What to Do in Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port
Nestled on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, Puerto Vallarta is a popular cruise port that offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a nature lover, or a culture enthusiast, this vibrant city has something for everyone. From exploring picturesque beaches to indulging in delicious local cuisine, here are some of the top things to do in Puerto Vallarta cruise port.
1. Explore the Malecon: Start your adventure by taking a leisurely stroll along the Malecon, Puerto Vallarta’s iconic boardwalk. Lined with shops, restaurants, and art galleries, this vibrant promenade offers stunning views of the ocean and is a great place to soak up the local culture.
2. Visit Los Muertos Beach: Located in the heart of Puerto Vallarta, Los Muertos Beach is a popular spot for sunbathing, swimming, and people-watching. With its lively atmosphere and numerous beach clubs, it’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the vibrant energy of the city.
3. Take a boat tour to the Marietas Islands: Embark on a boat tour to the breathtaking Marietas Islands, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Explore hidden beaches, snorkel in crystal-clear waters, and marvel at the diverse marine life. Make sure to keep an eye out for the famous “Hidden Beach,” a secluded paradise accessible only during low tide.
4. Discover the Vallarta Botanical Gardens: Nature lovers should not miss the opportunity to visit the Vallarta Botanical Gardens. This 64-acre tropical oasis is home to a vast collection of native plants, orchids, and butterflies. Take a peaceful walk through the gardens, enjoy a picnic by the river, or participate in a guided tour to learn more about the local flora and fauna.
5. Experience the thrill of zip-lining: If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, head to the nearby Sierra Madre Mountains for an exciting zip-lining adventure. Soar through the treetops and enjoy breathtaking views of the jungle as you glide from one platform to another.
6. Indulge in local cuisine: Puerto Vallarta is renowned for its delicious food scene. From street tacos to fresh seafood, there are countless culinary delights to satisfy any palate. Don’t miss the opportunity to try traditional dishes such as ceviche, mole, and chiles rellenos.
7. Visit the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe: A visit to Puerto Vallarta wouldn’t be complete without seeing the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This iconic cathedral is a symbol of the city and features stunning architecture and intricate religious artwork. Take a moment to admire the beauty of this spiritual landmark.
8. Explore the El Malecon Sculpture Walk: Marvel at the impressive sculptures that adorn the Malecon by taking a leisurely stroll along the El Malecon Sculpture Walk. Each artwork tells a unique story and adds a touch of artistry to the vibrant atmosphere of the boardwalk.
9. Go whale watching: If you’re lucky enough to visit Puerto Vallarta during the winter months, don’t miss the opportunity to go whale watching. Witness the majestic humpback whales as they migrate through the waters of Banderas Bay, breaching and playing in their natural habitat.
10. Take a day trip to the secluded Yelapa: Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and take a boat trip to the tranquil village of Yelapa. With its pristine beaches, lush jungle, and cascading waterfalls, Yelapa is the perfect spot to unwind and connect with nature.
11. Shop for local crafts at the Old Town Market: Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the Old Town Market. Here, you’ll find a wide selection of handmade crafts, textiles, and artwork created by local artisans. Support the community and take home a unique souvenir of your visit to Puerto Vallarta.
12. Relax at a beach club: Puerto Vallarta is home to numerous beach clubs where you can relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy a refreshing cocktail. Choose from lively beach clubs with DJ sets or more secluded spots where you can unwind in a peaceful setting.
13. Take a tequila tasting tour: No visit to Mexico is complete without tasting the country’s famous spirit – tequila. Embark on a tequila tasting tour and learn about the production process, sample different varieties, and discover the art of sipping this iconic beverage.
Common Questions and Answers:
1. Is Puerto Vallarta safe for cruise ship passengers?
Yes, Puerto Vallarta is generally considered safe for cruise ship passengers. However, it’s always recommended to take necessary precautions and be aware of your surroundings, especially when exploring unfamiliar areas.
2. Can I use US dollars in Puerto Vallarta?
Yes, US dollars are widely accepted in Puerto Vallarta. However, it’s advisable to have some Mexican pesos on hand for smaller purchases and to ensure you get the best exchange rate.
3. What is the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta?
The best time to visit Puerto Vallarta is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. The weather is pleasant, with warm temperatures and minimal rainfall.
4. How do I get from the cruise port to downtown Puerto Vallarta?
The cruise port in Puerto Vallarta is conveniently located near downtown. You can easily reach the city center by taking a short taxi ride or opting for a guided shore excursion.
5. Are there any local customs or etiquette I should be aware of?
Mexican culture values politeness and respect. It’s customary to greet people with a handshake or a kiss on the cheek. It’s also polite to say “buen provecho” (enjoy your meal) before starting to eat.
6. Can I swim in the ocean at Puerto Vallarta’s beaches?
Yes, swimming in the ocean is generally safe at Puerto Vallarta’s beaches. However, it’s essential to pay attention to local beach conditions and follow any safety warnings or guidelines provided by lifeguards.
7. Are there any vegetarian or vegan-friendly restaurants in Puerto Vallarta?
Yes, Puerto Vallarta has a variety of vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants. Many establishments offer plant-based options, and some specialize in vegetarian or vegan cuisine.
8. What is the legal drinking age in Puerto Vallarta?
The legal drinking age in Puerto Vallarta is 18 years old. However, some establishments may enforce a minimum age of 21 for alcohol consumption.
9. Can I rent a car in Puerto Vallarta?
Yes, car rental services are available in Puerto Vallarta. However, keep in mind that driving conditions may be different from what you’re accustomed to, and parking in the city center can be limited.
10. Are there any local festivals or events I should know about?
Puerto Vallarta hosts various festivals and events throughout the year. The Day of the Dead celebrations in November and the Vallarta Wine Fest in February are just a few examples of the vibrant cultural scene in the city.
11. Can I use my credit cards in Puerto Vallarta?
Yes, major credit cards are widely accepted in Puerto Vallarta. However, it’s always a good idea to carry some cash for smaller establishments or places that may not accept cards.
12. Are there any nearby attractions or day trips from Puerto Vallarta?
Yes, Puerto Vallarta serves as a gateway to many exciting day trips and attractions. From exploring the charming town of Sayulita to visiting the majestic El Salado Estuary, there are plenty of options to extend your adventure beyond the cruise port.
13. Is English widely spoken in Puerto Vallarta?
Yes, many locals in Puerto Vallarta speak English, especially those involved in the tourism industry. However, it’s always helpful to learn a few basic Spanish phrases to enhance your experience and show respect for the local culture.