Magical Puerto Vallarta is one of the most enchanting cruise ports on Mexico's Pacific Coast. This lovely colonial city features magnificent architecture, superb shopping, outstanding watersports and a wide array of appealing options for tours and adventures. Puerto Vallarta’s wealth of attractions makes it popular with cruise lines, drawing scores of cruise ships during many months of the year. While Puerto Vallarta certainly has much to offer, it’s the warmth of its residents that captures visitors’ hearts. Puerto Vallarta is truly authentic. The friendly, welcoming nature of Puerto Vallarta's people creates unique personal connections and lasting vacation memories.
Las Caletas is a favorite destination for Puerto Vallarta visitors. Once owned by famed filmmaker John Huston, this exclusive beachfront preserve is now available for day or evening excursions through Vallarta Adventures. Las Caletas is a privately-owned sanctuary accessible only by sea. During the day, guests can relax on the secluded beach, take cooking classes, go snorkeling or kayaking, try out paddleboarding or yoga, interact with parrots and monkeys, or take a nature walk. A full buffet lunch is included as part of the experience. Scuba diving, spa treatments, clay modeling, and a sea lion encounter are available at an additional charge. Kids ages 4-11 will love the Kids Adventure Park at Las Caletas, with its petting zoo and specially designed kid-friendly zipline experience. Kids must be about forty inches tall to participate. In the evening, a spectacular "Rhythms of the Night" program is available for adults and children ages six and older.
Looking for an adrenaline rush? Active cruisers can go scuba diving, take a snorkeling trip to Los Arcos, paddle a kayak, or fly through the jungle on a zipline canopy tour. There are several of these thrilling zipline adventures located in the greater Puerto Vallarta area, each with its own unique appeal.
Check out the zipline experiences available at Canopy River. This exciting excursion takes riders gliding through the peaks of the Sierra Madre mountains. The longest zipline here stretches over a quarter mile. Free mule rides and other activities are included as well. Other zipline experiences include the Los Veranos canopy tour and El Eden canopy adventure, located in one of the areas where the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie “Predator” was filmed. Children generally must be at least six years of age to participate in canopy tours. Additional restrictions apply, so check the companies' websites or with your ship's tour desk for more details.
Some of the most popular tours in the Puerto Vallarta area are the dolphin swim and dolphin encounter experiences available through Dolphin Discovery. Royal Swims and Swim Adventures provide guests with the opportunity to interact, bond and get active with dolphins in small groups. Less adventurous dolphin encounters are designed with younger children and non-swimmers in mind. These programs can sell out in advance, so make sure to book your reservations early to avoid being disappointed. All Dolphin Discovery programs include admission to Aquaventuras Park with its ten waterslides, zipline course, lazy river, pools, shows and restaurant.
Other favorite activities include jeep and ATV tours, Marietas Islands snorkeling and whale watching cruises, fishing trips, scuba diving excursions, and sailing cruises around Banderas Bay. Don't miss the trip to Yelapa if it is offered. Surrounded by dense jungle, this tiny village is only accessible by boat and the beach there is beautiful. Guests can hike to a waterfall, try out some watersports, and enjoy a fresh seafood lunch overlooking the water. Your ship’s tour desk can help you find the perfect adventure for your group.
Puerto Vallarta is a culturally rich city. Art lovers and shoppers will find many areas to explore in the colonial city of Puerto Vallarta. Hop on the bus or take a quick cab ride to the downtown area. Here, you can stroll along the beachfront 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.
Puerto Vallarta is also paradise for food lovers. Take a cooking class at El Arrayan or experience Puerto Vallarta’s gastronomic delights with Vallarta Food Tours. These three-hour walking tours allow guests to taste their way through neighborhoods featuring superb taco stands and authentic eateries known only to insiders. Cocktail and tequila tours are also available.
For more information on what to do in Puerto Vallarta, make sure to check out the Official Puerto Vallarta Travel Guide at www.visitpuertovallarta.com. Once you’ve experienced Puerto Vallarta, you’ll want to return again for a longer visit.