Destination Bucket List: Puerto Vallarta

The beautiful city of Puerto Vallarta is split up into neighborhoods — or zones –, with the endless activities and adventures.

Unlike a lot of beach destinations, this vacation hotspot is also a living, breathing community packed with tons of culture, food and fun. It’s truly a unique experience.


What to discover

1. FOOD TOUR

While in Puerto Vallarta, make sure to check out Vallarta Food Tours. This company offers a wide variety of food tours and is a great way to learn about the city of PV while simultaneously feasting and working off the calories.

Watch the video below for an inside look from Goats on the Road.

2. WALK

Exploring on foot is the best way to get a feel for the city — and most areas of PV are reachable by walking. This is the perfect way to see what the local vendors are selling, experience the Mexican culture and get a lay of the land.

3. LOS MUERTOS BEACH

Los Muertos Beach is the most popular, the best known and the most visited beach in Puerto Vallarta. Here, there are a lot of activities going on — from swimming and surfing, to parasailing and boating.

Plus, you’ll find numerous beach restaurants and bars here.

4. TEQUILA TASTING

If you do nothing else, I’d highly recommend you take part in a tequila tasting while in Puerto Vallarta, the Jewel of the state of Jalisco — aka the tequila capital of the world.

It truly is a once in a lifetime experience. Not only will you be taken through the entire tequila distilling process, but you’ll get to try a number of samples — all made from 100 percent blue agave.

Fun Fact: Mexican law requires that tequila be produced only in Jalisco, and limited regions in a few other states. Here, tequila has an international place of origin designation, similar to Champagne in France.

5. MALECON

The Malecon is PV’s version of a seaside boardwalk — minus the boards.

This bustling, extensive strip winds around and among outdoor cafes, bars, gift shops filled with keepsakes, local arts installations and interactive crafts.


What to eat

1. GABY’S RESTAURANT

The food at Gaby’s Restaurant will leave you wanting seconds and thirds. Owned and operated by Chef Julio Cesar Castillon Pérez, he sources his ingredients locally from open air markets in the neighborhood. Born and raised in Puerto Vallarta, his fare could not be anymore authentic to this coastal town.

Be sure to try his specialty — the Chiles en Nogada.

2. STREET TACOS

Never underestimate the deliciousness of a taco stand on a street corner. Full of flavor and prepared on the spot, taco stands are all over Puerto Vallarta.

3. LA PALAPA RESTAURANT

Located along the water in the Playa Los Muertos district, La Palapa is tropical Mexican cuisine at its finest. The restaurant is gorgeous and the food is an interesting mix of Asian and French elements infused with traditional Mexican dishes.

La Palapa was the first restaurant to be opened on the beach in Puerto Vallarta in 1958, and has become a big part of the city’s history. 

4. LA TINTOQUE COCINA DE LA BAHIA

La Tintoque is the definition of a modern, gourmet experience. Located at the entrance of Marina Vallarta, the restaurant has a muted, yet striking minimalist aesthetic. Chef Joel Ornelas specializes in a creative menu that changes daily.

5. FOOD PARK

Food Park offers a ton of variety and endless mouthwatering options. Featuring three food trucks and eight food containers, you can find everything from burritos to sushi, to hamburgers and waffles.


How to play

1. SNORKEL CRUISE

Spend the day immersed in the marine life of the Marietas Islands and the Bay of Banderas on this full-day cruise from Puerto Vallarta. Even those with no experience will feel comfortable participating in guided snorkeling and kayaking tours, with all equipment included, to catch a glimpse of the Mexican Pacific’s abundant flora and fauna. 

2. ATV ADVENTURE

Discover the rich natural landscapes of Puerto Vallarta without getting lost on a personalized ATV adventure into the Sierra Madre, and drive your own ATV or ride as a passenger.

This is one of the most exciting and magical ways to experience this destination.

3. WHALE WATCHING

Puerto Vallarta doesn’t just have great beaches, it’s also a renowned birthing hub for humpback whales.

Get a close-up peek of the larger-than-life marine mammals on one of the city’s many whale watching tours.

4. BIKE AND HIKE TOURS

Puerto Vallarta is perfectly situated in the middle of the mountainous jungle of the Sierra Madre, making it the perfect place to bike and hike.

Take a closer look at this city’s mountainous landscape on one of their many bike and/or hike tours.

5. OUTDOOR ADVENTURE

Experience a day to truly get your heart racing, your blood pumping and your imagination running wild!

This Outdoor Adventure Tour in Puerto Vallarta will take you to the area’s beaches, waterfalls and mountains — and soar over the jungle from a height of 250 feet on one of Mexico’s longest and highest zip lines.

So, ready to head out on your trip?Reach out to your BeachMaster with any pre-trip questions.

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