Puerto Vallarta: 5 Things To Do Beyond The Beaches & Bars

As you may well know if you’re reading here, people from all over the world flock to Puerto Vallarta to enjoy the breathtaking beaches, take a dip in the incredibly clear water and enjoy the boisterous nightlight. However, Puerto Vallarta has more to offer beyond the typical highlights. Here, we’re going to explore five things to do aside from the beaches, seas, and night scene.

1. Botanical Gardens
The gorgeous flora and fauna of Puerto Vallarta’s world-famous Botanical Garden span the southern shore. The garden offers a guided tour that, due to the immensity or the nature preserve, can be the best way to experience it. During the tour, which lasts approximately five to seven hours, guests are transported to several locations in air-conditioned buses. Tourists are able to see beautiful cacti, agaves, vanilla, magnolias, and orchids. And after all of this reveling in nature’s beauty, lunch is served at the award-winning Hacienda de Oro Restaurant. Additional activities include swimming in a river and a chance to make your own vanilla extract!

2. El Cora Crocodile Sanctuary
El Cora Crocodile Sanctuary is the perfect destination for any animal lover. Located in El Quelele Estuary, this sanctuary also has guided tours, led by specialized biologists and veterinarians, for parties up to 20 people (and children as young as four, for those who are traveling with families). Guests have the amazing opportunity to get up close and personal with seven crocodiles in captivity. On occasion, guests can even feed these incredible creatures.

3. Zip Lining
Adrenaline junkies rejoice! Puerto Vallarta has plenty of activities to get your heart pounding as well. On a canopy tour, you can take in the stunning sights while soaring right over the area’s jungle, with some zip lines going as fast as 30 mph. And after whizzing above the jungle canopy, you can cool off by jumping into the nearby tropical river, before unwinding with a drink or two at a nearby tequila bar (which is all part of the tour). Hungry tourists can also nosh on delicious, authentic Mexican food at a riverfront restaurant.

4. Casinos
Mexican casinos are surprisingly not particularly popular among tourists. A large portion of the country’s visitors come from Canada, where live online casino options give people plenty of games to enjoy without having to travel or go out. Meanwhile, a lot of Americans who seek out casinos in different countries tend to head instead to Caribbean islands, where some of the resorts are massive and known around the world. But don’t let Mexican casinos’ lack of international renown deter you! You can certainly set a date with lady luck while on vacation in Puerto Vallarta. The city’s top resorts, including Paradise Village Beach Resort and Spa, Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, and Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta, have awesome casinos to check out. You never know when you’re going to win some money – and even if you don’t, you can look at some modest losses as a means of paying for a fun time out.

5. Tierra Huichol Malecon Art Gallery
The Tierra Huichol Malecon Art Gallery showcases Huichol artwork from local artists. The gallery makes for a great outing for art aficionados and anyone who would like to learn more about Puerto Vallarta’s culture. The curators find unique pieces from Huichol communities in Jalisco and Nayarit, where artists typically use bright colors and traditional symbols in their work. While visiting the gallery, you can be dazzled by one-of-kind pieces, including magnificent yarn paintings, that can’t be seen anywhere else. It’s certainly a nice twist on the dime-a-dozen museums you see at so many popular destinations – and another great option to keep on your Puerto Vallarta itinerary beyond the beaches and nightlife.