Where the Sierra Madres Mountains meet the Pacific Ocean at the Bay of Banderas sits the city of Puerto Vallarta, a cultural delight for families looking for a destination that mixes sun, sand and water with great food, adventure and natural beauty.
Situated in the central Mexican state of Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta is a spring break destination, but it’s so much more than a party zone. Puerto Vallarta’s many resorts offer plenty of activities to entertain both kids and adults. But there are also many opportunities to get out and experience the city’s culture, the area’s natural beauty and of course the warm Pacific waters. So start planning your trip to Puerto Vallarta, with the kids.
Relax By The Pool
Puerto Vallarta’s hotels and resorts are as varied as the types of tacos that can be found at the numerous food stands in the city. There are a number of resort properties that offer enough amenities to keep a family busy all week, from beautiful beaches with cabanas for lounging to large swimming pools that feature volleyball nets and even basketball hoops. Even better, many of the properties that cater to families have centers where the kids can have fun all day while the adults relax in the pool’s swim-up bar, visit the spa or spend a day on the golf course.
Get On The Water
There are several water adventures that await eager families in the city’s Marina. A variety of tour operators offer everything from scuba and snorkeling excursions to a cruise on a replica pirate ship where kids can play and adults can relax and admire the views. For the more adventurous in the family, consider taking a personal watercraft tour, try your hand at stand-up paddle boarding, have a sea kayaking adventure or even learn how to surf.
Visit A Secluded Beach
Puerto Vallarta’s beaches are beautiful, but for a chance to experience some of the more secluded beaches in quiet fishing villages nearby, head down to the Marina and book a water taxi ride for the day. Consider a trip to the secluded beach of Las Caletas, or the remote fishing village of Yelapa and its beautiful waterfall and the blue Pacific waters.
Zip Into The Sky
The rainforests that line the Sierra Madre Mountains as they come down to the Pacific Ocean are filled with plenty of opportunities for adventure. A number of tour companies offer zip line adventures that are manageable even for the faint of heart. While zipping through the canopies, also consider an ATV experience, mountain rappelling or just enjoy a hike along the mountain rivers.
Explore The City
Puerto Vallarta is more than just a resort town; it’s a real working Mexican city. Centered on a beautiful downtown, Puerto Vallarta has a city center worth spending a few hours exploring. Keep it simple and walk the mile-long Malecon (boardwalk) with its shops, restaurants, and bars fronting the ocean. Or get deeper into the city and explore the adjoining streets of downtown with its art galleries, boutiques, taco stands, churches and the city market where a few treasures can be uncovered.
Discover Real Mexican Food
Puerto Vallarta is considered a foodie destination, and it’s easy to see why. There is plenty of fresh seafood to sample, from mahi mahi to shrimp and oysters. One of the real treats is to sample the city’s many taco stands and restaurants, particularly in the Emiliano Zapata, centro (downtown) and 5 de Diciembre neighborhoods with all of their regional specialties. Consider a food tour with a company like Vallarta Food Tours, or just walk the city and pop by a few of the food stands on your own. You won’t regret the decision.
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