Are you thinking about going on vacation? Somewhere warm where you can lie on the beach, eat amazing food and try new exciting things? Puerto Vallarta is ready for you! This Mexican beach destination situated on the Pacific Ocean has everything to offer you for an unforgettable vacation. From amazing beaches, delicious food such as huachinango (red snapper) and ceviche, the Malecon, the markets, to Los Arcos National Marine Park, and a wide variety of activities for all ages, Puerto Vallarta is a top beach destination in Mexico. Before jetting off on your amazing trip, here are 6 Puerto Vallarta travel tips:
1. Book and build an itinerary in advance
Puerto Vallarta is a popular travel destination. We recommend that you book your plane tickets as far in advance as you can to ensure availability. Once you have booked your plane tickets, then you should book your hotel and even book tickets for tours and activities and build your itinerary before arriving, so you don’t miss out on anything.
Some of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta are the Rhythms of the Night, the Marigalante Pirate Ship, outdoor adventures such as ziplining through the heart of the jungle or zooming across the Pacific on a speedboat. You also can’t miss a snorkel cruise to the Marietas Islands.
There is also plenty to see and do in downtown Puerto Vallarta including sampling all the delicious food or browsing the many shops. You can leisurely walk around the Malecon, which means esplanade along the waterfront in Spanish, visit the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, this church is distinguished by its silhouette with the shape of a crown hoisted up by angels along with the sound of chiming bells, and the over 20 acres of Vallarta’s Botanical Gardens, where you can find the tropical dry forest biome, oaks, agaves, cactus, wild palms and bromeliads, among others. Or go and try some martinis, mezcal and tequila, to the nightspots in the Romantic Zone or to Mandala´s night club to enjoy an unforgettable party night.
Some other beach spots you can visit nearby are Los Muertos Beach (in Spanish the Beach of the Dead) with a lot of pirate legends that give it its name, along with Los Muertos Pier, a major tourist attraction because of its curving conch shell shape. Or you can go to Las Animas beach by water taxis from Boca de Tomatlan (a 17-minute drive from Hotel Mousai), Conchas Chinas Beach or Las Gemelas Beach (Playa Las Gemelas).
We recommend checking availability at Garza Blanca Resort where you can have exclusive experiences by the beach and enjoy delicious pampering in unrivalled tropical surroundings.
Some of the hotel activities you can experience include: wine tasting, kundalini yoga, basketball tournaments, snorkeling excursions, tequila tastings, and a guided tour of the amazing rock formations of Los Arcos. This small group of granite islands that protrude from the surface of the sea, are considered a national underwater park, which makes it an ideal place to practice different water sports. You can depart from the beach using a kayak or paddleboard, and once you have arrived at Los Arcos, you can make use of the snorkeling equipment that Garza Blanca offers as part of this complimentary tour to enjoy the incredible underwater scenery.
Also, you can experience soul-searching activities like jungle jaunts. You can take a guided hike through the tropical jungle around the hotel Preserve, where you can see all kinds of flora and fauna, enjoy the stunning waterfall and taste wild fruits.
2. What to bring?
- Insect repellant, Puerto Vallarta is surrounded by jungle, so you will need protection against itchy bites.
- Polarized sunglasses and biodegradable sunscreen; to protect your skin, your eyes, and also our oceans.
- Waterproof camera, some of the activities in Puerto Vallarta are water based such as snorkeling, diving, and kayaking. With this type of camera, you’ll be able to capture all of your favorite travel moments.
- Travel Insurance, if you get unexpectedly injured or become ill, an international travel insurance plan can provide you access to quality care. We never expect anything to go wrong, but if anything does, you’ll be glad to have this travel protection.
3. Other practical suggestions
- It is a good idea to always have some ID on you, even if it is simply a copy of your passport or a paper card with your name, address, phone and contact info, especially if you are a solo traveler. Keep the address of the hotel that you are staying at in your wallet.
- Learn basic Spanish words, go to a local bookstore and buy a small dictionary, so you can be prepared in case not everyone speaks English. Although most people in Puerto Vallarta do speak English, it is always a good idea to try and learn a few words of the language of any country you will be visiting, which locals always appreciate and can help to make your vacation even better.
- Check Exchange Rates before traveling. Like the rest of Mexico, Puerto Vallarta uses the peso as its standard currency. American dollars are also accepted at most places. We highly recommend always carrying emergency cash.
- The tourist areas of Puerto Vallarta are watched by the city’s police force, so if you see cops, they are ready to assist you. Also, in case of emergency you can call 911, just as you would in the states.
Going around Puerto Vallarta isn’t difficult, but it is important to know where you are going, take addresses with you and ask directions from the hotel. The hotel can also assist you with getting taxis. A word of advice, always negotiate the fare in advance. Concierge at Garza Blanca can also help you arrange roundtrip transportation from the airport for an additional fee. Please contact concierge on 855-330-7218 to help you go from the airport to Garza Blanca with ease. Another option is to rent a car. It is relatively safe and easy to drive in the area, but taking a taxi is fairly cheap here compared to other places so it may be best to avoid the stress, hassle and extra fees of a car rental unless you plan to make several day trips.
5. Stay safe on the beach
Always put on sunscreen, stay hydrated, wash your hands a lot, and never lose sight of your stuff while staying on the beach or going into the water. While at the resort, we suggest you keep valuables locked in your room. If you travel to a beach further away, don’t leave valuable items unattended.
6. Have fun
Remember, you are on vacation, have fun and try new things. Get out of the routine, try to do things that you normally don’t do or haven’t done. Dance, try new foods, soar above the tree tops on a zipline, make new friends, enjoy a relaxing walk on the beach, go out on the water of Banderas Bay to watch the magical sunsets on a cruise.
Explore Vallarta and enjoy all of her beauty!