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Even if you ask the locals, it’s hard to put into words what makes Puerto Vallarta a city so many people fall in love with, a city that captivates and enchants with its soft beauty and historic charm. However, they will agree that there are a few essential things to do in Puerto Vallarta whether it’s your first time strolling the cobblestone streets or if you’re already familiar with each of the iconic Vallarta attractions. For the ultimate time in one of Mexico’s most popular vacation spots, these are some of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta that will have you falling in love with the city for the first time or all over again.


Taste the Tacos

For memories to savor, taking a gastronomic journey is one of the best Puerto Vallarta activities. The city is a foodie paradise, with gourmet kitchens, innovative vegan restaurants, and authentic Mexican street food. As you walk around, some of the best sightseeing activities are to check out interesting looking restaurants and grab a bite at a local taco stand. If you want the local opinion on where to eat, join in the fun on a food tour of the city. Along the way, your guide will point out iconic tourist attractions and give you tips to find the best tacos in town. 

Swim in the Sea

The siren call of the sea brings out your inner child as you splash in the surf and dive under waves. The sandy shores are some of the most beloved Vallarta attractions, and there are many Puerto Vallarta beaches in the city to explore, like the long stretches of Playa Camarones or Los Muertos Beach lined with tourist attractions. To discover more secluded Puerto Vallarta beaches, head south of the city where you can hike or take a water taxi to shores of soft sand and sparkling waters. Surfing is one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta, and north in Sayulita, there are several surf shops that offer classes and board rentals. After catching a few waves, you can swim in the sea and explore the local charm of Sayulita. 

Journey into the Jungle

If you turn around on the Puerto Vallarta beaches, you’ll fall in love with the gently rolling mountains covered in lush palms. Some of the popular tourist attractions and thrilling Puerto Vallarta activities are tucked away in the hills. If you’re unfamiliar with the rivers and trails surrounding the city, explore them on a waterfall tour or visit the Nogalito River Eco Park. For a rush of adrenaline, flying over the treetops on ziplines and taking an ATV expedition are two of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta


Meander on the Malecon

For a simple afternoon of sightseeing activities, the Malecon boardwalk in downtown is the place to be. The Malecon stretches along one mile of the sea and is home to some of the most recognizable Vallarta attractions. As you head north, you’ll pass by lifesize statues and local restaurants with some of the best views of the ocean. In the middle of the Malecon, the iconic church rises above the rooftops with her elegant crown. To the south, the Rio Cuale island provides some relief from the sun and tranquility in the midst of your sightseeing activities where you can rest under the palm trees, listen to the river, or shop in the local market. At the north end of the Malecon, the spiral of the pier echoes the form of the boats at sea. As you end your day, you’ll be in one of the city’s most popular vacation spots to do some shopping or sample craft beer at a local brewery. 

What makes Puerto Vallarta one of the world’s most popular vacation spots is the variety of adventures to discover here. Seek thrills in the jungle or dive into the local culture along the Malecon. As you try these essential Puerto Vallarta activities, you’ll find yourself falling in love with the natural beauty and historic charm that make the city indescribably unique. 

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