Puerto Vallarta has many exciting activities that visitors and locals all enjoy doing, but when you want to get out of town for the day, there are several nearby towns that are worth exploring. To leave Puerto Vallarta for a day adventure, you can rent a car and drive yourself to one of the towns, or you can use public transportation such as buses or a taxi/Uber. What are you mood to explore? You can choose from a day trip to visit beaches, mountains, and pueblo magicos on day trips from Puerto Vallarta in 2019.
Day Trips to Sayulita
A perfect day trip from Puerto Vallarta is a visit to the charming town of Sayulita. Sayulita’s atmosphere is relaxed and laid back and great for people watching. If you are driving, you should know that parking can be hard to find, but once you find a parking spot you will be able to explore this town on foot as everything is only a five to ten minutes’ walk away. The center plaza in Sayulita is surrounded by numerous restaurants and cafés along with artisans selling their handmade items. Look up to see the colorful and vibrant papel picado hanging above you as you stroll through this small town. If you arrive in the town during breakfast hours, then you should check out Chocobanana restaurant, which is a popular spot located right off the central plaza. This restaurant has been a favorite place to eat breakfast for both locals and tourists, as this restaurant prepares delicious and well priced breakfast items. If you are wanting to soak up the sun and go swimming, you should take a short walk to Playa Los Muertos which is just past the elegant hotel Villa Amor. You will find the beach after you walked up the hill behind Villa Amor, and have passed a graveyard. There are no restaurants there, but you may find locals selling cold coconut water and cold beer, which will quench your thirst on a hot summer day. Otherwise, plan ahead and bring a picnic with you. If you decide to have dinner in Sayulita, don’t miss Tacos Ivan right on the main plaza for a quick and cheap treat. They are known for their al marinated pastor tacos topped with fresh pineapple, onion and cilantro, and their homemade salsa is delicious and packs quite a punch! Provecho!
Day Trips to San Pancho
A smaller town that Sayulita is San Pancho, which is mostly called San Pancho. The San Pancho beach is a wider beach that is ideal for just relaxing. You can also go swimming here, but the tides are strong so be careful when you swim. Along the beach you will see quite a few restaurants and art galleries. When you are enjoying your lunch at one of these restaurants you will have an amazing view of the beach and the water. Another popular place that visitors go to in this small town is the lagoon that is directly next to the beach. The lagoon is a wonderful place to watch a variety of birds just enjoying the lagoon water.
Day Trips to Punta Mita
Would you like to have a chance to possibly mingle with the rich and famous? If you would, then head north to Punta Mita, another small town in the Banderas Bay region. Punta Mita has some of the most expensive and luxurious hotels, villas, and condos in the area, and many wealthy people and celebrities regularly spend their vacations in this small town. There isn’t a lot of restaurants in this town, and all the restaurants are found in a stretch beside each other right on the beach. If you enjoy water activities, then you can go paddle boarding and boating as the water is clean and clear. You can rent paddle boards, boats (also known as lanchas), and you can boat over to explore the majestic Las Marietas islands. Las Marietas island is also home to the Puerto Vallarta’s famous hidden beach that is only visible during low time, so plan accordingly. If you visit Punta Mita during the months of December and March, you have to go whale watching. It is a truly magical experience seeing humpback whales up close and personal in their natural habitat, as well as other wildlife and marine life including fishes, birds, turtles and dolphins.
Day Trips to Bucerias
Bucerias is a small beach town that is located approximately twenty minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta Airport. One of the best things to do in this small town is to go to their open market that is open seven days a week. The open air market is a great place to purchase unique Mexican glassware, art, and a variety of different souvenirs. The open air market also sells hats and sunscreen so if you forget these items, you can purchase them there. There are plenty of restaurants to dine at, and they can be found lining the beach. Most of the restaurants sell Mexican cuisine and a variety of fresh seafood. If you have never tried horseback riding on the beach, you can do that in this small town as horses and their handlers offer visitors horse rides along the sand for a very affordable price. While you are riding the horses you can enjoy views of the beautiful Banderas Bay and Pacific Ocean.
Day Trips to San Sebastian
If the heat and humidity is becoming too much for you, then San Sebastian is an ideal spot where you can cool off. San Sebastian is only 1 ½ hours inland from Puerto Vallarta. There are only about 500 locals in this small town, and this town has barely changed in the last 100 years. The charming cobblestone streets can be enjoyed as you walk around the town, but you can also rent an ATV if you are feeling extra adventurous. There is a beautiful gazebo in the central plaza, and the gazebo is the perfect place for locals and visitors to enjoy an ice cream (helado). Would rather eat an upscale meal with a spectacular view? If you do, then you can go to Villa Nopal and you will feel as if you have transported yourself to the French countryside due to its lush gardens and numerous flowers that bloom throughout the year. Villa Nogal is also perched up high on the hillside, so you have a beautiful valley view as you dine. When you are ordering your meal, you will want to make sure you order a bowl of their famous French Onion soup. It’s absolutely delicious and very authentically French..
Puerto Vallarta has so many things that you can see and do, but it is always nice to take a day trip to explore smaller towns. These smaller towns are beautiful and charming and make for a great little getaway. If you will be vacationing to Puerto Vallarta soon, then you can plan a day away from Puerto Vallarta to visit these top day trip towns.