14 Romantic Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta

14 Romantic Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta

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A sun-soaked resort town on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, Puerto Vallarta is a perfect retreat for couples, known for its picturesque beaches, vibrant cultural attractions and easy access to outdoor adventures like snorkeling and sunset cruises. This alluring city is a one-stop shop for postcard-perfect landscapes, where you can soak up spectacular views from the bustling beachfront promenade, an array of fine dining restaurants and romantic beachfront hotels. 

Hidden beaches, botanical gardens and island-hopping excursions are the cherry on top of an already paradise-laden oasis, while bars, lounges and nightclubs offer lively evening entertainment. Read on to discover our picks for the most romantic things to do in Puerto Vallarta for couples, spread out along Banderas Bay and beyond.

1

Dig Your Toes in the Sand

Courtesy of Melikamp

There’s nothing more romantic than basking in the sunshine with your soulmate, and lucky for you, Puerto Vallarta delivers with a stunning stretch of shoreline. Playa Los Muertos backs onto a 200-foot pier and is popular for beach volleyball and banana boat rides, while Playa Las Gemelas offers a more remote and secluded option for love birds. Head to Playa Camarones for swimming and parasailing or stretch out on the sand and soak up views of the cocktail blue waters at the pristine Playa Garza Blanca. Conchas Chinas is the ultimate destination for romance, often a location for weddings, where you’ll find natural pools that form among rock formations.

2

Snorkel at Los Arcos

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Puerto Vallarta at Los Arcos Marine Natural Area, where you can enjoy a snorkeling adventure in the crystalline waters that stay warm throughout the year. Swim through shallow coves, caves and arches and come face-to-face with starfish, giant lobsters, turtles and eagle rays. If you time your visit between July and November, you’ll have the best chance of seeing Pacific manta rays in the waters around Puerto Vallarta.

3

Stroll the Malecon

They say you haven’t truly experienced Puerto Vallarta until you’ve taken a walk along the Malecon. This alluring beachfront promenade is dotted with local vendors, restaurants and bars and is the perfect place to take in the city’s buzzing atmosphere and breath the ocean air while walking hand in hand with your loved one. Stretching for 11 blocks through the downtown core, couples can take a walk in the late afternoon and evenings when the temperature dips and admire local artwork and sand sculptures or be entertained by buskers.

4

Stay in a Romantic Beach Hotel

Courtesy of Casa Velas

After a long day of outdoor adventures, it only makes sense to want to unwind at a beachfront hotel with a romantic ambiance. Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa is the ultimate retreat for couples, offering luxury resort rooms with ocean views, a pampering spa and stunning infinity pool, while Casa Velas steps it up with private Jacuzzis or plunge pools in spacious suites as well as cooking classes and tequila tastings. Looking for a budget-friendly beach hotel? Stay at Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa to enjoy modern rooms with ocean views and decadent couple’s massages at the on-site spa.

5

Enjoy Dinner & A Show

Courtesy of Vallarta Adventures

Looking for a memorable night out? Snag tickets to Rhythms of the Night, considered one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta. This unique cultural show is a combination of Cirque de Soleil meets dinner theater and depicts various stories of the ancient Hispanic civilization and Mexican folklore. Your evening will start with a sunset cruise across Banderas Bay to Las Caletas and end with a mesmerizing show with live music, dancing, contortionists, fire-twirlers and a large buffet dinner.

6

Wander Through Vallarta Botanical Gardens

Courtesy of Vallarta Botanical Gardens

Stop and smell the roses at Vallarta Botanical Gardens, which also features a colorful assortment of wildflowers, orchids and marigolds in 64 acres of pristine coastal wilderness. Escape the city’s bustle for a romantic day of strolling through the greenery, learning about the variety of plants on a guided tour. You can also take a hike in the short nature walks to spot birds above, then cool off with a swim in the crystal clear waters of Horcones River. When hunger strikes, visit the on-site restaurant Hacienda de Oro for wood-fire pizza and gorgeous terrace views.

7

Indulge in Local Cuisine

Courtesy of La Palapa restaurant

Setting the scene for a romantic date night out, La Cerveceria Union Oyster Bar and Grill serves fresh oysters and other seafood options, while Cafe des Artistes offers French cuisine in a charming atmosphere nestled on a hill overlooking the Malecón. Enjoy Mediterranean decor and handmade pasta dishes at Trio, or dig your toes in the sand as you enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner on the beach at La Palapa. Or, try duck tostadas and signature margaritas at El Arrayan, made with fresh sweet and sour arrayán fruit.

Can’t decide? Hop on a food tour with Vallarta Food Tours to sample local specialties.

8

Go Island Hopping

Go on a boat trip to Marietas Islands with Vallarta Adventures, where you can spot blue-footed booby and schools of dolphins above water, then don a snorkel mask and swim with multi-colored fish. After you reach the ecologically diverse sanctuary, you can take a scenic walk on the aptly-named Lover’s Beach and soak up its seaside vistas before signing up for kayaking or paddleboarding adventures. Want to feel like a celebrity? Charter your own luxury yacht to sail the Puerto Vallarta waters in style.

9

Get Pampered With Spa Treatments

Courtesy of Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa

A trip to the spa isn’t just for the ladies, especially with the wealth of spa treatments that couples can enjoy together in Puerto Vallarta. Heat things up with a Romantic Moon & Stars spa package at Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta, which comes with an oceanside Swedish Massage and sparkling wine. Or, soak in a private hot tub at the eco-friendly spa at Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta. If you’re celebrating something special, you can bask in five-star luxury at Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa, indulging in a lavish hydrotherapy circuit with a whirlpool, plunge pool and vitality pool.

10

Enjoy Tequila Tasting

Tequila tasting in Puerto Vallarta isn’t about tossing back shots, but rather the experience of tasting the flavors. Vallarta Tequila Tastings is the best of the best, offering a variety of tours designed with different tequila drinkers in mind. Sign up for the Tequila Food Pairing tour to enjoy four courses of Mexican dishes or satisfy your sweet tooth with a chocolate pairing. Learn about the smokey liquor of Mezcal on The Mezcalero or sample artisanal varieties on The Connoisseur.

11

Toast to a Sunset

Courtesy of Vallarta Adventures

There’s no better way to wrap up an adventurous day in Puerto Vallarta than with a sundowner. Catch an impressive display by Mother Nature at El Barracuda, a laid-back beach bar that specializes in seafood dishes. Located right on Camarones Beach, it offers unbeatable views of the sunset that pair perfectly with a cold beverage. Or, couples can sip margaritas and dine on Mediterranean-Mexican cuisine while watching the last rays of light at Daiquiri Dick’s or simply pack a picnic and enjoy the romantic views on the sands of Graza Blanca Beach.

If you really want to go all out, try a sunset cruise with Vallarta Adventures. Gliding through the Bay of Banderas aboard a ship with open bar, you’ll see the sun set over the Pacific Ocean with the Sierra Madre Mountains and Puerto Vallarta skyline behind you. If that doesn’t spell romance, we don’t know what does!

12

Join a Whale Watching Tour

If you time your visit to Puerto Vallarta right, you can witness majestic humpback whales in Banderas Bay on a whale watching tour from December until mid-February or March. The humpbacks migrate in winter from the Arctic to breed and rear their young in the sheltered coasts of the bay, and it’s possible to get a glimpse of these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat. Couples can tick this item off their bucket list as they capture memorable sights of whales swimming and breaching in the wild on boat tours led by expert tour guides.

13

Go Horseback Riding

Straight out of a romance novel, a horseback riding excursion into the Sierra Madre offers you and your loved one a chance to connect with nature. Just a short drive outside of Puerto Vallarta is Rancho El Charro, a charming untouched village nestled at the banks of the Pitillal River where you’ll start your excursion. Trots head upriver to a sparkling swimming hole and waterfall, then lead up to a mountain lookout point with views of the ocean and town below. Along the way, friendly guides will offer information about the historic village, native plants and wildlife you encounter.

14

Take a Day Trip to Sayulita

Looking for a change of scenery? Take a day trip to nearby Sayulita, just 25 miles from downtown Puerto Vallarta. Known for its consistently excellent surfing conditions, it’s also a great spot for snorkeling, fishing and jungle tours, while plenty of boutique shops and art galleries offer one-of-a-kind pieces to take home. Take a break at one of the beachside cafes, tiny taco stands or reserve a table at Los Corazones, an upscale restaurant with romantic decor and candlelit tables.

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