Puerto Vallarta is a bustling city located on the west coast of Mexico. It has a strong arts scene, a vibrant nightlife and plenty of activities for couples, families and kids. There are two superb beaches here – so be sure to browse our cheap trips to Mexico and discover how you can catch the sun and have some seaside fun.
Make the most of the beachlife
Puerto Vallarta sits along picturesque Banderas Bay overlooking the deep blue expanse of the Pacific Ocean. It's one of the most popular destinations for holidays in Mexico, attracting huge numbers of local and international visitors.
There are numerous beaches in the region where you can stretch out and soak up the sun, take a nap or put your headphones on and listen to your own background playlist. If you're looking for some watersports, you'll also find plenty of choice and a friendly, lively atmosphere to make your beach days extra fun.
Beaches close at hand
The closest beaches to the old town centre are Playa de los Muertos and Playa Los Camerones which are both within easy walking distance.
Los Muertos beach – also known as Olas Atlas beach at the northern end - is the place to go for a lively buzz of activity. It's the most popular beach here where locals, families and visitors sunbathe, stroll along the shoreline and paddle in the clear, warm water. There are plenty of restaurants and bars fringing the beach and along the length of the pier, so even if you're enjoying an All Inclusive Mexico holiday, you're free to stop for drinks and meals throughout the day.
Playa Los Camerones is a less crowded stretch of pebbles and sand where families enjoy lazy, peaceful beach days reading, chatting and unwinding. Go here for a tranquil picnic space away from the crowds.
Take in the local art and culture
Puerto Vallarta is a real hub of artistic and cultural activity. As you stroll around town, you'll discover numerous art galleries filled with beautiful pieces from local and international artists. Art galleries aren't the only place where artwork is displayed though – you'll also find it out on the streets.
Adored by locals and visitors, outdoor sculptures stand out as some of the most popular art in Puerto Vallarta. These innovative installations are collaborative designs created with input from a variety of artists. You'll find magnificent sculptures situated along the peaceful pedestrianised area of Malecon – so you can pause and get a really close look at them.
Explore the shopping, eating and nightlife
The main shopping area lies in Olas Altas in the Area Romantico district of the old town. You'll get a real sense of the original features here with its winding cobbled streets and beautiful traditional cream and terracotta buildings. The main street runs parallel to Los Muertos beach, so you can stop off here between seaside trips. You'll find local crafts and souvenirs as well as fashion outlets, high-end designer art and jewellery.
Olas Altas is also packed with a wide selection of places to stop off for lunch and a few drinks – or to come back to for dinner and some lively nightlife. The areas around Los Muertos beach and pier are also good places to head for if you're looking for a scenic view over the Pacific.