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One Day in Puerto Vallarta

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Puerto Vallarta is famous as a beach destination but it has much more to offer then just sand and sun. Prepare yourself for a whole day experiencing the varied attractions of this beautiful destination, from the culture and the food to the incredible architecture.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Foodie
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • LGBT
  • Beach Goer
  • Like a Local

12 Places

3 City Tips

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Map

12 Places

El Andariego Restaurante Bar

Restaurants

The Church of Our Lady of the Refuge

Sacred & Religious Sites

Malecon Boardwalk

Piers & Boardwalks

The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Sacred & Religious Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Pipi's

Restaurants

Vitea

Restaurants

Mercado Municipal

Flea & Street Markets

Isla Cuale

Islands

Zona Romantica

Historic Walking Areas

Playa de los Muertos

Beaches

La Palapa

Restaurants

Cafe San Angel Burgers and Tacos

Restaurants

Abraham M's City Tips

  • Tipping servers is common here — between 10% to 15% of the total amount of your bill is the average.
  • You can walk through downtown and the old town, but take a taxi or a bus for further away spots.
  • Wear trainers or walking sandals, a hat, and a light sweater during winter; but never forget your sunblock. And don't forget your swim suit and towel!
  • El Andariego Restaurante Bar
    Restaurants (Mexican)
    See more photos
    Abraham M Says:

    At the entrance to downtown Puerto Vallarta you'll find this local restaurant with 25 years of experience, and the perfect place to start your day. They serve seafood and traditional 'Antojitos Mexicanos,' — so a great opportunity to kick-off your 24 hours with an authentic Mexican flavor — and you'll find the staff and ambiance very welcoming here too.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Open from 7am to 11pm, so you can come back for dinner if you wish.
    • You can take a taxi from your hotel, but blue buses with the sign 'Centro' (downtown) can drop you off just a block away from the restaurant.
    • Located on Mexico and San Salvador Street, were you can start your walk through town.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #107 of 985 restaurants in Puerto Vallarta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Our new choice for traditional Mexican food 22/05/2019
    • Great dinner and dessert in Puerto Vallarta 13/05/2019
    • El Andariego Restaurante Bar
    Address:
    Avenida Mexico 1358
    Col. 5 de Diciembre
    Puerto Vallarta 48350
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 322 222 0916
    Price range:
    US$5 - US$25
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    7:00 AM - 11:00 PM
    Other:
  • The Church of Our Lady of the Refuge
    Sacred & Religious Sites
    Abraham M Says:

    This parish was built during the 1960s and, as it isn't as crowded as the more popular Guadalupe church, makes the ideal place to stop and capture examples of traditional Gothic architecture on camera. Plus, you can also relax and meditate under its shade.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Right next to the church you'll see Hidalgo Square, which is also a parking lot if you need to park.
    • Three blocks ahead you will find the 'Malecon' (boardwalk), one of the main icons of Vallarta.
    • Remember to show respect in the church by being quiet, and avoid wearing hats and sunglasses.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #29 of 113 things to do in Puerto Vallarta
    • Stunning 06/04/2019
    • Beautiful 17/02/2019
    • The Church of Our Lady of the Refuge
    Address:
    Corner of Peru and Argentina
    Puerto Vallarta
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 322 222 1879
  • Malecon Boardwalk
    Piers & Boardwalks
    See more photos
    Abraham M Says:

    Remodeled in 2011, the Malecon has a different look but still retains its original essence that makes it so unique. You can see traditional and surrealist monuments, sand sculptures, street performers, restaurants, bars, clothing stores, and many other surprises here, as there's always something happening. A perfect place to take a stroll or to sit and feel the ocean breeze as you watch the sunset in the evening.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Be willing to taste a 'Tuba:' a drink made from fermented palm tree heart, which is a unique and traditional flavor of the region. There will be several vendors offering it to you.
    • If you like museums, you will find Museo de la Marina right next to Los Arcos Monument (a stage for local shows and celebrations) — allow at least 30 minutes for the museum.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 113 things to do in Puerto Vallarta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Malecon shopping 15/06/2019
    • Old Spain charm. 14/06/2019
    • Malecon Boardwalk
    Address:
    Calle Paseo Diaz Ordaz S/N
    Centro
    Puerto Vallarta 48300
    Mexico
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
    Other:
  • The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe
    Sacred & Religious Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Abraham M Says:

    The construction of this church — located in the heart of downtown — started in 1903 and didn't finish until 1987. It passed through several phases of construction, with the help of different priests and architects, and has become the most important symbol of the town, with its own unique style.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Make sure to read the instructions at the entrance of the church, so you can be respectful when visiting.
    • The former city hall is next to the Malecon and one block from the church — inside you can find bathroom facilities and some naive paintings by Manuel Lepe (famous local artist).
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 113 things to do in Puerto Vallarta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful Spot! 14/06/2019
    • Simply Beautiful!! 09/06/2019
    • The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe
    Address:
    Calle Hidalgo
    Puerto Vallarta 48290
    Mexico
    Phone:
    322221326
  • Pipi's
    Restaurants (Mexican, Latin, Spanish, Central American)
    See more photos
    Abraham M Says:

    Pipi's is famous for its delicious margaritas and guacamole — everyone's Mexican favorites — prepared right at your table. They also have an extended variety of Mexican and seafood dishes. Make sure you have a look around at the traditional Mexican decor and colorful piñatas while you're there!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • They serve big portions, be ready to eat well!
    • There will probably be a Mariachi band playing — avoid Pipi's if you're looking for a quiet spot.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #80 of 985 restaurants in Puerto Vallarta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great place 15/06/2019
    • Delicious and Friendly 10/06/2019
    • Pipi's
    Address:
    Guadalupe Sanchez 804
    Puerto Vallarta 11111
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 322 223 2767
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
  • Vitea
    Restaurants (Mediterranean, Seafood, International, Italian)
    See more photos
    Abraham M Says:

    Find a mix of European Riviera flavors and local ingredients at Vitea, which offers a wide variety of dishes in a peaceful atmosphere. It's the perfect place to enjoy an ocean view while watching daily life pass by on the Malecon.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Beach Goer
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • This is a pet-friendly restaurant.
    • There are outside and indoors tables.
    • There is a flea market just next to this restaurant, which you can visit if you are looking for souvenirs.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #125 of 985 restaurants in Puerto Vallarta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE! 11/06/2019
    • Good meal and service 29/05/2019
    • Vitea
    Address:
    Calle Libertad And Malecon 2
    Puerto Vallarta 48300
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 322 222 8703
    Price range:
    US$10 - US$45
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:00 AM - 11:30 PM
    Other:
  • Mercado Municipal
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    Abraham M Says:

    At the bottom of this traditional food and flea market you can find all types of Mexican handcrafts, clothes, sandals, hats, leather work, and everything else you could imagine. On the top level of the market you will find food stands, where locals love to eat — I recommend the 'costillas en salsa verde' (ribs in green sauce), 'mole con pollo' (chicken in chocolate sauce), seafood, burritos, and quesadillas. Don't be afraid to spend some time trying a few of the local flavors!

    Good for
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • There are other flea markets you can visit in this area.
    • Haggling is something locals are used to in the flea markets but be fair with the prices, based on the quality of work that you're buying.
    • Don't miss the traditional candy shops that you can find around the market.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #36 of 113 things to do in Puerto Vallarta
    • Shopping at the flea market 15/05/2019
    • Great from fresh produce and fruit 01/04/2019
    • Mercado Municipal
    Phone:
    +52 322 223 3518
  • Isla Cuale
    Islands
    See more photos
    Abraham M Says:

    This island, surrounded by the waters of the River Cuale, marks the end of downtown and the beginning of the old town. It's an opportunity to rest and relax, see some handicrafts, listen to the birds, or experience walking across a swinging bridge. If you get to the edge of the island walking along the river, you will find the Cuale Cultural Center where everyday locals take courses in painting, acting, music, and more.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • You will find public bathrooms here.
    • If you take the stairs that go up the hill next to the Cuale Cultural Center, you'll find the street where Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton used to live.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #21 of 113 things to do in Puerto Vallarta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • YIKES! That bridge! 12/06/2019
    • Basically a Flea Market on a Cigar-Shaped Island in the River 21/05/2019
    • Isla Cuale
    Other:
  • Zona Romantica
    Historic Walking Areas
    See more photos
    Abraham M Says:

    At Zona Romantica (the old town), you will find restaurants, bars, art galleries, spas, and a beautiful square close to the beach. My top recommendation for this area is to visit Basilio Badillo Street, where there's plenty to see and the architecture in particular is amazing — you'll feel like you're in a magical Mexican village!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • LGBT
    • Like a Local
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • I recommend you visit Olas Altas — the street just next to the beach.
    • You will see many gay-friendly establishments, as the romantic zone is popular with the gay community.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 113 things to do in Puerto Vallarta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Old Town 14/06/2019
    • Great strolling. 12/06/2019
    • Zona Romantica
    Phone:
    +52 322 222 7307
    Other:
  • Playa de los Muertos
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Abraham M Says:

    A beautiful and modern dock welcomes you to Playa de los Muertos — a beach that resembles a boat where locals used to fish. I recommend that you order a drink at any one of the 'Palapas' (thatch-covered beach bars) here, get ready to swim, and stay to watch the sunset.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • LGBT
    • Beach Goer
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Some restaurants offer a shower service, if you want to change your clothes at the end of the day before you go for supper.
    • The beach can be crowded, but is the most iconic beach in town.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #19 of 113 things to do in Puerto Vallarta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beach 26/05/2019
    • The Hub of The Beach 17/05/2019
    • Playa de los Muertos
    Address:
    El Centro (Off Calle Olas Atlas)
    Puerto Vallarta 48380
    Mexico
  • La Palapa
    Restaurants (Mexican)
    See more photos
    Abraham M Says:

    La Palapa describes itself as a 'Tropical Mexican Cuisine' restaurant with a touch of French and Asian inspiration. Have dinner surrounded by candles and great music, here at one of the most romantic restaurants on Playa Los Muertos.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Beach Goer
    Tips
    • Portions are an average size so if you have a big appetite you might prefer another restaurant.
    • Book in advance, so you can reserve a table on the beach.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #55 of 985 restaurants in Puerto Vallarta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Fantastic! 13/06/2019
    • Eat on beach with feet in the sand 12/06/2019
    • La Palapa
    Address:
    Pulpito 105-3
    Col. Emiliano Zapata
    Puerto Vallarta
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 322 222 5225
    Price range:
    US$6 - US$29
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:30 AM - 11:30 PM
    Other:
  • Cafe San Angel Burgers and Tacos
    Restaurants (Mexican, American, Cafe, Grill, Gastropub)
    See more photos
    Abraham M Says:

    As a local, I love this small cafe at Olas Altas. I especially like the frappes and delicious burgers, but you can also simply have a beer or a dessert while you chat with friends and watch the street come to life as the night draws in.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • LGBT
    • Nightlife Seeker
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • There are many bars close to this cafe, which you should avoid if you prefer a quieter night out.
    • There are taxis all around the area that can take you back to your hotel from here.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #110 of 985 restaurants in Puerto Vallarta
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Breakfast 12/06/2019
    • Great food and friendly fun staff! 06/06/2019
    • Cafe San Angel Burgers and Tacos
    Address:
    Calle Olas Altas 449
    Unit 449
    Puerto Vallarta 48380
    Mexico
    Phone:
    +52 322 223 1273
    Price range:
    US$10 - US$20
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 AM - 1:00 AM
    Other:
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