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24 Best Puerto Vallarta Excursions & Tours

Looking for the best Puerto Vallarta excursions & tours? That’s already a sign that you’ll have an amazing time! Read on for the ultimate Puerto Vallarta tours. 

Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico’s most sought-after destinations on the Pacific coast of Mexico, and also one of the very best places to visit in Mexico!

It’s widely known not only for its gorgeous beaches but also for its architecture, natural beauty, and an insane amount of activities and attractions and tours to enjoy! 

That makes the choice of finding just the right tour or diversion all the more difficult, and that’s why you’ll find here a carefully curated list of the very best Puerto Vallarta tours, so you know exactly what to expect (unending fun!)

Let’s check them out!   

I use and recommend Viator to book tours and activities around the world, and I particularly love their cancellation policy, which allows you to get a full refund if you cancel up to 24 hours in advance.

Go on a Whale Watching Tour in Puerto Vallarta

➤ On this Half-Day Whale Watching Puerto Vallarta you’ll get to fulfill the dream of a lifetime: seeing from up close these gorgeous giants. Puerto Vallarta is a birthing destination for humpback whales, which visit the area from Mid-December to Mid-April, so it’s the perfect place to see them! 

You’ll learn about their lives and behaviors from a biologist, and take the most exciting of boat rides in Puerto Vallarta to get close to them and listen to their unique sounds. 

This tour also includes: Coffee, tea, and snacks, travel insurance, and a professional guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ This Whale Watching Cruise lasts around hours and offers guaranteed sightings of the beautiful whales that spend some time in Puerto Vallarta every year. You’ll enjoy the commentary from your guide, and sip on cocktails from the bar onboard while looking for the whales.

A continental breakfast and buffet lunch are also part of the experience.

This tour includes: Live commentary, lunch, breakfast, and an international bar. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ This Private Whale Watching Tour is ideal for visitors traveling with a group of friends or family. You’ll hop aboard your own boat and enjoy the personalized attention from your guide as you look for the whales.

After a morning spotting (and photographing!) the gorgeous mammals, you’ll indulge in lunch onboard before heading back.

This tour includes: A guide, beverages, and lunch. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Don’t Miss the Marietas Islands & Hidden Beach

Marietas Islands are a group of uninhabited islands boasting spectacular marine life that makes them an ideal spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. That’s why your next Puerto Vallarta tour takes you snorkeling here. 

➤ The Marietas Islands Snorkel Tour & Hidden Beach includes a light breakfast during the boat trip so you’re fully energized to swim among the wildlife. Dolphins, turtles, and rays are some of the animals you may spot in the area. Afterward, relax at the Hidden Beach for a while before heading back. 

This Puerto Vallarta Hidden Beach tour also includes: Snorkeling gear, life vests, and bottled water. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ This Marietas Islands Snorkel Tour is a full-day trip from Puerto Vallarta in which you’ll get to kayak around the islands, snorkel among colorful fish, and marvel at the exotic bird species that live in the area.

You might also get to spot dolphins and rays on your way to the islands! After all the activities, you’ll get to refuel with a hearty lunch. It’s one of the ultimate Puerto Vallarta snorkeling excursions, and while it doesn’t go to Hidden Beach, it’s the reason why it’s cheaper!

This tour also includes: An open bar, and the use of snorkeling equipment, kayaks, and SUPs. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Go to Yelapa for The Day

➤ The Yelapa Waterfall & Majahuitas Snorkeling Tour is one of the most comprehensive excursions from Puerto Vallarta. You’ll spend a whole day out in nature as you explore the surrounding forests, beaches, and bays, combined with village visits. 

You’ll cruise by the Bay of Banderas as you make your way to the Yelapa Waterfall, where you’ll hike and get to explore the fishing little town. You’ll also swim, kayak, paddleboard, and snorkel at Majahuitas Beach, and refuel with a hearty lunch. It’s known as one of the best Puerto Vallarta snorkeling tours for a reason!

This tour also includes: Beverages, snorkeling, and kayaking equipment. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ This All-Inclusive Yelapa Adventure takes you sailing on a luxurious mega yacht along the stunning coastline. You’ll get to explore the village of Yelapa and swim under its waterfall, besides snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

Onboard you’ll enjoy a free massage, unlimited drinks from the open bar, and a delicious lunch.

This tour also includes: Breakfast, snacks, and the use of equipment. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Sail in Puerto Vallarta

➤ One of the most popular excursions in Puerto Vallarta is the Luxury Yacht & Snorkel, which takes you sailing around the beautiful Bay of Banderas with stops for paddleboarding and snorkeling among tropical fish. 

You’ll also get to sit back on the comfortable deck with a drink from the open bar, and be on the lookout for dolphins and turtles as you take in the view. For the perfect combination between watersports and relax, there’s no better option than the luxury yacht and snorkel in Puerto Vallarta. 

This boat tour in Puerto Vallarta also includes: Lunch, snacks, and use of equipment. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ The Hatteras 58′ Luxury Yacht Experience is a half-day tour that takes you sailing around Banderas Bay in a spectacular vessel. You’ll discover stunning beaches, kayak along the coastline of Nayarit and Jalisco, and also get to snorkel and paddle board in the crystal-clear waters of Puerto Vallarta.

A buffet lunch and open bar are available onboard, making it one of the most enjoyable Puerto Vallarta boat cruises.

This tour includes: Lunch, drinks, snacks, and use of the equipment. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ This Pirate Sailing Cruise is an incredibly fun option, especially for families! You’ll sail past Banderas Bay toward Majahuitas Beach, accompanied by a crew of costumed pirates, on a 6-hour excursion.

You’ll enjoy free time at the beach to kayak, snorkel, play volleyball, or work on your tan, and enjoy lunch aboard your pirate ship, enjoying themed entertainment as you sail back.

This tour also includes: Games, a pirate show, contests, and the use of equipment. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Go on an Adventure Tour in Puerto Vallarta

Adventure junkies, head this way! There are plenty of adrenaline-inducing excursions from Puerto Vallarta, and you’re about to find out the absolute best ones. 

➤The Extreme Adventure Puerto Vallarta Zip Line Tour takes you soaring at a thrilling speed in Mexico’s longest zipline but also rappelling down treetop formations, water sliding, driving a jeep on rugged trails and even experiencing skydiving indoors! 

This packed-with-adventure half-day tour is one of the ultimate trips from Puerto Vallarta to get your blood pumping, and you’ll get to do it in the heart of the spectacular Sierra Madre Mountains! 

This Puerto Vallarta excursion also includes: Bottled water, snacks, transportation, and equipment. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ The Sierra Madre ATV Adventure is for those who like to be behind the wheel. You’ll get to drive your ATV around the countryside, through river trails, and past gorgeous scenic landscapes and villages. 

This is one of the shortest Puerto Vallarta trips, lasting 3.5 hours, so it’s perfect if you can’t spare a whole day but still want to experience the Sierra Madre’s adventures. 

This tour also includes: Guide, use of helmet and ATV, and photos & video. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ The Original Canopy, River Puerto Vallarta Tour is also an ideal adventure for thrill-seekers. You can choose to start off the day with a speedboat ride, and then glide among the trees in the best zipline in Puerto Vallarta directly into a tequila bar. 

You’ll also get to kayak, swim, and cascade down a waterslide, some of the most fun activities in Puerto Vallarta. A visit to an animal sanctuary will also grant you a meeting with squirrel monkeys, toucans, boas, and marmosets. It’s undoubtedly the best canopy tour in Puerto Vallarta!

This tour also includes: Tequila tasting, transportation, and equipment. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ The Private ATV Adventure is a thrilling experience that takes you and your friends on a half-day trip into nature. You’ll explore off-roads and enjoy the beautiful scenery as you drive your own vehicle through rivers, secluded beaches, and mountains.

You’ll also get a say on the itinerary, customizing it to your own preferences.

This tour also includes: All equipment, and fuel surcharge. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Enjoy the Rhythm of the Night Show 

Time for a Rhythm of the Night Tour in Puerto Vallarta! This Cruise and Candlelight Dinner Show is the perfect way to cap off a busy day of vacation. You’ll sail to a secluded beach during sunset and enjoy a 3-course meal for dinner before marveling at the show. 

You’ll head into an outdoor amphitheater to watch the spellbinding performance that combines native dance, music, and the stories of past civilizations. The Rhythm of the Night by Vallarta Adventures is Puerto Vallarta number-one show, so it’s highly recommended!

This tour also includes: Unlimited non-alcoholic beverages, dinner, and sunset cruise. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Book a Cooking Class in Puerto Vallarta

The Cooking Experience with Market Tour is probably one of the most satisfying adventures in Puerto Vallarta, as you’ll get your hands dirty (in the good sense) and enjoy the delicious result in the end. 

You’ll start by visiting the outdoor market for some produce, then head directly to the kitchen where you’ll learn to make tortillas from scratch, as well as salsas, tacos, and ceviche. Sample some tequila and mezcal before sitting down to relish your traditional Mexican meal.  

This tour also includes: All ingredients, a bilingual chef, and purified water. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Eat Alllll the Tacos on a Food Tour

Going to Mexico and not stuffing yourself with tacos? I mean…not a possibility. That’s why going on a food tour in Puerto Vallarta is more than a must. And if you’re willing to go a bit off the beaten path, you can have a much more authentic experience outside of the touristy area!

We went on the Versalles After Dark tour by Vallarta Eats, a tour that took us on a hunt for the most authentic flavors in this neighborhood.

Trust me when I tell you that we did NOT go hungry. We had tacos al pastor (my favorites!), tostadas, pozole (a traditional soup), quesadillas, frozen pie for dessert… and I’m sure I’m forgetting at least a couple of stops!

Our guide was knowledgeable and so nice, and I highly recommend going on either this food tour or another one by Vallarta Eats – they have a bunch that look good!

This Puerto Vallarta city tour for foodies includes: All the food and non-alcoholic beverages. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Relax at Las Caletas, the “Garden of Eden”

Las Caletas Tour is a full-day excursion from Purto Vallarta which takes you to the stunning nature reserve of Las Caletas. Here you’ll get to meet the wildlife while exploring the jungle, dip your feet in the water as you relax by the beach, and have an authentic Paella cooking class. 

You can also swim, kayak, snorkel, and visit the outdoor amphitheater. If all of this is not enough relaxation for you, get a massage at the spa! You’ll also get to enjoy a delicious buffet lunch to refuel. 

This tour also includes: Open bar, and use of equipment for all activities.➥ BOOK IT HERE

Swim with Wild Dolphins in PV

If you ever dreamed of meeting dolphins in their habitat, this is the best adventure in Puerto Vallarta you could possibly have. Swimming with Free Wild Dolphins allows you to witness them in their own environment, where they’re happy and free, and swim alongside these curious and very playful animals. 

In this Puerto Vallarta boat tour you actually get to leave the boat and jump into the water, where your dolphin encounter could be enrichened by the presence of rays or turtles. 

This tour also includes: Bottled water, soda, and snorkeling equipment. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Go Horseback Riding in the Sierra Madre

The Horseback Riding Tour in Sierra Madre takes you to this beautiful natural area and allows you to explore it in the most fitting way: on horseback. 

If you’re an avid rider or just want to give it a try, this scenic ride through rivers, nature trails, and hanging bridges will awaken your senses as you make your way to the stunning waterfall that’s the highlight of this tour from Puerto Vallarta. 

You won’t exactly be horseback riding on the beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, which is a bucket list for some, but in my opinion Sierra Madre offers a much more thrilling experience.

This tour also includes: Lunch, domestic open bar, and roundtrip transportation. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Attend a Chocolate Workshop

Last but not least is one of the best excursions in Puerto Vallarta: the Bean to Bar Chocolate Workshop. Suitable for all ages, the workshop will walk you through every step it takes to make the delicious dark sweet you’ll be wanting to taste as soon as you get its scent. 

You’ll get to customize your chocolate with your favorite flavors, and also savor a chocolate drink when you’re done with the workshop, having learned all about the making process but also the history and importance of chocolate in the region. 

This tour also includes: All ingredients and a tour guide in the museum. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Take a Day Trip to Sayulita & San Pancho

Being close to so many fantastic places, going on a day trip is one of the most popular Puerto Vallarta activities. The San Pancho and Sayulita Tour takes you to these great beach spots so you get the chance to explore (and get tons of pictures) of the colorful, crafty town of San Pancho before heading to the surfer town of Sayulita. 

Whether your idea of fun is catching some waves on a buggy board or relaxing on the beach with a drink, you can experience both, as well as some time to stroll around and go souvenir hunting, in this tour. 

This tour also includes: Hotel pick up and drop-off, guide, buggy board, and lunch (if option selected) ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Explore the Mining Town of San Sebastian del Oeste

The Full-Day San Sebastian del Oeste Tour takes you and a small group to this gorgeous mining town where you’ll stroll around its cobblestone streets while learning about its history and heritage. 

A visit to a distillery where you’ll taste tequila, and the sampling of coffee in an organic factory are included, as well as a delicious Mexican lunch at a local restaurant. One of the best tours in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for a cultural dose.

This tour also includes: Hotel pick up and drop-off and a professional guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

And that’s a wrap. I’m guessing you found one or more Puerto Vallarta tours you’d like to join in this list…haven’t you? Have fun!

 Tequila Tasting in Mexico? Why Not!

You can learn all about Mexico’s national drink with a Connoisseur Tequila Tasting, in which you’ll sample varieties of the drink and discover their differences. The tasting takes place in Jalisco, and your guide will introduce you to the state’s history of tequila production, besides explaining the making process of the drink.

This tour includes: Tastings, and a tequila expert guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


What are the best tours in Puerto Vallarta?

There is a great number of wonderful tours in Puerto Vallarta! In our opinion, the very best ones are the following:
• Whale Watching Cruise
• Luxury Yacht Experience
• Cruise and Candlelight Dinner Show
• Marietas Islands Snorkel Tour
• Cooking Experience with Market Tour

What are the best boat tours in Puerto Vallarta?

We think that the ultimate Puerto Vallarta boat tours are these:
All-Inclusive Yelapa Adventure
Luxury Yacht & Snorkel
Marietas Islands Snorkel Tour & Hidden Beach

What are the best day trips from Puerto Vallarta?

The very best Puerto Vallarta day trips are to Yelapa, Sayulita, and San Sebastian del Oeste.

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.


Monday 26th of December 2022

This is a fantastic list you put together. Great job! As a local in Puerto Vallarta and having grown up born and raised 2 hours away in Tepic I fully concur with this list.

Thanks and best! Emily

6 Best Cities in Mexico for Digital Nomads [2022] - Every Steph

Wednesday 13th of April 2022

[…] the same time you enjoy the beach, the nightlife, and its gastronomy (and you can join some great Puerto Vallarta excursions and […]