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What To Do In Puerto, Vallarta Cruise Port


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Dacy Norton



Welcome to Puerto Vallarta, a tropical paradise nestled on the Pacific coast of Mexico. As a popular cruise port, Puerto Vallarta offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture that attracts thousands of visitors every year. Whether you’re arriving for a day trip or exploring during a longer cruise, there are plenty of activities and attractions to enjoy in this picturesque destination.


With its stunning beaches, lush jungles, and impressive mountains, Puerto Vallarta offers a wide range of outdoor adventures. From snorkeling and diving in the crystal-clear waters to zip-lining through the lush rainforest, adrenaline junkies will have no shortage of thrilling experiences to indulge in. If you prefer a more relaxed pace, you can embark on a scenic boat tour along the coastline or take a leisurely stroll through the charming cobblestone streets of the Old Town.


Aside from its natural wonders, Puerto Vallarta is also known for its incredible dining scene. Indulge in authentic Mexican cuisine and fresh seafood at the local restaurants and enjoy the warm hospitality of the locals. Don’t forget to try the famous street tacos or sip on a refreshing margarita while taking in the breathtaking sunset views.


For those interested in history and culture, Puerto Vallarta has a rich heritage waiting to be explored. Visit the iconic Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a stunning symbol of the city’s spirituality, or explore the galleries and shops showcasing traditional Mexican art and crafts. Immerse yourself in the local culture by learning about the vibrant traditions and festivals that take place throughout the year.


Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a cultural experience, Puerto Vallarta has something to offer for everyone. Join us as we dive into the top attractions, excursions, beaches, shopping, dining, nightlife, and local culture in Puerto Vallarta. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey in this enchanting cruise port.


Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port Overview

Located on the western coast of Mexico, Puerto Vallarta is a popular cruise port that welcomes thousands of passengers every year. It offers a wide range of amenities and services to ensure a seamless experience for cruise travelers.


The cruise port in Puerto Vallarta is known for its impressive facilities and convenient location. It has a modern terminal building equipped with all the necessary amenities, including restaurants, shops, and restrooms. The port is well-maintained and provides a safe and welcoming environment for visitors.


Upon arrival, passengers are greeted with warm hospitality by the friendly locals. The cruise port is conveniently situated near the city center, allowing easy access to the vibrant attractions and activities that Puerto Vallarta has to offer.


Since Puerto Vallarta is a popular destination for cruise ships, there are usually multiple ships docked at the port. This creates a bustling and lively atmosphere, with passengers from different ships mingling and exploring the city together. The port area is always buzzing with activity, offering a variety of entertainment options for visitors.


Transportation options from the cruise port are plentiful. Taxis and buses are readily available for those who wish to explore the city independently. Additionally, many excursion companies offer transportation services directly from the port to popular tourist attractions and activities.


Puerto Vallarta is renowned for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich cultural heritage. The cruise port serves as a gateway to these incredible experiences. Whether you want to lounge on the golden sands of Playa Los Muertos, embark on a snorkeling adventure in the pristine waters of the Marietas Islands, or immerse yourself in the local art scene in the Zona Romantica, Puerto Vallarta offers something for every type of traveler.


Overall, the Puerto Vallarta cruise port provides a fantastic starting point for exploring this captivating destination. With its convenient location, excellent facilities, and numerous attractions, it is no wonder that Puerto Vallarta continues to be a top choice for cruise travelers seeking an unforgettable vacation experience.


Top Attractions in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is brimming with captivating attractions that cater to a variety of interests. Whether you’re seeking adventure, cultural experiences, or simply relaxation, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here are some of the top attractions in Puerto Vallarta:

  1. Malecon: This iconic boardwalk is the heart and soul of Puerto Vallarta. Stretching along the shoreline, the Malecon is lined with vibrant sculptures, street performers, shops, and restaurants. Take a leisurely stroll, enjoy the ocean breeze, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of this popular gathering spot.
  2. The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe: A symbol of Puerto Vallarta’s rich cultural heritage, this beautiful church dominates the city’s skyline. Admire the intricate architecture and step inside to marvel at the stunning interior. Attend a mass or simply take a moment of tranquility in this sacred space.
  3. The Romantic Zone (Zona Romantica): Located south of the Malecon, the Romantic Zone is a charming neighborhood known for its cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and artistic flair. Explore the boutique shops, art galleries, and trendy restaurants in this bohemian district. Don’t miss the chance to visit the famous Los Muertos Pier, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the bay.
  4. The Vallarta Botanical Gardens: Just a short drive from the city center, the Vallarta Botanical Gardens offer a serene escape into nature. Discover a wide variety of plant species, including orchids, bromeliads, and palms, as well as a beautiful collection of butterflies. Take a leisurely stroll through the lush gardens and enjoy the breathtaking mountain views.
  5. The Hidden Beach of Marietas Islands: Embark on an unforgettable adventure to the hidden beach located within the Marietas Islands. This unique beach, also known as Playa del Amor, was formed by volcanic activity and offers a secluded and picturesque oasis. Accessible only by swimming or kayaking through a cave, the hidden beach is a must-see attraction for nature lovers.

Aside from these attractions, Puerto Vallarta also offers a wide range of activities and experiences such as snorkeling and diving tours, zip-lining adventures, tequila tasting, and exploring the vibrant local art scene. Whether you’re seeking natural wonders, cultural landmarks, or thrilling adventures, Puerto Vallarta has it all.


Excursions and Activities in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is a paradise for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts, offering a plethora of exciting excursions and activities. Whether you want to explore the stunning coastline, trek through lush jungles, or immerse yourself in cultural experiences, Puerto Vallarta has something to suit every interest. Here are some of the top excursions and activities in Puerto Vallarta:

  1. Snorkeling and Diving: Explore the vibrant underwater world of Puerto Vallarta through snorkeling or diving. Discover colorful coral reefs, swim with tropical fish, and encounter unique marine species. Los Arcos Marine Park and the Marietas Islands are popular destinations for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts.
  2. Zip-lining and Canopy Tours: Experience an adrenaline rush by soaring through the treetops on a zip-lining adventure. Puerto Vallarta offers several zip-lining and canopy tour options, allowing you to enjoy breathtaking views of the jungle and mountains while experiencing an exhilarating ride.
  3. Boat Tours and Whale Watching: Embark on a scenic boat tour along the coastline of Puerto Vallarta. Enjoy panoramic views of the bay, visit hidden beaches, and even spot marine wildlife such as dolphins, sea turtles, and during the winter months, witness the majestic humpback whales during their migration.
  4. Hiking and Nature Walks: Lace up your hiking boots and explore the natural beauty of Puerto Vallarta on a guided hike or nature walk. Discover lush jungles, hidden waterfalls, and breathtaking viewpoints. The trails of Sierra Madre Mountains and El Eden are popular hiking destinations.
  5. ATV and Off-Road Adventures: Get off the beaten path and explore the rugged terrain of Puerto Vallarta on an ATV or off-road adventure. Navigate through dirt trails, riverbeds, and mountainous landscapes while enjoying the thrill of adventure.
  6. Cultural Experiences: Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Puerto Vallarta by participating in cultural experiences. Take a cooking class to learn how to prepare traditional Mexican dishes, explore local art galleries and craft markets, or watch a traditional folklore performance.

These are just a few of the many excursions and activities available in Puerto Vallarta. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, there is no shortage of options to make your visit to Puerto Vallarta a memorable one.


Beaches in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is blessed with an array of breathtaking beaches that cater to every type of beach-goer. Whether you prefer a lively and bustling atmosphere or a secluded and tranquil retreat, Puerto Vallarta has the perfect beach for you. Here are some of the top beaches in Puerto Vallarta:

  1. Playa Los Muertos: Located in the heart of the Romantic Zone, Playa Los Muertos is the most popular beach in Puerto Vallarta. It offers a vibrant and lively atmosphere with an array of beach clubs, restaurants, and water sports activities. Relax on a beach chair, soak up the sun, or take a dip in the crystal-clear waters.
  2. Playa de Oro: Situated in front of the Hotel Zone, Playa de Oro is a serene and picturesque beach. It is perfect for those seeking a quieter and more secluded beach experience. Enjoy a peaceful day of sunbathing, take a leisurely walk along the shore, or simply unwind in the tranquil surroundings.
  3. Playa Mismaloya: Located south of Puerto Vallarta, Playa Mismaloya offers a stunning combination of turquoise waters, golden sands, and lush greenery. This picturesque beach gained international fame as the filming location for the movie “The Night of the Iguana.” Besides sunbathing and swimming, you can also enjoy snorkeling and kayaking in the clear waters.
  4. Yelapa Beach: For a more remote and off-the-beaten-path experience, visit Yelapa Beach. This hidden gem is only accessible by boat and offers a peaceful and secluded atmosphere. Enjoy the tranquility, go for a swim, or indulge in fresh seafood at one of the beachside restaurants.
  5. Punta Mita: Located north of Puerto Vallarta, Punta Mita is known for its luxurious resorts and pristine beaches. Surrounded by lush greenery and turquoise waters, Punta Mita offers a beautiful setting for a day in paradise. Enjoy water sports activities, pamper yourself at a beachside spa, or simply relax and unwind.

These are just a few of the many stunning beaches that Puerto Vallarta has to offer. Whether you’re seeking a lively atmosphere or a peaceful retreat, Puerto Vallarta’s beaches will leave you mesmerized with their natural beauty and charm.


Shopping and Dining in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is not only a paradise for beach lovers and adventure seekers but also a haven for shopping enthusiasts and foodies. The city offers a diverse range of shopping options, from vibrant markets to upscale boutiques, as well as a vibrant food scene with a variety of culinary delights. Here’s a glimpse into the shopping and dining experiences in Puerto Vallarta:



  1. Mercado Municipal: Located in the heart of the city, Mercado Municipal is a bustling market where you can find a wide variety of local products. From fresh produce, spices, and homemade food to handcrafted souvenirs and textiles, this market offers a true taste of Mexico.
  2. Malecon Shops: The Malecon promenade is not only renowned for its beautiful ocean views but also for its shops. Take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk and explore the eclectic mix of boutiques, souvenir shops, and art galleries. It’s the perfect place to find unique and locally made items.
  3. Galerias Vallarta: For more upscale shopping, head to Galerias Vallarta. This modern shopping mall features a range of international brands, boutiques, and specialty stores. From fashion and accessories to electronics and cosmetics, you’ll find everything you need under one roof.
  4. Zona Romantica: This charming neighborhood is not only known for its cobblestone streets and vibrant atmosphere but also for its boutique shops. Explore the narrow streets and discover unique clothing stores, art galleries, and handicraft shops where you can find one-of-a-kind treasures.


  1. Traditional Mexican Cuisine: Puerto Vallarta is a haven for food lovers, especially those who enjoy Mexican cuisine. Indulge in tantalizing street tacos, savory enchiladas, and mouthwatering ceviche at the local taquerias and street food stalls. Don’t forget to sample traditional dishes such as mole, pozole, and chiles en nogada.
  2. Seafood: With its coastal location, Puerto Vallarta is known for its fresh and delicious seafood. From grilled fish and shrimp to ceviche and seafood platters, there are plenty of restaurants and beach clubs where you can savor the flavors of the ocean.
  3. Fusion and International Cuisine: Puerto Vallarta also caters to those seeking fusion and international flavors. Enjoy innovative dishes that combine Mexican and international influences at upscale restaurants dotted along the Malecon and in the Romantic Zone.
  4. Local Markets and Food Tours: For a truly immersive dining experience, explore the local markets and indulge in a food tour. Sample a variety of dishes, from street food to regional specialties, and learn about the culinary traditions and history of Puerto Vallarta.

From shopping for unique souvenirs to savoring mouthwatering cuisine, Puerto Vallarta offers a delightful experience for every taste and preference. Whether you’re looking for traditional Mexican flavors or international cuisine, the city’s vibrant food and shopping scene will leave you satisfied and wanting more.


Nightlife in Puerto Vallarta

When the sun goes down, Puerto Vallarta comes alive with a vibrant and captivating nightlife scene. From energetic clubs to laid-back beach bars, the city offers a diverse array of options for those seeking a memorable night out. Here’s a glimpse into the nightlife in Puerto Vallarta:


Clubs and Bars:

  1. La Bodeguita del Medio: This lively Cuban-themed bar is known for its festive atmosphere, live music, and signature mojitos. Dance the night away to salsa, merengue, and Latin beats or simply enjoy the vibrant ambiance while sipping on a delicious cocktail.
  2. Mandala Puerto Vallarta: With its modern decor and pulsating beats, Mandala is a club that consistently draws crowds looking to dance and have a great time. Dance to the latest hits and enjoy the electric energy of the dance floor or relax in the stylish VIP areas.
  3. Roxy Rock House: This rock-themed bar is a favorite among music lovers and draws a diverse crowd. Enjoy live rock performances, karaoke nights, and eclectic tunes while sipping on your favorite drink. The laid-back atmosphere and friendly vibe make it a great place to unwind and have a good time.
  4. The Red Room Cabaret: For those seeking a unique nightlife experience, The Red Room Cabaret is the place to be. Enjoy live performances featuring talented singers, dancers, and comedians in an intimate setting. The shows range from Broadway-inspired productions to comedy and tribute acts.

Gay Nightlife:


Puerto Vallarta has a thriving LGBTQ+ community and is renowned for its inclusive and vibrant gay nightlife. The city is home to a wide range of gay bars, clubs, and drag shows that offer a welcoming and lively environment for all. Some popular LGBTQ+ venues include the iconic Mantamar Beach Club, Mr. Flamingo, and Paco’s Ranch.


Beach Clubs:


For a more relaxed and scenic nighttime experience, Puerto Vallarta’s beach clubs offer a fantastic atmosphere. Enjoy a delicious dinner with your toes in the sand, watch the sunset, and chill out to the sounds of live music. Some popular beach clubs include La Palapa, El Dorado, and Mantamar Beach Club.


Whether you’re looking for high-energy clubs, laid-back bars, or beachfront lounges, Puerto Vallarta’s nightlife has something for everyone. Dance the night away, enjoy live performances, or simply relax with a drink while taking in the stunning views. With its diverse and lively options, Puerto Vallarta guarantees a memorable night out.


Local Culture and Heritage in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is not only a picturesque beach destination but also a place rich in culture and heritage. The city is renowned for its vibrant traditions, artistic flair, and historical landmarks. Immerse yourself in the local culture and heritage of Puerto Vallarta with these experiences:


Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe: A symbol of Puerto Vallarta, the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is an iconic landmark. Its stunning architecture, crowned by a grand crown-shaped tower, stands as a testament to the city’s deep spiritual roots. Attend a mass or simply admire the intricate details and religious art inside.


Zona Romantica: Take a leisurely stroll through the cobblestone streets of the Romantic Zone, the historic heart of Puerto Vallarta. This bohemian neighborhood is filled with colorful buildings, charming art galleries, and specialty shops. Explore the area and discover local artists showcasing their talents.


The Malecon: The Malecon promenade is not only a hub of activity but also a showcase of Puerto Vallarta’s cultural heritage. Admire the diverse selection of outdoor sculptures and artwork that line the boardwalk, each one telling its own unique story. Keep an eye out for famous pieces like the “La Rotonda del Mar” and the “The Boy on the Seahorse.”


El Faro Lighthouse: Make your way up to the El Faro Lighthouse for breathtaking panoramic views of Puerto Vallarta. This iconic landmark is located on the hillside of Cerro de la Cruz and offers a glimpse into the city’s history and coastal beauty. Climb to the top and be rewarded with stunning vistas of the bay and the surrounding area.


Traditional Festivals: Experience the vibrant energy and rich cultural heritage of Puerto Vallarta by joining in on traditional festivals and celebrations. The Day of the Dead festivities in November, the Gourmet International Festival in November, and Semana Santa (Holy Week) are just a few examples of the colorful and lively events that showcase the local culture.


Folkloric Ballet Performances: Witness the mesmerizing beauty of traditional Mexican dance through folkloric ballet performances. These captivating shows combine artistic expression, colorful costumes, and rhythmic movements to tell stories of Mexico’s rich history and culture. Check the local listings for performances during your visit.


By exploring Puerto Vallarta’s cultural and heritage sites, attending festivals, and experiencing traditional performances, you will gain a deeper appreciation for the city’s history, artistic expression, and local traditions. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Puerto Vallarta, and you will take away memories that will last a lifetime.


Tips for Visiting Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port

If you’re planning a visit to the beautiful Puerto Vallarta cruise port, here are some helpful tips to ensure you have a fantastic experience:

  1. Plan Your Time: Research and plan ahead to make the most of your time in Puerto Vallarta. Decide which attractions and activities interest you the most and create an itinerary that allows you to explore them comfortably within the time you have.
  2. Be Mindful of the Weather: Puerto Vallarta enjoys a tropical climate, so pack suitable clothing and accessories. Don’t forget sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. Also, be prepared for occasional showers during the rainy season (June to October).
  3. Stay Hydrated: With the warm temperatures, it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Carry a water bottle with you and drink plenty of fluids to stay refreshed and energized.
  4. Carry Local Currency: While some establishments accept U.S. dollars, it’s advisable to have some local currency (Mexican Pesos) for smaller shops, markets, and taxis. ATMs are widely available for currency exchange, but be mindful of any transaction fees.
  5. Practice Basic Safety: Like any tourist destination, it’s important to exercise caution. Keep an eye on your personal belongings, avoid displaying expensive items, and stick to well-lit and populated areas, especially at night.
  6. Try Local Cuisine: Puerto Vallarta is famous for its delicious Mexican cuisine. Venture out of your comfort zone and try the local dishes, street tacos, fresh seafood, and traditional beverages like horchata and micheladas. Don’t forget to stay hydrated while savoring those spicy flavors.
  7. Engage with the Locals: Puerto Vallarta is known for its warm and welcoming locals. Take time to engage with them, ask for recommendations, or strike up a friendly conversation. They can provide valuable insights and enrich your experience with their insights into the local culture.
  8. Book Shore Excursions or Private Tours: To make the most of your time and experience in Puerto Vallarta, consider booking shore excursions or private tours. These can provide you with knowledgeable guides who will show you the highlights of the area and give you an in-depth understanding of the local culture and history.
  9. Respect the Environment and Local Customs: Puerto Vallarta is known for its natural beauty and cultural heritage. Be mindful of the environment by disposing of trash properly and supporting eco-friendly activities. Respect local customs, traditions, and sites by dressing appropriately and behaving respectfully.

Follow these tips to maximize your enjoyment during your visit to the Puerto Vallarta cruise port. Embrace the beauty, culture, and warmth of this enchanting destination, and you’ll create lifelong memories to cherish.



Puerto Vallarta is a jewel on the Pacific coast of Mexico, offering a perfect blend of natural beauty, thrilling adventures, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality. As a popular cruise port, Puerto Vallarta beckons travelers from around the world to explore its stunning beaches, immerse themselves in its vibrant culture, and indulge in its delightful cuisine.


From the moment you step off your cruise ship, Puerto Vallarta delights with its picturesque landscapes, including golden sandy beaches, stunning mountains, and lush jungles. Whether you choose to relax on the shores, embark on thrilling adventures, or uncover the city’s historical landmarks, Puerto Vallarta promises an unforgettable experience for every type of traveler.


Immerse yourself in the local culture by delving into the artistic flair of the Zona Romantica, witnessing the beauty of traditional dances, or visiting historical sites such as the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The vibrant nightlife scene invites you to dance the night away in high-energy clubs, enjoy live music, or savor delicious cocktails at beach bars.


The culinary scene in Puerto Vallarta is a feast for the senses. Indulge in mouthwatering Mexican cuisine, fresh seafood, and innovative fusion dishes. From street food to upscale restaurants, the city caters to all tastes and budgets, allowing you to embark on a culinary journey that will tantalize your taste buds.


As you bid farewell to Puerto Vallarta, take with you the memories of stunning sunsets, thrilling adventures, cultural experiences, and warm encounters with the locals. Puerto Vallarta offers a unique blend of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and captivating experiences that will forever hold a special place in your heart.


Whether you’re arriving for a day trip or spending more time exploring during a longer cruise, Puerto Vallarta will leave you longing to return and discover even more of its treasures. So pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey in this tropical paradise.