Nestled off the coast of the state of Jalisco in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta has really gained popularity over the past few decades; And with good reason! Not only are the beaches absolutely gorgeous, but there are tons of great things to do in Puerto Vallarta that are spread across the vast territory.

As with other big hitting spots in Mexico; Along with Tulum and Cancun, Puerto Vallarta is a resort town with loads to do. Honestly, it’s beautiful and you’re going to have the best trip to Mexico.

So, to help you have an amazing trip to Puerto Vallarta, we’re sharing our top spots that you can’t miss once you arrive. That way, you can spend less time busy planning and more time exploring the local area.

Have a great trip to Mexico!

1.) Bahia de Banderas

To be honest, if you already live in Puerto Vallarta you cannot miss Bahía de Banderas. You see, it is one of the largest bays in the area and where most of the hotels are located.

Not only that, there are also piles around the bay. Once here, make sure to check out Conchas Chinas Beach Well worth a visit if you prefer a day at the beach. However, if you’re spending a long time on the beach, you’ll want to bring your own umbrella and sunlounger. There are hardly any equipment rentals at this beach.

Afterwards, head to Los Muertos Beach. This is where Puerto Vallarta’s main promenade is and is worth visiting for an afternoon.

You see, you can spend the day at the beach, and the early evening at the local bars and restaurants that line the shore. we loved La Palapa Restaurant for dinner. Just be sure to reserve a table for sunset – the views are amazing.

Read more: Best things to do in Tulum

2.) Yelapa Falls Cruise

Okay, so, one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta is to book a boat tour. we loved This all-inclusive Yelapa Falls Cruise.

Not only will you spend time on the beaches around Puerto Vallarta, but you’ll also have plenty of time to swim near Yelapa Falls.

Plus, you’ll have an all-inclusive bar, food and more onboard. Still, a heads up, for sure Book this cruise ticket Before arriving in Puerto Vallarta. Tickets sell out quickly at peak times.

Read more: Best things to do in Cancun

3.) Naval Museum of Puerto Vallarta

The Naval Museum of Mexico is a historic site worth visiting while you are in Puerto Vallarta. Home to over 150 different exhibits, it’s a great place to learn more about the Mexican Navy and its historical formation over the years.

Honestly, there are so many different rooms that all have interactive exhibits and even a collection of Mexican Navy uniforms used over the years. Visits take around 45-60 minutes and are a great place to explore if you are interested in naval history. That being said, if you’re not, you might want to stick to the beach.

Also, if you are visiting, remember that the museum is open every day of the week except Monday.

Read more: Best things to do in Puerto Vallarta

3.) Mismaloya Beach

Just south of Puerto Vallarta, Mismaloya Beach Well worth a visit if you’re driving around Bahía de Banderas while exploring the coast.

Mismaloya Beach is amazing, and while it’s not as popular as Puerto Vallarta’s beaches it’s just as nice.

Once here, you can easily hop on one of the boat tours from the vendors on the beach. Los Pescadores Restaurant For their ceviche. It is very good.

One thing to note, Mismaloya Beach is small and can be nice and quiet when you visit. You can easily contrast with a bunch of boats and a few herds.

If you’re not keen on crowds, I’d stick to some of the nearby (and smaller) beaches near Puerto Vallarta.

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4.) Buceria

North of Puerto Vallarta, Bucerias is a beautiful seaside town to explore around Bahía de Banderas. It is one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta for a day trip.

Now, Bucerias’ beach may be thin, but it stretches for miles! Not only that, it’s a great beach to rent a lounger, pop into the beachfront bars or just stroll the streets.

Feeling peckish? Head on Fat Boy Seafood For their freshly baked fish. It is very good. Also, if you are staying longer, go here for dinner La Negra. Their ribeye tacos are incredible.

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5.) Zone Romantica

Located on the southern coast of Puerto Vallarta, Zona Romantica is a neighborhood filled with bars, eateries, and Los Muertos Beach Pier.

Not only that, you have the Olas Altas beach that lines the area as well. You can easily spend the day in the area itself and it’s perfect if you want to chill and have easy access to local bars and restaurants.

For a delicious dinner, pop in Blue Shrimp. Their lobster tails are amazing. That being said, if you’re after tacos, then go for it Pancho’s Tacos.

Read more: Best things to do in Cancun

6.) Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Not far from the Naval Museum of Puerto Vallarta, visiting Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe One of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta is if you are interested in the local history of the region.

The church itself is about 100 years old and is quite a sight to behold. Now, a visit here will not take long; About 20 minutes, but it’s much easier to see when you stroll along the shore.

Afterwards, head over for a delicious bite to eat Cocoa Kitchen For brunch. It’s an unassuming joint that serves some of the best chilaquiles in the area.

7.) Isla Cuale

If you’re spending some time exploring the streets of Puerto Vallarta, then be sure to stop at Isla Cuale. Easily accessible by bridge, this small river island is home to small galleries, markets and food spots that are lovely to visit.

Once here, check Cuale Island Flea Market. Now, be warned, you will need to haggle but this is a great place to stop for souvenirs while you’re here.

Afterwards, go to River Cafe For fine dining spots in Puerto Vallarta. They have some great dishes (we loved the mahi-mahi), but you’ll need to book if you’re going at dinner time. Tables fill up quickly.

Read more: Best things to do in Cancun

8.) Palo Maria Waterfall

About a 35-minute drive from Puerto Vallarta, Palo Maria Waterfall Well worth the trip if you want some time away from the beach. Now, be aware, the trail leading up to the falls is very hard to find, if you don’t know the area well it can be difficult to find.

Once here, you can swim and explore the local area. However, watch for spiders on the trail; They are huge! For this reason, we’d always recommend going here with a guide if you’re interested.

Read more: Best things to do in Tulum

9.) Los Aeros

The Mismaloya Arches in Los Arcos National Marine Park are beautiful and just shy of the shores of Bahía de Banderas at Mismaloya.

These huge granite stacks and islands are beautiful to walk around and you can easily make a day of it when you book on a boat tour.

Not only that, but you can easily Book this stand-up paddleboarding Tour around the Mismaloya Arches which are absolutely stunning.

It’s a great way to explore the stacks and you’ll also be able to go inside the grottoes and caves that make this area so beautiful. the best, This tour Avoid the crowds and you may even see the bioluminescent plankton that thrive in the region.

10.) Majahuitas Beach

If you want a more chillout beach at Bahía de Banderas, then go Majahuitas Beach. Best reached by boat, it’s a more secluded and quite pristine beach worth visiting as you cruise the bay.

Now, many tours to Yelapa stop here for snorkeling. That being said, if you want a full day here, you may want to rent your own boat.

It can be a bit pricey in peak season but if you want a day of sailing it’s one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta.

11.) Jorulo Bridge

About a 35-minute drive from the center of Puerto Vallarta, Jorulo Bridge Well worth a visit when you’re in the area and want a more active day while on vacation.

Now, you can go to the hills in this region, but we like it The ATV tour which will take you around the Sierra Madre Occidental and Zorullo Bridge trails. Best of all, after you ride your ATV around the dirt trails, you’ll even get to try some of the local tequila.

Read more: Best things to do in Tulum

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