4 Days in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 

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Chris McQueen/Unsplash 

Dwelled in Jalisco State in south-central Mexico, Puerto Vallarta offers you an amazing trip as there are plenty of unique things to do. Apply for a Mexico visa, and explore Puerto Vallarta’s mesmerizing beaches, art galleries, culture, and food. Here’s the best way to spend 4 days in Puerto Vallarta and be prepared for a fantastic Mexico vacation.  

Day 1: Arrival at Puerto Vallarta 

Once you arrive at Puerto Vallarta, find accommodation within walking distance of Old Town. Most of the attractions of Puerto Vallarta are near the Old Town. After freshening up, head out for the Plaza de Armas, the main square and the soul of the city. Souvenir vendors, shaded park benches, and free Wi-Fi are available here.  

Puerto Vallarta boasts some of Mexico’s best beaches; among them, Los Muertos is the most popular, with a splendid 200-foot pier. However, there are numerous gorgeous beaches in Mexico, this lively beach is worth a visit. The Malecon (boardwalk) is the perfect place to end your day. Take a walk along the coast and enjoy your first Puerto Vallarta sunset while admiring an impressive collection of sculptures. 

Day 2: Explore Puerto Vallarta 

Start your morning by visiting Vallarta Botanical Gardens that is a 30 minutes drive from the historic center. Nestled in the hills of Sierra Madre, this unique ecological park is covered by zigzagging mountain passes that feature beautiful orchids, butterflies, and hummingbirds. You can either hire a minivan to escort you from the hotel or take the orange ‘El Tuito’ bus from the corner of Carranza and Aguacate. Don’t forget to bring mosquito repellent and water.  

Spend the afternoon at the beautiful beach, Playa las Gemelas, about 25 minutes north of the Botanical Gardens. Enjoy the golden sand, dip into the warm, crystal clear water, and treat yourself with a fresh coconut or fruit salad. Experience the majestic view of Arcos de Mismaloya, a series of rocky islands. Return to Puerto Vallarta, dine at La Palapa Restaurant that serves excellent seafood and cocktails, and enjoy spectacular sea views. 

Day 3: Los Arcos and Zona Romantica 

Today, start your Vallarta exploration by visiting Los Arcos. The Arches is a spectacular rock formation in the Bay of Banderas and one of the best snorkeling places in Puerto Vallarta. The calm waters around Los Arcos are ideal for kayaking and stand-up paddle-boarding. After your water adventure, calm your growling appetite with local favorites smoothies, acai bowls, and light, healthy fare at Ono Smoothie Bowls located in Basilio Badillo of Zona Romantica.  

Zona Romantica is famous for its Insta-worthy colorful vintage buildings. You will find lovely shops, unique architecture, lots of beautiful bougainvillea bushes, street art, and plenty of café, restaurants, and bar options at Basilio Badillo. Take a stroll along the Cuale River. The Isla Rio Cuale Market, located along the river, is a great place to buy artisan crafts and souvenirs. Take some Huichol art (aka wee-chole) as a unique souvenir. This colorful bead art made by local Huicholes is the emblem of Puerto Vallarta’s culture. 

Don’t forget to visit Pancho’s Tacos, both favorite to locals and visitors, and is considered the best place to have Mexican food in Vallarta.  

Day 4: Day trip to Yelapa village 

Visiting Yelapa Village is the best thing to do in Puerto Vallarta. This fishing village is accessible only via Panga, a water taxi. Grab a water taxi from the Sail Dock at the Playa de Los Muertos pier for Yelapa village. This small fishing village is perfect for relaxing in a natural setting as it is still untouched by tourism. East of the beach, in the lush jungle valleys of Sierra Madres, there is a hiking trail to waterfalls and hot springs. With a guided tour, you can sneak deeper into the jungle to explore more of Vallarta.  

When you are in Yelapa, don’t miss the best pie made by Chelly Rodreguez, baking them for more than two decades. Enjoy your afternoon by sampling ten different types of pie unique to Rodiguez.  

End your Puerto Vallarta tour by dining at Café des Artistes, the city’s popular Mexican and French fusion restaurant.  

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