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What to do in Puerto Vallarta (Romantic Zone): 10 Experiences

Our adventure traveling in Mexico in July 2024 was the second leg of our round-the-world trip. The city where we started was Puerto Vallarta, which welcomed us in the best possible way. If you’re looking for what to do in Puerto Vallarta, you’re in the right place, but this post focuses only on our experiences and opinions. We won’t include activities we didn’t do.

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Why We Decided to Visit Puerto Vallarta

Mexico is a vast country, and we knew we could never see it all. We chose places that interested us the most and piqued our curiosity about Mexican culture. Even though it wasn’t our first time in the country, this visit was different as part of a long trip through several countries. Puerto Vallarta caught our attention for several reasons: it’s a beach destination on the Pacific, it’s welcoming and inclusive with a strong LGBT culture, and the flight we found from Vancouver (a city in Canada we visited before Puerto Vallarta) was convenient, even though it was canceled twice, forcing us to layover in the USA.

Where to Stay in the Romantic Zone in Puerto Vallarta

During our stay in the Romantic Zone of Puerto Vallarta, we chose to stay at the Hotel Posada de Roger. This charming hotel offers a cozy and traditional atmosphere with an authentic Mexican touch. Besides having a prime location near restaurants, bars, and beaches, Hotel Posada de Roger provides excellent service and comfortable amenities.

In the Romantic Zone, there’s a wide range of accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets. From charming boutique hotels and cozy guesthouses to modern apartments and luxurious beachfront resorts, you’ll find the perfect place to stay. Whether you prefer the convenience of a full-service hotel, the intimacy of a guesthouse, or the independence of an apartment, the Romantic Zone has something for every type of traveler.

What to do in Puerto Vallarta (Romantic Zone)

Playa Punta Negra

What to do in Puerto Vallarta: Playa Punta Negra

We visited Playa Punta Negra, which is a bit outside the Romantic Zone, and it was our favorite beach. In the morning, it’s less crowded, and the sea is clearer. To get there, you can take a local bus here (right in front of the Oxxo convenience store). Tickets are paid to the driver and cost about 100 pesos per person each way. The trip takes about 15 minutes, and you need to request the stop from the driver at the El Nogalito stop. Google Maps is useful for following the route. The access to the beach is discreet, and the first time we ended up on the wrong beach.

Here are the exact locations and photos of the entrance to avoid confusion. There is a small kiosk that sells drinks and snacks and rents hats and beach chairs.

Playa Los Muertos

What to do in Puerto Vallarta: Playa de los Muertos

Playa de Los Muertos is the main beach in the Romantic Zone and one of the must-do things in Puerto Vallarta, in our opinion. It has the best sand and sea access. It’s a meeting point for the LGBT community, where everyone is welcome.

Visit the Market in Plaza de Armas

What to do in Puerto Vallarta: Market in Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas has a street food market, popular among locals. The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe gives the place a special atmosphere.

Walk the Malecón

What to do in Puerto Vallarta: Access to the Malecón

The Malecón is a seaside promenade about 1 km long. Along the way, besides the view, we found street food, craft vendors, and street entertainment. It’s a pleasant walk both day and night.

Eat Tacos

What to do in Puerto Vallarta: Eat tacos

Two of our favorite taquerias were Sonorita and Pancho’s Takos. Each offers a delicious variety of tacos, perfect for a quick and tasty meal. At the latter, you usually have to wait a while.

Drink Corona

What to do in Puerto Vallarta: Drink Corona beer

This one’s easy to find anywhere. We loved sitting on a seaside terrace and having one or two. Don’t forget to try it with lime and salt. Other popular beers like Modelo and Pacifica are great too.

Watch Sunset Over the Sea

What to do in Puerto Vallarta: Watch sunset over the Pacific

Watching the sunset on one of the beaches in the Romantic Zone was one of the highlights of our visit. Playa Los Arcos is one of the best options for this.

Appreciate Street Art

What to do in Puerto Vallarta: See street art

In various places in the Romantic Zone, you can see paintings on public walls. We took the opportunity to take some photos while enjoying these works of art.

Try International Food

What to do in Puerto Vallarta: Eat international food

Puerto Vallarta is not just about tacos and Mexican food. We tried a burger and vegan bowls that we loved, especially in the heat.

Have Breakfast at a Specialty Restaurant

What to do in Puerto Vallarta: Eat breakfast at a specialty restaurant

There are many breakfast places in the city that only open in the morning. We tried Pancake House and Azul Bistro. Pancakes, eggs, and toasts are some of the options we recommend.

Safety Tips

  • Travel Insurance: Accessing and covering health expenses in Mexico can be challenging. If you don’t have travel insurance, we recommend purchasing one like Heymondo.
  • Avoiding Areas: Like in any destination, avoid unknown places without checking their safety, especially at night. The Romantic Zone is generally safe, but always take basic security measures.
  • Basic Safety Rules: Keep a close eye on your belongings, especially in public transport and crowded areas. Be wary of people offering services or products insistently, and educate yourself about legal and illegal activities in the country. When in doubt, contact your accommodation or local authorities.

Travel Tips

  • Transportation: Uber works well everywhere and was particularly convenient for airport arrival and departure. Upon arrival, Ubers typically wait in the departures area, across a pedestrian bridge to the left of the airport. We also used public transportation to go to Playa Punta Negra, which worked well.
  • Mobile Data: There are some public Wi-Fi networks, and most restaurants have Wi-Fi, but for leaving the city and calling Ubers, having mobile data was crucial. With MobiMatter, you can get up to 50% off with the code TWOBYTHEWORLD when purchasing an eSIM.
  • Exploring on Foot: The Romantic Zone is perfect for exploring on foot. The streets are charming and full of shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Remember to wear comfortable shoes.
  • Payments: Many places only accept cash. We typically use a card with no international fees to withdraw money from local bank ATMs. There’s always a fee for withdrawals.
  • Climate: Puerto Vallarta has a tropical climate, so it’s essential to have sunscreen, a hat, and lightweight clothing. The rainy season is from June to October, but the weather remains warm.
  • Entertainment: The Romantic Zone is famous for its vibrant nightlife. There are plenty of bars, clubs, and shows, especially along Calle Olas Altas. Enjoy live music and dancing.

Planning your trip to Puerto Vallarta?

If you are planning a trip, check our resources page.

Activities at Puerto Vallarta

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