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19 BEST Puerto Vallarta Excursions and Tours [2024]

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 number of activities.

That makes the choice of finding just the right tour or diversion all the more difficult. For this reason I’ve carefully curated a list of the very best Puerto Vallarta tours, so you know exactly what to expect (unending fun!)

I use and recommend Viator and Get Your Guide 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.

Limited time? These are the best tours 👇

WHALE WATCHING TOURWhale Research Adventure
SNORKEL IN MARIETAS ISLAND Marietas Islands Snorkel Tour & Hidden Beach
SAILING TOUR Luxury Yacht & Snorkeling
ADVENTURE TOUR Extreme Zip Line Adventure
FOOD TOUR Versalles After Dark Food Tour
SAYULITA AND SAN PANCHO TOUR San Pancho and Sayulita Tour

Go on a Whale Watching Tour in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is one of the best places to spot whales in Mexico. I’ve written a whole post about the best whale watching tours in Puerto Vallarta, but here are my top picks.

▶️ On this Whale Research Adventure – Led by Marine Biologist you’ll get to fulfill the dream of a lifetime. Seeing these gorgeous giants up close is a memorable experience. Especially when done with a responsible tour operator!

In this 3.5-hour tour you’ll get to see the whales in their natural habitat as a biologist introduces you to their behavior and ecology.

You’ll have the opportunity to snap incredible photos, and also get to listen to their unique sounds through a hydrophone. It’s one of the most exciting boat rides in Puerto Vallarta!

📝 This whale watching Puerto Vallarta includes: A boat trip, a marine biologist guide, a hydrophone, travel insurance, coffee/tea, and snacks. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


▶️ This Private Whale Watching Tour in Puerto Vallarta is ideal for visitors traveling with a group of friends or family. You’ll hop aboard a private boat and enjoy the personalized attention from your guide.

Set sail in search of whales, and learn about their migration patterns and lives on the way. Your guide will be ready to answer all your questions!

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

📝 This tour includes: A private tour, a guide, soft drinks, and lunch. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Don’t Miss the Marietas Islands & Hidden Beach

Marietas Islands are a group of uninhabited islands boasting spectacular sea life. This makes them an ideal spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. For this reason, your next Puerto Vallarta tour takes you snorkeling here, one of the region’s hidden gems!

▶️ The Marietas Islands Snorkel Tour & Hidden Beach starts with a light breakfast so you’re fully energized to swim among the wildlife. Dolphins, marine turtles, and rays are some of the creatures you may have the pleasure of spotting around you.

After a delightful time in the water, relax at Hidden Beach and munch on snacks before heading back. 

📝 This Puerto Vallarta Hidden Beach tour includes: Transfers from Marina Vallarta, National Park fees, snorkeling gear, life vests, a guide, water, and snacks. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


▶️ This Islas Marietas Eco Discovery is a full-day trip from Puerto Vallarta. During your time in the islands you’ll get to kayak, snorkel among colorful fish, and marvel at the exotic bird species that live in the area. If you’re lucky, you might even spot dolphins and rays.

After all the activities, refuel with a hearty lunch and drinks from an open bar. 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 includes: Transfers, a guide, snorkel and kayak equipment, all activities, lunch, and an open bar. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Go to Yelapa for The Day

▶️ The Yelapa & Majahuitas 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 on your way to Yelapa Waterfall, where you’ll hike and get to explore a fishing little town. You’ll also swim, kayak, paddleboard, and snorkel at Majahuitas Beach, and refuel with a hearty lunch.

This is known as one of the best Puerto Vallarta snorkeling tours for a reason!

📝 This tour includes: Transfers, all activities, equipment, breakfast, lunch, and beverages. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


▶️ This Mega Yacht All-Inclusive Yelapa Waterfall & Snorkeling Adventure takes you sailing on a luxurious mega yacht along the coastline. You’ll get to explore the village of Yelapa and swim under its waterfall, besides snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, water tubing, and paddleboarding.

Onboard you’ll enjoy a free massage, unlimited drinks from the open bar, and a delicious lunch. Plus, make the most of the comfortable cushions and chairs on decks to relax.

📝 This tour includes: Boat trip, all activities and equipment, breakfast, lunch, an open bar, and massages. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Sail in Puerto Vallarta

▶️ One of the most popular excursions in Puerto Vallarta is the Luxury Yacht & Snorkeling. It takes you sailing around the beautiful Bay of Banderas. Along the way, enjoy stops for paddleboarding and snorkeling among tropical fish. 

You’ll also get to sit back on the comfortable deck with a drink (or five!) from the open bar. Be sure to be on the lookout for dolphins and turtles swimming past you!

For the perfect combination of watersports and relaxation, there’s no better option than this luxury yacht and snorkel in Puerto Vallarta. 

📝 This boat tour in Puerto Vallarta includes: A yacht cruise, all activities, equipment, a premium open bar, and lunch. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


▶️The Hatteras 58-61′ Luxury Yacht in Puerto Vallarta & Nuevo Nayarit is a half-day tour. You’ll sail around Banderas Bay in a spectacular vessel, and get to discover stunning beaches.

Kayak along the coastline of Nayarit and Jalisco, and try snorkeling and paddle boarding in crystal-clear waters. A buffet lunch and open bar are available onboard, making it one of the most enjoyable Puerto Vallarta boat cruises.

📝 This Puerto Vallarta boat tour includes: A yacht cruise, equipment, an open bar, snacks, and a buffet lunch. ➥ 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 Zip Line Adventure takes you soaring at a thrilling speed on Mexico’s longest zipline. You’ll also rappel down treetop formations, water slide, drive a jeep, and even experience skydiving indoors. It’s most definitely designed for extreme sports lovers!

This adventure tour is one of the ultimate trips from Puerto Vallarta to get your blood pumping. What’s more, you’ll get to do it in the heart of the spectacular Sierra Madre Mountain Range.

📝 This Puerto Vallarta excursion also includes: Ground transportation, a guide, all activities, equipment, bottled water, and snacks. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


▶️ The Sierra Madre ATV Adventure from Puerto Vallarta is for those who love to be behind the wheel. You’ll be in control as you drive an ATV around the countryside, through river trails, and past gorgeous scenic landscapes and villages. 

Away from the tourist spots, you’ll get a glimpse of the authentic Jalisco and enjoy a couple of stops to get refreshments or a meal. There are both morning and afternoon departures, and taking only 3.5 hours, it’s one of the best Puerto Vallarta trips to consider if you’re short on time.

📝 This ATV tour includes: A guide, ATV and helmet rental, and complimentary photos and video. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Enjoy the Rhythm of the Night Show 

The perfect way to cap off a busy day of vacation is with Alma, by Rhythms of the Night. You’ll sail to a secluded beach in Las Caletas during sunset, and enjoy a 3-course dinner in a beautiful, candlelit outdoor amphitheater.

As you dine and drink from the open bar, you’ll enjoy a spellbinding performance. Combining native dance, music, and the stories of past civilizations, Rhythm of the Night is Puerto Vallarta’s number-one show. That’s why it’s highly recommended!

📝 This Rhythm of the Night Tour in Puerto Vallarta includes: A sunset cruise, a 3-course meal, an open bar, and a dance show. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Book a Cooking Class in Puerto Vallarta

👉 I’ve written a whole post about the best cooking classes in Puerto Vallarta, but if you don’t have the time to read another article, this is the best one.

The Puerto Vallarta Cooking Experience with Market Tour and Tastings is probably one of the most satisfying adventures in Puerto Vallarta. You’ll get your hands dirty (in the good sense) and enjoy the delicious result in the end – what could be better than that?!

Start the activity by visiting an outdoor market to shop for fresh produce. Then, visit a tortilla factory, and finally make your way to the kitchen. There, a professional will teach you the region’s culinary customs, and guide you as you prepare salsas, tacos, and ceviche.

Enjoy a mixology class to make a Margarita, and sit down to relish your traditional Mexican meal with samples of tequila and mezcal.

📝 This food and mixology tour includes: All ingredients, visits to a market and tortilla factory, a bilingual chef, a meal, and tastings of tequila and mezcal. ➥ 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 Food 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, as well as tour photos. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Relax at Las Caletas, the “Garden of Eden”

Las Caletas Beach Hideaway is a full-day – and very relaxing – excursion. You’ll visit the stunning nature reserve of Las Caletas, and explore the lush jungle on one of the best wildlife tours.

You’ll also get to chill on golden-sand beaches, go for a leisurely swim, and have an authentic Paella cooking class. Snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding are also part of the deal.

To cap it all off, you’ll be treated to breakfast, a scrumptious buffet lunch, and an open bar. If all of this is not enough relaxation for you… how about a massage at the spa?

📝 This tour includes: A boat trip to Las Caletas, all activities, equipment, a cooking class, breakfast, lunch, and an open bar. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Go Horseback Riding in the Sierra Madre

The Horseback Riding Tour in Sierra Madre from Puerto Vallarta takes you to a beautiful natural area so you can make the most of the natural scenery. That is, by exploring it on horseback! 

Regardless of whether you’re an avid rider or just want to give it a try, this scenic ride is sure to awaken your senses and reward you with a memorable trip. You’ll ride through rivers, trails, and hanging bridges, following an expert guide.

You’ll also visit a stunning waterfall on the way – one that will delight nature lovers – and indulge in a buffet lunch with drinks from an open bar.

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 from Puerto Vallarta includes: Transfers from a meeting point, a horseback riding experience, lunch, and an open bar. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Attend a Chocolate Workshop

One of the sweetest excursions Puerto Vallarta is the Bean to Bar Chocolate Workshop. Suitable for all ages, the workshop will walk you through every step it takes to make everyone’s favorite sweet. (Because who are we kidding, don’t we all love chocolate?!)

Learn about the history of chocolate, which originated in this very region, and customize your own chocolate bar. You’ll also savor a chocolate drink at the end, and get a discount at the shop.

📝 This tour includes: Entrance to the museum, a guide, a chocolate workshop with all ingredients, a chocolate drink, and a discount at the shop. ➥ 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 is the perfect opportunity to visit two great beach spots nearby.

You’ll get the chance to explore (and get tons of pictures) of the colorful, crafty town of San Pancho. Known for its bustling streets lined with artisan workshops and craft stalls, it’s a beautiful place to stroll in. Then, make your way to Sayulita, a surfer town.  

Whether your idea of fun is catching waves on a buggy board or relaxing on the beach with a drink, you can experience both. You’ll also have time to stroll around and go souvenir hunting.

📝 This tour includes: Hotel pick up and drop-off, a guide, and a buggy board. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Explore the Mining Town of San Sebastian del Oeste

The Full-Day San Sebastian del Oeste Tour from Puerto Vallarta promises a personalized experience, catering to small groups. You’ll be driven to the gorgeous mining town with an expert guide, and stroll its cobblestone streets as you learn about its history and heritage.

Visit a local distillery to taste tequila, and sample coffee in an organic factory. You’ll also relish a delicious Mexican lunch at a local restaurant. This is one of the best tours in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for a cultural dose.

📝 This excursion Puerto Vallarta includes: Hotel pick up and drop-off, a tour guide, and lunch. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

 Tequila Tasting in Mexico? Why Not!

You can learn all about Mexico’s national drink with a Connoisseur Tequila Tasting. During this 1.5-hour experience, you’ll discover the history and making process of tequila from an expert.

Several varieties of the drink will be offered, and you’ll enjoy a guided tasting to discover their differences. The tasting takes place in Jalisco, and you’ll be introduced to the state’s tequila industry.

📝 This tour includes: Tastings, and a tequila expert 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!

PUERTO VALLARTA EXCURSIONS FAQ

What are the best tours in Puerto Vallarta?

There is a great number of wonderful tours en Puerto Vallarta! In our opinion, the very best ones are the following:
Whale Research Adventure – Led by Marine Biologist
• Luxury Yacht Experience
Alma, by Rhythms of the Night
Islas Marietas Eco Discovery
Puerto Vallarta Cooking Experience with Market Tour and Tastings

What are the best boat tours Puerto Vallarta?

We think that the ultimate Puerto Vallarta boat tours are these:
Mega Yacht All-Inclusive Yelapa Waterfall & Snorkeling Adventure
Luxury Yacht & Snorkeling
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.

Emily

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