7 Low-Key Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta

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Summer’s coming. Are you planning any vacations? Looking for a nice sunny beach to escape to? Colby and I took a trip with some friends to Puerto Vallarta back in November and enjoyed the tropical sun in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

7 Low-Key Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta

Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta

First, decide whether you want to stay in Viejo Vallarta (Old Town) or Nuevo Vallarta (the Hotel Zone). Basically, what type of experience do you want while in Puerto Vallarta?

The Hotel Zone is more touristy with large hotels and resort towers, while Old Town is the original settlement and offers a more authentic Mexican vacation.

We chose to stay in Viejo Vallarta away from the crowds for a more low-key vacation. After losing my mom and facing my own cancer scare in the days before we left, we needed something quiet and relaxing to free our minds.

Puerto Vallarta's El Malecón Boardwalk

The friends we were traveling with had not only visited Puerto Vallarta several times, but one had grown up in the area. Having this insider along for our trip gave us an advantage when it came to finding things to do in Puerto Vallarta.

But again, we wanted to enjoy a true vacation with no stress and carefree days. This is exactly what we experienced, yet were still able to get out and explore Puerto Vallarta doing the following things:

El Malecón

Put on your comfy shoes and walk Puerto Vallarta’s El Malecón Boardwalk. The Malecón is a 12-block, mile-long esplanade in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico.

As you walk, you will discover much of the heart and soul of the city with every step. From street vendors and restaurants to shopping and art pieces, you are sure to see, taste, smell, and hear plenty or traditional Mexican culture.

Puerto Vallarta street tacos

Eat Like Locals

Speaking of food, it’s one of the things I enjoyed the most during our stay in Puerto Vallarta. We were fortunate enough to talk to a local during one of our outings who told us about the food in his neighborhood. We hopped in a taxi and rode straight there to see what they had to offer. We found ourselves returning for almost every meal.

Just off Blvrd Riviera Nayarit, you will find Valle de México. And, as you walk the street, you will find several small Mom-and-Pop Taquerías and restaurants with, not only, delicious authentic Mexican-food, but well-priced meals. We fed all 4 of us for under $15, including drinks.

TIP: Ask for the water of of the day! So refreshingly good! OH! And bring pesos!

Visit the Markets

If you’re looking for souvenirs, skip the chain stores and head to a local market. In addition to authentic gifts to and trinkets to take back home, you will also find fresh food and culinary selections to enjoy during your stay.

If you’re staying at a hotel or condo with a kitchen and want to do your own cooking, the market is the best place to find quality ingredients.

Puerto Vallarta's Hidden Beach

Hidden Beach

If you want a little adventure, take a boat ride out to Islas Marietas to visit Puerto Vallarta’s Hidden Beach (Playa del Amor/Beach of Love). Located at the mouth of Banderas Bay, you will find a small opening that hides a sandy cavern with a large open roof that lets the sunlight in. It’s something you truly have to see to appreciate.

TIP: You need to be a good swimmer to make the trek into the cave as you fight the waves of the open sea. Also, being claustrophobic as you swim under the cave can cause a bit of a panic situation.

Stay calm and just keep swimming! Or, opt for the more luxurious helicopter ride in.

Relax in the Sun

Let’s be honest, the main reason we head to areas such as Puerto Vallarta is the beach, such as the popular Playa de los Muertos, and the sun. So, don’t feel guilty about pulling up a beach chair and lounging all day. Besides, it’s been said that the sounds and smells of the ocean can have great therapeutic benefits.

My friend on the trip kept telling me that, “saltwater can cure anything.” Therefore, grab your swimsuit, pull up a towel, and listen to the ocean waves break on the beach. You’ll be grateful you did.

Snorkeling in Puerto Vallarta

Get in the Water

The Pacific waters in Puerto Vallarta are perfect for snorkeling. In the waters off the coast of Puerto Vallarta you will discover fish of every color and stripe.

This makes it a great place to swim and explore the deep waters with nothing more than snorkeling gear–or scuba diving if you’re more advanced. Just jump in and take a look around.

Watch the Sunset

And, as you close out your day on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta, stick around to watch the sunset. Whether having drinks with friends or enjoying a romantic dinner, be sure to look up long enough to catch the sun as it sets over the Pacific Coast.

visit Puerto Vallarta

Are you ready to plan your trip to Puerto Vallarta?

There are a lot of things to do in Puerto Vallarta. Whether you want to do the city in a more traditional touristy way or you want to simply experience the authentic culture of the city, there’s plenty to explore and see.

Walk around the city, eat a couple of street tacos, and breathe in the fresh sea air. Most importantly, relax and have a good time!

No doubt, the things you do on your trip are the things you remember! With the time, money, and anticipation that goes into your trip, you naturally want to get the most out of those experiences, forming the best possible memories for years to come.

That’s where TripAdvisor comes in.

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365 Days of Gratitude
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