5 Foods You Have To Try On Your Next Trip To Vallarta

Your heading to Mexico so we will assume that street tacos and Tequila are on your list of things to do, but you might be wondering what other foods you should try while you are here? Below is a list of 5 regional and classic Mexican foods that even if you’ve had outside of Mexico—you must try in Puerto Vallarta!

Seafood Restaurants In Pitillal

Ceviche

If raw fish isn’t your thing we urge you to have at least one bite of a freshly caught ceviche. Marinated in each restaurants signature blend you simply can’t go wrong. An excellent option for first timers is to head to our food tour partner Joe Jack’s Fish Shack for their ceviche sampler. They serve traditional regional Corvina bass, shrimp aguachile, shrimp and octopus, and tuna poke. If not, ceviche give fresh shucked oysters or clams a try.

5 Foods You Have To Try On Your Next Trip To Vallarta-Birria

Birria

Other than tortilla soup, soups and stews might not really come to mind when you think of Mexican food—but you must try at least one or two while you’re here. What I love is that Mexican soups are so different than soup back home giving you a whole new culinary experience. One of the regional specialties is birria, which is a spicy meat stew made with goat, lamb, or sometimes beef. What makes this slow-braised stew so special is each restaurant’s signature spice blend. Like most Mexican soup, it can be topped with onions, cilantro, and lime juice. While common as a stew our food tour partner Robles Birria Tacos serves it in delicious tacos. A must-visit taco stand you may not have found on your own.

5 Foods You Have To Try On Your Next Trip To Vallarta-Mole

Mole

You may have had mole before but if you have never tried it in Mexico then it must be at the top of your list. Mole can be served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Every restaurant has a family recipe that has been passed down through the generations with some containing upward of 100 ingredients. While similar each recipe is unique so it’s worth trying a couple of different restaurants.

5 Foods You Have To Try On Your Next Trip To Vallarta-Corn

Corn Many Different Ways

You’ve certainly had corn many times before but there are a few corn dishes you must try while in Vallarta. Corn tortillas will be served with your tacos but give the corn dishes below a try too.

Huitlacoche: this is a delicacy sometimes referred to as corn mushrooms or the Mexican truffle. It is a fungus that grows on corn, which is often turned into an enchilada sauce or soup you will be daydreaming about. Don’t think fungus sounds good? Trust me. Besides we eat cheese and mushroom without second thought.

Pozole: a simple but delicious corn hominy soup made with chicken or pork. Clear pozole is not spicy, red pozole has a bit of kick. Top with lettuce, radishes, lime juice, onion, and cilantro.

Corn On The Cob: you must try a fresh grilled corn on the cob while you are here, seasoned with lime and salt. If not corn on the cob give elotes a try—which is fresh grilled corn with crema (a Mexican sour cream) and cotija a crumbly cheese. It is then topped with your choice in spices—lime juice, salt, and a spice blend. Both will be found by street vendors.

Atole: this hot corn beverage is often served during festivals to celebrate. Made by toasting masa and adding cinnamon, vanilla, and local fruit juice like coconut or pineapple. It’s more of a dessert than a beverage.

5 Foods You Have To Try On Your Next Trip To Vallarta-Mexican Coffee5 Foods You Have To Try On Your Next Trip To Vallarta-Jamaica Agua Fresca

To Drink

There is a long list of drinks to choose from both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Here are just a few to prioritize:

Non-Alcoholic:

Agua Fresca: a fresh fruit-infused water with Jamaica (hibiscus flowers) being a favorite.

Coconut water: fresh right out of the coconut.

Limonada: fresh lime juice with a local sparkling mineral water. Can also be made with orange juice as a naranjada.

Coffee: if you are a coffee lover skip Starbucks and head to the local coffee shops, most of which sell the beans they brew.

Alcoholic:

Tequila: a tequila tasting is a must, preferably one that includes the difference between Tequila, Mezcal and Raicilla. Or head to the town of Tequila which is only about 4 hours away.

Margaritas: if straight tequila is not your thing do a margarita instead. Since you’re on vacation upgrade to a top-shelf tequila.

Micheladas: a spicy beer-like Bloody Mary often topped with shrimp, carrots, and jimica.

One of the easiest ways to try most of the food on this list is to book a 3-hour tour with Vallarta Food Tours. Book on the first day or two of your trip so that you can head back to the restaurants you enjoyed most.

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

puertovallarta.net

 

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 7 places for Margaritas in Puerto Vallarta

Margaritas are undeniably the most common tequila-based cocktail in the US and worldwide. It’s served shaken, blended and straight up.  So omnipresent in the world of cocktailing that it merits its very own glass. Even though we cannot get enough of this refreshing drink, what do we really know about margarita?  What’s the history behind this famous drink? As with many popular cocktails, the exact origin is not verifiable.  Perhaps because of this fuzziness, many have taken credit for its invention.

Many believe that Francisco Morales created the margarita on July 4, 1942, in a local watering-hole, Tommy’s Place in the El Paso-Juarez area.  The story goes that a bar patron asked Morales to make a magnolia – a drink that he wasn’t familiar with.  Not wanting to appear ignorant, he improvised and whipped up a drink.  The customer absolutely fawned over it and the margarita was born.According to the LA Times, “over the years, several people claimed to have invented the drink; but  Mexico’s official news agency Notimex and many experts say that Morales has the strongest claim. ”
Puerto Vallarta holds the margarita in high regard.  Understanding its place in the pantheon of fabulous cocktails with Mexico’s favorite spirit.  There are plenty of establishments making margaritas.  This is our list of the best:

1) La Playa‘s Jalapeno margarita is among the best in Vallarta.  Mixologist Alex carefully crafts a sweet and spicy mix that will have you hankering for more.   La Playa is located in Old Town next to Lazaro Cardenas Park.

2) Joe Jack’s Fish Shack- Cadillac margarita. Tank, or Tanque, is a gifted bartender whose Texas Cadillac margaritas find few rivals.  These Grand Marnier-laced margaritas pack a punch, but boy do they go down easy. Joe Jack’s Fish Shack is located in Basillo Badillo 212

 

3)Solar– Our favorite dive beach bar has some some amazing cocktails.  Start with a fresh cucumber/jalapeno cocktail with your choice of tequila or mezcal. You won’t regret it!

4) Patio de mi Casa–  With a bohemian ambience that will have you relaxed, Patio de mi Casa pairs up a classic margarita with some jazz in the evenings. Marco knows his way around the bar. Don’t take our word for it. You will not be disappointed!. 

5) La Palapa–  Puerto Vallarta’s oldest elegant beach-front restaurant has an extensive drink menu that will impress just about everyone. With more than 10 flavors including tamarind and cucumber, La Palapa is a spectacular location, day or night.

6) Gaby’s – One of the cutest courtyards in downtown Vallarta, Gaby’s dishes out delicious mole perfectly washed down with a hand-crafted margarita.

7) Cafe de Artistes- Upping the cool quotient, this beautiful and revered restaurant, is well-known for their mezcalinis. Served like martini, mezcalinis are margarita’s favorite cousin.

Many of these margaritas can  found in our Mexology Tour and our Original Downtown food  tours. Remember the old adage: Drink tequila because no good story ever started with drinking milk. SALUD!

Insider’s Guide to Street Tacos in Puerto Vallarta

The taco dates back to the days when Montezuma and the Aztecs ruled Mexico. Tacos’ history is long, rich and a shining bright light in global culinary history.  Aztecs would use corn tortillas as a makeshift spoon, scooping up their food in a delicious rolled up tortilla. For pragmatic reasons, they began wrapping their food in tortillas and tacos -to the delight of billions of people since- were born.

As cities grew and the Spanish invaded, people migrated to find work. Mexico City was the largest city in the world – and is still one of the largest – and attracted people from all over the country. With this massive migration came foods from the different regions. Stands started popping up in street corners, offering speciality tacos from every corner of Mexico. Street carts eventually came about, making it easier for people to enjoy muy rico tacos at affordable prices.

The possibilities are endless, but in the interest of brevity here are some of our favorite classics and fantastic places where you can delight in the all mighty taco.  Some of these are on our Street Taco Tour, Downtown and Taste of Pitillal tours and some others are further north.

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Tacos Asada– the most identifiable and common taco.  Carne Asada is specifically beef, usually skirt steak, flank steak or flap steak, typically topped with grilled onions, beans, and delectable salsas.  Our favorite is Cuñados in Olas Altas by the Pier.  Opening at 10am, this revered stand is also one of the city’s oldest. A close second is Memo Tacos in Aguacate and Basilio Badillo opening at night around 6pm. If you end up in La Cruz, Tacos of the Street are among the best in the bay!

Birria Tacos– Birria is a popular stew hailing from Guadalajara made with marinated goat meat and typically served with cilantro, onions and corn tortillas. The best, and we have tried a bunch, has to be Robles stand in Romantic Zone on Constitution and Cardenas. A favorite in our Original Downtown Tour. Get there before noon because they will sell out!

http://vallartafoodtours.com/calendars/puerto-vallarta-walking-tour/

Fish Tacos– Originally from Ensenada in Baja California, fish tacos have become a staple on any taco list. Our favorite is El Guero on 292 Madero Street in the Romantic Zone. All tacos are freshly made to order.  For those hankering for more fish tacos, don’t miss Joe Jack’s Fish Shack, incredible fish tacos washed down perfectly with a freshly muddled mojito.

Shrimp Tacos– also originated in Baja California in Mexico. Grilled or fried shrimp are used, usually with the same accompaniments as fish tacos: lettuce or cabbage, pico de gallo, avocado and a sour cream or citrus/mayonnaise sauce, all placed on top of a corn or flour tortilla. The best in PV can be found at Mariscos Cisneros on Aguacate and Carranza and Marisma also in the Romantic Zone.

Tacos de Cabeza or head tacos,  are made with a flat punctured metal plate from which steam emerges to cook the head of the cow. One of our favorite vendors on our Street Taco Food Tour is Tacos Don Juan on Aguacate located at 400 Cardenas across from another aforementioned favorite Cisneros. They also serve savory tacos de lengua or tongue tacos.

Barbacoa Tacos is a form of cooking meat that originated in the state of Hidalgo. It generally refers to meats or whole sheep slow-cooked over an open fire, or more traditionally, in a hole dug in the ground covered with maguey leaves. Although the interpretation is loose, and in the present day (and in some cases) may refer to meat steamed until tender. The best in Vallarta has to be Texcoco by the Stadium on Ecuador and Brasilla. They will be sell out by noon as well.roble-taco

Carnitas Tacos– Carnitas, literally “little meats”, is a dish of Mexican cuisine originating from the state of Michoacán. Carnitas are made by braising or simmering pork in oil or preferably lard until tender.  There are numerous great ones but the most tender has to be Netos Carnitas in the Pitillal located at 219 Juarez about a block from the square.

Al Pastor – Al Pastor is, in our opinion, the King of the Street Tacos. Pastor is meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie. This was adopted after Lebanese immigrants moved to Mexico and is an adaptation of shawarma. It is only served at night and is especially delicious after a night out on the town. Our favorite on our Street Taco Tour in Vallarta is Carboncito, chiefly because of his use of coal instead of gas. He is located off Avenida Mexico and Paraguay and opens Tues-Sunday 6pm to 3am. Another  one to try is Takos Pakos on Basilio Badillo in Olas Altas.20131020-img_0430

So, let’s rejoice in the birth and subsequent expansion of one of the greatest culinary delights man has known – THE TACO!!!! Provecho!!!

Top 10 Things to do in Puerto Vallarta

What to do in Puerto Vallarta? Where do we start… 

1. The Art of Doing Nothing: Just relax with cold cerveza and enjoy the sunset! Puerto Vallarta is full of places to do this, but our go-to spot is El Solar.

What to do in puerto vallarta2. Deep-sea Fishing: Puerto Vallarta’s Banderas Bay is a world-renowned destination for deep-sea fishing enthusiast. If you’re looking for an exciting Puerto Vallarta activity with a tasty payoff, check out Fishing Rebels.

op activities to do in puerto vallarta3.  Beach Hike: The hour hike from Boca to Las Animas beach lets you burn off those famous Puerto Vallarta tacos and provides breathtaking views. Stretch out the day with a stop for pictures and a cocktail (or two) at the Casitas Maraikas.

4. Take a Food Tour with Vallarta Food Tours! Get acquainted with the local food scene on a 3-hour food tour. From tacos to sweets, this Puerto Vallarta walking tour lets you sample an array of the city’s edible delights. Choose from: Downtown, Pitillal, or our Evening Taco Tour! Book it here.

puerto vallarta food5.  Stroll El Malecón: An iconic Puerto Vallarta activity, a trip to El Malecón is a must! Get some fresh air, catch a sunset and people watch. Don´t miss the Voladores (pole flyers!) that put on quite a show in the afternoon.

top 10 things to do in Puerto Vallarta6. Head to Old Town: Stroll around and do some shopping in the boutique stores of Basilio Badillo and when it gets too hot, stop for a margarita at La Palapa in front of the Muertos Pier. Look for the love door for a great photo!

 

7. Mex-ology Tour: This 3-hour walking tour gets to the spirit of the Mexican cocktail! You’ll sip Mezcal, Tequila, Kahlua, Raicilla and Mexico´s signature beer cocktail – the Michelada! Of course, it’s all paired with some of Puerto Vallarta’s best tacos. Book here.

vallarta food tours

8. Whale Watching: From December to March, Humpback whales migrate to Banderas Bay to give birth to their baby calves. Watching these gentle giants leap out of the water and crash back into the sea is one of the most spectacular shows Mother Nature has to offer.

9. View the Bay from the Water: Take a water taxi to the beaches of Yelapa, Animas, Quimito, our favorite stop being Casitas Maraikas for beach and drinks.

things to do in puerto vallarta

10. Salsa Dancing: Salsa dancing makes for a fun night out with friends! The best places to get down in Puerto Vallarta are La Bodeguita del Medio and J&B Dance Club.

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