Puerto Vallarta is one of the most beautiful cruise ports on Mexico's Pacific Coast. This lovely colonial city has magnificent architecture, great shopping, and excellent opportunities for tours and adventures. In addition, Puerto Vallarta is a watersports mecca with a wide variety of activities to match every interest.
Las Caletas is a popular destination with cruise passengers. Once the private tropical hideaway of famous film director John Huston, this exclusive beachfront preserve is now available for day or evening excursions. Las Caletas is a privately-owned sanctuary accessible only by boat. During the day, guests can relax on the secluded beach, take paella cooking classes, go diving or kayaking, hike along jungle paths, or even have the opportunity to snorkel with playful sea lions. A full buffet lunch is served and a variety of spa treatments are offered at Las Caletas' hilltop spa. In the evening, a special "Rhythms of the Night" program is available for adults and children ages 10 and older.
Looking for an adrenaline rush? Active cruisers can take out a kayak, go diving, take a snorkeling trip to Los Arcos, or fly through the jungle on a zip-line canopy tour. There are several of these heart-stopping thrill rides located in the greater Puerto Vallarta area. One of the largest canopy tours is Canopy Tours de los Veranos, with a total of 14 cables offering families the opportunity to zip through the trees and across the river gorge at speeds up to 30 miles per hour. Another is located at El Eden, home to one of the sets from the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie "Predator.” This course includes 12 cables in a shady setting and includes the chance to fly across the waterfalls of the Mismaloya River. Children must be 6 years of age or older to ride the ziplines at Canopy Tours de los Veranos and El Eden. Other restrictions apply, so make sure to check the canopy tour websites for more details.
Some of the most popular tours in the Puerto Vallarta area are the memorable dolphin swim and dolphin encounter experiences offered by Vallarta Adventures. Signature Swims provide the opportunity to swim and bond with dolphins in small groups, while encounters are designed with non-swimmers in mind. The company also offers special Dolphin Kids programs for children ages 4-8.
Other favorite activities include jeep and ATV tours, Marietas Islands snorkeling and whale watching cruises, and sea safaris around Banderas Bay. Your ship’s tour desk can help you find the perfect adventure for your group. Don't miss the trip to Yelapa if it's available and make sure to sample a delicious slice of pie available from the "Pie Lady." Watch for her carrying pies on her head as she walks along the beach.
Puerto Vallarta has a wide variety of shore excursions available - there's something for everyone here. Make shore excursion reservations in advance if possible or meet with shore excursion representatives early in your cruise. Some popular excursions sell out quickly.
Puerto Vallarta is a culturally rich city. Art lovers and shoppers will find many areas to explore. Hop on the bus or take a quick cab ride to the downtown area, where you can stroll along the malecón and admire the beautiful bronze sculptures, visit art galleries, shop in the many stores along the city's cobblestone streets, or browse the vendors' craft and souvenir stands in the Isla Rio Cuale area. Puerto Vallarta is filled with an enchanting array of architecturally stunning buildings, stores, galleries, and seaside vistas. On Sundays, you'll find lots of local families walking along the malecón and enjoying the antics of the street mimes and clowns.
For more information on what to do in Puerto Vallarta, go to the Official Puerto Vallarta Travel Guide website at www.visitpuertovallarta.com.