Puerto Vallarta
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Must-do activities in Vallarta for a first timer

By Tribune Travel

October 24, 2023

For first timers, visiting Puerto Vallarta, Mexico feels like a journey to paradise with awe-inspiring expanses of azure waters, sandy beaches, palm-peppered mountains, and an insatiably charming city.

However, choosing what to do in Puerto Vallarta on your Mexico vacations can feel a bit overwhelming given the vast array of opportunities for fun, relaxation, and everything in between. From soothing and rejuvenating spa retreats to adventurous Puerto Vallarta tours, there is always something new to try when visiting the top destination in Mexico.

Here are a few of the best places in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico that should top the list on your first time trip.


Puerto Vallarta Malecon

The Malecon in Puerto Vallarta is an ideal destination for first-time visitors. This mile-long promenade situated at the heart of the town offers a great introduction to the top attractions of Mexico.

The Malecon runs along the coast, showcasing the beauty of Banderas Bay, the lively culture of the town, and the mingling of locals and tourists who frequent the area throughout the day and night.

As you walk along the palm tree-lined path, you’ll come across a diverse collection of sculptures created by both national and international artists. You will also find a range of dining options from upscale to casual eateries, numerous boutique shops and art galleries. That is besides the variety of fun activities to do in Puerto Vallarta.


The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe

view of Puerto Vallarta church and sea

While strolling along the Puerto Vallarta Malecon, one will come across a traditional Mexican plaza that encompasses a gazebo, situated in front of the renowned Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

This church, along with its majestic crown, has been an integral part of Puerto Vallarta’s cityscape, captivating visitors with its exquisite beauty and providing valuable insights into Mexican culture.

Upon entering, the striking white architecture, captivating paintings, and intricate statues make it one of the top destinations in Puerto Vallarta. Furthermore, during the evening hours, the plaza becomes a bustling hub with vendors setting up stands beneath the trees, offering delectable treats such as tacos, crepes, churros, and coffee.

This vibrant atmosphere serves as a delightful attraction for those seeking to capture the church’s enchanting nighttime allure.


Puerto Vallarta Tours

Person riding a zipline in the forest

Explore more of the city and beyond with the adventurous Puerto Vallarta tours. These tours will take you on an exciting journey, offering new experiences such as ziplining over the jungle canopy and swimming with dolphins.

You can also try driving an ATV on mountain trails or rappelling down a cliff in the Mexican jungle. Additionally, there are other Puerto Vallarta tours available, such as the Marigalante Pirate Ship or Rhythms of the Night. Both offer dinner and shows that are thoroughly entertaining.

It is highly recommended to experience the wonders of these diverse Puerto Vallarta tours, especially for first-time visitors.


Puerto Vallarta Dining

patio of Cafe des Artistes Puerto Vallarta

Mexico is renowned for its delectable cuisine, and Puerto Vallarta is no exception. This vibrant city boasts an array of festivals and culinary events that highlight the exceptional dining experiences it has to offer.

While street tacos are a beloved staple in the local diet, Puerto Vallarta also boasts a diverse selection of restaurants that will leave you in awe with their offerings of both national and international dishes.

Whether you choose to indulge in the dining options at your hotel, savor a romantic dinner at one of the numerous restaurants scattered throughout downtown, the hotel zone, and the coastal areas, or embark on a culinary tour dedicated to exploring the gastronomic wonders that PV is renowned for, you are sure to be captivated by the culinary splendor that awaits you.



The Puerto Vallarta Malecon by night

There are plenty of enjoyable activities to partake in during the evening hours in Puerto Vallarta. As the sun sets, musicians begin to play soul, rock, or Mexican tunes for your entertainment.

Additionally, clubs open their doors and DJs start spinning records around 9 pm, with the party continuing well into the early morning hours.

The Malecon is home to many of the top destinations in Puerto Vallarta. With a plethora of people out and taxis readily available on most street corners, you can safely enjoy your night out on the town.


Outside of the Puerto Vallarta hotels, there are abundant opportunities for adventure on the beach, within the jungle, or within the city. In Puerto Vallarta, guided tours are available to assist you during your initial visit, ensuring a secure and enjoyable experience as you partake in various thrilling activities.





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