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25 BEST Tours and Excursions in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

25 BEST Tours and Excursions in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

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Puerto Vallarta has long been a tropical getaway destination for many reasons. Mexico’s quaint coastal city is a picture-perfect postcard. Known for its sunbaked beaches and festive nightlife, you can also uncover some of the best excursions and tours in Puerto Vallarta.

The charming cobblestone streets, historic town center, ornate churches, and boutique shops, are not to be missed. But you’ll also want to discover some of the best tours around Puerto Vallarta. These include excursions to secluded beaches and deep into the tropical jungle.

We simply love Puerto Vallarta, so much so that we visit all the time! And while exploring all of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta on your own is fun, there are some experiences you simply cannot do without a guided tour.

We’ve narrowed it down to the 25 best tours and excursions in Puerto Vallarta to help you decide how to make your next or first trip to Mexico’s charming city-by-the-sea as memorable as possible.

Overview of the Best Tours and Excursions in Puerto Vallarta

Best Excursions and Tours in Puerto Vallarta

1. Marietas Islands Tour

A beautiful beach visited on a Marietas Islands boat tour from Puerto Vallarta
The beaches you visit are the most beautiful in Mexico!

Islas Marietas, or The Marietas Islands, are one of the most beautiful places to visit in Puerto Vallarta! This is an area of several untouched pristine tiny islands – the perfect place to relax and explore some of the best natural beauty Puerto Vallarta has to offer.

Some of the highlights of the Marietas Islands include exploring different caverns and archways by kayak or paddleboard, relaxing at secluded white sand beaches, and then seeing fish, turtles, and other sea life while snorkeling! You’ll also stop at Majahuitas Beach which is very secluded and tranquil.

Of course, you’re going to need to join a tour to get out to explore these islands by boat.

This top-rated full-day tour will take you out to the islands, where you will enjoy a fun and relaxing day of traveling on the catamaran, kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling. It includes an open bar as well as the use of snorkel equipment, a kayak, and SUP.

On top of that, the cruise finishes with a search for wildlife such as manta rays, turtles, dolphins, and whales. In fact, those joining this Puerto Vallarta excursion between December and March have favorable chances of seeing humpback whales.

Important: This tour does not visit Hidden Beach (a beach located in the Marietas Islands.) Tours to Hidden Beach are much more expensive and are covered next on this list.

2. Hidden Beach Boat Tour

Hidden Beach in Islas Marietas National Park
Hidden Beach is so cool!

The Marietas Islands are a highlight of Puerto Vallarta, but without a doubt, the most sought-after place to visit within the islands is Hidden Beach.

For those who don’t know, Hidden Beach is a small secluded beach accessed only by swimming. Once inside the cave, it opens up to a beautiful beach with only a hole in the limestone above, allowing the bright blue sky and glistening sun through. Visiting is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Mexico!

Puerto Vallarta tours to Hidden Beach include just about everything a tour to the Marietas Islands includes, such as snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking, and wildlife watching. However, Hidden Beach is limited to 1,000 people per day, so tours can be hard to find.

The specific tour actually visits Hidden Beach and includes snacks, water, and an English-speaking guide. Although there are cheaper options, these DO NOT GUARANTEE a visit to Hidden Beach.

That’s the trick, many tours offer a “possible” visit to Hidden Beach, and the fees for visiting are not included in the tour price. If visiting Hidden Beach is a must for you, spend the extra money and guarantee your spot on one of the best beaches in Mexico!

3. Yelapa Waterfall & Majahuitas Snorkeling Tour from Puerto Vallarta

Majahuitas Beach on the Yelpa Waterfall and Majahuitas Tour from Puerto Vallarta
Yelapa beach is just stunning!

This is a full-day tour to Yelapa and Majahuitas from Puerto Vallarta via boat. Yelapa is a small fishing village on a beautiful beach whereas Majahuitas is a secluded beach free of all civilization. And this amazing tour visits both destinations in addition to a waterfall!

Yelapa is one of the best places to go snorkeling in Puerto Vallarta. On this tour from Puerto Vallarta, you’re just a short boat ride away from experiencing some of Mexico’s best marine species. The water is so clear it’s like glass. And the colorful schools of tropical fish are everywhere!

Hands down, this is the best excursion in Puerto Vallarta if you want to spend the day leisurely walking through the jungle, swimming near waterfalls, and feeling completely off-the-grid. It is literally like taking a mini-vacation while you’re on vacation.

The forest is lush, and the bay and beaches are private. Only a handful of tours go to Yelapa per day, so it feels magical and memorable. Enjoy a continental-style breakfast and a light buffet lunch onboard the boat.

Your day trip itinerary includes a stopover in Yelapa, where the locals ride donkeys and ATVs as their primary form of transportation. Then it’s off to Majahuitas, a private beach alcove getaway you’d be hard-pressed to find on a map.

The tour also offers up the panoramic splendor of Banderas Bay, the mighty Cola de Caballo waterfall, along with plenty of kayaking and swimming to keep you happy all day! The tour includes all your snorkeling and kayaking equipment as well as an open bar. There’s also an option to go horseback riding so bring extra pesos if that interests you.

This Puerto Vallarta tour departs from either Puerto Magico near the ship terminal or Vallarta Adventures, near the El Tigre golf course. The cost for this 5-hour excursion is only $89 USD.

Related Read: After your big day in the sun, go out to eat at one of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta!

4. Rhythm of the Night Dinner Show and Cruise

Fire dancers perform at the Rhythm of the Night  Show, Puerto Vallarta
The entire production and tour is 10/10!

The Rhythms of the Night dinner show is the most highly-rated excursion in Puerto Vallarta and a show I absolutely loved. But it is so much more than just a show.

The Rhythms of the Night tour is a full-on evening experience. It starts with a sunset dinner cruise in the Bay of Banderas. On this 1 hour cruise, you can enjoy a drink (or many drinks, as we did) onboard a catamaran while enjoying the famous Puerto Vallarta sunset. During certain times of the year, you may even see whales!

Then, when you arrive at Las Caletas (a private beach), you’ll be seated in the amphitheater to watch the show. The Rhythm of the Night show was actually conceived by the co-founder of Cirque de Soleil, so it is an impressive combination of acrobatics, theatrics, and music and dance. However, it also has a Mexican spin telling historical legends and stories. Honestly, it’s so impressive, and during some parts, you’ll be on the edge of your seat.

After the show, you’ll be taken to one of the many restaurants on the beach to enjoy a romantic candle-lit buffet dinner. The food is fantastic, and there are cocktails, spirits, beer, and wine on offer. We were very impressed with the dinner and the service.

To our surprise, this tour was very romantic and would be the perfect activity for anybody celebrating a honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta.

This is truly an experience unique to Puerto Vallarta and one you shouldn’t miss out on! Tickets do often sell out, so be sure to book online in advance!

Once you arrive at the port, you can upgrade your ticket to “all you can drink” for $10 USD or “VIP” for $40 USD. I myself got the all-you-can-drink package and certainly got plenty use out of it. The VIP section just gives you closer seats and a fancier restaurant as well as the drink package.

The tour begins with a 7 pm check-in at the port, and we arrived back at around 1 am – it’s a long night!

5. Jet Ski Safari in Puerto Vallarta

Jet skiers from Eco Explorers in Puerto Vallarta
Exploring on a jet ski is like an ATV tour but on the water! Photo credit: Eco Explorer

Can you imagine anything more thrilling than exploring Puerto Vallarta’s coastline on a jet ski?!

On the morning of this Puerto Vallarta excursion, head to your departure point at the whale statue in the Marina Vallarta to meet your tour guide, then prepare to be wowed! You’ll be assigned your jet ski or wave runner, then you’re off to cruise the open ocean and experience an adventure of a lifetime. 

This scenic ocean tour includes whale and dolphin watching, manta rays, giant sea turtles, and a stopover at the edges of Los Arcos National Park, one of Mexico’s very best snorkeling sites. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to jump in the water and do some swimming and snorkeling!

The panoramic view of Puerto Vallarta’s skyline from the ocean is stunning. In addition, this tour offers plenty of unique photo opportunities to take your social media account to the next level! 

Jet ski adventures are limited to 6 people per day. So book your standard or private jet ski tour in advance. The private tours are only available at 10:00 am on Sundays! Snorkeling equipment, a life vest, and bottled water are included in this best Puerto Vallarta excursion.

6. ATV Tour

ATV in Puerto Vallarta
Woohoo!

Going on an ATV tour is always a fun way to spend a couple of hours. But, in Puerto Vallarta, ATV tours are even more special as you ride through lush tropical jungle and remote villages!

The tour we did in Puerto Vallarta took us along a dirt road that was really muddy in places (it was the wet season.) This made the tour super fun, and we got more than a little dirty.

After our ride, the tour stopped at the same place “The Predator” movie with Arnold Swaranegar was filmed called El Eden. It featured a gorgeous river and a man-made pool. Here we got to have a few beers and enjoy a swim. 

The place was beautiful, and the water was so refreshing. There was even a natural rock slide as well as the opportunity to go ziplining. Of course, we opted to simply relax with a beer in hand and cool river water to swim in.

Before we knew it, it was time to take our ATVs back but not before stopping for a generous tequila tasting! We must have tried 10 tequilas!

You can ride your own ATV (no experience required as the experts will give you a lesson) or, you can go in a pair. Regardless though, riding an ATV in the jungle is one of the best day tours in Puerto Vallarta!

Related Read: Some tours in PV require transportation, so make sure to check out our tips on renting a car in Puerto Vallarta before you go!

7. Luxury Sailboat at Sunset Tour

Sailing into the sunset on a Puerto Vallarta sunset cruise
A few drinks while sailing into the sunset?

The sunsets in Puerto Vallarta are simply stunning. The bright blue sky slowly gives in to a tapestry of fiery pastel colors. And what better place to watch this intoxicating sunset than on the deck of a sailboat?!

On this sunset tour from Puerto Vallarta, the hospitable crew welcomes you aboard. Once you’ve set off, you’ll be served a round of delicious snacks and drinks. Bring the kiddos, too; they will love sailing the high seas!

This is the perfect tour to choose in Puerto Vallarta if you’re celebrating a special occasion – or celebrate just because! You’ll meet new friends while sailing on crystal-clear tropical waters. Beneath you lies the mysterious water full of sea turtles, jumping fish, and manta rays. Don’t forget to capture images as you tour Banderas Bay and witness the sun sinking spectacularly into the western horizon!

In the months of December to March, you may even spot whales!

Don’t forget to capture images as you tour Banderas Bay and witness the sun sinking into the western horizon!

This specific sunset tour starts at $144 USD and lasts for 3 hours. Included in that price are unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages as well as snacks. Space is limited to a maxim of 30 travelers per tour and the sailboat departs at 6:30 pm sharp!

On the day of your scheduled tour, you can choose to meet up at the departure point, or, for an additional $10 USD, you can schedule a pick-up from your hotel to the dock.

8. Vallarta Botanical Gardens Tour

The Vallarta Botanical Gardens
Exploring the lush jungle that is the Vallarta Botanical Gardens!

The Vallarta Botanical Gardens is one of the best ways to enjoy the flora and fauna of Puerto Vallarta. The gardens are actually privately owned and were set up to showcase the diversity of the region and to protect it.

On an excursion to the gardens, you’ll explore part of the 20-acre property home to over 3,000 plant species. Along the way, you’ll likely spot beautiful birds in the trees. There are lots of small pathways through the botanical gardens as well as water fountains, bridges, and even a church. The entire grounds are spectacular!

Once you’re done being guided through this pristine garden, it’s time for a delicious lunch and tequila tasting at Rancho Los Veranos. It’s the perfect way to end an amazing day!

This tour to the Vallarta Botanical Gardens costs only $69 USD. For that, you get a 6-hour tour with an English-speaking guide, transport to and from the gardens, entrance to the gardens, lunch, as well as a tequila tasting.

To me, this is great value considering all that’s included. In fact, it’s probably one of the best “value for money” tours in Puerto Vallarta!

9. Half-Day Whale Watching Excursion

A humpback whale tale in Puerto Vallarta
Such a cool experience!

Puerto Vallarta’s marine life is a reason to visit all on its own. These majestic creatures visit Banderas Bay every year between the months of December and April. As they frolic in the water, putting on a spectacular show, you can enjoy a front-row seat if you go whale watching in Puerto Vallarta.

Sit back in awe as the largest creatures on earth breach the water for all to see. This whale-watching tour in Puerto Vallarta is one of the most exciting, and you’re guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face if you see a whale. Of course, you’re not guaranteed to see a whale over the entire season. However, in January, and February whales are spotted every day.

On whale-watching tours, you’ll head out for around 4 hours in search of Humpback Whales. You may also see dolphins and seals too. The tour also includes lunch and non-alcoholic beverages. Your professional guide will also tell you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about whales.

Overall this is one of the most popular tours in Puerto Vallarta between the months of December and April so book ahead of time!

10. Puerto Vallarta Outdoor Adventure Zip Line and Speedboat Ride

Ziplining in Puerto vallarta
Upside-down ziplines! Photo credit: Vallarta Adventures

Ziplining is one of the most popular excursions in Puerto Vallarta. In fact, the surrounding mountainous landscape is perfect for ziplining. Soar high above valleys above the canopy of the trees and see spectacular scenery. 

You’ll get a bit of an adrenaline rush, so it’s exciting but also beautiful!

Some of the longest ziplines in all of Mexico are located not far from Puerto Vallarta, making it the perfect place to give it a try!

On the zipline and speed boat tour, you’ll begin your day with an adrenaline-filled speed boat ride to Boca de Tomatlan – a secluded beach on the south end of Banderas Bay. Once you arrive and 4wd awaits to journey you through the jungle on an offroad journey to 2,000 feet above sea level.

After, you’ll jump on a mule and climb even higher to begin your ziplining tour. The ziplines here are some of the largest in Mexico at over 1,00 feet long and 250 feet high. The ziplining ends with a repel down a tall waterfall and a swim in the river – a much-needed addition in the Puerto Vallarta heat.

This is a 6.5-hour tour that includes snacks for only $129 USD. That’s great value if you ask me!

11. Taco Tour

A Baja style fish taco on a tour around Puerto Vallrta
Baja-style fish tacos are my favorite!

One of the best ways to experience a culture is through food. The best part is, Puerto Vallarta is home, so some of the best Mexican food I have had in Mexico – especially when it comes to tacos!

On this taco tour, we weaved our way through the less touristic streets of the La Zona Romantica in Puerto Vallarta, visiting individual families’ street stalls as well as to local hot-spot restaurants (check out the restaurant Cisneros for the best seafood tacos!)

We learned that families pass down recipes through multiple generations and that being the one who held the recipe secrets was an honor.

We tried beef, pork, and seafood tacos. All different, but all amazing! We were even treated with a visit to a tortilla factory, bakery, and ice cream shop to end the day. I never expected a food tour in Puerto Vallarta to be so great, but it was. My mouth is still watering talking about it!

The tour included as much food as you could eat (I had 10 tacos), as well as some photos from our tour and a map of all the restaurants we visited. You know, so you can return later!

I loved this tour and would recommend it to anyone who considers themself a “foodie” (or just a taco lover!).

Related Read: If you can’t get enough tacos, keep the taco fiesta going with a taco tour in Cancun!

12. Day trip to Sayulita

A beautiful beach in Sayulita
You’ll need to read our Sayulita blog to find this secret beach!

Just over an hour’s drive from Puerto Vallarta is the beachside town of Sayulita. Sayulita is famous for its cobblestone streets, range of trendy cafes and shops, delicious restaurants, as well as gorgeous beaches perfect for swimming or catching a wave or two.

You can easily visit Sayulita on a tour from Puerto Vallarta. Our pick is this particular tour that takes you to San Pancho (a sleepy surf town near Sayulita) via an air-conditioned vehicle for a visit before you arrive in the bustling town of Sayulita.

Some of the best things to do in Sayulita include surfing, hiking, sunbathing, shopping, and eating lots of delicious food. The tour also includes the rental of a bodyboard for 1 hour so you can enjoy that true beach lifestyle.

The tour is 6 hours long, and you’ll get to spend around 2.5 hours in Sayulita. Although not the most ideal visit (I recommend spending a night or two in Sayulita), it’s perfect for those short on time.

If you do have more time, read all the best ways to get to Sayulita from Puerto Vallarta so you can spend more time in this gorgeous beach town.

13. Food and Mixology Tour: Tequila, Tacos, and Mexican Cocktails

Tasting tequila
We got a little tipsy at our Tequila tasting in Puerto Vallarta!

Barriga llena, corazón contento, in Spanish means full stomach, happy heart. If PV’s environmental backdrop isn’t transformative enough, the food scene in Puerto Vallarta is an endless extravaganza of flavorful delights. 

Searching throughout the city’s charming streets for ultimate cuisine realness is fun if you know where to look. Or, you can follow your nose and satisfy your cravings with a tour from one of Puerto Vallarta’s local foodies. Experience one of the best tours in Puerto Vallarta, which combines the finest mouth-watering trifecta: tequila, tacos, and Mexican cocktails! 

You’ll meet your tour guide at a designated spot in the city center. Then walk, talk and eat your way through five memorable restaurants (enjoying food and a cocktail at each.) You’ll feast on street tacos and stuffed poblano peppers, learn the fundamentals of making tequila and mezcal, and uncover the uniqueness of each! 

Up next, a toast at a local microbrewery that serves roasted a stupendously delicious street corn and pork belly snack! Then stroll to a café and wind down with a Mexican coffee on the beach! 

Purchase your excursion ticket for $85 USD and prepare for 2 hours of unforgettable feasting and festivities. You’ll learn about some of Puerto Vallarta’s historical sites while you’re at it too! Arrive hungry, and make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes! 

14. Horseback Riding Tour in Sierra Madre

 Horseback Riding Tour in Sierra Madre near Puerto Vallarta
Horseback Riding Tour in the Sierra Madre! Photo credit: Rancho Capomo

Horseback riding is such a fun and unique experience in Puerto Vallarta! Not only will you get to explore remote parts of the mountains, but you’ll enjoy a beautiful ride surrounded by wildlife.

You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy this horseback tour, which brings you through the beautiful foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountain range. This tour transports you from Puerto Vallarta and provides an expert guide to lead you through the tropical jungle area on horseback.

You’ll visit a waterfall for a swim, ride along the river, and cross hanging bridges before arriving at a ranch for a delicious lunch and open bar.

The entire tour lasts for 3 hours and costs $82 USD.

15. Swimming with Dolphins

Swiming with Dolphins in Mexico
They’re so beautiful!

I think we can all agree dolphins are fantastic! These smart and inquisitive creatures are the second smartest on the planet and, like us, are mammals.

In Puerto Vallarta, there is a unique excursion to jump in the water with a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins who marine biologists are researching at Wildlife Connection.

This tour is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and there is only one company that runs the tour. So you’ll not only get to jump in the water with the dolphins but also learn all about their life off the coast of Mexico. There is a hydrophone on board, and you’ll have a good chance to listen to the dolphins communicate.

The company is committed to the research and conservation of the dolphins in this area, so you can feel good about this ethical tour.

The tour will provide snorkeling equipment and take you out on a boat to visit a resident bottlenose dolphin group. On the way out to see dolphins, you may also get to see other wildlife. From December to March, it’s possible to see Humpback whales, rough-toothed dolphins, spinner dolphins, manta rays, marine turtles, and even Orcas.

Although the company cannot guarantee you will be allowed to swim with the dolphins, there is a good chance. This is because they let the dolphins tell them if they want to see us – exactly the way it should be!

The tour costs $87 USD, lasts for 3.5 hours, and includes bottled water. I’d rate this as one of the best tours in Puerto Vallarta and maybe even all of Mexico!

Related Read: Seeing dolphins is also one of the best things to do in Puerto Escondido, Mexico.

16. Inshore Fishing Adventure Tour

Fishing in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Trying to catch something good!

Fishing is a way of life for many Mexicans who live along the coast. A fishing charter in Puerto Vallarta provides an amazing opportunity for fishing enthusiasts to catch some once-in-a-lifetime fish or just get themselves a fresh dinner.

On this inshore fishing tour, you’ll head out on a 26-foot panga fishing boat to fish the waters in Banderas Bay and its surrounds. You can catch fish at all times of the year, but certain fish are best during certain seasons.

For example, October and November are the best big game months with lots of Mahi Mahi, Yellowfin Tuna, Sailfish, and Marlin. On the other hand, in January, February, and March, bottom fishing is best with lots of Red Grouper, Flounder, Red Snapper, and Pompano.

On this tour, the boat is yours for $500 USD for up to 8 people. That includes 4 hours on the boat, drinks, and snacks.

17. Parasailing Tour

Go Parasailing
You get really high! Photo credit: Vallarta Parasailing

One of the most popular water activities in Puerto Vallarta doesn’t even get you wet. Parasailing is when you get toed by a boat and sail through the air. Not only does this activity get the blood pumping but it’s also incredibly scenic.

Parasailing can be done all over Puerto Vallarta from the Romantic Zone all the way to the Hotel Zone. A parasailing tour costs around $65 USD per person and they last for around 15 minutes. You can book a tour in advance here.

18. Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour  in Puerto Vallarta
Grab yourself a seat upstairs and enjoy the view!

If you want to see more of Puerto Vallarta without walking all day in the heat, the hop-on-hop-off tour is a perfect choice! You’ll enjoy exploring the city and scenic views from the top of a double-decker bus.

The hop-on-hop-off tour stops at 20 official stops around Puerto Vallarta, and you can choose where you want to get off and explore. Some of the stops include the Malecon Boardwalk, Playa de Los Muertos, Playa Las Gemelas, Marina Vallarta, and more.

It’s a convenient, flexible way to see the city! Prices are $20 USD for the day, so it’s one of the more affordable tours to do in Puerto Vallarta.

19. ATV and RZR Jorullo Bridge Experience

ATV and RZR Jorullo Bridge Experience in Puerto Vallarta
ATV and RZR Jorullo Bridge Experience in Puerto Vallarta!

If a walking tour isn’t your thing, spend an afternoon zipping around the jungle on your personal ATV or RZR vehicle! Although similar to the other ATV tour mentioned in this blog, on this epic adventure tour, you’ll drive over the 1,500-foot long, 500-foot high Jorullo Bridge – the longest suspension bridge in Latin America.

Further along the trail, you’ll find a hillside bar tucked away near the cooling waters of the El Salto waterfall. Cool off in the abundance of shade, and sip on a refreshing drink. You’ll also visit El Salto Waterfall – it’s an off-roading jungle adventure of a lifetime!

You’re in full contact with nature, so make sure to pack a day bag that includes bug-repellent, light-colored clothing, an extra change of clothing, and sturdy footwear. Consider bringing some money to grab a souvenir or a bottle of homemade tequila.

Driving is your focus, so cameras are not recommended for this excursion due to the ruggedness of your ATV and water adventures. 

Tickets can be purchased for a half-day adventure starting at $132 USD. Your departure and arrival points are the Canopy River Office, conveniently located in the Zona Hotelera Norte of Puerto Vallarta.

20. Full-Day Puerto Vallarta City Highlights Tour

Wandering the Malecon on a Puerto Vallarta city tour
Exploring the Malecon!

The best way to get to know Puerto Vallarta is to experience as much of the city as possible. Over a whopping 6 hours, this full-day Puerto Vallarta city tour packs in just about everything your senses require! Wear your most comfortable walking shoes as you’re about to cover some ground!

Start your excursion cruising Puerto Vallarta’s infamous Malecon, a mile of coastal-hugging boardwalk, and the opportunity to see Puerto Vallarta’s sculpture’s architecture, skyline, and jungle-kissed mountain range from the city’s most western vantage point.

Next, on your tour of Puerto Vallarta, you’ll experience the breathtaking Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. Founded in 1903 and completed in 1955, you will be amazed by this historical place of worship. The “crowned” steeple was adorned in 1963 and can be seen from just about every vantage point in the city—a true beacon of faith. 

Your day trip will wind down with a tour of Puerto Vallarta’s Rancho Verano Distileria de Tequila. You will learn the inner workings of an actual tequila distillery, from planting to harvest to bottle, then sip some of the finest homemade spirits Puerto Vallarta has to offer. Speak to the distillery staff if you’d like to take a bottle (or two) home!

The best part is, you can experience one of the best tours in Puerto Vallarta for a mere $29 USD. It will surely make you fall in love with Puerto Vallarta and convince you to make the city an annual vacation destination. You can also choose your pick-up by searching over 100 departure points on the tour website.

21. Day trip to Tequila and Toriles

woman planting blue agave in Tequila, Jalisco
Bailey planting a Blue Agave plant in Tequila!

Did you know that the spirit “tequila” was actually named after the town where it was first created? That’s right, there is a town in Mexico called “Tequila” (with a capital -T) that is the birthplace of tequila (the alcoholic drink!)

On this full-day tour to Tequila and Toriles, you’ll get to experience a great mix of historical landmarks and visit the home of tequila.

The tour first visits Los Toriles, an Aztec ruin a few hours from Puerto Vallarta. Afterward, head to the birthplace of tequila and visit the Jose Cuervo to learn about the distilling process, plant your own agave and drink tequila. You’ll also explore this cool farming town – it reminds you of the Mexico you see in the movies!

The tour is 12 hours long because there are around 6 hours of driving to and from Tequila.

If the long drive to Tequila and back doesn’t sound like fun to you, you can still enjoy tequila right in Puerto Vallarta! You can join this 4-hour tequila tasting tour at Finca 18 Distillery that’s guaranteed to leave you smiling (you can thank the tequila for that!). It will take you through the gorgeous farm and the impressively large distillery as you learn about the process – and then sample tequila made right there! It’s only $48 USD and you can easily book it online here!

22. Pirate Ship Dinner Cruise with Show

Pirate Ship Dinner Cruise with Show
Pirate Ship Dinner Cruise with Show!

One of the most popular tours in Puerto Vallarta is the Pirate Ship Cruise and Show. Now I’m going to be honest, Dan and I didn’t get a chance to do this one (yet) simply because we opted for the Rhythm of the Night show instead. However, some close friends of ours did it and absolutely loved every second of it!

This tour involves boarding a huge pirate ship (yes, it looks like an actual pirate ship) where you will be treated to drinks and dinner with a show. The show is spectacular! Expect canons and fireworks and people jumping overboard. It’s theatrical and a whole lot of fun. The cruise sets off just in time to enjoy that magical PV sunset from out on the water too.

Expect to pay around $150 USD per person, but remember, that includes the cruise, show, dinner, and drinks!

23. Chocolate workshop

making chocolate at the chocolate museum
If you want, you can join a chocolate-making class like we did!

If you have more of a sweet tooth, you’ll love this next Puerto Vallarta tour! On this bean-to-bar workshop, you’ll learn all about chocolate from cacao beans to delicious chocolate bars. The tour also involves a lesson on chocolate in Mexico as well as information and its use with the Maya and Aztecs.

I found the tour very interesting and you actually make the chocolate yourself right from the been. I was shocked at how easy it was! The best part though? We got to keep the chocolate bars we made!

The bean-to-bar tour is only 2 hours long and includes everything you need except transport to the chocolate workshop (although it’s right on the Malecón.) All that costs less than $50 USD!

24. Las Caletas Day Tour from Puerto Vallarta

Las Caletas Beach
Las Caletas Beach! This is the same place you visit for the Rhythm of the Night show. Photo credit: Vallarta Adventures

If an exclusive catamaran tour from Puerto Vallarta to a complete paradise island getaway strikes your fancy, then all aboard for the Las Caletas day tour. You can choose to depart from either Nueva Vallarta or Puerto Magico, the Maritime Terminal. 

Once everyone is aboard, the catamaran sets sail, and it’s off to hug the coast to take in the stunning views of the city’s iconic Malecon boardwalk in the gorgeous Bay of Banderas, 381 square miles of the open sea, wreathed by Puerto Vallarta.

As your journey continues, the catamaran sails straight on towards the tranquil and relaxing Las Caletas Beach Hideaway, where you’ll spend the majority of your day. This place is enchanting as you step onto the sands of this remote nature reserve. Nicknamed Mexico’s “Garden of Eden,” Las Caletas Beach is the perfect opportunity for a stroll through the jungle to check out the indigenous wildlife. 

Gather with your group for a one-of-a-kind authentic Mexican cooking class; on the menu: a delicious homemade paella! You’ll also enjoy a tasty gourmet lunch, plus a visit to a native Mayan site.

Enjoy a stress-free day with lots of adventure and cultural significance! Las Caletas day tour is truly one of Puerto Vallarta’s best excursions, a winner of an experience!

25. Scuba Diving

swimming with turtles while scuba diving in Mexico
A Hawksbill Turtle!

Scuba diving is one of my personal favorite excursions everywhere I go! Exploring the ocean underneath the surface is nothing short of amazing!

Going scuba diving around Puerto Vallarta means exploring pristine bays, reefs, and marine reserves where you can see marine life and colorful coral.

There are some really great scuba diving companies in Puerto Vallarta that are PADI-certified. You can choose between going on a fun dive or you can even join a course to get certified!

Of course, snorkeling is always a blast too and a great alternative to scuba.

For those who are experienced divers, this company offers an amazing scuba tour! They come highly rated and visit some of the most beautiful and remote spots. The tour also includes lunch and beverages as well as high-quality dive gear.

If you’ve never scuba-dived before but want to learn, you can sign up for this introductory dive with a highly-rated company. You’ll get to go on your first-ever scuba dive experience with a divemaster in one of the most beautiful bays in the area.

Related Read: Check out our blog where we answer the question: Is Puerto Vallarta safe?

Where to Stay in Puerto Vallarta

woman relaxing at a rooftop pool in Puerto Vallarta
I loved staying 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 – $$$

The Hilton Vallarta Riviera is one of the best resorts in town – it’s all-inclusive, so you’re free to have plenty of peaceful downtime. They also have 7 restaurants, a private beach, a pool, a spa, and a gym. Rooms have super comfy beds and can include a terrace, balcony, and a private jetted tub overlooking the ocean! There’s evening entertainment and a kid’s club to keep the little ones happy

Rooms here at the Hilton Vallarta Riviera average around $350-$650 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

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie while driving around Mexico
A rental car means freedom to go to the beach whenever you want!

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 2023, 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! 

Thanks for reading!

Bailey and Daniel from Destinationless Travel in Puerto Vallarta
Thanks for reading!

When it comes to tours and excursions, Puerto Vallarta really has it all. From underwater adventures to ziplining through the jungle, you won’t get bored when you visit Puerto Vallarta!

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you found this guide to the best tours in Puerto Vallarta helpful! If you did, be sure to check out more of our Mexico blogs such as:

BEST restaurants in Puerto Vallarta

10 BEST Tours in Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Things to do in Mexico City

Best tours in Oaxaca

Drew

Tuesday 4th of October 2022

With your site my family are excited and more eager to go to PV this Christmas . - Zipline and ATV Jorullo Bridge- Yelapa Majahuitas snorkeling , hiking- Rhythm of the Night - Hidden Beach We were looking to leave Puerto Vallarta and go to San Francisco  for 3 days on one of those days.  Can VAdventures boat us from PV with luggage, to Hidden Beach, to Embarcadero de Punta Mita, then help with transportation to San Francisco? What suggestions do you have?  Should I rent a car and drive from PV to Embarcadero de Punta Mita, go to Hidden Island, return to Punta Mita and drive up to San Francisco? Or should I rent car and drive to San Francisco and return the next day to Punta Mita to go to Hidden Beach?- Selina Sayulita is our value stay in San Fran, we like it's 2 twins and 2 bunk beds.  $115 a night getting up to Christmas.  -. Reading your site, Discover Rental looks real good. Being a good driver, can I depend on Uber/taxi while in the main city locations or should I get car rental from the airport my whole stay? I emailed a simliar inquiry to Vallarta Adventures to see if they can help be my 1 stop shop for all my tours/activties. Any risk and doing that? They appear to be one of the bigger tour businesses.  Thanks sooooo much for a great advice site for all.

destinationlesstravel

Wednesday 5th of October 2022

Hey Drew,

Thanks for reaching out.

No they will not do that, unfortunately. I would just do the tour from PV and organize a taxi or private car right after the tour to take you there. You can also do the tours to Hidden Beach from Sayulita. This would be with another company but they do exist. Sayulita is only a 5 minute drive or cheap taxi from San Francisco.

You can certainly depend on Uber and Taxis in the city. You do not need a rental car the entire time. In fact, you could get away without renting one from what I can see about your trip.

That's fine, just know that they are not the most helpful company when you want general advice. They offer fantastic tours though, and they are a safe bet in Puerto Vallarta. I always book on Viator (but their tours) because you get a better cancelation policy.

I hope this helps! Daniel