Puerto Vallarta
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Plan Your Trip to Puerto Vallarta: Best of Puerto Vallarta Tourism

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Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

A colourful resort town known for its nightlife, Puerto Vallarta is also a charmer by day. Strolling, shopping, and sipping tequila along the Malecon boardwalk is the best way to kick off your holiday. Then, hit the cobblestone streets of Old Vallarta to browse the flea market for crafts and works from local artisans. For a closer look at the arts scene, give yourself a self-guided tour along the cluster of fine art galleries in El Centro. When it's time to hit the beach, the calm, warm waters of the Bay of Banderas make for excellent diving, or you can just kick back and watch artists sculpt spectacular creations in the sand. But back to the nightlife we mentioned: cocktail joints, nightclubs, beach bars, and craft breweries give you plenty of options whether you're planning for a chill evening out or wanna party ‘til dawn. There's tons more to do and see—and we've got recs below.
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Travel Advice

How to do Puerto Vallarta in 3 days

Hidden beaches, centuries-old churches, and seaside oysters
Read on

My favourite local restaurants in Puerto Vallarta

If you’re looking for a true taste of Mexican cuisine, you’re in luck: I’ve uncovered incredible local restaurants—from basic taco joints to fine dining spots—that serve authentic dishes and flavours you’ll want to cook up at home. These are my go-to spots.
timjohnsontravels, Toronto, Canada
  • Café des Artistes
    Get dressed up for this elegant spot where the chef pairs French techniques with Mexican ingredients to amazing results. I’m a huge fan of the cacti with roasted avocado and octopus with chicatanas (a type of local ant—trust me, you’ll like them). Six courses served in a tropical secret garden filled with sculptures all under twinkling white lights. Magic.
  • Mariscos Cisneros
    Take a stroll through Zona Romantica, the city’s tightly packed old town. When you see a line of hungry diners, you’ll know you’ve arrived at Mariscos Cisneros. The wait is for the locally-caught, super-fresh Pacific seafood (I recommend the whole, fried red snapper, as well as the shrimp tostadas). They also have a food truck out front; grab some tacos, walk a couple blocks, and you can eat them right on the beach.
  • La Palapa Restaurant
    Anyone who comes to Puerto Vallarta on a regular basis has probably eaten here dozens of times (it’s been around since 1959). The place serves crowd-pleasing Mexican comfort food under beach umbrellas (and the namesake thatched palapa) right on Los Muertos Beach. Order up some tortilla soup, fish ceviche, or seafood enchiladas and watch the waves roll in.
  • Vallarta Food Tours
    Vallarta Food Tours was voted one of the top five food tours in Latin America by Tripadvisor users. It takes the stress out of finding delicious street food with several tasty tour options. I recommend starting with the original downtown tour, which provides an intro to all the local favourites, including birria, a hearty, perfectly spiced meat (usually goat, beef or lamb) slow-cooked into a stew.
  • Oculto by El Arrayan
    For nearly two decades, El Arrayan was one of Puerto Vallarta’s most popular restaurants (I often came here straight from the airport). Now the chef-owners have started a cooking school with classes that go well beyond simple chopping and stirring, starting with a visit to a local market to buy ingredients. You’ll get to whip up a meal and learn all about the traditions tied to dishes like mole before eating your creation.