Your Guide to Puerto Vallarta:
Things to Do, Places to Stay, and Where to Eat.
Ready for your vacation to Puerto Vallarta? From exploring pristine beaches, flying through the mountains, and releasing baby sea turtles, Puerto Vallarta has it all! With a collection of ideas on things to do, places to stay, and where to eat, you will be able to have a great trip to Puerto Vallarta! we have a compiled a list of things sure to make you enjoy every minute of your time in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, whether you are staying for three months or three days!
10 Things to Do
(Click here for 40 more things to do in Puerto Vallarta)
Los Muertos Beach
Los Muertos Beach is THE beach to go to in Puerto Vallarta! Close to food and shopping, you can easily spend your entire day here!
We loved sitting at Los Muertos and sipping margaritas!
If you want to get away from the crowds, Playa Conchas Chinas should be your beach of choice! Just a short taxi ride away from El Centro, you will find that Conchas Chinas has the prettiest, most crystal clear water and is a lot more low key than Los Muertos.
Release Baby Sea Turtles
This is by far the coolest thing we did when we moved to Puerto Vallarta! If you love animals, this is an absolute must do! Call the Casa Magna Marriot Hotel to check to see when they will be releasing the turtles, and prepare yourself for cuteness overload 😉
The Malecon is a long boardwalk that runs along the water. We spent many nights walking up and down through this area where we enjoyed street performers, amazing food, and plenty of shopping.
Visit the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Known as one of the most endearing landmarks in the city, Our Lady of Guadalupe is a great site to visit when you are near the Malecon.
Los Arcos Snorkeling
A visit to Puerto Vallarta without seeing marine life would be a travesty! Take the orange bus over to Mismaloya and you will find plenty of snorkel guides that will take you to Los Arcos for a very reasonable price. If you’d rather not hop on the bus, check out a few of these snorkel guides that can take you from El Centro or the Marina.
Take a Food Tour
The food in Puerto Vallarta is absolutely incredible! Unfortunately, unless you live there long term like we did, it is impossible to try it all. However, by taking a food tour, you have the opportunity to try some of the best Puerto Vallarta has to offer in a single night!
Not only does Puerto Vallarta have amazing beaches, but it is surrounded by mountains too! This makes it a great destination for zip lining. If you are on the adventurous side, flying through the jungles of the Sierra Madre has to be on your to-do list!
Shop on Basilio Badillo
Basilio Badillo in Puerto Vallarta has some of the best shops and restaurants in the area! Whether you are looking for a new dress or a unique ceramic dish, you can find it all on Basilio Badillo!
Isla Cuale is one of the most unique areas of Puerto Vallarta. The Isla Cuale is a set of small islands between two rivers situated right in downtown. This is our go-to souvenir shopping area! Don’t forget to walk across the wooden suspension bridges!
Where to Stay
If you are going to Puerto Vallarta to sit back, relax, and sip on a cold drink, we would recommend Secrets. It is situated a little outside the downtown area of Puerto Vallarta, making it a great place to unwind. However, if you are more inclined to explore the city and try different restaurants, we suggest one of the options below since they are closer to the El Centro and downtown areas.
We have used Airbnb several times when visiting (and living in) Puerto Vallarta. We suggest staying near the Malecon or near the street Basilio Badillo. As always, make sure you do your due diligence by reading the reviews and looking at the pictures in detail. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to message the host to ask for more information if you need.
This is the view from our Airbnb rental!
Located right in the heart of Los Muertos Beach, you will be close to all of the action at Los Arcos. With a great buffet, excellent rooms, and its own private section of Los Muertos Beach, Los Arcos Hotel is perfect if you want the full Puerto Vallarta experience.
Where to Eat
Here’s where this get tricky! There are so many good restaurants in Puerto Vallarta that is was difficult to only choose a few!
Tucked away off of Olas Altas, Coco’s kitchen has a great outdoor atmosphere, a cheerful waitstaff, and the food to match! Whatever you order, make sure you get the biscuits!
Púlpito 122, Olas altas, Puerto Vallarta, JAL, Mexico
Freddy’s has a special place in our hearts as it was one of the first restaurants we ever visited in Puerto Vallarta. With a menu full of pancakes, french toasts, omelettes, and other Mexican favorites, you will leave Freddy’s Tucan feeling stuffed!
Basilio Badillo 245, Emiliano Zapata, 48380 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico
Cafe de Olla has a more Mexican vibe to it than both Coco’s and Freddy’s. Try their coffee made with cinnamon and the machaca eggs! Arrive early as it does get busy!
Basilio Badillo 168, Emiliano Zapata, 48380 Puerto Vallarta, JAL, Mexico
Martisma has the best shrimp tacos I have ever tried! Put some chipotle sauce on your taco and your life will be forever changed! With excellent prices and fast service, Marisma is a perfect lunch spot!
Naranjo 320, Emiliano Zapata, 48380 Puerto Vallarta, JAL, Mexico
When we lived in Puerto Vallarta we went to the Italian Deli several times a week! They have great sandwiches and a very friendly staff. However, there is not much seating inside. We suggest grabbing your sandwiches before heading to the beach! Just try not to get them sandy:)
Basilio Badillo 314/1B, Emiliano Zapata, 48380 Puerto Vallarta, JAL, Mexico
Italian food in Mexico? I was surprised too! Frankies serves up large portions of some of the best Italian food I have ever had. Additionally, the service is excellent!
Emiliano Zapata, 48380 Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
Great food and a great atmosphere at a great price! If you are wanting to go to a nicer restaurant with reasonable prices, Basilio should be your first choice! We have tried the tuna, pizza, and stuffed chicken and have been impressed with all of them!
Basilio Badillo 258, Emiliano Zapata, 48380
Taqueria Las Güeras (or, ‘The Red Taco Stand’ as we called it 🙂 )
If you’re going to Mexico, you have to try some street tacos! Although there are hundreds of stands throughout the city, this is our favorite! Order the tacos al pastor and you’ll be taken straight to heaven!
Address: Naranjo, Emiliano Zapata, 48380 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico
Note from Greg: If you are familiar with PV, there is a good chance I have upset you by not including your favorite restaurant! If you have other suggestions for potential visitors, comment below and tell us about your favorite spots!
There you are! A complete collection of the top things for your time in Puerto Vallarta! I have attached a Google map with the location of each item mentioned in this post! Feel free to share it with your friends 🙂
After your trip, comment below and let me know how it went!
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