Puerto Vallarta is a luxurious, upmarket resort that curves around the beautiful Banderos Bay on Mexico’s west coast. Along the seafront is the Malecón, a pedestrianised street lined with bars, restaurants and small boutique shops where visitors wander, eat, and people-watch from outdoor tables. The street is filled with musicians and street artists entertaining passers-by, and all along the coast are sand sculptures and bronze statues.
Puerto Vallarta has miles of spectacular coastline, the white sandy beaches backed by the lush green of the Sierra Madre mountain range. Los Muertos is the main beach, a lively spot where all kinds of holidaymakers gather and mariachi bands play on the sands. If you’re willing to travel, Hidden Beach in the Marieta Islands is an unforgettable experience; this beach is in a huge crater and can only be accessed via a narrow tunnel.
The hub of Puerto Vallarta is the old town, Viejo Vallarta, where the taco stands and market stalls of traditional Mexico mix with the stylish restaurants and shops of the present day. Don’t miss a visit to one of the tequila distilleries to see how this famous spirit is made, or if you want to get a close look at Mexico’s beautiful underwater world, go snorkelling in Los Arcos Marine Park.
Kids will have a fantastic time at the Splash Water Park, featuring a range of slides, a lazy river and sea lion, seal and dolphin shows. However a more exciting way to see animals is in their natural habitat, so take a dolphin or whale-watching trip for a more authentic wildlife encounter. If you have older, more adventurous children, book an activity tour in the Sierra Madre Mountains and try a jeep safari or zip-lining.