7 Great Things to Do In Puerto Vallarta
PHOTO: Start your Puerto Vallarta adventure by staying at Casa Velas (Courtesy Velas Resorts)
It’s easy to see why Puerto Vallarta is such a popular getaway destination, especially while staying at Velas Resorts.
Coupled with the breathtaking natural beauty of the local area—which features turquoise waters and rolling mountain ranges—the city also offers a seemingly unlimited array of activities and experiences for visitors to enjoy.
Here are 7 we suggest you put at the top of the list:
El Malecón and Los Arcos
El Malecón is a waterfront walkway (what many of us would commonly refer to as a boardwalk) that runs along the Banderas Bay, providing a terrific view and the perfect atmosphere for a casual stroll. Along the way, you can take in the wonder of Los Arcos, the distinctive and well-known arches that line the city’s oceanfront square. While here, you can visit the shops that line this route. Depending on your timing, you may even be able to enjoy a free concert or some of the other cultural events often hosted here.
Los Arcos Marine Park
While near the Los Arcos area, you might also want to check out the Los Arcos Marine Park. This protected area is home to a variety of eye-catching and unusual aquatic creatures and exotic plant life. It is also a great location for snorkeling and scuba diving—or, if you prefer to glide on top of the water as opposed to being underneath it—hop aboard one of the cruise ships that travel the area.
Vallarta Botanical Gardens
If you love beautiful flowers and tropical plant life, you won’t want to miss the Vallarta Botanical Gardens. The perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Gardens offer a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere where you can find your inner Zen while taking in the scents and colors of the amazing flowers you will find here. While the orchid collection is often viewed to be the highlight, there are countless other unusual flowers, rare plants and even an assortment of insects that you wouldn’t commonly find in many other locations. There are plenty of learning opportunities, making this a great destination for families with kids.
Playa Los Muertos
Those who love the beach won’t want to miss a chance to spend time at Playa Los Muertos, the city’s most popular beach. It’s a great place for a stroll, as the pier allows for convenient walking—and the perfect vantage point from which to enjoy the amazing ocean sunsets. There are also a variety of shopping and dining options. Those seeking more active options can also enjoy a chance to windsurf or jet ski.
Zona Romantica (The Romantic Zone)
As you can probably guess from the name, this area offers a great place to enjoy some quiet quality time with that special person, or to hang out with friends and family. A charming beach village with a laidback vibe, it’s the perfect place to escape and recharge from the hectic pace of the city. That’s not to say it is boring—quite the opposite, this neighborhood offers a variety of cafes, bars and restaurants.
Isla Río Cuale
An island nestled between two arms of the Cuale River, the Isla Río Cuale is sort of a hidden oasis where you can stroll along lush tropical greenery and check out the native wildlife. At the same time, you can browse the wares of tiny shops and admire the handiwork of local craftsman. This is a perfect place to pick up a unique souvenir or impressive gift. There’s also a small museum and some cafes.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
One of the city’s most recognizable—and revered—landmarks, the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (as it is called by locals) is an icon and landmark that’s nearly impossible to miss. You will likely also hear the ringing of its bells, which echo throughout the city. You can go inside the massive brick church just to take in the sights, or even attend a church service on designated days. The exterior of the church also makes for an appealing photo backdrop.
Need a place to stay while in Puerto Vallarta? Make a reservation at the Velas Vallarta resort.
More by Bobbi Dempsey
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