Stretching around the sparkling blue Bahía de Banderas and backed by lush palm-covered mountains, Puerto Vallarta (or just 'Vallarta' to many) is one of Mexico's most enticing coastal destinations. Each year millions come to laze on the dazzling sandy beaches, browse in the quirky shops, nosh in the stylish restaurants and wander the picturesque central streets and enticing malecón (boardwalk). There are activities aplenty, including boat trips, horseback rides, diving trips and day trips to the interior. After sunset, Vallarta takes on a new identity with pumping nightlife along the cobblestone streets and numerous LGBT-friendly options in what is the gay beach capital of Mexico.
Discover some of the most unique and fulfilling experiences your next destination has to offer.
Tips & Travel trends to help you pick the perfect time to visit this destination.
Check out these fun-filled activities that the entire family can enjoy.
Plan a day trip full of local flavor and get back in time with these same-day options.
Browse the various transportation options to make your trip that much easier when you arrive.
Ways to maximize the fun without spending a dime on your next great adventure.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Puerto Vallarta.
Home to a small fishing community, the picturesque beach of Yelapa hugs an emerald coastline backed by jungle-shrouded mountains. The remote coastal…
GardensJardín Botánico de Vallarta
For a change of scenery from the beach, head for the tropical highlands of the Sierra Madre mountains and wander the well-curated Jardín Botánico de…
Graced with golden sands and serene aqua-green shallows, Playa Palmares is one sweet strip of coastline. Hugging an undeveloped shore about 6km (4 miles)…
MuseumMuseo del Cuale
On Isla Río Cuale, this museum has a small but very well-presented collection of pre-Hispanic ceramics by the Chupícuaro culture (400 BCE–200 CE), plus…
Mismaloya, the location for the 1964 film The Night of the Iguana, is about 12km south of Puerto Vallarta: you can still see the dilapidated Iguana sign…
BeachPlaya Conchas Chinas
Around 3km south of downtown is the beautiful condo enclave of Playa Conchas Chinas. It's a tiny cove favored by families for the shallow and sheltered…
BeachBoca de Tomatlán
Boca de Tomatlán is a seaside village that’s less commercialized than Puerto Vallarta and a good place to munch ceviche tostadas on the beach. You can get…
IslandIsla Río Cuale
A trip to Vallarta wouldn't be complete without lingering on Isla Río Cuale, a sand island that appeared in the river mouth in the 1920s and was then…
BeachPlaya de las Ánimas
Playa de las Ánimas is a long, sandy beach with a small fishing village and some palapa (thatched-roof) restaurants offering fresh seafood. It's also a…
BeachPlaya de los Muertos
Despite its name, Playa de los Muertos (Beach of the Dead) is a lively beach which is handy for downtown. At the southern end of the beach, a stretch of…
CathedralParroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
The crown-topped steeple of the Parish Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the town's central cathedral, is a Vallarta icon, and the hand-ringing of the…
BeachPlaya de Quimixto
This beach, just beyond Las Ánimas, has a waterfall accessible by a half-hour hike or by hiring a horse (M$300) on the beach to take you up.
BeachPlaya Olas Altas
The handiest beach to the Zona Centro is Playa Olas Altas, just south of the Río Cuale.
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Puerto Vallarta.