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Dinner shows are a big deal in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – and none more so than the Rhythms of the Night show.
Visitors flock from far and wide to see this spectacular performance, which combines music, dance, and acrobatics with a delicious meal and drinks.
Not only do you get to enjoy the show itself, but you’ll also get to enjoy a beautiful candlelit dinner and drinks at a secluded cove on Las Caletas Island. And your method of transport? None other than a catamaran cruise complete with appetizers and an open bar! There’s a beautiful sunset, drinks flow, and if you’re lucky, you might even see whales!
That’s right, this experience is a catamaran cruise, show, and dinner! It’s an unmissable Puerto Vallarta experience – in fact, it’s the top-rated activity in town!
The Rhythms of the Night is definitely a very entertaining way to spend an evening, but there are a few things you need to know before booking your tickets. We loved our experience and we want you to have an equally great time, so we’ve got our best tips and tricks to help you make the most of your tour.
Here are 15 things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about booking the Rhythms of the Night dinner show in Puerto Vallarta.
1. About the Rhythms of the Night Show
The Rhythms of the Night Show has been around since 1996, and it has remained popular ever since. It’s a world-class show that has been constantly updated and improved over the years.
This is no amateur cabaret, folks. The show is put on by a team of amazingly talented professionals who achieve incredible feats on a nightly basis.
The show itself takes place in an outdoor amphitheater on Las Caletas Island, which you’ll take a boat to and from. It’s performed on a purpose-built stage in an open-air theater which makes it feel extra special. You’ll feel like you’re in an island fantasy world as you watch the show under the stars. There’s also a candlelit dinner to add some extra romance.
The Rhythms of the Night draws heavily on Mexican culture and traditions, with a mix of music, dance, fire performance, and acrobatics. There are a lot of mystical elements weaved through, and it really is mesmerizing to watch.
At its heart, the Rhythms of the Night is a storytelling show which focuses on historical tales and legends. This is just one of the things that makes it so special. There’s a strong focus on ancient civilizations, and the stories are very compelling, and all of the elements just flow together so beautifully that you’ll be captivated from start to finish.
A lot of people compare it to Cirque du Soleil, which is fitting since it was actually co-created by the same man behind the legendary circus: Franco Dragone. Only, if anything, it’s better because it takes place on a secluded tropical island!
The show also changes every year, so you can go back multiple times and still see something new each time.
2. Is the Rhythms of the Night show worth it?
We absolutely loved both the tour and the show itself. Rhythms of the Night is an experience unlike any other.
Our expectations were high, because everyone we met raved about it, and the online reviews were equally enthusiastic. Fortunately, the experience didn’t disappoint.
The performance was incredible, and it was fascinating to watch all the different elements come together. The fire dancers were particularly impressive and definitely added an extra element of excitement to the show. Even for Daniel, who doesn’t;t typically enjoy the theatre or live shows much, was on the edge of his seat!
We also loved the setting. Las Caletas is a stunning island, and it’s the perfect backdrop for a show like this. In fact, people often get married here (though not during the performance, obviously!) The entire experience is made special by the fact that you’re actually on a remote island!
The amphitheater is set up so that you have a great view no matter where you sit, and the unlimited free drinks throughout didn’t exactly dampen our spirits…
All in all, the Rhythms of the Night Show was totally worth the money and we’d definitely do it again. In fact, since we went last time, I raved about it so much that both my sister and my mom went the month after on their trip to Puerto Vallarta!
If you ask me, it’s easily one of the best tours in all of Puerto Vallarta!
Related Read: Whale watching tours in Puerto Vallarta are also very popular!
3. How much does the Rhythms of the Night Show cost?
The Rhythms of the Night Show experience typically costs $149 USD per adult for a standard ticket. You can book on the day in low season, however, during high season, you run the risk of the show being sold out – and you really don’t want to miss this one!
The standard ticket includes an open bar on the boat to and from the island, and during the show. You’ll also get a buffet dinner and dessert.
When you arrive for the cruise, you’ll have the option to upgrade to a VIP ticket for an extra $25 USD. This means that you will be the first to get on and off the boat, and have the first pick of seats at the amphitheater once you reach the island. Bring some cash with you if you’d like to upgrade.
4. Is the VIP ticket worth it?
All that it grants you is priority access to the boat and amphitheater. No upgraded food or drinks or other special experience. To me, it seemed like a bit of a money grab and we really enjoyed our time without it.
All of the seats at the amphitheater have good views of the performance, so there’s no real need to be in the front row.
If you get badly seasick, you might want to upgrade to a VIP ticket so you can ensure that you get a seat and disembark first. However, the catamaran ride is very smooth so most passengers shouldn’t have a problem. Plus, you can move around the boat freely to areas in the open air.
Basically, save your money is what we say. There are a ton of other fun things to do in Puerto Vallarta that you can use that $25 USD for!
With that said, it’s only $25 and if you’d prefer to get priority over others, it might be something to consider.
5. What the expect on the Rhythms of the Night Show tour
We had so much fun on the Rhythms of the Night show tour. The performance itself lasts around an hour, but the entire tour lasts 5 hours in total and is an experience in its own right.
You can choose to depart from either the Nuevo Vallarta or Puerto Vallarta marina, where you’ll be welcomed on board by the staff. It’s recommended that you get to the dock 45 minutes prior to departure, but boarding only closes 10 minutes beforehand so it’s not the end of the world if you’re a little late.
There’s also a small dock fee of 30 pesos, or $1.50 USD, so bring some small denominations with you as this must be paid in cash.
The boat is a catamaran, which makes for a pretty smooth ride, and it’s equipped with a bar and toilets. Between the months of November and March, you can often spot whales as you cruise towards the island, which is definitely a highlight!
There are unlimited drinks on board the boat, including margaritas, punch, and local beer, but if you have another cocktail in mind, the staff will happily whip it up for you. You can sip on pretty much whatever you want as you cruise along the bay and enjoy the sunset – and trust us, we did exactly that. They even served some finger foods as appetizers!
The boat ride lasts for around an hour. Then, you’ll arrive on Las Caletas Island, where you’ll have some time to explore and relax in the hammocks before the show begins. It’s a really pretty island and it’s definitely worth taking a walk around to check it out. The tiki torches everywhere made me feel like i was arriving at Tribal Council on the reality TV show Survivor – it was a really cool atmosphere!
There are unlimited drinks here, too, so you can chill with a beer or margarita in hand before the performance. You’ll also get a (delicious) buffet dinner before the show begins.
After dinner, the performance starts and you’ll be mesmerized by the light, sound, and incredible talent of the performers for 45-60 minutes. The time absolutely flies by! It’s a super impressive performance that I guarantee everyone will love regardless of your interests, gender, or age.
Then, it’s back on the boat for a moonlit return ride to Puerto Vallarta – and of course, more unlimited drinks. The staff even put on a little comedy show on the ride back, it was honestly hilarious!
Note: Depending on the weather, sometimes they will do the show before dinner in order to miss a storm.
6. Can you book the Rhythms of the Night Show in the wet season?
Yep, you certainly can!
The show must go on – the Rhythms of the Night performance happens in all weathers, so you don’t need to worry about it being canceled if it’s raining. We last went in the peak of the wet season in October, and even when it started to rain a little, the performers continued. And us audience members didn’t mind getting a little wet as it cooled us down from that humid wet-season weather.
Of course, the conditions on the boat ride might not be as pleasant if it’s raining. Take some seasickness tablets if you’re prone to motion sickness.
You’ll also be provided with ponchos and umbrellas if it does rain. Even if it doesn’t, we recommend bringing a hand fan if you’re going on the tour during the wet season because it can get seriously humid and sticky.
Even if the weather isn’t great, the show is still amazing, but for the best experience, you ideally want a dry evening.
Related Read: If you’re wondering if Puerto Vallarta is safe – we have you covered with our detailed blog article!
7. Can you cancel the show if the weather is bad?
Of course, you might not actually want to go and see the show if the weather is bad.
For this reason, we highly recommend booking with your tickets online here with Viator. They allow you to cancel your tickets up to 24 hours before the event and receive a full refund, or change to a different day with a brighter forecast.
This is not possible if you book directly through Vallarta adventures.
If you’ve got plenty of time in Puerto Vallarta, you can even reschedule through Viator several times to get a dry day. But if not, you can at least get your money back.
8. Can you take your camera to the Rhythms of the Night Show?
You can indeed!
In fact, photos are actually encouraged. You won’t have anyone shouting at you for trying to document your experience – instead, the staff will be happy to help you capture your memories. And since the drinks flow from start to finish, you’ll probably want some evidence of the night’s events!
We took a ton of photos (as you can see) and videos. It’s the reason so many of our friends have now seen the show. They just couldn’t say no after seeing the videos!
Book your Rhythms of the Night tour online here to avoid missing out!
9. What should I wear to the Rhythms of the Night Show?
We say dress up, but dress light.
There’s no strict dress code, but most people dress up as you would for dinner in a nice restaurant.
For women, a light summer dress would be perfect, or a skirt/shorts with a cute top.
Men can get away with shorts and a polo shirt or button-down shirt, and most tend to wear long pants. With that said, wear shorts if that’ what you’re most comfortable in.
It can also get a little chilly on the boat after dark, so it’s recommended that you bring a light jacket or sweater with you. It may seem crazy when you’re setting off, but you’ll probably be grateful for it on the return journey.
Make sure to wear comfortable shoes, as you’ll be standing for a lot of the time on the catamaran. You’ll also have to walk across some sand when you reach Las Caletas. Definitely no heels!
10. Is the food good at the Rhythms of the Night Show?
The food is good, but not the most incredible that you’ll find in Puerto Vallarta (Puerto Vallarta has some really outstanding restaurants.) Still, it hits the spot and it’s nice to have something in your stomach before the show.
There’s certainly plenty of choice on offer including the following mains:
- Shrimp curry
- Chicken breast
- Mushroom pasta alfredo
For sides, there are several different types of salad available as well as side dishes including papas bravas (yum!) and refried beans. You’re bound to tuck into something you enjoy.
For dessert, the options include flan, chocolate chip cookies, and our personal favorite, buñuelos!
There were also appetizers on board the boat, which we recommend grabbing a couple of to keep you going because the dinner doesn’t take place until pretty late, and all that drinking on an empty stomach can be dangerous!
11. Is the Rhythms of the Night Show suitable for kids and families?
Yes – as long as the children are older than 5 years old. All children must be accompanied by an adult, though. The price for a child’s ticket is $139 USD.
There’s nothing inappropriate for children to see in the performance but we will say that this tour is more geared towards adults, especially the free bar! It also ends pretty late. Things don’t get super rowdy but a lot of the guests will be very tipsy by the end of the evening, so that’s something to consider, too.
In fact, Rhythms of the Night is often advertised as a romantic evening. It’s a top tour to do for anyone visiting Puerto Vallarta on a honeymoon. It can be, but it can also just be a really fun night out with friends, too.
If the Rhythms of the Night show is something you want to enjoy as a family, then you totally can! The kids will be enchanted by the fire show and can sip on free soft drinks all night.
12. Do you need to tip?
Yes, tipping is customary in Mexico. The staff are working hard to make sure you have a good time, so it’s only fair to leave them a tip.
Tipping is at your own discretion but we tipped the restaurant after the show, and then we also tipped the staff on the boat on our way back to Puerto Vallarta. We took about 300 pesos each (roughly $15 USD, or 10% of the ticket price) for tips.
You can split your tips up however you like, or just give it to one of the booths at the show before you get back on the boat to be split between all of the wait staff involved. Whatever you feel is right!
13. What happens if it rains during the show?
If it rains during the performance, the show still goes on. The staff come round and hand out umbrellas and rain ponchos to keep you dry. Obviously, it’s best to try and book a day with a clear forecast, but you never really know what the Mexican weather is going to do!
Did you Know: One of the best day trips from Puerto Vallarta is also visiting Las Caletas Island. That’s right, if the Rhythms of the Night Show doesn’t interest you, you can still come to this island to relax on the sand during the day with this organized tour!
14. What to pack for the Rhythms of the Night Show?
You’ll need to bring some cash with you for tips and the dock fee – around 300 pesos and 30 pesos respectively.
We also recommend bringing a hand or electric fan if you’re going on the tour during the wet season, and bug spray is always a must when you go practically anywhere in Mexico! Otherwise, mosquitoes will feast on you, which is never pleasant.
If you often need sea sickness tablets, take some before departure. Dramamine is a popular brand and it’s recommended to take these ones 30 minutes to an hour before you set sail.
Don’t forget your camera and/or phone either, as you’ll want to capture some pictures and videos of the performance.
Finally, comfortable shoes and a light jacket are a must. It can get chilly on the boat after dark and you’ll be standing a lot, so don’t let sore feet ruin your evening.
15. Would I go again?
In a heartbeat!
The show on its own was incredible, but combined with the catamaran ride, free-flow alcohol, and a candlelit dinner on the island, it made for a perfect evening. We loved it and we’re sure you will too.
It truly was one of the highlights of our time in Puerto Vallarta. The performers are incredibly talented and the show is so well put together, in a gorgeous setting. If you only do one thing in this amazing resort town, the Rhythms of the Night should be it.
Book your Rhythms of the Night tour online here to avoid missing out!
Related Read: Be sure to explore all the fun activities at the Puerto Vallarta Malecon while you’re in town!
Other Activities to do While You’re in Puerto Vallarta
There’s a good reason why Dan and I keep coming back to Puerto Vallarta – not only are there great shows and entertainment to take in, but there are so many other fun things to see.
From strolling down the Malecon (boardwalk), cruising on an ATV tour, or seeing sea creatures up close, there’s no shortage of things to fill up your itinerary! Here are a few of our personal favorite things to do in Puerto Vallarta:
- Enjoy a swashbuckling show on a pirate ship – Ahoy landlubbers! Ever wanted to live out your dream of being a pirate, sailing across the seven seas? Or maybe you’ve got a little one who is swinging around their imaginary cutlass like a pro? This pirate ship cruise includes a dinner fit for a pirate king with cannons, fireworks, and all kinds of jolly entertainment to boot!
- Explore underwater – While there’s plenty to do on land, it’s like a whole new world beneath the waves! If you can, snorkeling or scuba diving in Puerto Vallarta is a must. This scuba diving tour is jam-packed with caves and more tropical fish than you can count. Or to stay closer to the surface, this snorkeling cruise visits the beautiful Marietas Islands.
- Explore the jungle on an ATV tour – One of my all-time favorite activities in Puerto Vallarta was going on an ATV tour. Dan and I went on this half-day Jorullo Bridge ATV experience that takes you to some of the most scenic natural spots in the area, as well as over the longest suspension bridge in Latin America!
- Walk the Puerto Vallarta Malecon – The boardwalk here is absolutely full of amazing museums, some of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta, and more shops than you can count! This is a great spot to pick up some souvenirs for the folks back home, have a go at making your own chocolate, or simply enjoy a drink at Señor Frog’s!
- Go whale watching – Going whale watching in Puerto Vallarta is a pretty popular activity (and a favorite of mine!). Not only is it one of the best places to see humpback whales, but you might even see grey or blue whales too. This 4-hour whale-watching tour is ideal for those on a budget but is also capped at just 12 passengers per tour!
Where to Stay in Puerto Vallarta
There are TONS of great hotels in Puerto Vallarta – no matter your budget or preferences. From luxurious budget resorts to cozy boutique hotels, deciding where to stay in Puerto Vallarta is super exciting, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite spots with you!
Oasis Hostel – $
Who said you couldn’t live the dream on a budget? The Oasis Hostel offers both dorms and private rooms, which all have air conditioning with traditional Mexican decor. It’s around 5 km (3 mi) to get downtown, but that’s really easy with a taxi, or you can also rent a bike straight from the hostel.
Rooms here are super affordable, starting at just $19 USD including breakfast! Whether you’re backpacking through Puerto Vallarta or prefer to spend your money on experiences over accommodation, this is a great choice. You can book your space on either Hostelworld or Booking.com.
Posada de Roger – $
Another superb budget choice is the Hotel Posada de Roger that’s right in the heart of the Romantic Zone. All rooms here have AC, and they even have an outdoor pool that gets tons of sun. If you fancy making up some packed lunches, they also have a shared kitchen which is free for guests to use. No wonder it’s our go-to place to stay in Puerto Vallarta!
A one-night stay here at Posada de Roger starts at $64 USD per night, but it is pretty popular, so I’d recommend making your reservation in advance on Booking.com. You can always cancel the stay for free if you change your mind, so it’s a win-win!
Amapas Apartments Puerto Vallarta – $$
The Amapas Apartments in Puerto Vallarta are a series of adult-only, self-contained apartments, located in my favorite area of town – the Romantic Zone. It’s really close to the beach, restaurants, as well as tons of shopping and nightlife options. They even have a pool, with all rooms being air-conditioned too!
With one and two-bedroom apartments available, a stay here typically starts around $96 USD per night, which I think is a great deal considering the size of the apartment and its location! This is another really popular spot though, so don’t forget to book your stay online in advance.
Hilton Vallarta Riviera – $$$
Of course, there are plenty of higher-end options available too! The Hilton Vallarta Riviera is one of the best resorts in town – it’s all-inclusive and adults-only, so you’re free to have plenty of peaceful downtime. They also have a late-night club with a DJ, tennis court, and gym – plus the reviews really speak for themselves!
Rooms here at the Hilton Vallarta Riviera average around $350-500 USD per night, but you can often get a good deal (on the lower end of that range) if you book in advance.
Note: For more options, you can also browse all the hotels in Puerto Vallarta here!
Renting a Car in Mexico
Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to get around Mexico is in a rental car.
I struggled to get around by bus and taxi for the longest time. But after renting a car in Cancun in 2019, I never looked back. It allowed me to explore the country without worrying about tours or taxis. It was why I fell in love with Mexico and eventually decided to live here periodically.
I refuse to use local services whenever I rent a car in Mexico. The truth is they sometimes can’t be trusted or come with hidden fees (or costly insurance that doesn’t make sense.) There are even rental car scams! So instead, I use Discover Cars, the company most experienced travelers or ex-pats in Mexico recommend.
The rates on Discover Cars are cheap, too, with the average rental costing around $25 USD per day. Full coverage insurance can be added for an extra $10 USD a day too.
Driving in Mexico also only requires a driver’s license using the Roman alphabet. If yours uses another like Japan and China, you simply need an international driving permit.
Insurance is required, but if you book with Discover Cars and get the full coverage, that’s all you need! Oh, and being over 18 is required, and if you’re over 25, your rental will be much cheaper!
Travel Insurance is more important than ever right now!
If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, be sure that you have travel insurance!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance when we are going on longer trips. They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!) and even have coverage in case you get that dreaded c-word. The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!)
It’s safe to say that travel insurance has saved us thousands over the years!
Thanks for reading!
Honestly, the Rhythms of the Night tour is well worth every penny. After doing it for ourselves, it’ll be one of our staple things to do when visiting Puerto Vallarta – and I’m sure you’ll agree after the experience too.
I hope this blog has helped answer any questions you might have about the tour. If you found it helpful, check out some of our related reads below: