Puerto Vallarta Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing

(Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico)

Summer picture of the Malecon and Banderas BayPuerto Vallarta really is a city where there is always something to see and do, with plenty of tourist attractions to keep you fully occupied during your Mexican experience. Ranging from hiking in the nearby Sierra Madre mountains to seasonal whale watching (November to April) around the coastline at Banderas Bay (Bahia de Banderas), the sheer range of tourist attractions in Puerto Vallarta is quite diverse and unexpected.

Many tourists visit Puerto Vallarta for one thing, the famous Vallarta beaches and the crystal clear waters, where scuba diving, snorkelling, waterskiing and deep-sea fishing are amongst the main tourist attractions. Traditional Mexican bullfighting regularly takes place at the Plaza de Toros, while for others, a visit to the city's Tequila factory (Tequila Porfidio) to sample the goods makes for a good day out. More unusual tourist attractions in Puerto Vallarta include bungee jumping from a platform high above the sea cliffs, exciting jungle and eco tours, and even swimming with a group of friendly dolphins.

Picture taken during a whale watching cruise

Boat Trips / Dolphin and Whale Watching Cruises

Various boat trips and cruises are available around the Puerto Vallarta coastline and are a relaxing way to enjoy some truly breathtaking views and scenery. Many tourists choose the cruises to Las Marietas Islands, Las Animas and the Playa Yelapa, while others prefer romantic dinner cruises at sunset, or even seasonal whale watching cruises between November and April, when you can often see enormous humpback whales and wild bottlenose dolphins jumping in the surf. Dolphins are always present around Banderas Bay and easy to spot on a cruise. At the Vallarta Adventures dolphin centre, it is even possible to swim with these intelligent creatures.
Open hours: daily - hours vary
Admission: charge

Photo of parasailing on the beach

Recreational Activities

Puerto Vallarta is a fun place to holiday and offers tourists a range of recreational activities and attractions, such as hiking and cycling along many trails around the coastline and through jungle areas. English-speaking cycle guides and 'eco tours' are available, allowing you to be sure to take in the best scenery and views, and learn about the native flora and fauna along the way. Other exciting recreational attractions around Puerto Vallarta include skydiving, jungle safari driving and horseback riding in the scenic Sierra Madre mountains.
Open hours: daily - hours vary
Admission: charge

Plaza de Toros picture

Bullfights / Plaza de Toros

Address: La Paloma Plaza de Toros, Puerto Vallarta, 48310, Mexico, MX
Tel: +52 322 224 1175
Bullfighting, known as 'corridas de toros' in Puerto Vallarta has long been a major traditional attraction, although it is not for everyone, since the bull itself is ultimately killed by a strong sword thrust (estocada) from the matador. Bullfights take place every week at the Toros Plaza bullring (La Paloma), which lies close to the marina terminal.
Open hours: November to May, Wednesday - from 17:00
Admission: charge

View of the sandy beachfront

Water Sports / Scuba Diving

Various water sports attractions take place off Puerto Vallarta, with scuba diving conditions being at their best outside of the rain season, when the waters are crystal clear and visibility is superb. Summer sunshine quickly warms up the waters and many excellent dive spots are scattered around Banderas Bay. Scuba diving trips are also available and transport you to locations such as the Marietas Islands, El Morro and also El Chimo. Apart from scuba diving and snorkelling, other water sports attractions in Puerto Vallarta include windsurfing, waterskiing, parasailing, banana boats, sailing and plenty of calm waters suitable for swimming. All of these fun activities can usually be arranged on beaches fronting hotel complexes.
Open hours: daily - hours vary
Admission: charge

Photo of fishing trip in the bay

Deep Sea Fishing / Sportfishing

If you fancy a spot of serious fishing, then Puerto Vallarta has plenty to offer fishermen at all levels. Various fishing companies operate around Puerto Vallarta's coastline and provide equipment on board, along with refreshments. Many people manage to catch several large fish, with star attractions including specimens of marlin, snapper, yellowtail tuna and bonita. Most fishing boats are fairly large and take at least 12 people, making this quite a social activity.
Open hours: daily - hours vary
Admission: charge

Splash Parque Acuatico picture (Aquatic Splash Park)

Splash Parque Acuático (Aquatic Splash Park)

Address: Carretera Tepic, Nuevo Vallarta, 63732, Mexico, MX
Tel: +52 322 297 0708
The Splash Parque Acuático can be found close to Puerto Vallarta Airport and the city itself and boasts an array of appealing attractions. Always popular are the performing dolphins and seals, with regular shows drawing large crowds. A pool with a number of fast, twisting water slides is also available and offers a great way to cool down on a hot day. The Splash Parque Acuático also features a number of onsite eateries and bars, where fast-food and basic refreshments can be purchased. A number of picnic spots are also available should you prefer to cater for yourself and make a day of it.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 19:00
Admission: charge

Tequila Porfidio photo

Tequila Porfidio

Address: Carretera Vallarta Tepic, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, MX
Many tourists are often surprised to find a Tequila factory in Puerto Vallarta, since this traditional Mexican spirit is usually produced in the town of Tequila itself, to the north-east and near to Guadalajara. Visitors are able to enjoy guided tours around the factory and learn more about how Tequila is produced from the blue agave plants. Of course, the main attraction is the tasty drink itself, which can be both sampled and purchased here.
Open hours: daily - 12:00 to 15:00
Admission: charge