With hidden beaches peeking out from verdant jungles and the ocean breeze carrying the scent of freshly grilled seafood along cobblestone streets, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is a traveler’s paradise. Here, modern comforts are seamlessly combined with Mexican culture traditions, and throughout your vacation, you’ll be able to discover the warm and vibrant local culture. These Puerto Vallarta experiences showcase the best of the city and immerse travelers in Mexican culture. On your next vacation, don’t miss out on these popular things to do in Puerto Vallarta.
While traveling in Puerto Vallarta, you can experience so many famous Mexican things and feel yourself fully immersed in the culture. At Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta, the Mexican Experience treats travelers to a vacation filled with traditional Mexican music, art, and food. From the moment you wake up surrounded by Mexican decor to your afternoons spent listening to live mariachi music and evenings accompanied by authentic Mexican cuisine, your stay will be truly enriching. To discover more, visiting art galleries, going on a local food tour, and wandering the cobblestone streets are some of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta.
The downtown Malecon boardwalk is lined with popular restaurants, boutique shops, local markets, and sweeping views of the ocean. It’s easy to spend a whole day wandering the boardwalk and along the way, the city has installed several lifesize sculptures for visitors to admire and snap photos with. The large Puerto Vallarta letters are perhaps the most photographed spot on the Malecon. At night, there are several famous Mexican things to spot, like the Papantla Flyers, street dancers and musicians, and food stands with elotes, ice cream, and tacos. The energy of these Mexican culture traditions is lively and warm in the evenings, and as the city’s lights twinkle on the sea and traditional Mexican music spills out of restaurants, you’ll have a beautiful end to the day.
The best Puerto Vallarta experiences happen around the holidays. On September 16, the country celebrates its independence, and you’ll see all of Puerto Vallarta decorated in the green, red, and white of the Mexican flag. The main festivities, parties, and fireworks occur on the night before Independence Day. Of course, one of the most famous Mexican things is Day of the Dead. On November 1 and 2, families will set up altars to commemorate those who have died, and Puerto Vallarta will be filled with traditional art. Christmas is also a popular time for families to take beach vacations, and some of the unique Puerto Vallarta experiences for the holiday season include watching the nightly processionals held to honor the Virgin Mary, attending posada parties, and eating traditional foods on Christmas Eve.
Burying your toes in the sand and diving under ocean waves are just a few of the things to do in Puerto Vallarta at the beach, and while the city has plenty of sandy shoreline, there are some hidden beaches away from town waiting to be discovered. Hike or take a water taxi south of the city to Playa Palmares, Colomitos, Quimixto, or Yelapa. Stay and relax on these quiet beaches, or hike inland along the rivers to discover hidden waterfalls tucked back in the jungle.
Experience more of the diversity of Mexico by taking a day trip into the Sierra Madre Mountains. After driving up around the mountains, replacing palm trees with pines, you’ll discover towns like San Sebastian del Oeste and Mascota. During the summer, the cool air of the mountains will be a refreshing break from the heat of the beaches. In these towns, charming plazas are surrounded by delicious restaurants and shops with handmade goods. You can also try ATVing or hiking in the mountains around the towns.
Allow yourself to get lost wandering the charming cobblestone streets of Puerto Vallarta, and take time to escape town to discover more natural beauty along the coast and up in the mountains. After spending your days immersing yourself in the local culture, sit back for a dinner of fresh seafood as you watch the sunset and listen to traditional Mexican music, creating the perfect end to a day of vacationing.