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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. 

Puerto Vallarta: Horseback Riding Tour with ATV and Zip Line

2. Puerto Vallarta: Horseback Riding Tour with ATV and Zip Line

Enjoy an action-packed day in the beautiful Mexican countryside with this horseback riding tour. Ride alongside the river, then dismount to walk up to a waterfall, crossing rope bridges and climbing steep steps. Stop by the tranquil waterfall and cool off with a dip in the river. Get back on your horse and head to a sloping hill where you can jog a little before riding home. A delicious meal will be waiting for you back at the ranch. Learn how to make traditional Mexican dishes. Enjoy fajitas or chicken with rich guacamole, salsa, handmade tortillas, beans, and rice.  If you want even more adventure, choose to ride an ATV through the jungle of Puerto Vallarta. Feel the power beneath you as you race along paths through the beautiful rainforest of the Sierra Madre. Or get up close to nature with a zip line tour through the jungle at an ecological park in Puerto Vallarta. Rancho Capomo is a unique place where you'll enjoy unparalleled adventure, flying between trees and over rivers on 13 zip lines.

Vallarta: Yelapa Waterfall & Majahuitas Snorkel Adventure

3. 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.

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: City Tour, Tequila and Coffee Factory Tour

5. 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.

Puerto Vallarta: Las Caletas Beach Hideaway Experience

6. Puerto Vallarta: Las Caletas Beach Hideaway Experience

Upgrade your vacation by visiting this exclusive, private beach hideaway. Accessible only by sea, Las Caletas is surrounded by a steep, jungle-clad mountain backdrop, making it a truly secluded tropical sanctuary. On the Las Caletas Beach Hideaway Tour, you’ll have the opportunity to explore Las Caletas and all of the incredible natural wonders it has to offer.  Spend time out at sea on a kayak or marvel at the area’s many underwater wonders while snorkeling or paddle boarding. Take a guided nature walk and meet some of the permanent residents of Las Caletas, including playful monkeys and beautiful parrots. You can also learn more about the culture and traditions of the region by participating in hands-on activities like clay modeling, mezcal tasting, and cooking. No matter what your interests, Las Caletas Beach Hideaway has something for you.

Puerto Vallarta: Whale Watching Cruise

7. Puerto Vallarta: Whale Watching Cruise

Get a close-up peek of Puerto Vallarta's larger-than-life humpback whales on this exclusive whale-watching cruise. Enjoy onboard entertainment and an informative commentary from your local guide. After getting picked up from your hotel, head to the boat, where you will sit down to a delicious breakfast before heading out to the Bay of Banderas. Spend some time admiring the majestic creatures in their natural habitat before enjoying a tasty Mexican buffet lunch. During the tour, sip on your choice of alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink from the unlimited onboard bar, which stocks everything from vodka and rum to cocktails and fruit juice. Get dropped off back at your hotel at the end of the cruise.

From Puerto Vallarta: San Pancho and Sayulita

8. From Puerto Vallarta: San Pancho and Sayulita

Get picked up at your hotel in Puerto Vallarta, and set off on the 1-hour drive to San Pancho, your first stop. When you arrive, have the opportunity to admire the Huichol crafts by the streets, see the beautiful beaches, and walk around the little beach town at your own pace. Next, head a few minutes along the coast to Sayulita,  a little picturesque surfer town loved by travelers and locals. Here, enjoy your favorite drink at the beach while you look at the surfers and soak up the sun. Use a buggy board to unlock your adventurous side and take on the waves. Also, have some free time to walk around the place and shop for handicraft souvenirs made by local artisans.  Before heading back to Puerto Vallarta, enjoy a delicious lunch in a local restaurant. At checkout, you will have the option to include lunch in your ticket price.

Puerto Vallarta: Pirate Cruise with Dinner and Show

9. 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: Humpback Whale Research Adventure Tour

10. Puerto Vallarta: Humpback Whale Research Adventure Tour

Enjoy an exciting and informative nature tour in Puerto Vallarta, and see humpback whales in their natural habitats. Get an educational session at the office before setting out to watch the whales swim, play, and breach. Collect information for the office's research and explore Banderas Bay. Begin the tour by meeting at the office and starting with an educational session to learn more about humpback whales. Board the boat after the information session and set out on the ocean to discuss the whales' behaviour while trying to spot them. Spend three hours exploring Banderas Bay and watching for different whales to collect information for the office's research projects. Watch the whales' behaviours, and listen to their songs through the boat's hydrophone and enjoy a close encounter with one of the earth's mightiest creatures.

Available activities

  • Pacific snorkeling & more
  • Tacos, tequila, & food markets
  • Jalisco adrenaline activities
  • Jalisco nature & beaches
  • Exploring Puerto Vallarta
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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

Want to discover all there is to do in Puerto Vallarta? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Puerto Vallarta

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 617 reviews

Took 3 teenage kids. When getting off the boat after 90 minutes with 250 people and seeing more boats coming I had a bad feeling but all of us had a great time. There were many action water activities and the kids chose one add-on, the marine activity with the fish and seal and loved it. Food and drink is all-inclusive and was both tasty and plentiful. With 30 minutes left I sat by the beach for the first time (there are many hammocks and chairs) while the kids found more activities before we had to get back aboard the boat.

What an amazing experience. Pilar was knowledgeable, funny and has a clear love and respect for these amazing mammals! She and George (our captain) did a great job of finding and taking us to the places where dolphins and even some whales were and patiently positioning and assisting us in getting in the water to be with them. Even the pre-trip education was interesting and added depth to the experience. I would highly recommend!

This is an excellent way to see the sights get orientated for the rest of your trip. I highly recommend this being the number one thing you do when you arrive in Puerto Vallarta

A lot is packed into this evening with the boat entertainment and open bar, the buffet dinner and the great show in a magical atmosphere.

Great time with great people. The tequila was top notch.