Activities Tours & Services
Now that you chose us as your realtors in Puerto Vallarta, let us also be your guide to all of what Puerto Vallarta has to offer including a wide range of activities, tours and services. Find Puerto Vallarta travel tips in this section and take advantage of the precious time you have in the Bay of Banderas. Plan your vacation to provide you with the type and quality of holiday that will probably be one of the most memorable ones ever. We at McFadden Group in Puerto Vallarta, offer an ever-growing list of services, rentals and sales that we provide directly or by related associates and companies. Below are some of the different things you can do and see.
Reservations, Tickets and Information
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Puerto Vallarta Travel Tips
When to go
The beach resorts are the most crowded and expensive December through Easter, especially the Christmas/New Year's holiday and the weeks before and after Easter. Despite the humidity, upper-class Mexican families book resort hotels during July and August school vacations while the masses rent bungalows in the smaller beach towns and camp out on popular beaches. Mexicans also travel over extended national holiday weekends, called puentes (bridges).
On the same latitude as the Hawaiian Islands, Puerto Vallarta is tropical, and can be visited any time of year. Mid-June through mid-October is the rainy season; afternoon showers clear the air and temporarily reduce humidity. Rainy season temperatures are often in the 80s and 90s and feel hotter due to high humidity. November through May is the dry season. Summer means bathtub-like ocean temperatures, the best diving and snorkeling conditions, and the most surfable waves. December through March bring the coolest temperatures: daytime temps still reach the 80s but at night drop to the 50s or 60s. May, June, August, and September are the hottest months. The proximity of tall mountains to the coast increases humidity: from Puerto Vallarta north to San Blas there's jungly terrain (officially, tropical deciduous forest). South of PV, the mountains recede from the coast, making that area's climate and vegetation drier.
Night time is the right time for strolling PV's famous malecón. Bring your camera to photograph the seawalk's whimsical statues at sunset. Sip a cool drink, buy a caramel-topped crêpe from a vendor, or eat at a restaurant across the street. At the end of your eight-block promenade, take in the near-nightly free evening entertainment -- be it a brass band or outdoor dance at the town square or a magician or mime at adjoining Los Arcos outdoor amphitheater, overlooking the sea.
After a day of activity, you deserve some R, R, and R: rest, relaxation, and rewarding views. Sip a fancy cocktail with a live music accompaniment at busy Los Muertos Beach or indulge in dessert from the crow's nest at Bucerías's The Bar Above. For the most dramatic views from high above the sea head to Barcelona Tapas, Vista Guayabitos, Las Carmelitas, or Le Kliff. All of them serve dinner and drinks.
Puerto Vallarta Adventures - Details on Tours, Activities and Programs:
Puerto Vallarta adventures should be the promotional name of this adventure-vacation destination on Mexico's Pacific Coast, at least for the sheer variety of activities. The water's warm and swimmable year-round, although downright bathlike July through September. The big blue bay attracts sea turtles, humpback whales, several species of dolphins, and a growing number of snorkelers and divers. The fishing is excellent -- from deep-sea angling for gigantic marlin and sailfish to trolling near shore for roosters and red snapper. Banderas Bay and the beaches to the north and south have waves for an excellent Puerto Vallarta surf experience as well as plenty of calm bays and inlets for swimming.
Among the lush subtropical mountains -- so close to the coast and laced with streams and rivers rushing to the ocean -- are challenging mountain biking trails for the fit, and, for those who prefer gas-driven excitement, dune and ATV safaris into the hills. Many family-owned ranches have horse-riding tours at reasonable prices -- lasting from an hour or two to overnight forays into the Sierra.
Most tour operators provide transportation from strategic pick-up points, usually in downtown Puerto Vallarta, Marina Vallarta, and Nuevo Vallarta and sometimes in Conchas Chinas, but you'll save traveling from one end of the bay to the other by choosing an outfitter near your neck of the woods. Party boats and private yachts are great for accessing gorgeous and hard-to-reach beaches, primarily south of Vallarta along Cabo Corrientes. This is a list of activities that we as your realtors in Puerto Vallarta can additionally offer you:
ATV & Dune-Buggy Tours
- ATV, dune buggy, and jeep tours head to the hills around Puerto Vallarta. Remember that sharing a vehicle with a partner means a significant saving. Also take into consideration location; most rides are to small communities, ranches, and rivers north, south, and east of Puerto Vallarta.
- A valid driver's license and a major credit card are required. Wear lightweight long pants, sturdy shoes, bandanna (some operators provide one as a keepsake) and/or tight-fitting hat, sunglasses, and both sunscreen and mosquito repellent. In rainy season (July-October) it's hotter and wetter -- ideal for splashing through puddles and streams; the rest of the year is cooler but dusty. In either season, prepare to get dirty.
- Most of the boats on the bay, whether fishing boats or tour boats, also run whale-watching tours (December-mid-March). Some boats are equipped with hydrophones for listening to the whales' songs and carry trained marine biologists; others use the usual crew and simply look for signs of cetaceans. The species you're most likely to see are humpback and killer whales (a gray whale occasionally), false killer whales, and bottlenose, spinner, and pantropic spotted dolphins (yup, dolphins are whales, too!).
- Puerto Vallarta's newest thrill is canopy tours, which are better described as high-octane thrill rides. On a canopy tour you'll "fly" from treetop to treetop (or in some cases, between steel rods), securely fastened to a zip line. Despite the inherent danger of dangling from a cable hundreds of feet off the ground, the operators have excellent safety records.
- Although large Bahía de Banderas and towns to the north and south have lots of beautiful beaches to explore and wildlife to see, there are few sailing adventures for the public. Most boating companies don't want to rely on the wind to get to area beaches for the day's activities.
- For insurance reasons, companies or individuals here don't rent bareboat (uncrewed) yachts even to seasoned sailors. Those who want to crew the ship themselves can do semi-bareboat charters, where the captain comes along but allows the clients to sail the boat.
- The ocean isn't nearly as clear as the Caribbean, but the warm, nutrient-rich water attracts a rich and varied community of sea creatures. Many of the larger resort hotels rent or loan snorkeling equipment and have introductory dive courses at their pools. The underwater preserve surrounding Los Arcos, a rock formation off Playa Mismaloya, is a popular spot for diving and snorkeling. The rocky bay at Quimixto, about 32 km (20 mi) south of PV and accessible only by boat, is a good snorkeling spot. Pangeros based in Boca and Yelapa can be hired to take you to spots off the tourist trail.
On the north side of things, Punta de Mita, about 80 km (50 mi) north of PV, has the Marietas Islands, with lava tubes and caves and at least 10 good places to snorkel and dive, including spots for advanced divers. El Morro Islands, with their big fish lurking in the underwater pinnacles and caves, are also suitable for experienced divers.
- June through September is the very best time for snorkeling and diving, although it's fine all year long. In summer, however, the water is not only its warmest and calmest but visibility is best -- 80 to 120 feet on a good day -- and you can spot gigantic manta rays, several species of eel, sea turtles, and many species of colorful fish. In winter, although conditions are less favorable, some luck will yield orca and humpback whale sightings, an awesome experience.
- The climate in this region allows the diversity of sceneries that can be found including the most beautiful jungle settings. Jungles in Puerto Vallarta were made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1987 movie hit "Predator". Jungle tours normally take you to see these amazing spots for yourself, if you're the adventurous type, this is definitely for you.
- This is the best way to get around town. Highly recommended if this is your first time in Puerto Vallarta. Get a feel for the town first, and then go back to the places you liked the most.
- Daytime bay cruises generally begin with a quick jaunt to Los Arcos Underwater Preserve, off Mismaloya Beach. There's about a half hour for snorkeling or swimming -- sometimes with legions of little jellyfish in addition to the turtles that feed on them. Cruises then proceed to Yelapa, Quimixto, or Playa las Ánimas, or to Islas Marietas for whale-watching (in winter), snorkeling, swimming, and lunch. Horseback riding might be available at an additional cost (about $15).
- These tours take you around town for the first part of the tour and then take you to tequila factories where you can learn about the process of making tequila. Tequila samples are available for everyone (drinking age in Mexico is 18).
- Guadalajara is one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico. It is the capital of Jalisco state, with an approximate 6 million people population. Colonial style buildings in downtown Guadalajara and all the amenities a big city has to offer makes this an experience you won't regret.
- This is offered in a controlled environment pool, where you and your children get the chance to swim and interact with trained dolphins. This is definitely an experience you will never forget.
- Sportfishing is excellent off Puerto Vallarta, and fisherfolk have landed monster marlin well over 500 pounds. Surf casting from shore nets snook, roosters, and jack crevalles. Hire a panga (skiff) to hunt for Spanish mackerel, sea bass, amberjack, snapper, bonito, and roosterfish on full- or half-day trips within the bay. Yachts are best for big-game fishing: yellowfin tuna, blue, striped, and black marlin, and dorado. Hire them for 4 to 10 hours, or overnight. Catch-and-release of billfish is encouraged. If you don't want to charter a boat, you can also join a "party" boat.
Most sportfishing yachts are based at Marina Vallarta; only a few call "home" the marina at Paradise Village, in Nuevo Vallarta. Pangas can be hired in the traditional fishing villages of Mismaloya and Boca de Tomatlán, just south of town; in the Costalegre towns of La Manzanilla and Barra de Navidad; and in the north, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, but more commonly at El Anclote and Nuevo Corral del Risco, Punta de Mita. The resort hotels of the Costalegre and Punta de Mita arrange fishing excursions for their guests. Bass fishing at Cajón de Peña, about 1 ½ hours south of Vallarta, nets 10-pounders on a good day.
- Waves are largest and most consistent between June and December; the water is also warmest during the rainy season (late June-October), averaging nearly 80o July through September.
- Surfboard rentals start at $5 an hour or $25 a day. Surfing trips run around $40 per hour, usually with a three- or four-hour minimum. Shops sell rash guards (no need for a full wet suit here), boogie boards, wax, and other necessities. For good info and links check out www.surf-mexico.com.
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Click here to contact your realtors in Puerto Vallarta (McFadden Group) for more information about Puerto Vallarta real estate or questions you may have in regards to these Puerto Vallarta adventures. Prices are available upon request.