Unlike many other of Mexico’s Pacific resort-centred coastal towns, Puerto Vallarta has a good balance between tourism and daily local life, which in itself has an distinctly international quality.

The towns wonderful setting in a sweeping bay of cascading mountains covered in lush rainforest, features beautiful coves to visit, marine life to see and maintains a friendly, intimate and laid-back atmosphere. Overall it is rather surprising that this is not a firm fixture on many visitors maps.

This is an ideal coastal location for those looking for just the right amount of modern comforts, mixed in with a large menu of both highly cultured and more adventurous activities. This is a town that is not just geared towards tourism. From its picturesque malecon (seaside boardwalk) to some of the best art galleries in the country, lots of fine restaurants, boutique stores, great nightlife, local markets, colonial charm in its zocalo (main square) and ‘zona romantica’ district, plus a host of stylish hotels and spas to pick from, Puerto Vallarta is a surprisingly effortless and entertaining place to stay.

What to do

  • Dine out at the towns fine restaurants specialising in fresh seafood
  • Private historical tours
  • Privately guided art tours
  • Surfing
  • Sailing
  • Snorkeling
  • Sport fishing
  • Bird watching
  • Whale watching (Nov-Jan)
  • Swimming with dolphins
  • Jungle canopy tours
  • Hiking and excursions to waterfalls
  • Kayaking