Beyond the Port Area
Whimsical bronze statues by famous Mexican sculptors dot the seafront promenade—the malecón—in downtown Puerto Vallarta. Peek into the municipal building on the malecón to see a colorful mural by Puerto Vallarta artist Manuel Lepe. Nearby is the Parish of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe church. The church’s clock tower is topped by angels carrying a queen’s crown to the heavens.
Puerto Vallarta has several challenging golf courses. Try your game at the championship course El Tigre on the El Tigre Golf & Country Club excursion.
During your cruise to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, make a date to swim with dolphins at Dolphin Adventure. In the winter months, whale-watching tours follow migrating humpback whales as they surface and slap their heavy fins on the waters of Banderas Bay. Explore the lush Sierra Madre Mountains on a horseback trail ride or by Unimog all-terrain vehicle. Swing through the jungle on sturdy cables strung between tropical trees on a zipline adventure.
Beaches & Watersports in Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta’s in-town beach, Playa Los Muertos, is lined with thatch-roofed seafood restaurants, beach bars and lounge chairs.
Take a boat to the uninhabited Las Caletas Islands during Las Caletas beach Hideaway excursion. Discover the secluded all inclusive tropical paradise of Las Caletas, accessible only by sea. See why John Huston chose the remote location of Las Caletas, to establish his hideaway. Take a boat ride and explore the secluded beach. You’ll spot wild dolphins cavorting in the swells and blue-footed boobies tottering around on the islands’ rocky coastline. Scuba divers can spot manta rays and sea turtles swimming along the coral-crusted underwater rock walls. Snorkelers have plenty to see, too, in the shallows off the island beaches.
Shopping in Puerto Vallarta
The municipal market, where vendors sell silver jewelry, leather goods, and clothing, is on the River Cuale near the church. A short bridge connects the market to an island shaded by leafy trees—a favorite spot for landscape painters. The small outdoor market here has folk art and crafts.
The art galleries of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, display paintings, pottery and sculptures by modern artists from across Latin America. As you walk through downtown, look for discerning crafts stores selling hand-carved furniture, colorful paper-mache figurines and mirrors bordered in shimmering pressed tin. The most sought-after crafts in Puerto Vallarta are authentic Huichol Indian art—brilliant “paintings” of psychedelic animals and patterns painstakingly rendered with thin string and tiny technicolor beads.