Puerto Vallarta means fun in the sun with more than 320 days of sunshine annually
Whether relaxing on the beach, adventuring in the jungle, or soaking up the culture, Puerto Vallarta has a wide range of activities for everyone to enjoy in the tropical sunshine this winter. With colder weather in sight, there’s no better way to extend the sunshine and outdoor fun than a fun-filled vacation to the seaside paradise of Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific coast. Framed by beautiful beaches, magnificent mountains, and lush jungles, and home to a vast array of cultural experiences, Puerto Vallarta is the ideal family-friendly destination to book for the winter months.
Explore Puerto Vallarta’s Beaches
Temperatures offer idyllic conditions to spend the day soaking up the sun or enjoying a variety of fun water activities. Los Muertos Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Puerto Vallarta, offering kid-friendly beachside dining options and a convenient location to downtown. Activities such as banana boat rides, parasailing and jet skiing make it a great option for older kids. When the sun goes down, the pier’s iconic sailboat is illuminated, offering a spectacular site for all to enjoy. For families with young children, Conchas Chinas Beach (a 10-minute car ride from downtown) offers a small cove with sheltered natural tide pools, shallow turquoise waters, and soft white sand. Playa Yelapa is an exotic beach paradise in the small tropical town of Yelapa, located just 40 minutes south and only accessible by boat. The wide stretch of golden sand in this colorful and friendly town features plenty of watersports to enjoy and is famous for the flavorful pies sold on the beach. To get there from Puerto Vallarta, take a water taxi from Los Muertos Pier in the Romantic Zone, or leave from Boca de Tomatlan, a small fishing village 20 minutes away from town.
Turtle season runs from August through December and provides an unforgettable experience for children to help guide baby sea turtles to the ocean. Saving Sea Turtles in Puerto Vallarta, a turtle camp run by biologists and volunteers dedicated to protecting this endangered species, leads once-in-a-lifetime turtle release adventures. Visit their Facebook page for upcoming turtle release dates. Travelers arriving early in the New Year will still have the opportunity to see local sea life with humpback whales visiting the bay between December and March.
Mexico’s rich cultural history permeates Puerto Vallarta, with an abundance of cultural offerings available year-round. A sunset stroll with the family along the vibrant Malecón boardwalk is peppered with stunning sculptures by renowned artists, along with sculptures that will delight kids. Enjoy free open-air performances at Los Arcos amphitheater before grabbing a front row seat to a spectacular Mexican sunset.
Head to Cuale River Island, the pedestrian-only island that is home to Puerto Vallarta’s Cultural Center and numerous art exhibitions and musical events. The Cuale Cultural Center offers painting, sculpture, dance, drama, and music workshops for all ages to enjoy.
For a sweet take on history, discover how chocolate came to be at ChocoMuseo (The Chocolate Museum). Learn about the history and production of chocolate and enjoy authentic Mexican cocoa during free interactive tours offered in English and Spanish. For a more hands-on experience, families can learn how to make homemade chocolates at the mini chocolate workshop (contact museum for pricing).
In Puerto Vallarta and around the country, celebrating Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead, All Souls Day) on November 1 and 2 is a tradition to enjoy with family. Festive decorations and traditional altars set out to honor Mexican culture and community members who have passed away adorn the town. Celebrations often take place at Malecon, Municipal Cemetery, Hidalgo Park and the Emiliano Zapato neighborhood in the north end of Zona Romantica and include folkloric dance, mariachi, street foods and sweet treats.
Puerto Vallarta is filled with adventures of all sizes for kids and kids at heart to enjoy. With an expansive and seemingly endless tropical forest, private beaches, and a dive facility, there is something for everyone at Las Caletas beach, one of the top four secluded tropical beaches in the world. The Las Caletas Beach Hideaway Tour by Vallarta Adventures offers a mix of relaxation and exhilaration for family members to choose their own adventure. Accessible only by boat, arrive at this hidden paradise nestled in the Sierra Madre Mountains and begin to explore by land or sea. Kayak or marvel at the area’s many underwater wonders while snorkeling or paddle boarding just offshore. On land, take a guided nature walk and meet some of the beach’s permanent residents, including friendly macaws and beautiful parrots. Dive deeper into the region’s culture and traditions with hands-on activities like clay modeling and cooking classes, or mezcal tasting for the adults. Keep the fun going at the Kids Adventure Park with face painting, swinging, ziplining, climbing, riding a donkey, or interacting with macaws. Tours are US$104 for adults (12+) and US$62 for children ages 4-11 and includes a gourmet lunch and open bar.
For those seeking a thrilling adventure in nature, Canopy River offers an unforgettable experience flying over the top of mountains on ziplines. Adults and children ages six and over will fly from mountain to mountain above the river on a series of 11 ziplines, walk on nature paths and dive in the river at the last line. Take a mule ride back to the mountain while admiring the region’s rich vegetation. Guests can also cross Jorullo Bridge, the longest hanging bridge in the world, and go for a swim in the eco-park’s new infinity pool. Tours are US$75 for children ages 6-11 and US$99 for adults.
Adventure out to sea on Pirate Ship Vallarta to explore Banderas Bay on a fully replicated wooden pirate ship. Guests are entertained by a pirate show full of acrobatics, cannon blasts and sword-fighting before stopping at Mahahuitas Island for family-friendly activities including snorkeling, treasure hunting, kayaking and beach volleyball. Breakfast and lunch are included. Tours depart from Puerto Vallarta Maritime Terminal Tuesday through Sunday at 10 a.m. and include breakfast and lunch. Tickets are US$58.50 for children and US$117 for adults.
About Puerto Vallarta
Nestled between the rugged Sierra Madre Mountains and Banderas Bay on Mexico’s balmy Pacific coast, Puerto Vallarta is the quintessential Mexican beach destination. Puerto Vallarta’s year-round warm climate, easy direct access from major markets in the United States and Canada, and a range of accommodation options have made it a top choice for a stress-free tropical escape. Authentic culture can be discovered around every corner in Puerto Vallarta, from the charming cobblestone streets downtown to the art-filled Malecon, and the lively Romantic Zone – a favorite enclave amongst LGBTQ+ travelers. Puerto Vallarta’s picturesque beaches and aquatic activities lure travelers, and its welcoming hospitality, top-notch gastronomy, and outdoor adventures keep them coming back time and time again.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.