Why Puerto Vallarta, Mexico?
This was our first visit to Puerto Vallarta and only stay per 3 days after visiting Sayulita. This place has been always highly recommend it per Mexicans friend and they know what they were talking about. Puerto Vallarta is definitely a fun town to visit even with family. So, I have to share our favorite things to do in Puerto Vallarta in our 3 day trip.
This town has such a good weather and delicious food. The best time to visit according to locals is November to March. We always love to try new food when we travel, and Puerto Vallarta didn’t disappoint us.
This amazing part of earth was discovered around the 1500, but became famous because is where took place a scandalous get away between the actor Richard Burton and megastar Elizabeth Taylor while recording the movie Night of the Iguana in the 1960’s. Puerto Vallarta has grown at spectacular levels since them.
What to expect in Puerto Vallarta:
Puerto Vallarta is located in the Coast of Mexico and the Bahia of Puerto Banderas. Locals said that Puerto Banderas has the most biologistic diverse body of water in the world. The Bahia is 100 kilometers long and one of the deepest the world! It is a natural world treasure and Mexico knows it!
Puerto Vallarta town doesn’t have the feeling of a small beach town it is a big town. However, still gorgeous and fun to explore. The copestones streets bring you the Colonial style in a City the mixes Mexican and Spanish styles together with the modernity that the big resorts has bright with them. Luckily downtown in despite their grown has made an effort to keep the Mexican colonial style.
Things to do in Puerto Vallarta
Due to its unique natural beauty Puerto Vallarta is a place of adventure. Due to their gorgeous beaches with amazing swimming, snorkeling and surfing spots. We wish we spent more time, but here is what we did:
Itinerary Day 1
Walk the Malecon or Boardwalk: is located at Paseo Díaz Ordaz S/N, about 12 blocks starting around Hotel Rosita to the Amphitheater and the Arches. Across the street from the main square plaza.
Runs parallel to Puerto Banderas and it is perfect to go for a stroll at any time of the day and appreciate the beauty of this Bay. There, you find street vendor, local cuisine and at the called the Arches Amphitheater, you can find street performance as mimes, musicians and Mexican folk music performing.
Also, at the boardwalk you find the colorful Puerto Vallarta Sign to get a traditional picture.
- Centro Neighborhood – Where to stay in Puerto Vallarta for the first time!
- Hotel Zone – Where to stay in Puerto Vallarta if you’re on a budget.
- Romantic Zone (Old Vallarta) – Where to stay in Puerto Vallarta for the best nightlife.
Main square plaza or Plaza de Armas: located in the Zona Centro or Old town Vallarta. It has a rotonda and plenty of benches to spend a relaxing time admiring the Colonial Style of this area and with a View of Our lady of Guadalupe at the very far end of it.
Visit the Parroquia Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe or Our lady of Guadalupe Church this is an iconic symbol and landmark of Puerto Vallarta and the story tell that it survived earthquakes and it is the a symbol of
During December 1st-12th there is held Our Lady of Guadalupe Festival that according to ur guide is impressive with dances and processions. Apparently it took more than 40 years to get this church completely build due to different Parisian style. It is a big church for such a small town and it is a mix of styles.
Zona Romatica: People look for this area for the best night life. If you keep walking after the boardwalk few blocks ahead you find the bridge to Rio Cuale where it starts, and extends until Playa de Los Muertos.
This area, has plenty go restaurants, clubs and shoppings. It is vibrant and fun. It is super walkable and full of young people looking to party or retired people enjoying their retiremnet because there rethinks for everyone.
Check the Puerto Vallarta Colorful Pier: this architectonic beauty is located in Playa de Los Muertos and build in 2013. It resemble a sail at the end of the pier. it was build with colorful light t be seeing from likes away. There are benches around so people can seat and contemplate it. Very nice place.
At this pier is place to pick up and drop off people to different tour to go to nearby island as Yelapa and Marietas!
Visit the Zona Hotelera this is area is full of restaurants, bars and hotel with and intense night life.
Itinerary Day 2
If you are staying in one of the many resorts Puerto Vallarta has I recommend you to spend a day there.
We spent a full day at the resort we stayed zipping delicious drinks and playing by the pool side at our resort
Itinerary Day 3
Do a food tour. As I told you, we love food and trying food from local places is a must in our trips. We were lucky to partner with Puerto Vallarta Tourism and get a food tour in downtown.
Check the itinerary down below. It worth to spend a day walking in old town trying delicious food, desserts and drinks.
Itinerary for more days
I know this is a 3-day guide, however there is so much to see in Puerto Vallarta and here are the other things you could do:
- Take a trip to Sayulita, we visited Sayulita and here are the berthings to do there!
- Take a Day Trip To Yelapa
- Do Whale watching
- Explore the Marietas Islands
- Swim with dolphins in their natural habitat. Wildlife Connection offer this service and it is an amazing experience.
Where to Stay In Puerto Vallarta
We stayed at the Sheraton Buganvilias Resort in in Puerto Vallarta. The ocean view was amazing and the pools warm and not crowded!
Getting around Puerto Vallarta
It is easy to grab a taxi around Puerto Vallarta, usually the hotel has a list of the prices usually charged per trip. The taxis drivers usually speak English and they are very friendly and helpful.
Puerto Vallarta is a very touristic area and they live out of tourism, local people are charming and very nice.
Where to eat
As a mention, Thanks to Puerto Vallarta Tourism we did a food tour during our visit Puerto Vallarta. It was great, delicious and very safe. They currently are being held in small groups mostly of family members.
We meet our tour guide Bernardo from Vallarta Tour Food Tour at Lazaro Cardenas Park. At this parks held the Old Town Farmers market -Tangui Cultural that blends the old Mexican tanguis and the North American Style market. This is held on Saturdays from November to March form 9:30 am to 2:00 pm. You find so many different products made, bake and grow is paradise for foodies.
After we met our food tour guide there and browse around we started our food tour:
The first place we walk to the Malecon and visit Tuba by Conception. Tuba is a delicious drink made out of Walnuts, apple and nuts fermented per about 20 days. It is made with destilated water and just sooo refreshing and delicious that even my picky eater loved it and was happy with it! Conception is such a nice man super friendly and has work per decades selling this drink in downtown. You can find Conception roaming through Old town and Malecon. Here is a picture of him. DO not miss!
Our second stop was Tacos el Cunado, that means brother in law, named because it was funded by a group of brothers. We tried their delicious Taco Asada. This is a street stand which ownership has passed through generations since 1968 and it is located in Francisco Rodriguez Street. It has been there per 35 years with the same family recipe and delicious flavor. It is open Monday to Sunday from 9 am to 12 am! They are hard workers.
Next Tacos Robles, a taqueria located in Calle Constitution with the speciality of Tacos Dorado and Birria. This is my husband favorite and I was hesitated to try, man it was so good. Also, they have pozole that is to die for! This restaurant is here since 1986. You can find it open Monday to Saturday from 3 am to 3 pm. They close earlier if they run out! The service is fast and clean! These days everyone is follow the health protocols of wearing a facemask.
The only problem it was indoor but the restaurant keep people space out.
Dulceria Leal at this Mexican candy store we found the Mexican Willy Wanka! At this place they made this delicious candy from scratch and what a show it is. He is super friendly and explained the process to the boys in a super fun way.
Here, we found this amazing candy flavor as passion fruit, spice mango and guanabana gumies and flavored cocadas. We bought so many because they were such a explosion of flavor and have never have before a gummy with natural exquisite flavor like this. At this store we found flavored tequila with Mango.
Then, we head to Vallarta factory Chocolate. Located in Calle Libertad or Liberad Street #100. Here we tried different chocolate seeds and chocolate with different flavor as penaut with chocolate, and more.
A must visit for chocolate lovers. my kids were ecstatic.
Mariscos Cisneros here I tried Their specialty stuffed taco, it is absolutely delicious if you appreciate spicy food as I do. We ate outside and there were people indoor. However, the whole restaurant crew wear facemasks.
The restaurants is located in Francisco Madero Street #271
Our next stop was Carnitas La Santa Cruz, by this time I was getting full and kids were a little tire after the sugar rush and the distance that are. not bad for adults. This Carnitas were again super delicious and many sauce to try at your pleasure. The stand is located un Calle Alzaro Cardenas Street #409.
Our final place was Gaby’s restaurant and Bar this restaurant has a great Ocean view on its patio. We sat at the second floor terrace that use to be a common area for the neighbors close to the restaurant.
It is located at Calle Mina 252 where we tried delicious mole, really the bet I have ever tried, tequila flag (with Mexico colors) and flan.
They first brought the Mole and it was to much for my picker who decorated the flan. I got a double portion because It was so good.
Our guide Bernardo was super friendly and knowledgeable of the history and he share that with us. We were lucky to be able to visit and tried these delicious food. We run out of time and energy however he recommended us the best churros in town. It luckily was located close to our hotel so after we rest we adventure it the night. Remember Puerto Vallarta is pretty safe. We ended up the night trying churros and they were delicious.
I hope this help you on your next trip!