There are so many activities to do in Puerto Vallarta, it's wise to think ahead and plan your days. From wind surfing to scuba diving, and snorkeling and water-skiing, there's something for everyone. Take a day to swim with the dolphins or go whale watching.
The South Side of Puerto Vallarta features plenty of alternative entertainment, including gay and lesbian bars and nightclubs.
Take a tour of an authentic tequila distillery while you're in Mexico. Many hotels will arrange tours to some of the area distilleries, and they are worth the visit. Learn how tequila is made, taste test a variety of different tequila versions and take home a bottle for a special occasion.
Puerto Vallarta and environs is a water-lover's paradise. Sailing and SCUBA diving are big pastimes here - whatever your level of experience, good diving is available. Water-skiing in the bays, parasailing, jet skis, windsurfing, kayaking, etc.: all of the water sports you'll want are right here waiting for you.
From November through to March each year, you can take an organized eco boat tour to watch the hump back whales as they arrive to reproduce and bear their calves. Departures are usually from nearby Puerto Vallarta, although some operators may also pick up from quays in the Punta de Mita marina area.
Sports fishing is an important and hugely popular pastime in this area. There are many sports fishing operators working locally who can help you to set up a fishing trip designed around your desires and budget.
For those who enjoy playing and/or watching the sport, polo is now played in certain areas in Mexico including at Costa Careyes, just a couple of hours south of Puerto Vallarta.
Excellent spas are available in and around Puerto Vallarta. The spa at the Four Seasons here in Punta Mita is one of the best resort-spa experiences in Mexico.
There is a wealth of land-based experiences to encounter in and around Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita. For example, inland activities include day-trip hikes to a hill-top ranch for a barbecue, horseback riding, colonial tours, expeditions to visit the Sierra Madre mountains, hot air ballooning, open-air Jeep tours, flying tours and more.
A wide variety of eco and adventure tours, including whale watching, jungle and tropical tours, mountain biking, hiking, bird watching, trips to the turtle sanctuary and swimming with dolphins are easily accessible from Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita.
Not only is the climate here ideal for golf, but there is an exciting selection of unique golf courses to choose from in Puerto Vallarta. The Course next to the Four Seasons resort here in Punta Mita is one of the best in Mexico.
Locally Hosted Parties - Hotels and resorts host their own parties which include dinner, dancing, a show and all drinks for a fixed fee. Ask your villa concierge to find out what is happening in the area during your stay.
Nightclub Scene - For lively night life, you'll need to travel into Puerto Vallarta. Although Puerto Vallarta is not as wild and lively at night as neighboring Mazatlan to the north, it is still provides excellent and varied night life for visitors. In fact, Night Clubs are a big part of the holiday scene in Puerto Vallarta, and like their Acapulco and Mazatlan counterparts, they don't stop till the sun comes up! Some night clubs charge an all inclusive cover fee; some a smaller cover and drinks on top. Drinks are served all night - don't even consider going to a nightclub before 11pm. Nightclubs keep going into the early morning hours and most people will start to leave between 5 and 7 am.
Punta Mita, like Puerto Vallarta and environs, offers you the opportunity to explore around 25 miles of absolutely stunning beaches. Many of the beaches are secluded, and can only be accessed by boat. Don't let this discourage you from exploring them - cruises and tours are available.
Some of the beaches are only accessible by car - by driving north or south of the town - because public transport is limited in the area. You may rent a car locally: either from Puerto Vallarta Airport, or if your hotel or accommodation agent picks you up from the airport, you may rent a car on ad-hoc days, directly through our on-site concierge services.
The nearby town of Puerto Vallarta offers some good places to shop and buy authentic Mexican goods. Don't expect any big shopping malls - although there are a couple of plazas with big name shops. Instead, look for the smaller, traditional and independent traders that offer unique Mexican arts and crafts. If you're buying from a shop, remember that you can ask for items to be shipped, which will save you carrying them around.
Ambulant traders often roam the streets and public beaches selling a variety of goods from clothes and textiles to silver and masks. Beware of the some of the silver traders - as what they may be selling is Alpaca - a cheap imitation silver - check for the official silver marks on the metal if they tell you its silver. If you speak some Spanish, you'll have a distinct advantage and be able to negotiate a better deal.
The Huichol Indians, descendants from the Aztecs and one of the last truly indigenous people of Mexico have begun to market their artwork and crafts in Puerto Vallarta. Their People live high up in the Mountains behind the town.
Huichol art has two main 'branches' - yarn paintings and beaded works.
The yarn paintings are said to depict visions that the Indians have, and always tell a story, which will usually be written on a piece of paper in Huichol and Spanish and attached to the back of the work. Pictures of wolves, snakes, scorpions and deer depict traditional Huichol elements of Huichol lore; other animals have been added due to 'market demand'.
The beaded works are usually wooden shapes which have beads attached to them with wax, and represent the shape of an animal - see note above for the animals that represent true Huichol lore.
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