Restless souls need not go far to find activities such as mountain biking and whale-watching. Snorkeling, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing and parasailing can be arranged on the beaches in front of any of the large hotels or through the tourist office.

Cruises

Daytime, sunset and evening cruises are available in Vallarta. The most popular ones are the cruises to Yelapa and Las Ánimas beaches; others go to Islas Marietas. Prices are generally negotiable, starting at M$1200 for sunset cruises and beach trips; longer trips lasting four to six hours with meals and bottomless cocktails will set you back M$2200. Leaflets advertising cruises are available throughout town.

Deep-Sea Fishing

Deep-sea fishing is popular year-round, with a major international fishing tournament held mid-November every year. Prime catches are sailfish, marlin, tuna, red snapper and sea bass. Fishing trips can be arranged dockside at Marina Vallarta or through the multitude of agencies around town. Rates start at about US$250/400 for a four-/eight-hour excursion.

Diving & Snorkeling

Beneath the warm, tranquil waters of Bahía de Banderas is a world of stingrays, tropical fish and garishly colored corals. Vallarta has several diving operators. Most also offer snorkeling trips, which usually means snorkelers tag along with divers. Dives typically include transportation, gear and light meals.

Horseback Riding

Vallarta’s jungly mountains are wonderful to explore from a horseback perspective. Rancho El Charro runs scenic tours into the Sierra Madre.

Golf

Vallarta’s golf courses are north of the city. Various golf websites, such as www.golfnow.com, often offer appealing deals.