious options for dinner. This Vallarta night cruise is all-inclusive, the open bar welcomes you to enjoy delicious cocktails or wine to accompany your dinner. As you set sail through Puerto Vallarta's bay, the pirates, fireworks, and a pirate tavern with special effects will bring an unbelievable show to delight all on board. Your evening has some surprise activities and of course, all-round excellent service to help create what is sure to be the most dynamic night of your vacation.

Puerto Vallarta: City Tour, Tequila and Coffee Factory Tour

6. Puerto Vallarta: City Tour, Tequila and Coffee Factory Tour

Enjoy the convenience of being picked up from your hotel in either Puerto Vallarta, Bucerías, Nuevo Vallarta, Conchas Chinas. Ride in a comfortable air-conditioned van through the city. Take a short walk on the Malecon. Learn about the area from your knowledgable guide. See the iconic locales within the city. Visit the Church of the Lady Guadalupe leaving plenty of time to take pictures. Travel to the mountain and tour a Tequila Distillery. Learn the process of making tequila. At the end of the tour, enjoy a tequila. Continue on and visit a local organic coffee factory. Learn about the coffee-making process and enjoy a coffee tasting. Choose the option with lunch and enjoy a local meal.

From Puerto & Nuevo Vallarta: ATV Ride into the Sierra Madre

7. From Puerto & Nuevo Vallarta: ATV Ride into the Sierra Madre

If you like adventure, this is the perfect option for you. Ride an all-terrain ATV and discover unknown trails in the impressive Sierra Madre from Puerto and Nuevo Vallarta. Immerse into the thick jungle, sorting the dirt roads and extreme curves until reaching the highest viewpoint of the Sierra. Admire the mountain landscapes, and head all the way down to the river, where you can take a break to enjoy the El Salto waterfall, swim, and plunge into the wonders that nature offers. Explore the Cuale River, one of the seven rivers that born in the Sierra Madre Mountains with beautiful landscapes that will leave you breathless. Come live an adventure like no other, where adrenaline will be the main ingredient of this exciting tour.

Puerto Vallarta: Responsible Whale Watching Experience

8. Puerto Vallarta: Responsible Whale Watching Experience

Sail off the coast of Puerto Vallarta on a 3.5-hour boat excursion looking for whales and other marine animals. Upon arrival at the pier, meet your marine biologist guide who will give you important safety information and an introduction to what to expect during your trip. Once out on the bay, begin your search for the whales and enjoy a detailed explanation from your guide. Get as close as possible whilst remaining respectful of the whales and their environment. Your captain and guide will ensure you get as many whale sightings as possible, whilst also taking in views of the coast. Around noon, enjoy lunch and get the opportunity to listen to a whale singing with specialized equipment before making your way back to the pier.

Puerto Vallarta: Dolphin Swimming and Aquaventuras Park

9. Puerto Vallarta: Dolphin Swimming and Aquaventuras Park

Play and swim with well-trained dolphins with this attraction ticket in Puerto Vallarta. Have fun with the thrilling attractions at the Aquaventuras Park. Renergize yourself after your swim with a free soft drink and an item of your choice from the delicious 'Swimmer's Menu.' Check in at the Aquaventuras Park and begin a detailed safety briefing to ensure the comfort of you and the dolphins during your water experience. Hop in the water and meet these joyful creatures. Try activities like the foot push, where two dolphins will push you from your feet to the above the surface of the water. Next, hold on to two dolphins' dorsal fins and be towed through the water. Get a fin handshake and a peck on the cheek from a dolphin. Have full admission to Aquaventuras Park Vallarta, where you splash around in the swimming area and the kid's playground. Ride on 10 water slides or go for a trip on the river. Enjoy one pass on the extreme climbing wall, challenge and zip lines.

Puerto Vallarta 3-Hour Food Tour of Authentic Local Cuisine

10. Puerto Vallarta 3-Hour Food Tour of Authentic Local Cuisine

This guided food and city walking tour features 7 food-tasting spots carefully chosen to highlight the best regional flavors Puerto Vallarta has to offer. Savor regional delicacies at off-the-beaten-path eateries with their colorful owners and staff. You will enjoy a sampling of mouth-watering food at family-owned restaurants and stands, sip on refreshing local drinks, and even enjoy a fresh tortilla straight off the conveyer belt at a tortilla factory. You can look forward to Vallarta’s best mole enchiladas, traditional ceviche tostadas, fresh coconut, authentic tacos, savory soups, regional sweets, and more. It adds up to enough for a satisfying lunch, and all the food is included in the tour price. But you can also learn about the food from the colorful local folks whose pride in their craft is matched only by the effusiveness of their spirit.

Frequently asked questions about Puerto Vallarta

What top attractions are a must-see in Puerto Vallarta?

The must-see attractions in Puerto Vallarta are:

What are the best day trips and excursions from Puerto Vallarta?

The best day trips and excursions from Puerto Vallarta are:

Sayulita

What are the best indoor activities in Puerto Vallarta for rainy days?

What are the best inexpensive tours in Puerto Vallarta?

Other Sightseeing Options in Puerto Vallarta

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What people are saying about Puerto Vallarta

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 426 reviews

it was a great way to spend the day. Love the cars and the guides are amazing. Friendly, fun and they take care of you. The tequila amazing bought lots, the boat ride really made the trip even better. The lunch wasn't my favorite but everything else was so awesome it didn't matter. The botanical garden was also amazing.

What an amazing class only made more enjoyable by the friends we made by during the class! It was a great opportunity to learn more about handling chocolate with hands on experience of making ganache, tempering, maki g filled chocolates in molds, and finally Hand rolling and coating truffles. Highly recommended

Fantastic local guide and thoughtfully curated stops along the way! Wonderful choice to discover the history of the agave plant, in all its incarnations. Easy walk, lovely tour! Would definitely come back again :)

Had a wonderful time with Jonathan and Chamas from Estigo Tours! The water at Los Arcos is so clear and full of sea creatures. Las Animas beach is beautiful.

The knowledge of the driver/tour guide was excellent!