Puerto Vallarta: Top 35 Things To Do and Must-See Attractions


Things to do in Puerto Vallarta: The 35 Best Places to Visit

Puerto Vallarta, a legendary Mexican destination, lies between miles of beach and the green mountains of the Sierra Madre. It has evolved into a modern resort while preserving its quaint charm.

It offers both large luxury hotels and apartments and cozy hotels hidden in narrow streets, attracting a diverse crowd of retirees, friends and families with kids who seek comfort, safety, fun and variety.

To help you make the most of your trip to Puerto Vallarta, I have prepared this comprehensive guide with the 35 best things to see and do, as well as my tips on money and safety, how to get there and the best time to visit the area.

I also share my suggested itineraries for visiting Puerto Vallarta in 1, 2, 3 or more days, and my hotel recommendations for all budgets.

And when you will be done reading this article, don’t forget to check out my Guide to The Best Hotels in Puerto Vallarta!

So, what are the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta? Where to stay?

Let’s find out!


Best tours in Puerto Vallarta

There are many tours to choose from in Puerto Vallarta, which can make it difficult to select the one that suits you best.

Luckily, I can help you with a quick summary of the best activities available. To book, simply click on the name of the activity you’re interested in 🙂

TicketDescriptionPrice (may vary)
Hop-On Hop-Off City Bus TourSightseeing Bus Puerto Vallarta24 $USD
Tour to YelapaPrivate Boat Tour to Yelapa794 $USD
Las Caletas BeachBoat tour to Las Caletas Beach149 $USD
Marietas IslandsSnorkeling tour to Islas Marietas National Park129 $USD
Nogalito EcoparkHave fun on the ziplines and river + Tequila Tasting54 $USD
Horseback Riding + ATV and Zip Line TourExplore the surroundings of Puerto Vallarta by horseback/quad 125 $USD
Dinner with Rhythms of the night showRomantic Dinner Cruise with Show184 $USD
Tour, tequila and coffee factoryMalecon, tequila tasting and factory tour33 $USD
Los Arcos Snorkeling TourLos Arcos Private Tour with snorkel and lunch352 $USD
Humpback Whale Adventure TourWhale Watching on a Boat with a biologist guide121 $USD
Chocolate WorkshopLearn how to make chocolate56 $USD
Sayulita and San Pancho TourTour of San Pancho and Sayulita, pick up at your hotel, 1h of bodyboarding, free time53 $USD
Street Food TourDiscover 8 restaurants and street food stalls55 $USD
San Sebastian Guided tourDistillery, coffee factory and San Sebastian del Oeste. Lunch included66 $USD
Luxury Sailboat TourCatamaran cruise with open bar and snorkeling129 $USD
Bar CrawlOpen bar and VIP access to 2 clubs99 $USD
Vallarta Botanical GardenEntrance to the Botanical Garden 24 $USD
Transfer to the airportTransfer from Airport to Hotel or Vice Versa121 $USD

Visit Puerto Vallarta: 35 Must-See Attractions

1. Strolling along the Malecon

The Malecon is a mile-long pedestrian walkway along the sea and the beach, stretching from the Hotel Rosita to the amphitheater near the main square.

It is filled with cafes, restaurants, shops, hotels, bars and clubs. You will see many sculptures and artworks, the colorful letters of Puerto Vallarta and various art and craft vendors.

You can also visit the Naval Museum, which showcases the history of Mexico from the time of the conquest with models, paintings, photos, weapons, and more. (Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm, museum cafe open from 9am to 2pm, admission 45 pesos for adults and 30 pesos for children).

The Malecon is a must-see attraction in Puerto Vallarta, where everyone comes to enjoy the view, day, night and especially at sunset.

After 10 pm, it becomes the ideal spot to party as there are many bars and clubs such as Mandala, La Vaquita and others.

malecon de puerto vallarta
malecon de puerto vallarta
En busqueda de la razon Sergio Bustamante
In search of reason Sergio Bustamante
escultura malecón puerto vallarta
malecón puerto vallarta sculpture
huichol puerto vallarta
huichol puerto vallarta

2. Discover the Romantic Zone

The Romantic Zone, also known as “Old Vallarta”, is a must-see in Puerto Vallarta, with plenty of restaurants, bars, clubs, shops and cafes.

It is also the gay district of Puerto Vallarta and a great place to stay in Puerto Vallarta if you love to party.

What to see in the Romantic Zone

  • The famous Playa Los Muertos, the most popular beach in town, with beach clubs, bars, restaurants, and more
  • The sail-shaped pier of Playa Los Muertos
  • Olas Altas beach, a quieter and more relaxing spot next to Playa Los Muertos
  • Olas Altas market on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm in the Lázaro Cárdenas park, where you can find local products and crafts
  • Galleries and shops such as the Dante Gallery, which features 50 national and international artists
  • Cuale Island, a green oasis with a cultural center and a museum on the banks of the Cuale River, located between the Romantic Zone and Downtown

3. Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish

The Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a must-visit in Puerto Vallarta, as it represents the heart of the city.

It is located in downtown Puerto Vallarta, in front of the Plaza de Armas, very close to the Malecon. So, you will end up passing by it anyway!

It is a small and charming church of neoclassical and baroque style, easily recognizable by the crown on top of its bell tower.

My advice
If you happen to travel to Puerto Vallarta between December 1 and 12, you should attend the festivities in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe with songs, dances, processions, and more. 
iglesia puerto vallarta
iglesia puerto vallarta

4. Take the tourist bus

One of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta is to take the tourist bus tour. It gives you a great overview of the city and its surroundings. I recommend you to take it on the first day of your arrival.

I took it on the third day, after I had already visited many of the attractions of Puerto Vallarta, and I still had a lot of fun!

It is especially enjoyable because you can sit on the 2nd floor in the open air and feel the breeze. It is much better than walking in the heat or riding in a car.😄

The bus departs from the boardwalk and goes south first. It makes a few 10-15 minute stops for those who want to get off and take photos, use the restroom, etc. Some of the stops are Playa Palmares, Los Arcos, and Playa Mismaloya.

Then it goes north again and makes a few more stops, such as Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Our Lady Guadalupe Parrish) and Cacao Magico. The last stop is Plaza Neptuno (Marina Vallarta), where it stays for 40 minutes before returning to the malecon.

You can book your bus tickets directly here:

autobús turístico Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta tourist bus

The bus ticket includes the following benefits:

  • You can access the bus all day and hop on and off as many times as you like. I stayed on board the bus without getting off and it took me 3 hours.
  • You get a cold beer (which was delicious in this heat!) and you can also bring your own alcohol if you want to party!
  • You get to taste some chocolate and tea at Cacao Mágico.

You can board at the Malecon, near the colored letters (10.20 am, 12.20 am, 2.20 pm, 4.20 pm) or at Marina Vallarta , in front of Starbucks (9.20 am, 11.20 am, 1.20 pm, 3.20 pm)

My advice
Bring sunscreen if you plan to stay on the second floor of the bus, and bring water. You can also buy a glass of tuba (a nice typical cold drink I talk about in the next point) as there is a vendor very close to the malecon stop.
tour bus turístico vallarta
tour bus tour vallarta

5. Try a glass of Tuba

Tuba is a refreshing drink made from coconut palm sap that you can find in several Mexican states, such as Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco and Michoacán.

This drink varies from region to region. I had tried it before at Lake Chapala, when I visited Guadalajara, but it was different from this one.

On the boardwalk in Puerto Vallarta, they add water and sugar to the fermented sap, along with apple pieces and lots of ice cubes. It is very hot here, so this drink is perfect to cool down. 🥵 You can get a glass of tuba for only 25 pesos!

tuba puerto vallarta
tuba puerto vallarta
tuba malecon puerto vallarta
tuba malecon puerto vallarta

6. Eat the best ice cream in town

Sabores Helados is a small shop in the Zona Romantica where the friendly owner sells happiness in the form of ice cream. It is hard to choose from the many flavors.

I especially liked the turtle cheese cake, the goat cheese with walnut and cajeta, and the peanut butter with chocolate and caramel flavors.

The owner suggested that we try the raicilla, a local alcohol similar to tequila, but we decided to save it for another time.

I went back twice (almost three times 🐷) because the ice cream was delicious, and even more so after a day in the sun!

sabores helados puerto vallarta
sabores helados puerto vallarta
mejor helado puerto vallarta
best ice cream puerto vallarta

7. Enjoying the beaches of Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta has many beaches for every taste.

One beach you should not miss in Puerto Vallarta is Playa Los Muertos, which has a sailboat-shaped pier that you can see in photos.

This beach is in the Romantic Zone and it is the most popular in the city. It has many restaurants, bars and beach clubs facing the ocean. It is a family-friendly beach and also the gay beach of Puerto Vallarta.

If you want more peace and quiet, you can go to Olas Altas Beach, which is next to Playa Los Muertos, or to Conchas Chinas Beach, which is south of the city. Conchas Chinas Beach is a beautiful and romantic beach with some rocks and fine sand.

About 15-20 minutes from downtown Puerto Vallarta are Las Gemelas Beaches, two small beaches with turquoise and calm waters. Mostly locals visit these beaches.

  • But, in my opinion, the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta are further south and I will tell you about them in the next point 😉
playa los muerto vallarta
Playa Los Muertos, Puerto Vallarta
playa los muerto puerto vallarta
playa los muertos puerto vallarta
muelle los muertos puerto vallarta
muelle los muertos puerto vallarta

8. Explore the southern beaches

The beaches in Puerto Vallarta are amazing, but the beaches in the south of Puerto Vallarta are even more spectacular.

These tropical beaches are tucked away among the green mountains and they are a dream come true. Many of them are only accessible by boat, which makes them even more special.

There are different ways to explore these beaches, but I suggest that you book a private boat (up to 10 people) if you can afford it. You can ask the captain to stop at any beach you want. It is paradise!

The boat trip lasts 6 hours and it takes you to these beaches: Playa Colomitos, Playa Las Animas, Quimixto, Las Caletas, Playa Majahuitas for snorkeling and Yelapa. You can walk around Yelapa before you go back.

  • On the way back, you can have lunch at Playa Las Animas or Yelapa. Don’t forget to bring enough water and you can also bring your own drinks on the boat without any problem.

playa las animas puerto vallarta
playa las animas puerto vallarta
playa quimixto puerto vallarta
playa quimixto puerto vallarta

How to get to the southern beaches of Puerto Vallarta:

To get to the southern beaches of Puerto Vallarta, you can either book a boat tour with pick-up at your hotel (click here!) or go on your own and find a boat.

There are two places where you can find boats: Mismaloya Beach and Boca de Tomatlan.

1. Mismaloya

This beach is very popular among families, because it is close to downtown Puerto Vallarta and it has many restaurants and calm waters. I had read good reviews about it, but I did not like it very much.

From this beach, you can take boat trips to the southern beaches and boat tours to Los Arcos. You can also rent paddle boards to go to Los Arcos.

To get to Mismaloya beach from downtown Puerto Vallarta, you can look for the Barceló Hotel and take the road down to the beach. There you will find taxis and an information booth.

If you drive, you can park on the street, but there is not much space. You can also pay for public parking.

At the entrance to the beach, there are several people offering tours. There is also a man who offered us cheaper services while we ate at one of the small restaurants.

I would not recommend eating at Mismaloya, because the food quality, service and value for money were poor.

playa mismaloya puerto vallarta
playa mismaloya puerto vallarta

2. Boca de Tomatlan – Recommended

We did not like Mismaloya very much, so we decided to go to Boca de Tomatlan and compare the tours.

We did not find any free street parking, but there was a parking lot that charged 100 pesos a day (open from 7am to 8:30pm).

At the beach, we met young Manuel, who answered all our questions about the tour (stops, duration, etc.) and explained the different ways to get to the beaches.

You can get to the beaches from Boca de Tomatlan in three ways:

  • By foot: you can walk to Playa Colomitos (1h) or to Playa las Animas (2h30-3h) on a trail.
  • By water taxi: it is a shared boat (called “Panga”) that goes between Boca de Tomatlan and Yelapa. This is the cheapest boat option: Colomitos 50 pesos, Las Animas 60 pesos, Quimixto 80 pesos, Majahuitas 90 pesos and Yelapa 120 pesos (one way price).
  • By private boat: this is the best way to go if you want to enjoy the experience at your own pace. The round trip takes about 6 hours and passes all the beaches up to Yelapa. My only regret is that I didn’t bring some cold beers!
boca de tomatlan
boca de tomatlan
guacamole puerto vallarta
guacamole puerto vallarta
boca de tomatlan barco acuatico
boca de tomatlan barco acuatico

9. Las Caletas

Las Caletas is a beach south of Puerto Vallarta that you can only reach by boat. Actor John Huston lived there in the 70’s and made it his tropical paradise away from the paparazzi!

Today, you can recognize this beach by its many hammocks and floating platforms on the water (a great place for photos!😍).

I saw these hammocks from the boat and I asked the captain if we could stop there. He said that only the tour operator Vallarta Adventures can go there.

I wondered: but aren’t the beaches public in Mexico, is that legal?

Well, it turns out that this beach is not public. It belongs to an indigenous community of Chacala that leases it to Vallarta Adventures. They did the same with John Huston before.

If you want to enjoy this tropical paradise, you can book the tour to Las Caletas here:

Las Caletas Tour
The tour includes lunch with open bar and many activities (snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, hiking, mezcal tasting, cooking classes). You also get free access to the private beach Las Caletas.

The tour also has access to Kids Adventure Park and Adventure Cove for kids and teens. This is the best activity for families in Puerto Vallarta

playa las caletas puerto vallarta
playa las caletas puerto vallarta

10. Try the famous Yelapa pies

Yelapa is a charming village that is famous for its green landscapes and its “pies”, made by Mrs. Agustina.

She passed away, but her son (who is very nice by the way!) continues this tradition and sells them on the beach.

We met him when he was walking, but he had no pies left. He said “don’t worry, you can always find them at Yuri’s store” and he took us there.

We chose a coconut pie, which is the most popular, and a chocolate banana pie. There was also a nut pie, but we were full! We will try it next time…

  • Each slice costs 50 pesos (it’s a big portion)
  • Everyone here knows each other, so you can ask anyone where Yuri’s store is and they will show you the way
  • You can get to Yelapa by taking a one-day private tour by boat (which I did) or by taking a water taxi (shared boat) from Boca de Tomatlán
  • To get to Yelapa, you can take a one-day private tour by boat (which I did) or take a water taxi (shared boat) from Boca de Tomatlán
pies yelapa puerto vallarta
pies yelapa puerto vallarta
yelapa puerto vallarta
yelapa puerto vallarta

11. Botanical Garden

The Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden is a hidden paradise in the mountains south of Puerto Vallarta.

It covers 26 hectares and it has a variety of cacti, flowers (including 300 of Mexico’s 1000 orchid species!), 200 bird species, aquatic plants, tropical fruits, wild palm trees and even a cave.

You can walk on trails and hanging bridges to explore the area and swim in the cool Horcones River.

You can also relax on one of its terraces and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the place, or visit the Hacienda de Oro restaurant, which has a beautiful view of the jungle and gardens. You will see many hummingbirds feeding at the feeders!

My advice
 The botanical garden is on the 200 highway that goes through Boca de Tomatlan. This is the same place where you can find boats to Yelapa.

You should take advantage of this and combine the tour to Yelapa with a visit to the botanical garden!

Jardín Botánico Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden

12. Casa Kimberly

Actor Richard Burton came to Puerto Vallarta in 1964 to film The Night of the Iguana with his lover Elizabeth Taylor.

They fell in love with the city and Burton bought two villas: one for him and one for her. They were connected by a bridge inspired by Venice’s Bridge of Sighs.

The villas are now a boutique hotel called Casa Kimberly (check it by clicking here!). You can see a sculpture of the two lovers at the entrance that shows their famous romance.

You don’t have to stay at the hotel to visit the place. You can book a table (it’s very popular!) at La Iguana Restaurant & Tequila Bar. It has amazing views of Puerto Vallarta and the Bay of Banderas.

I highly recommend it, because in addition to its history, the hotel is located in the picturesque neighborhood of Gringo Gulch with very nice houses.

casa kimberly puerto vallarta
casa kimberly puerto vallarta
puente elizabeth taylor puerto vallarta
elizabeth taylor bridge puerto vallarta
gringo gulch puerto vallarta
gringo gulch puerto vallarta

13. Cuale Island

From the Kimberly house you can walk along Zaragoza street, turn right on Farolito, then left on Cuauhtémoc and you will reach the Iguana Bridge that crosses the Cuale River.

It is a great place to take pictures, with a nice view of the surroundings.

puente iguana puerto vallarta
iguana bridge puerto vallarta

After crossing the bridge, you’ll reach Isla Cuale, a narrow island between the Romantic Zone (Old Vallarta) and the Historic Center of Puerto Vallarta.

It has a cultural center, a small park with many cats, a craft market, a restaurant and a statue of John Houston, the director of The Night of the Iguana.

You can also find the Cuale Museum with an archaeological collection from the region, but it was closed when I visited.

Mercado Isla Cuale Puerto Vallarta
Mercado Isla Cuale Puerto Vallarta
john houston isla cuale
john houston isla cuale

14. Craft beer

Mexico has many great craft beers, and Puerto Vallarta is no exception. With a lot of Canadian and American tourists, it’s not surprising that there are microbreweries in Puerto Vallarta!

You can find two places in the Romantic Zone: Monzon Brewing Co and Los Muertos Brewing.

I got to try Los Muertos and taste Anillo de Fuego (with chile, of course, this is Mexico!😎🌶️) and the Cuale Gold, which was my favorite.

  • A 16 oz pint costs 65 pesos. They have Happy Hour every day, from 4pm to 6pm, with a pint for 40 pesos
cerveza artesanal puerto vallarta
cerveza artesanal puerto vallarta

15. Marina Vallarta

Marina Vallarta is a residential and hotel area between the port and the airport of Puerto Vallarta.

It has luxury hotels and apartments, and a marina with boats and yachts, surrounded by restaurants, stores and cafes.

You can also enjoy the Plaza Neptuno shopping mall, a golf course with 18 holes and ocean views, and the Farmers Market on Thursdays with crafts, music and food.

My advice
Puerto Vallarta is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts. You can hire a boat with an experienced captain who will guide you to the prime locations for catching tuna, dorado, swordfish and billfish.
marina puerto vallarta
marina puerto vallarta
marina vallarta
marina vallarta
chocolateria marina vallarta
chocolateria marina vallarta

16. Marietas Islands

The Marietas Islands are a wild archipelago of two islands and two islets, off the coast of Banderas Bay. You can take a boat from Puerto Vallarta (one hour) or Punta Mita (15 minutes) to get there.

One of the islands has a stunning and tiny beach called La Nopalera, where you can snorkel and see many colorful fish. The water is so clear there. But the most famous spot is Playa Escondida (or Playa del Amor), which has a unique crater shape.

To reach Playa Escondida, you have to jump off the boat and swim a short distance (with a life jacket) to protect the corals.

You should know that tours to the Marietas Islands (click here to book!) do not guarantee access to Playa Escondida, because it has a limit of 116 people, from Wednesday to Sunday. The Coast Guard gives the permits on the spot.

My advice
If you go there from December to March, you might even see humpback whales!
Marietas Islands
The beautiful Playa del Amor in the Marietas Islands. Photo Christian Frausto Bernal

17. Enjoy a dose of adrenaline

Puerto Vallarta offers many activities for nature and adventure lovers.

You can visit the EcoParque Nogalito, a 60-hectare natural park. You can hike to waterfalls, swim in the river and fly over the green mountains with 11 zip lines. – Get your tickets here with pick-up in Puerto Vallarta!

You can also go to Rancho Campomo for horseback riding in the Sierra Madre. You can hike to a waterfall, cross suspension bridges and ride ATVs. – Book your tour here with pick-up in Puerto Vallarta!

Tirolesa puerto vallarta nogalito park
Tirolesa puerto vallarta nogalito park

18. Get a great view from a lookout point

Puerto Vallarta has some stunning views of the sea and the mountains! You can see them from different lookout points in downtown Puerto Vallarta.

There are two lookout points that you should check out, especially at sunset:

  • The Matamoros Lighthouse was a working lighthouse from 1932 to 1978. It is now a popular tourist attraction in Puerto Vallarta (especially after its renovation in 2006). You can find it here, on the corner of Mina and Matamoros Streets.
  • The Cerro de la Cruz viewpoint is further away, and it takes some effort to get there (20 minutes of walking uphill – there is a cable car from a certain point, but it does not always work). But the view is worth it!

So, which one should you choose?
If you like some exercise, go to the Mirador Cerro de la Cruz. But if you want to save your energy, don’t worry, the Faro Matamoros still offers a lovely view 😉

19. The Alma Night show

If you want a romantic night in Puerto Vallarta, you should go to the Alma by Rhythms of the Night show.

You will take a cruise at sunset to the private beach of Las Caletas, where you will have a candlelit dinner with traditional Mexican music.

Then, you will go to the amphitheater to see Alma by Rhythms of the Night, a spectacular show by Gilles Ste-Croix, the co-creator of Cirque du Soleil.

You will enjoy an unforgettable show with acrobats, dancers, music and special effects!

alma espectáculo puerto vallarta
alma show puerto vallarta

20. Enjoy a Dinner-Show on a Pirate ship

For a different and fun dinner-show, you should try this cruise. It is a pirate ship cruise with dinner, open bar, a show and fireworks!

You can choose from 7 different options for dinner, for all tastes. You can drink unlimited alcohol, such as cocktails and wine. You can watch a show performed by the crew, with humor and action. You can also see fireworks at night!

Book the pirate cruise here:

espectáculo pirata puerto vallarta
pirate show puerto vallarta
barco pirata Puerto Vallarta
pirate ship Puerto Vallarta

21. Swim with dolphins

Swimming with dolphins is a popular activity in Mexico, but many parks keep them in captivity and abuse them. They often claim to be the saviors of these animals, but that is a lie.

Don’t support these water parks (like Aquaventuras in Nuevo Vallarta). They are not ethical or responsible. If you want to see dolphins and swim with them, there are better alternatives offered by ecotourism agencies.

You might be able to swim near them, if they are willing to let you get close. They are wild animals, so they decide. The younger ones are more curious.

During the trip, you can also see different kinds of dolphins, turtles, birds, manta rays and -from December to March- humpback whales and orcas!

This is a great activity for the whole family in Puerto Vallarta, and a great way to teach children about wildlife 😉

delfines puerto vallarta
dolphins puerto vallarta

22. Tequila tasting

Drinking tequila in Puerto Vallarta is not a cliché. It is a tradition!

Puerto Vallarta is in Jalisco, the state that produces most of the tequila in Mexico (90% of the country’s total production!). Tequila is a regional pride and a cultural heritage.

You can find many tequila stores in Centro and Zona Romantica. They offer tastings and explanations.

If you want to learn more about it, you can take this tour of Puerto Vallarta (click here to book!) that includes a visit to a distillery in the mountains. You will see how they make tequila and taste some of it.

My advice
If you are really interested, you should visit the city of Tequila, which is the mecca of tequila making.

It is a 4h30 drive from Puerto Vallarta or you can book this Tequila tour that includes pick-up from your hotel.

agave mexico
agave mexico

23. Los Arcos

Los Arcos is a natural rock formation that lies between Playa Las Gemelas and Mismaloya Beach.

It belongs to Los Arcos National Marine Park, a protected area with a rich ecosystem. There, you can find a coral reef with many tropical fish, rays, turtles, and even penguins, pelicans and other sea birds.

You can see it from the beach or from the Los Arcos de Mismaloya viewpoint. However, the best way to admire its ecosystem is to swim, snorkel or dive (if you have your certification) in its deep waters through caves and tunnels!

You can  reach it by taking a boat, kayak or paddle tour. You can book the tour to Los Arcos (click here!) with snorkeling!

los arcos puerto vallarta
los arcos puerto vallarta

24. Whale watching

From December to March, hundreds of whales come to the warm waters of Puerto Vallarta to give birth to their calves.

It’s a very touching sight to see these amazing creatures enjoying the water!

You might be lucky enough to see them from the shore, but of course the best way to see them is to get closer with a boat.

You can book your spot for the Puerto Vallarta whale watching tour with a responsible agency here. You’ll have a biologist guide and you can even listen to the whale songs with special equipment.

Be careful
Not all agencies that offer whale watching tours are responsible!

That’s why it’s very important to choose a good agency that respects safety measures and doesn’t stress these animals, like Ecotours, Ocean Friendly or Vallarta Natours (there may be others, but these are the ones I know).

We can always try to reduce our impact when we travel ❤️

ballena mexico
Whale in Mexico

25. Choco Museum

This is one of the best activities to do with kids in Puerto Vallarta.

You will enjoy a 2-hour workshop that lets you discover and participate in the whole chocolate making process.

The experience starts with a visit to the chocolate museum, where you will learn about the history and importance of cacao in Mexico. Then you will roast the cacao beans and turn them into chocolate.

You will get to taste 3 traditional cacao drinks and make your own organic chocolate bar (with different ingredients to choose from). You can take your bar with you when it’s ready.

After the workshop, I recommend checking out the store. They have many cacao-based products (popsicles, truffles, jams, soaps, etc.) and even gluten-free chocolate!

chocomuseo puerto vallarta
chocomuseo puerto vallarta
museo chocolate puerto vallarta
museo chocolate puerto vallarta

26. Surfing and relaxing in Sayulita

Sayulita is a surfer town with a hippie-chic vibe. It has many restaurants, cafes, stores and street art.

The best part is that it has different kinds of beaches. Some are very peaceful, others are more family-friendly and have bars. So there is something for everyone.

I stayed there for several days before visiting Puerto Vallarta, but many travelers go there and come back in one day because it’s only an hour from Puerto Vallarta!

How to get to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta:

  • By car: Drive for an hour on the Puerto Vallarta-Tepic 200 Highway
  • By bus: Take the Compostela (green and white) bus that runs every 15-20 minutes. It leaves from in front of the Walmart parking lot (here)
  • With a day tour: Book a tour (click here!) that includes pick-up at your hotel in Puerto Vallarta, transportation in an air-conditioned van, a stop in the beautiful little town of San Pancho, tequila tasting, 2 hours of free time in Sayulita and 1 hour surfboard rental.
My advice
If you want to know everything about Sayulita, what to do and how to get there: here’s my Complete Guide to Sayulita!
Calle Delfines à Sayulita

27. Take a food tour

Street food (especially tacos!) is a big part of Mexican culture.

You can find it in every neighborhood and region of Mexico, day and night!

To discover the authentic side of Puerto Vallarta, I suggest you book this street food tour 🌮 (click here!) with a local guide who will take you to the best spots in town.

It’s not only about eating well, but also supporting the local economy and having a good time with good company! 😊🌮

tour tacos puerto vallarta
tour tacos puerto vallarta

28. San Sebastian del Oeste

San Sebastián del Oeste is a small town hidden in the Sierra Madre Occidental, 42 miles from Puerto Vallarta. It’s at an altitude of 4,855 ft.

It was a mining town that flourished during colonial times, but it lost most of its population after the 19th century, when the mines closed. Now it’s a beautiful mountain village with traditional houses and narrow streets.

You can walk around and see its wood and leather crafts, and also visit:

  • Santa Gertrudis mine: a silver mine that was very productive in the 19th century. It’s 60 m deep in a straight line.
  • Hacienda Jalisco: an old Spanish hacienda with a museum that shows artifacts from more than 200 years ago.
  • Casa-museo de doña Conchita: one of the oldest houses in town, with objects and photos from an important mining family. They tell the history of San Sebastian.
  • The Cerro de la Bufa viewpoint: a place that offers a stunning view of the area at 8,411ft.
  • The temple of San Sebastian: a 17th century neoclassical church with a baroque interior. It was built by Augustinian monks.

How to get to San Sebastian del Oeste from Puerto Vallarta:

  • By car 1h30 by the JAL 544 highway in the direction of Las Palmas
  • By bus: 2h with ATM (9h, 14h30, 18h) from here to Talpa de Allende. Get off at La Estancia and then take a cab (18 min. – about 100 pesos) to San Sebastian. The bus back from La Estancia to Puerto Vallarta runs at 8h30, 14h and 18h30
  • Day trip: Book a tour (click here) that includes pick-up from your hotel, guided tour of the village with free time, visit to an organic coffee factory and distillery, and lunch in a traditional restaurant.
san sebastian del oeste
san sebastian del oeste

29. Sail in the Bahia de Banderas

Puerto Vallarta has a beautiful sea and beaches. To enjoy the fresh air and relax away from the city noise, you can take a ride on a sailboat or catamaran around Banderas Bay.

You can have fun in the water, snorkel and paddle board (they provide all the equipment!)

You can book the sailboat tour here, with lunch and open bar, and pick up in Puerto Vallarta:

velero puerto vallarta
sailboat puerto vallarta

30. Turtle release

If you want to experience a beautiful and touching activity in Puerto Vallarta, you should join the release of baby sea turtles.

Every year, from June to December, several species of sea turtles come to the beaches of Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit (e.g. Sayulita, Punta Mita) to lay their eggs. After about two months, the eggs hatch and the baby turtles emerge.

However, these turtles face many threats, such as poaching, predators, and pollution. Only 5% of them will survive to adulthood!

That’s why there are sea turtle sanctuaries and protection programs that you can support. You can help with turtle release and nest protection, and learn more about these amazing creatures.

Here are some reliable contacts:

liberacion tortuga puerto vallarta
Tortuga bébé on the beach

31. Enjoy the nightlife

If you are looking for nightlife in Puerto Vallarta, you have plenty of options to choose from.

Puerto Vallarta is a gay friendly destination and a hotspot for bachelor and bachelorette parties, so you can expect a lot of fun and excitement.

Here are some of the best bars, clubs and discos in Puerto Vallarta:

  • El Mandala: This is the most famous nightclub in Puerto Vallarta, located on the Malecon.
  • La Vaquita: Right next to Mandala, this place has a very original decoration, with cow-themed elements and giant cups. It has a great vibe and 1L drinks to keep you going all night.
  • La Santa: If you are into techno music, this is the place for you. It has a modern design, a large dance floor and a VIP area.
  • La Strana: This club offers more varied music, such as hip-hop, pop, rap, Latin, electro and house. It has a stylish interior and a strict dress code. You need to make a reservation to get in.
  • Chicabal: This is a luxury experience at the Sunset Club Pacific Ocean beach club. It is only open from Friday to Sunday, and it has an exclusive atmosphere, with live DJs, shows and fireworks. You need to make a reservation too.

Puerto Vallarta bar crawl (click here to book!) If you want to explore the best bars and clubs in Puerto Vallarta with no hassle, you can join this bar crawl. A local guide will take you to the hottest spots, with no waiting in line, VIP service and unlimited alcohol for 4 hours 😎

bar puerto vallarta
bar puerto vallarta

32. El Salado Estuary

Did you know that there is a hidden natural reserve in the middle of Puerto Vallarta’s hotel zone?

It’s called the Estero El Salado, and it’s a sanctuary for 100 species of birds, reptiles (iguanas, crocodiles, snakes) and many other animals!

You can explore this amazing place by taking a boat tour with a biologist guide. They will show you the canals, marshes and mangroves of the reserve, and tell you about the wildlife and the ecosystem. You can also climb the observation tower for a panoramic view of the area.

The Estero El Salado is open from Tuesday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm and on Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover a hidden gem in Puerto Vallarta!

estero el salado puerto vallarta
estero el salado puerto vallarta

33. Have fun at the 4D Museum

For a unique and immersive experience in Puerto Vallarta, you should check out the Museo 4D. This museum in the Romantic Zone takes you on a journey through “salt mines” filled with art.

You wear 3D glasses and listen to pre-Hispanic music and smell copal incense that create a mystical atmosphere.

It’s a really interesting experience for the whole family, and also a great activity for rainy days in Puerto Vallarta.

museo 4D puerto vallarta
museo 4D puerto vallarta

34. Explore the Gay-Friendly Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is the gay capital of Mexico and one of the most gay-friendly destinations in the world.

You can enjoy the vibrant rainbow scene in the Zona Rosa and the Playa de los Muertos. There are about twenty gay bars (like Mr Flamingo, La Noche), nightclubs (like CC Slaughters), saunas, cabarets (like Act2PV and The Palm), and even gay cruises!

The highlight of the year is Puerto Vallarta Gay Pride at the end of May. You can check the official website for the full program and exact dates.

Puerto Vallarta is a safe destination for gay travelers, but you should still be careful of pickpockets and don’t leave your valuables on the beach.

My advice
To find out the best gay-friendly hotels, I invite you to discover my guide Where to Sleep in Puerto Vallarta 

puerto vallarta gay friendly

35. Palo Maria Waterfall

One of the best places to visit in Puerto Vallarta is the Palo Maria waterfall. It’s a hidden gem in the forest, only 18 minutes away from downtown.

You won’t find any tour agencies that go there, and the entrance is not easy to spot. It’s just before the Garza Blanca hotel, on the left side of the bridge (around here).

You’ll have to hike (30-40min) through the lush vegetation, which will give you a breath of fresh air and oxygen.

The trail is not marked, but you can follow the creek to the waterfall.

  • In the wet season (July to October), you can swim in several pools along the trail and enjoy the powerful cascade.
  • But in the dry season, the water level is very low and you’ll have to zigzag between the rocks. Wear good walking shoes, clothes that dry easily and mosquito repellent.
cascada palo maria puerto vallarta
Palo Maria Waterfall, Puerto Vallarta

Where to stay in Puerto Vallarta?

  • Hostal Vallarta: this is a colorful hostel with a great atmosphere, a rooftop terrace, good wifi, pancakes for breakfast. You can stay in a shared dorm from only 19 usd or in a private room from 39 usd per night!
  • Amapas Apartment – Adults Only: spacious apartments in the Zona Romantica, walking distance to Playa Los Muertos, with a kitchen, air-conditioned, and a roof terrace with small pool. They are very clean and comfortable, from 60 usd per night!
  • Hotel Boutique BellView: This is a romantic hotel in Puerto Vallarta, with a famous restaurant called La Cappella. It offers a great view of the surroundings, and a violinist in the evening. It’s a cozy and elegant place to stay, from 192 usd per night!
  • Maxwell Residences at Indah: Rooms and apartments for up to 10 people, with gym, sauna, good wifi, indoor parking. Perfectly located on Conchas Chinas Beach. The best view of Puerto Vallarta is from the rooftop terrace, with infinity pool, bar and restaurant. From 275 usd per night – Also check out: My Opinion About Maxwell Residences
  • Hilton Vallarta Riviera All Inclusive Resort: This is an all-inclusive hotel ideal for families in Puerto Vallarta. It has a modern decor, several good restaurants and bars, lots of activities and entertainment and several oceanfront pools. It’s very quiet and relaxing, from 400 usd per night.
  • Casa Velas – Adults Only: This is the most beautiful all-inclusive hotel in Puerto Vallarta, ideal for a couple. An intimate and elegant hotel, located in the Marina Vallarta Golf Club, with a large tropical garden, swimming pool and beach club. Excellent meals and cocktails. From 745 usd per night

My advice
For more information on the Best Hotels and Areas to Stay in Puerto Vallarta, don’t forget to check out my complete guide Where to Stay in Puerto Vallarta with the best options for all budgets!

How long should you stay in Puerto Vallarta?

Puerto Vallarta has a lot to offer with its beaches and many activities (ATV, boat rides, scuba diving, horseback riding, etc.) and beautiful places to see.

You can have a great time in Puerto Vallarta, whether you stay for 1, 2, 3 days or even a week!

Here are my suggested itineraries so you don’t miss anything:

Visit Puerto Vallarta in 1 day

  • If you want to relax on the beach, you can head straight to Playa Los Muertos, the main beach of Puerto Vallarta.

If you like the vibe of a beach club, with music and cocktails on a lounge chair while people-watching, this is the place for you.

If you prefer to sit with your towel in a quieter area, you can go to the end of the beach (here) or go to Amapas Beach o Conchas Chinas Beach.

  • If you only have one day in Puerto Vallarta and prefer to explore the city instead of spending the day at the beach, this is the route I suggest:

-In the morning, walk along the Malecon, which starts around here, to the Langosta Loca (Crazy Lobster)

-When you get to the Plaza de Armas, cross it to the Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe

-Go up the stairs on Calle Zaragoza (to the right of the church) to Casa Kimberly

-Visit the beautiful Gringo Gulch neighborhood

-Another option, if you have good legs, is to detour first to the Faro Matamoros to enjoy the view, then back to Casa Kimberly

-Turn right to cross the Iguana Bridge, which is a nice place to take pictures

-On the other side of the bridge you will come to Isla Cuale. If you turn right you will see the handicraft market

-If you turn left on Avenida Constitución, or Carretera 200, you will reach the Romantic Zone

-Need to cool off? You can have a beer at Cervecería Los Muertos or, next door, an ice cream at Sabores Helados.

-If you then want to go to the beach, turn right on Venustiano Carranza and you will arrive directly at Olas Altas beach. If you continue to the left you can go to the emblematic Playa Los Muertos Pier and, of course, to the famous Playa Los Muertos

  • If you don’t feel like walking too much, the best option is to take the sightseeing bus that takes you around the city from the malecon to Mismaloya Beach and Marina Vallarta, with some convenient stops and a cold beer included! Book it here:

My advice
Be sure to explore my recommended 1-day itinerary in Puerto Vallarta to make the most of your visit!

Visit Puerto Vallarta in 2 days

If you have two days in Puerto Vallarta, you can follow the itinerary I suggested on the first day, and then explore the southern beaches up to Yelapa: Book your tour to the beaches here! (boat for up to 10 people)

You will probably be back in Boca de Tomatlan around 2pm, so you still have time to visit the amazing Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden, which is a short drive away. – Buy your tickets for the botanical garden here!

Visit Puerto Vallarta in 3, 4, 5 days

As there are many activities in Puerto Vallarta, here are some suggestions to fill your days starting on the third day:

My advice

When is the best time to go to Puerto Vallarta? What’s the temperature?

Puerto Vallarta has a subtropical climate, with a dry and a wet season, and a fairly warm temperature throughout the year (77ºF-86ºF).

The wet season runs from July to mid-October, with generally sporadic rains and quite a lot of humidity.

  • This is the low tourist season so everything is a bit cheaper
  • The landscape is very green and impressive, but sometimes the beaches on the boardwalk (such as Playa Los Muertos) are brown, as the rains wash organic waste from the rivers onto the beach.
  • Between August and September, the rains are more intense

The dry season in Puerto Vallarta goes from mid-December to the end of February, with much more pleasant temperatures and sunshine

  • This is a good season to visit Puerto Vallarta, as it is easier to walk without sweating so much, but the mountains are dry and therefore not as beautiful as in the rainy season. You can’t have everything in this life!
  • This is the high tourist season, which starts in December (with Christmas and New Year) and ends with Spring Break (March-April).
  • The coldest month is January (late January-early February), when the temperature ranges from 80ºF during the day to 65ºF at night.

The hottest month is August (late July-early August) with temperatures that can reach 90ºF

It is difficult to say specifically what is the best month to visit Puerto Vallarta, but generally speaking the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta is from late April to early June and from late October to early December.

There are fewer tourists, so it is cheaper and quieter, and the temperature is quite pleasant.

How to get to Puerto Vallarta

By plane

The Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR) in Puerto Vallarta is a major airport that connects with many domestic and international flights.

You can fly directly to Puerto Vallarta from places like Montreal, Toronto, London, Madrid and all over the United States. You can also look for flights that stop in Mexico City, which might be cheaper.

To find the best deals on flights to Puerto Vallarta, as well as the best domestic flights in Mexico, I recommend you to use our flight comparator in collaboration with Skyscanner. It is the best way to save money and time!

By bus

Here’s how to get to Guadalajara by bus from various destinations in Mexico.

My advice
Make sure you select Puerto Vallarta, not Nuevo Vallarta, as your destination when buying your tickets. They are different places 25 km apart. 

From Mexico City

Since Mexico City is so big, it is best to choose your route based on the nearest departure station 😉

From Central de Autobuses del Norte:

  • Departures at 18:00, 21:00 and 22:30 (duration 12:30) with Futura
  • Departures at 20:00 and 21:00 (duration 11:15) with Primera Plus
  • Departures at 19:30 (duration 13:50) and at 22:00 (duration 11:50) with ETN

From Central Camionera Poniente:

  • Departure at 23:59, duration 12:30 with ETN

Departing from Central Camionera del Sur – Terminal Taxqueña:

  • Departure at 00:15 (duration 12:40) with Futura
  • Departure at 22:10 (duration 13:10) with Turistar Luxury

From Guadalajara

There are many buses from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta, so you don’t need to book in advance. You can just arrive at the terminal and take the next departure. From Guadalajara bus station(Central Nueva), the travel time is between 5:50 and 6:20 hours.

  • Departures at 2:30, 3:45, 6:40, 8, 9, 10:40, 12:20, 14, 15:40, 17:30m 23:30 with ETN
  • Departures at 3:15 and 5:30 with Turistar Luxury
  • Departures at 1h, 2h, 3h, 4h20, 5h20, 6h20, 7h20, 8h50, 9h20, 10h20, 11h20, 12h20, 13h20, 14h20, 16h00, 17h20, 20h00, 11h30 with First Plus
  • Departures at 00:40, 3:05, 4:00, 5:30, 7:00, 7:15, 7:30, 8:45, 9:00, 11:00, 1:15, 11:00 with Future
  • Departures at 4:30, 6:00, 8:00, 8:00, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 22:00, 23:59 with Pacific
  • Departure at 21:05 with Chihuahuenses Select

From Zapopan’s Bus Station – travel time between 4:00 and 5:20.

  • Departures at 00:29, 3:30, 4:45, 5:00, 7:40, 9:00, 10:00, 11:40, 13:20, 15:00, 16:40, 18:30 with ETN
  • Departures at 4.15 and 6.30 with Turistar Lujo
  • Departures at 5.20, 6.20, 7.20, 8.20, 8.20, 9.20, 10.20, 11.20, 12.20, 1.20, 14.20, 15.40, 17.00, 18.20, 21.20 and 23.59 with Primera Plus
  • Departures at 00:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, 10:30, 11:00, 11:30, 12:00, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:00, 5:00, 6:00, 6:00, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 12:00, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 14:30, 14:30 with Vallarta Plus

From Tlaquepaque – travel time 5:40h

  • Departure at 00:40 with ETN
  • Departures at 00:00, 1:00, 2:00, 5:00, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 12:00, 12:30, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, 5:00, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 10:00, 10:00, 10:00, 10:00, 10:00 and 2:00 with Vallarta Plus

From Sayulita – travel time 1h-1h30

  • Departures every 10-15 min, between 5:15am and 10:45pm, with Autotransportes Compostela (white and green bus) and ATM Medina (blue and white) from Sayulita Bus Terminal
bus puerto vallarta
Autobuses Pacífico

By car

Driving on toll roads in Mexico is safer than taking the free roads. You can use Traza tu Ruta to plan your budget and calculate the toll fees for your trip.

Be careful when you drive near Puerto Vallarta, as the road has many curves, bumps (speed bumps) and only one lane on each side. Don’t speed and watch out for the signs.

Renting a car is for sure the best way to explore Puerto Vallarta and make the most of your stay!

To rent a car, personally, I always use Booking.com Cars, for a few reasons:

  • You can easily compare the rental cars prices between all the agencies: for sure the easiest way to find the best rate!
  • Cancellation is often offered free of charge: no need to worry if you change your mind
  • Booking Cars offers full insurance coverage at a lower price than the rental companies, so it’s an instant saving with no effort

Simply click on the green button to find your rental car at the best price:

My advice
 Parking in Puerto Vallarta can be a challenge, so it is very important to book a hotel with parking if you arrive by car. You can filter the hotels by parking availability on Booking.

Most downtown hotels (Zona Romantica, 5 de Diciembre, Centro) do not have parking, so you should book in advance. Alternatively, you can look for hotels in Conchas Chinas, Marina Vallarta or the all-inclusive resorts.

From Mexico City

The route from Mexico City to Puerto Vallarta takes about 11 hours.

  • Do not forget to leave early to avoid the maximum traffic in Mexico City
  • Personally, to lighten the trip a bit, I stopped in Guadalajara on the way out and in Patzcuaro, in the state of Michoacan , on the way back.

From Guadalajara

The route from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta takes 5h15.

  • On the way you can make some stops: Rincón de Guayabitos, Lo de Marcos, San Pancho, Sayulita

From Sayulita

The route from Sayulita to Puerto Vallarta takes 1h15.

como llegar a puerto vallarta
how to get to puerto vallarta

Getting to the hotel from the Puerto Vallarta Airport

There are several ways to get from the airport to your hotel in Puerto Vallarta:

By cab

You can take an official cab from the airport or, to pay less, cross the pedestrian bridge (see here) to take a cab on the street (they are safe in Puerto Vallarta) or an Uber.

By car

If you plan to rent a car in Puerto Vallarta, you can pick it up directly at the airport before heading to your hotel.

The airport is less than 10 minutes from Marina Vallarta or 30-35 minutes from Downtown/Romantic Zone/Conchas Chinas along Highway 200.

By private transportation

If you want to avoid the hassle of finding a cab when you arrive, you can book your transfer in advance (click here!). This way, you can get to your hotel comfortably and safely.

You have several options to choose from, depending on your budget and the number of people traveling with you.

traslado aeroport vallarta hotel
transfer aeroport vallarta hotel

Getting around Puerto Vallarta

Getting around Puerto Vallarta is easy and convenient, as you have many options to choose from. You can walk, drive, take a cab, use Uber, hop on a bus, or join a tourist bus.

I had my own car, but I preferred to walk around downtown Puerto Vallarta most of the time. I left my car in the parking lot of my hotel in Conchas Chinas, except when I wanted to go further, like to Boca de Tomatlan.

Cabs are also plentiful on the street, and Uber is available everywhere except the airport area, where it is banned. If you take a cab, remember to always agree on the price before you get in.

Another option I really enjoyed was taking the Puerto Vallarta tourist bus. It is a great way to explore the area between 10am and 6pm.

I got on at the malecon stop and did the whole tour in 2 hours (south to Mismaloya Beach and north to Marina Vallarta). But you can also hop off and on as many times as you want during the day – You can book your tickets for the tour bus here!

Finally, the cheapest way to get around Puerto Vallarta is by bus. There are several routes available between 6am and 11pm, and the ticket costs only 7 pesos.

Money in Puerto Vallarta: everything you need to know!

Is it better to pay in pesos or dollars?

Paying in Mexican pesos is always better than paying in US dollars in Puerto Vallarta.

US dollars are not always accepted, and the exchange rate will be unfavorable for you.

If you have Canadian dollars, you should exchange them directly into Mexican pesos, and avoid losing money twice with the exchange rate.

Are credit cards accepted?

Cash is king in Mexico, so you should always carry some with you. You can use it for tips, transportation, small purchases, and some restaurants and stores. Credit cards are only accepted in some places (e.g. hotels, large restaurants), but they might charge you extra fees.

Before you travel, check with your bank about their policies and fees for using your card abroad. You don’t want to pay more than you have to.

Where and how to get pesos?

You have 3 options for your trip to Puerto Vallarta:

  • Exchange money in your country before leaving
  • Exchange money locally at an exchange office, at your hotel or at a bank (although there are fewer and fewer banks accept currency exchange if you are not a client)
  • Withdraw pesos from an ATM in Puerto Vallarta

You will get a better exchange rate if you withdraw at the ATMs at the Puerto Vallarta airport. However, this is not the case with the exchange houses at the airport.

It may also be useful to exhange some money in your country (ask for small bills of 200 pesos or less) to arrive with pesos, for tips, etc. This way, you don’t have to worry about getting pesos when you arrive.

It is always convenient and easy to exchange at the front desk of your hotel, but I still suggest you compare the exchange rate because it can vary a lot depending on the hotel.

My advice
 My personal suggestion (which I have done for years in Mexico):

  • Avoid carrying a large amount of cash, regardless of the currency, as it is risky
  • It is best to have some cash, as well as your debit card and a credit card to withdraw pesos from the ATM gradually
  • This is the easiest way and there are ATMs all over the Puerto Vallarta area!

My tips for withdrawing at the bank

  • Always choose an ATM in a bank rather than a stand-alone ATM outside or in a store. This is safer, cheaper and more reliable.
  • When the screen asks you to accept the commission, click yes. When it asks you to accept the exchange rate, click no. This way, you will get a better rate.
  • The ATM will offer you some amounts on the screen (e.g., 1000 pesos, 2000 pesos, 3000 pesos, 4000 pesos), but you can also click “Other amount” and withdraw up to 8000 pesos. Some banks may allow you to withdraw up to 9000 pesos. You can try different banks and branches to find out.
  • Since the local bank’s commissions are fixed, it is better to withdraw more money at once.

Is Puerto Vallarta safe?

Puerto Vallarta is a safe city. It has a low crime rate, even in the tourist areas.

You only need to call 911 in case of emergency (it is very convenient! Not all places in Mexico have this service)

As in any other place in the world, it is best to be careful and follow these basic tips:

  • Don’t wear very flashy jewelry (big watches, gold jewelry, etc.)
  • Avoid taking too much money out of your pockets to pay
  • Always use an ATM inside a bank and if something or someone looks suspicious, go somewhere else
  • Keep valuables in the hotel safe (or elsewhere, but not on you)

By the way, many retirees from Canada and the United States come to Puerto Vallarta for vacations and even stay for several months a year: this shows how safe Puerto Vallarta is!

Book your trip now and save money!

You’re traveling in Mexico? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about Mexico: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Mexico are listed there.

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visit Puerto Vallarta Mexico
visit Puerto Vallarta Mexico

I have created this blog to give you all my best tips to plan your next trip to Mexico, regardless of your budget. I share detailed itineraries, advice about places to visit as well as recommendations for transportation, hotels and restaurants. I hope I will also help you to discover amazing off the beaten path destinations in Mexico!

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