Skeletons You Will Love—Day Of The Dead In Puerto Vallarta

Día de los Muertos is an Aztec tradition and festival celebrated throughout Mexico. Here’s what you need to know if you will be in Puerto Vallarta during Day of the Dead.

Day Of The Dead In Puerto Vallarta-Vallarta Food Tours

What Is Day Of The Dead?

Día de los Muertos is actually 3 days, October 31 to November 2. During these days alters are built to honor loved ones who have passed away. Their favorite foods are cooked and their headstone is cleaned and decorated. There are parties, processions, and community festivals. Most importantly, it is believed that the deceased awake from their eternal resting place and communicate with their loved ones.

Day Of The Dead In Puerto Vallarta-Mexican Holidays

No Need To Be Scared Of These Skeletons

In many countries, skeletons are used for fear and fright, but not here in Mexico. Expect to see colorful and elaborate artwork featuring skulls and skeletons—which you can find in art and gift shops year-round. This includes Catrina and Catrine dolls, oversized puppets and paper mache figures, which are global collectibles. As a holiday of honor, these decorative skeleton dolls are dressed in formal dresses and suits.

If you will be in Vallarta on November 2nd you can walk the Malecon to find artists who will paint your face into a beautiful skeleton. This is also the perfect time to view the giant catrinas along the boardwalk.

Day Of The Dead In Puerto Vallarta-Kid's Activities In Puerto Vallarta

What About Halloween?

Halloween is celebrated in Mexico, but not across the board. If you are out and about on October 31, you might find a few kids dressed in costumes on the Malecon trick or treating. You might find pumpkins in a grocery store, but carving pumpkins isn’t much of a tradition in Mexico. With the Día de los Muertos festivities missing out on Halloween is really a non-issue.

As with most Mexican holidays, one day is never enough. If you will be here during the Day of the Dead take advantage of the opportunity to partake in one of the biggest celebrations of the year.

The Top Puerto Vallarta Shore Excursions

If you will be on a cruise ship that docks in Puerto Vallarta for the day you may be looking to book your own shore excursion—opposed to the limited selection offered by the ship. This will not only expand your excursion options but costs less and provides you with a far more authentic Mexican Experience. Here’s what to add to your list.

Top Puerto Vallarta Shore Excursions - Mercado Rio Cuale

Stroll The Malecon

Hop in a taxi or Uber and head to the boardwalk. You can dine at one of the many Mexican or international restaurants along the Malecon, enjoy the view of the bay, and lounge in one of the beachfront restaurants or bars. There are plenty of shops and boutiques offering a mix of authentic Mexican art and clothing as well as standard gift shop items. Venture back just one block along the river to the Mercado Municipal Rio Cuale where you will find a much larger range of artisans. Don’t forget you can negotiate the prices you are offered. You can easily spend your day on and around the Malecon without booking a formal excursion.

The Best Outdoor Activities In Puerto Vallarta

Book A Guided Food Tour

When you only have one day in port you want to make the most of it. Since you’ll need to eat anyway why not sample some of the best food Puerto Vallarta has to offer? Food tour groups are also small which is a nice change of pace from the average shore excursion. Vallarta Food Tours has several tours each day that is well within your port arrival and departure times, giving you plenty of time to stroll the city after your tour. In fact, we are more than just a food tour—but a cultural and historic tour. You will learn several fun facts about our magnificent city and we will point out several sites that you may want to circle back to after your tour. If you are traveling with a group of 6 or more, you can also arrange a private food tour. Our guided tours are available by van, bicycle, and as a walking tour. In just 3.5 hours you will sample authentic Mexican cuisine—just like a local! We can accommodate dietary restrictions such as gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, and seafood.

Top Puerto Vallarta Shore Excursions - Beach Excursions

Beach Excursions

You are on your cruise ship to enjoy a tropical vacation. Since most of your vacation time will be on the water look for ways to spend a bit more time in the water while at port. You can easily book last-minute and pre-arranged beach activities such as jet skiing, parasailing, and deep sea fishing. If you are already familiar with Puerto Vallarta and want to explore somewhere new, hop on a water taxi from the marina and head to nearby Yelapa, or charter your own small fishing boat to island hop on the small beaches along the bay. Just make sure to give yourself a large window upon your return as schedules run on Mexican time which is sometimes a bit late.

The Best Outdoor Activities In Puerto Vallarta - Shore Excursions In Puerto Vallarta

Anything Your Cruise Ship Offers—But Self-Booked

If the excursion you want to go on is already filled up for cruise guests or is a bit outside of your budget, head online and see if you can book the same excursion directly with the tour company. The price can be up to 50% less per person which can save you a lot. Be sure to factor in transportation costs to and from the excursion and be very mindful of the time the tour starts and ends. Standing in line to get off the cruise ship can be a lengthy wait, and if you don’t return on time the ship will leave without you—so plan for plenty of cushion on both ends. Here we list some great tour companies to consider. This includes ATV rides, ziplining, snorkeling, the botanical gardens, hiking, and more.

Whatever you do, don’t just spend your day at the marina or in the Gallerias Mall. Take full advantage of your day in Puerto Vallarta by booking your own shore excursion.

Top 10 Romantic Hotspots In Puerto Vallarta

Whether you are here for a weekend getaway, honeymoon, or family vacation you must take advantage of the romantic hotspots in Puerto Vallarta. Here are our top picks!

Romantic Hotspots In Puerto Vallarta - Boutique Hotel

Your Hotel Or Accommodations

If romance is the goal, then be sure to book a beachfront hotel or Airbnb. This will ensure you have fantastic views and can enjoy the sound of the sea. If not beachfront, try to get somewhere with a view of the bay. And why not have a swimming pool too?

Gay Pride Puerto Vallarta 2018

Watch The Sunrise

If you are an early morning riser or you were out late the night before stay up and head to the Malecon to watch the sunrise. That is unless you watch from your hotel window or balcony.

Romantic Hotspots In Puerto Vallarta - Couple's Massage

Couple’s Massage

Whether massage is part of your monthly routine or something you reserve as a treat, a massage is an excellent way to help you relax and unwind—and it’s romantic if you have a massage as a couple. If your hotel doesn’t have a spa, walk-ins are welcome at almost every massage parlor in town.

Romantic Hotspots In Puerto Vallarta - Fresh Oysters

Eat Fresh-Caught Oysters

Oysters are a natural aphrodisiac so if you and your number one love oysters take advantage of the fresh-caught local oysters. You’ll find beachfront vendors and many restaurants in town serve oysters in the shell. Just add some hot sauce and a bit of lime.

Romantic Hotspots In Puerto Vallarta - Rhythms of the Night

Rhythms Of The Night

How about a sunset cruise to a mystical amphitheater in the middle of the rainforest where you watch a world-class show while eating dinner under a starlit sky. If that’s not romantic I’m not sure what is!

Day Excursions In Puerto Vallarta

Charter A Boat

Don’t think chartering a boat is in your budget? Think again. Head down to Bocca by bus or taxi and negotiate a price to be dropped off and picked up at one of the nearby, minimally populated beaches—or rent the boat (with a driver) for the day and go beach hopping by boat.

The Best Chile Relleno In Puerto Vallarta

Treat Yourself To Fine Dining

There is no shortage of restaurants to choose from so take advantage. And Mexican cuisine isn’t your only option! Yes, you want to take advantage of your access to authentic Mexican cuisine—but you may want to mix things up a bit. You’ll find all sorts of fine dining in Puerto Vallarta: Indian, Thai, Sushi, Italian, American classics, Canadian classics, and more!

Romantic Hotspots In Puerto Vallarta - Cooking Class

Take a Cooking Class

If you and your other half love to cook taking an authentic Mexican cooking class is perfect. And you can cook the dishes you learn together when you return home! Most classes include visiting the local markets to buy fresh ingredients and then learning to prepare the dishes. Cookin Vallarta is a great choice near the Marina. Miriam’s Mexican Kitchen is another solid choice in el Centro. Essence of Cuisine Cooking School is a great choice in old town. For Mexican seafood, with a modern twist, choose the traveling spoon. Professional Chef Manu teaches small groups in his kitchen in his home in el centro.

The Best Outdoor Activities In Puerto Vallarta

An Outdoor Adventure

If you and your better half find adventures romantic you have plenty to choose from! Consider a bike food tour with Vallarta Food Tours, hiking in the jungle, deep sea fishing, an ATV ride, zip lining, snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing and more!

Romantic Hotspots In Puerto Vallarta - Sunset

Watch The Sunset

The sunsets in Puerto Vallarta are spectacular. Sit on the Malecon to watch, or head to one of the upper restaurants on the Malecon or up in the hills to watch. Casa Isabell is an excellent choice. If it’s a holiday you will need reservations.

If romance is on your agenda you won’t have to try very hard to find it in PV!

Gay Pride Puerto Vallarta 2018—What You Need To Know!

It’s exciting enough booking your tickets to an international Pride but even more exciting this year as Gay Pride Puerto Vallarta 2018 falls during Restaurant Week and the 100th Anniversary of our great city—which is why this year’s Pride theme is “100 Reasons to Celebrate”. A city put on the map by Elizabeth Taylor herself after filming the 1964 movie Night of the Iguana, PV has much to offer. Here’s what you need to know!

Where To Stay?

It’s up to you as there is no shortage of boutique hotels, LGBT-friendly resorts, and Airbnb’s in Zona Romantica (The Romantic Zone) which is the equivalent of a Chicago-esq Boystown. Amazing restaurants, shopping, and just 1 block from the beach. There are also some excellent resorts in nearby Conchas Chinas which is just a short cab or Uber ride away, but rethink staying in Nuevo Vallarta. While the resorts there are amazing, you will be pretty far from the action—unless that is what you prefer.

Gay Pride Puerto Vallarta 2018--What To Do In PV

What To Do In Puerto Vallarta?

Puerto Vallarta 2018 Pride runs from May 20th to May 27th. The full calendar of Pride events can be found here. But what about when you aren’t enjoying the festivities? Here are a few ideas:

  • Book an LGBT excursion. There are many to choose from.
  • Take a taxi to Boca and hop on the water taxi to Yelapa.
  • Or also from Boca, get a group and rent a Grumpy Old Men-esq boat (but bigger) for the day, just $10 to $20 USD per person for a drop-off and pick-up at one of the small nearby beaches.
  • Do a guided or self-guided Art Walk, which is an official Pride event on May 23rd.
  • Book an excursion at Bucket List-worthy Islas Marietas Island this is a full 8 hour day.
  • Take a day trip, maybe to Tequila—the Champagne of Mexico, the only place where authentic tequila can be made.
  • If you aren’t staying at a resort purchase a day pass to lounge at the pool of almost any resort or spend the day at the Mantamar Beach Club.
  • Book a guided food tour with Vallarta Food Tours. We are an LGBT-friendly tour company who offers tours of authentic Mexican cuisine. We’ll take you to the hidden gems you probably won’t find on your own. Our 3 hours tours can be done on foot, in a van, or on bicycles. Check out our tour calendar, or book a private tour with a group of friends!

How To Get Around? PV Has Uber!

That’s right if you came to PV Pride last year there was no Uber—but this year there is! That being said, as in many tourist towns, taxi drivers have not embraced Uber. This has led to designated Uber “pickup spots” throughout downtown Vallarta. These pick-up spots are not always convenient. For example, your Uber may be 3 minutes away, but your pickup spot a 5-minute walk away. If you are at your hotel you should be fine—but when out and about a cab may be easier. And due to the taxi/Uber driver tension, there will not be an Uber sticker in the window so look for the license plate number instead.

Before you hop in your cab, be sure to confirm the fare or you may arrive at your destination changed with a steep “gringo tax”.

No need to rent a car in PV.

What To Tip?

Taxis and Ubers don’t need tips unless they have gone above and beyond—helped with your luggage, made an extra stop, or held your hair back when you’ve had too much to drink. At casual dining local spots or street taco stands 10% is fine, but restaurants geared toward tourists 15 or 20 percent is expected. This guide will help with other tipping scenarios.

Can I Drink The Water?

PV has some of the most impressive plumbing and water treatment systems in Mexico but it’s wise to purchase your bottled water. In resorts and almost every restaurant, even the ice will be made from filtered or bottled water. When out and about there are convenience stores everywhere for when you need water on the go.

Drink Too Much?

I know, the last thing you want to do when hungover is eat—but aguachiles is the local hangover cure. Or fight fire with fire and order a Michelada, which is a Mexican Bloody Mary but made with beer.

Can I Use My Phone?

If you are from the US or Canada your phone is likely to work, but make sure you are clear on your international calling rates—or consider upgrading to an international plan for the time you will be here. If you don’t have an international plan learn how to turn off roaming while still accessing your Wi-Fi. Your hotel and most restaurants have Wi-Fi so download What’s App before you leave your home country so that you can call and message friends back home. You can also call and message on Facebook Messenger and Skype.

Gay Pride Puerto Vallarta 2018

Is Puerto Vallarta LGBT Friendly?

Tourism is the primary source of economic income and ongoing growth in Puerto Vallarta. It’s a year-round international LGBT vacation destination, with a growing digital nomad presence, and PV is a popular place for US and Canadian residents to retire or snowbird. So, you will find a mix of everyone. The Romantic Zone (PS I’m from Chicago) is very much like any other LGBT-friendly big city neighborhood—but more vacation-centered. Will you run into the occasional ignorant local or tourists? Yes, just like anywhere in the world. But you can be out and proud in PV. One of the exciting things that gay tourism in Vallarta has created is an LGBT-haven for nationals. For gay Mexicans, Vallarta is an early San Francisco.  For locals, it often begins with a vacation to see if it’s too good to be true, then a move to the city.

Don’t see what you were looking for? Just ask! Shoot us a message on Facebook or call or email.

Happy Pride!



Looking For An Adventure? The Best Outdoor Activities In Puerto Vallarta

There’s nothing wrong with lounging on the beach but you might be looking for an adventure on your next trip to Puerto Vallarta, something more than just the usual tourist attractions. Here’s what to do in-between your rest and relaxation!

Excursions In Puerto Vallarta

Explore the Jungle- Zip the Canopy

Puerto Vallarta is famous for our beautiful beaches. However, amazing adventures also lie behind the beach, up in the jungle, in the Sierra Madre Mountains. Vallarta’s mountain jungle is a semi-tropical rain-forest where birds and butterflies abound. A garden of Eden, with over 7000 indigenous plants (including over 170 species wild orchids) and over 1000 species of tropical birds. Take a zip line tour and fly through the hidden, wild, and wonderful world of a jungle canopy. Lots of great choices for zip lining. Our favorite is Canopy River. Or just go hiking!

Outdoor Activities In Puerto Vallarta - Los Arcos

Snorkel or Dive at Los Arcos or Islas Marietas National Park

Known as the aquarium, Los Arcos marine park is a federal marine reserve not too far from shore, where you can dive or snorkel with tropical fish, rays and sea turtles. You will see angelfish, sergeant major, damsel fish, parrot fish, triggerfish, manta rays, green turtles, dolphins, and more! Also, consider a full a day excursion with a 2-hour boat ride to and from the Islas Marietas National Park. Once you arrive you can snorkel, paddle board, and kayak. Also, one of the two places in the world where you can view the rare blue footed booby bird!

The Best Outdoor Activities In Puerto Vallarta - Whale Watching

Whale Watch

Vallarta’s Bay of Banderas enjoys a humpback whale migration from December through March. The whales can be seen from the beach as they occasionally swim close to the shore. A better way to see the whales is by boat, on a whale watch tour. It’s an amazing experience to see and admire these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. If you have never seen humpback whales in the wild, take the tour!

The Best Outdoor Activities In Puerto Vallarta

Take a Bike Tour

You like adventure but you also want to explore the best our city has to offer. Enjoy the best of both worlds by taking the Vallarta Food Tours Bikes and Bites tour. This guided 3-hour outdoor activity features eight tasting locations carefully chosen to highlight the best regional flavors Vallarta has to offer. An easy and fun pedal around town and a culinary adventure!

Outdoor Activities In Puerto Vallarta

Visit the Botanical Gardens

The Vallarta Botanical Gardens is located about 40 minutes south of Old Town Vallarta. You can take a cab, Uber or the Tuito Bus which departs from the corner of Carranza Street and Aguacate Street in Old Town. It will say Tuito and Botanical Gardens on the windshield and it’s a beautiful bus ride out the south shore. The gardens sprawl across the jungle hilltops and down a river valley in a set of hiking trails that descend to the Tomatlan River.

Bring your bathing suit as the river has lush gorgeous clear blue water swimming holes along the way! The plants are marked for identification. Even if you are not a plant person, the food at the restaurant there is absolutely fabulous and the gift shop is amazing. Blown glass from Tonala, Jalisco and stylish unique hand-crafts and pots from all over the Republic of Mexico. You can buy exotic plants there too.

The Best Outdoor Activities In Puerto Vallarta

Hike up the Cuale River and Lunch at Mauros Paraiso

From Old Town, you can walk up Cardenas Street, east toward the mountains, and follow along the river Cuale, under the highway and through the neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Keep walking and following along the river. You will find the little berg of Paso Ancho. Keep walking on the road and along the river. After Paso Ancho, and 10 minutes of walking you will find the restaurant on the river called Mauros Paraiso.  (Mauros paradise) Coldest beer In the state of Jalisco (order the Victoria Beer with lime) and the food is incredible there.

Mauro is a genius on the barbecue. Order a brochette of chicken, or seafood, or the filet of fish on the barbecue. The setting is fabulous, perched right on the River Cuale. Where you can watch the parrots soar above the river and lush green hillsides.  If you don’t want to hike, just take a cab and tell them Restaurant Mauros Paraiso, en el Rio Cuale, Paseo de Guayaba (arriba de paso ancho).

The Best Outdoor Activities In Puerto Vallarta

Tour the Jungle on ATVs or Dune Buggies

Another fun way to explore Vallarta is to take a jungle tour on ATVs or Dune Buggies. This is a wild and bumpy ride, perfect for anyone who loves tooff-roadd. Be sure to bring sunglasses with a strap so they don’t fall off, and at least one bandana with you to help keep the dust out of your face.

There are certainly more fun outdoor activities to enjoy in Puerto Vallarta, but these are our top pics!

5 Amazing Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

So, you are coming to Puerto Vallarta for vacation and you want to experience the best of our city. Check out our list of amazing things to do. We hope it will inspire you to explore and experience some of the magic that is Puerto Vallarta, Mexico!

Walk the Malecon

Malecon is Spanish for a public walkway along the sea, a boardwalk. Vallarta´s Malecon is a gorgeous wide paved pathway, along the Bay of Banderas, in downtown Puerto Vallarta. Palm trees line the way, with breathtaking views of the entire bay. Whimsical bronze sculptures are displayed along the entire route. Unique shops, cafes, and gardens, all in a designated pedestrian zone,  ideal for strolling. The Plaza de las Armas, in front of the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, is an open-air amphitheater that has concerts and dance performances on the Malecon in the evenings.  A magical mix of artists, food vendors, locals, and tropical breezes make the Malecon a rich and uniquely Vallarta experience.


Excursions In Puerto Vallarta

Canapy River

Explore the Jungle—Zip the Canopy

Puerto Vallarta is famous for our beautiful beaches. However, amazing adventures also lie behind the beach, up in the jungle, in the Sierra Madre Mountains. Vallarta’s mountain jungle is a semi-tropical rain-forest where birds and butterflies abound. A garden of Eden,  with over 7,000 indigenous plants (including over 170 species wild orchids) and over 1,000 species of tropical birds. Take a zip line tour and fly through the hidden, wild, and wonderful world of a jungle canopy. Lots of great choices for zip lining. Our favorite is Canopy River.

Day Excursions In Puerto Vallarta

Yelapa Water Taxi Coop

Explore the Bay—Boat Cruises and Water Taxis

The Bay of Banderas offers endless options for recreational boating. Take a bay cruise on a pirate ship or jump on a water taxi to the south shore. Water taxis leave from the Vallarta municipal pier and from Boca de Tomatlan. You can also rent jet skis and paddle boards, or charter a boat for snorkeling, whale watching, or fishing. The charters aren’t as expensive as you might imagine! Or take a sailboat cruise on the Bay.

Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


Visit the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Vallarta’s architectural gem, the church sits on the main plaza in front of the Malecon and the Plaza de Las Armas. Construction began in 1904 and took 70 years to complete. The church is dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of all Mexicans. Awe-inspiring upon entry, with architectural grandeur, the church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a must see.


 Walking Tours In Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco

Banderas News

Peruse the Art Galleries or Take the Free Art Walk Tour

The art walk is on Wednesday evenings, a self-guided walking tour through art galleries and cafes in downtown Vallarta. Many shops and galleries offer wine as you wander through their gallery. Art of all mediums is shown. A fun way to explore the art scene and meet artists, gallery owners, and other art lovers along the way.

For more ideas take a look at this blog post!

Top 5 Puerto Vallarta Excursions

From relaxing on the golden sand beaches to wandering the historic cobblestone streets, there is no shortage of things to do or sites to see in Puerto Vallarta. (Check out our post, Top 10 Things to do in Puerto Vallarta) But, if you really want to make the most of your time in the state of Jalisco, we’ve put together five of our favorite Puerto Vallarta day trips. Let’s do a little exploring!


1) Sayulita- A picturesque little beach village 25 miles north of Puerto Vallarta, this surfing mecca has a laid-back, bohemian vibe. Spend a day surfing, sipping tequila or just soaking in the local color. A must-see, Sayulita has a unique magic all its own.


2) Yelapa- Looking for a place to completely unplug and get away from it all? Yelapa is a tiny fishing village and a peaceful haven for lovers of the sun and sand. There are no cars in Yelapa, so you’ll travel by boat from Puerto Vallarta. You can depart from Los Muertos Beach or Boca de Tomatlán. Getting to Yelapa is actually an adventure in itself, and the reward is absolute tranquility.

puerto vallarta trips

3) Tequila- Tequila is more than a beverage. It’s a region, a town, a culture and a history. There is no better way to properly experience tequila than to visit the place where it’s actually made! We recommend taking a tour of the factories. It takes approximately 2.5 hours to get to Tequila by bus or car.

San Sebastian

4) San Sebastian- A ninety-minute drive from Puerto Vallarta and deep in the Sierra Madre Mountains, visiting this former mining village will make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. Wonder the Mexican colonial streets that seem untouched by time and enjoy the culinary tradition that San Sebastian has to offer. Be sure to try the Chocoraiz, which is a chocolate drink spiked with Raicilla, aka local moonshine.


5) Mayto Beach and Tehuamixtle– Ever wonder where the locals go to “get away”? It’s about 2 hours south of Puerto Vallarta and its one of our favorite places! Lay on a hammock and enjoy miles and miles of virgin beaches. Stay at our favorite little rustic hotel, El Rinconcito and tell Fernando we sent you! Our must-have meal, an oyster and seafood lunch, can be found about ten minutes away at Tehua.

For more insider Puerto Vallarta scoop stay in touch with us on Facebook and check out our blog!