Puerto Vallarta is a highlight when visiting the Mexican Riviera. Not only is it a clean city but the attractions and activities available are always exciting.Here are my top 10.
- DISCOVER SIERRA MADRE TRADITIONS and a taste of Mexico
This all day tour takes you to Puerto Vallartas southern region. At an elevation of more than 2000 feet, you can visit the 16th century village of El Tuito where you can sample locally made breads, tortillas and many regional cheeses. The Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens are considered a highlight but for those wishing to discover the secrets of tequila production, a distillery inspection is included as well as and authentic Raicilla distillery. Lunch is then served in a Mexican Hacienda. Just remember to take your insect repellent.
- YELAPA BEACH & MAJAHUITAS SNORKELLING TOUR
Sail on a catamaran while you cruise the spectacular tropical coastline of Banderas Bay. Arriving at the cove of Majahuitas, the first thing that will take your breath away is the crystal clear water that can be deceptive as to its depth. The area is completely unspoilt and is only accessible by sea. Lunch is included before sailing to Yelapa Beach, an old Mexican fishing village. This is the perfect spot to hike to the waterfall and swim in the coves protective waters.
- MOUNTAIN ATV ADVENTURE
The tour begins 45 minutes into the Sierra Madre foothills. After a safety briefing you will be provided a helmet and goggles before attempting your "test drive". This is not a tour for the faint hearted as you traverse rivers and cover some rugged terrain. A current drivers license must be presented upon arrival.
- EXTREME CANOPY
You will start this tour with a panga boat ride from the pier. For the next 6 hours you will take an off road adventure that will take you through a tropical rainforest, see you riding burros through shallow rivers and zip lining 200 feet above the ground through jungle foliage on a 1000 foot line before tobogganing down sandy slopes. In this activity you will get wet so it is recommended to wear a swim suit and take insect repellent. This is not a tour for the less active.
- TEQUILA FACTORIES & OLD TOWN
The Hacienda Dona Engracia is considered to be one of the best distilleries in Puerto Vallarta. It is also a working ranch where Arabian horses and African ostriches are raised. Here you will learn the secrets of the powerful Tequila made from the blue agave cactus. Heading to the town of Valle de Banderas you will be immersed in history when the area was first conquered by Francisco Cortez de Buenaventura in 1525.
- DOLPHINS AT THE BEACH
The pacific bottle nosed dolphin is a curious little creature so imagine standing waist deep in water with them "getting to know you". The centre is located in Nuervo Vallarta. Tours can also include lunch if requested. Tour is 3 hours in duration.
- COUNTRYSIDE ON HORESEBACK
This tour is recommended for travellers with some horse experience. Even though the mounts are reasonably tame you still need to be able to control your horse for the short walk through a treed "village" and across several streams before being offered the opportunity to swim through a river on horseback. Sunscreen needed .
- DELUXE SUNSET SAIL
Having witnessed Puerto Vallartas sunsets recently I can attest to this tour being one to put on the list. The duration is just 2.5 hours in which time you are provided with drinks, canapés and imported cheeses. A great way to end the day in a beautiful city.
- SEA LION ENCOUNTER
The interesting thing with this excursion is that no sunscreen or jewellery is permitted as you really do get up and personal with the Sea Lions. This 3 hour tour is a favourite with families but children under 12 must be accompanied by a full paying adult.
- GOLF ENTHUSIASTS TOUR at EL TIGRE COUNTRY CLUB
This course is considered to be one of the most challenging in Mexico. The 18 hole par 2 course features the usual golfing challenges, lakes and bunkers. Golf Clubs and shoes rental are available at the club house - insect repellent recommended.
- SEA SAFARI - HIDDEN BEACHES & SNORKELLING
I may have saved the best for last with this 6.5 hour tour. The remote seaside village of Quimixto is the first stopping point for your inflatable boat. A leisurely horseback ride through the jungle follows where you will dismount for a swim in the waterfall. Off to another remote village - Pizota where you will experience a buffet lunch, relax on the beach, kayak along the shores and walk through the village to experience true Mexico. Once again sunscreen, insect repellent and swim suit require.