There's no better place to start your day trip from Puerto Vallarta than the Hotel Rosita, one of the most traditional and oldest in town dating back to 1948. From there, head to the Downtown/Old Town areas along the mile-long Malecón (or boardwalk in English), and get your camera ready for Insta-worthy sights.
Mix and mingle with locals along this iconic seaside walkway and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and scents of Puerto Vallarta. Explore the hip bars, cafés, art galleries, and shops.
Peppered throughout your walk, you'll notice impressive bronze sculptures with their weather-aged green-hued patina. You'll come across one of my favorites, "Boy on Seahorse," which is as iconic as the boardwalk and the very first of all the sculptures to grace the walkway in 1976 by artist Francisco Rafael Zamarripa Castañeda. He was a mere 18 years old when the sculpture was first commissioned, and it sits on Las Pilitas, at the southern end of Los Muertos Beach, which is a great spot to sink your feet into the sand and take a dip if you're a water lover.
Once you've had your fill of the city's boardwalk, make the most of your Puerto Vallarta day trips and head downtown to take in the impressive murals dotting city buildings. I really like the dark-eyed Catrina with her face painted, complete with roses, a Mexican monarch butterfly, and indigenous face markings, found at the corner of Calles Abasolo and Juarez. Downtown, most everyone stops at Calles Aldama y Morelos to photograph a double-aspect mural of one of the country's most famous artists, Frida Kahlo.
The first time I planned a vacation trip to Puerto Vallarta, this was still a quiet "resort" town. Today, the number of artistic events and exhibitions have helped put the city on the international artistic map — you won't have to search long for fun things to do in Puerto Vallarta. There's even a weekly Art Walk on offer every Wednesday starting in October through the end of May. Join other art lovers on a walking tour of some of the city's best galleries, highlighting international and local talent. And don't forget to pick up a piece of indigenous, hand-crafted Huichol art from several galleries around town.
Visiting Mexico for a couple’s vacation in Puerto Vallarta? You can't miss the other side of the Cuale River, known as the Romantic Zone or Olas Altas (tall waves), popular for its hip cafés, plazas, shops, more art galleries and nightlife. Known as the LGBTQ+ area, this part of town beckons with authentic, cobblestone-lined streets and pretty buildings.
Plan a romantic getaway for the day filled with lunch or dinner, as well as mixologists creating cutting-edge cocktails for you and your partner. The local restaurants in this area are truly serving some of the best food in Puerto Vallarta; everything from traditional Mexican fare to Japanese, Argentine and European dishes. You can even head to the Food Truck Park in the city's Hotel Zone to enjoy fresh seafood, oysters, tacos, customizable desserts, and more. Then, end the day at Los Muertos Pier and watch the sun set over the bay in its full burnt orange and gold glory.
Can't get enough of Puerto Vallarta and want to discover more of its wonders? Cruise to Puerto Vallarta and explore the magnetism of this waterfront Pacific city.