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What To Do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

What if you only had one day to explore Puerto Vallarta… what would you do?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I like to explore like a local, and that is exactly what we did! One of the best parts of visiting new places is being able to see things the way the locals do. By going through certain tour companies, you can do just that.

Just a few nights before we arrived, we opted in on a package available through the cruise line, who, in turn, used Vallarta Adventures. They are a big company with lots of great reviews on TripAdvisor. They offer a bunch of different Day Adventures, but we decided to go with the Sea Safari. Part of the reason we chose this package was because it seemed to offer the most bang for your buck. Included in the deal was a beautiful boat ride on an inflatable speed boat, horseback riding through the jungle (don’t worry if you aren’t a veteran horse rider, they offer an experience where you sit on the horse and they pull you while on another horse).

After riding the horses up and then back down the back side of a mountain, we arrived at a beautiful waterfall where there is some food and beverages. Order first though because it’s only a quick 30-40 minute stop here, and trust me you’ll want to spend most of the time swimming! Slide down the beautiful waterfall slide or just swim with the fishies in the refreshing pond below. Read on for more details on each adventure that came with the Sea Safari package and what great fun there is to be had in Puerto Vallarta!

Adventure #1

We started by meeting up around 9 a.m. in the morning with the tour guide. About 20 people ended up going, so it wasn’t overly crowded. Once everyone is there, it is time to hop on an inflatable speed boat for a BEAUTIFUL 40 minute ride to what looks like an island, but is rather a very desolate strip of land on the South West part of Puerto Vallarta. It is so desolate in fact that you have to be part of the family to be allowed to acquire property there. Each and every person is provided a life vest and some water. Once you arrive, there is a tiny, pop-up convenience store to buy any extras you want or the horseback ride, including beer, water, Gatorade, and snacks.

Adventure #2

Quiximo is the city where we were at this point. A small city with a population of 700. After taking a short walk down a beautifully paved road, we came up to a pack of horses that looked well fed and quite happy with what they call home. I’d be a happy horse if I got to live in such a beautiful place too! Can you guess what happened next? Yep! We horse-backed! Not just any horseback riding though. We rode up one side of a mountain, through narrow and steep terrain that led to an absolutely gorgeous waterfall.  After sliding down a smooth rock formation, through the waterfall, into the pond, for about half an hour, you get a delicious meal right next to the waterfall. We had a chicken quesadilla that was to die for! From there, we rode the horses back to boat. This is where we got back on for another short ride a little further south, to a rocky area that is just perfect for snorkeling. Continue to Adventure 3 and 4 to find out what else was included in this awesome, wild safari!

Adventure #3

To give you an idea of where exactly in the country we are at this point, we were roughly 25 miles South of the Port of Puerto Vallarta. This area is mountainous and pretty unfrequented. In fact, you have to take a boat to get to most of these cities and beaches, as they don’t want roads built. Even though roads would make for easier and cheaper delivery of food and supplies, these locals prefer their privacy over amenities. Anyways, about 300 meters Southeast of a secluded beach, the boat stops for our snorkeling session. Unfortunately, conditions were a tiiiny bit rough the day we went, so we weren’t able to see too deep, but still saw tons of coral, small fish, long fish, blue fish, and yellow fish, among many other sea creatures!

Adventure #4

After the 30-60 minute snorkeling sesh, we went back West about 300 meters to a BEAUTIFUL beach! This wasn’t just any ordinary beach with tons of people all over it. Nope. This was a completely private beach specifically used for this Sea Safari. As a matter of fact, there wasn’t another person on this or any other beach around for miles! In addition, there were two employees working a large grill cooking up some of the best Mexican food we’ve ever had, and 2 employees working a small, pop-up bar right there on the beach. But to top it all off, these were included in the package, sooooo we had unlimited food and drinks for around 2 or 3 hours while we laid out in hammocks and bamboo mats on the beach! I almost forgot, they also have kayaks and paddle boards to grab and use as you please. No extra charge. Basically, soak up some rays, fill your bellies, and then take out one of their kayaks to explore a bit more, in any order you please. PERFECT!! This in total is a 6 ½ – 8 hour adventure.


It is a long day, but since we didn’t do too much adventure seeking at the other destinations on our cruise, we were all caught up on rest and ready to adventure our hearts out. If it sounds like too long of a day for you, think twice, because it flies by, and it really was a terrific time. We couldn’t be happier that we chose this expedition for our time in Puerto Vallarta. Highly recommend.


Note: Alex was tour guide and Pedro was the camera man. They were both awesome, so if you get them when you go, you are in good hands.

What I would bring on this adventure:

  • Water shoes – trust me you’ll be thankful! Sandals are great, but having to take them on and off is a pain. Not to mention, horseback riding with flip-flops is NOT FUN.
  • GoPro – I LOVE my GoPro and the comfort of knowing it can handle any activity I plan on doing. My boyfriend & I aren’t photographers, but when using the GoPro, we are always satisfied with the quality… sometimes we even surprise our family when showing off the pics!
  • Dry Pak – Personally, I think it’s always a good idea to have a waterproof bag. Just about everything I carry with me on these adventures are waterproof, BUT every now and then I bring along my passport book or something that shouldn’t get wet. Throwing one of these bad boys in our backpack/purse is a MUST for me.
  • Sunblock – SPF ALL DAY!! If you know me or follow me on Social Media, then you already know I am a HUGE fan of products with SPF. Take care of your skin people!!
  • Hat – It can get quite toasty out there in May, so make sure to cover up! Guys + gals, a hat is very important to get you through a long day of outdoor activities.

Was this worth the money? YES. Would we do it again? YES! Today was an absolute blast and by far one of our favorite stops on the cruise.

Have you been to Puerto Vallarta? If so, comment below with your favorite activities and/or places to see!


Beachin’ Traveler

3 thoughts on “What To Do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

  1. Aaahh! I love this post. I’ve been wanting to go on a cruise since I’ve never been. Now, I guess I’ll just take the same one since you had such great things to say about it! Thank you!

  2. Great article! I really enjoyed reading this. Puerto sounds fun! Gonna put it on my list 🙂

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