Mexico’s west coast is lined with beautiful beaches and charming towns, and getting out to explore these towns near Puerto Vallarta will enrich your vacation and show you more of the area’s diversity. From jungle hikes to surfing villages, there’s always something new to experience and more things to do in Puerto Vallarta. These destinations are some of the best day trips from Puerto Vallarta, and with public transportation, you can discover them all.
At the southernmost tip of the Bay of Banderas, Yelapa is one of the best places to visit in Puerto Vallarta, and part of what makes it so unique is that it’s only accessible by boat. Take a water taxi here, and spend your day relaxing at a beach restaurant with a cold beer and swimming in the calm water. There are also a few waterfalls in town if you’re into hiking or you can simply enjoy the stunning seaside vistas. If you’re looking for a laidback beach day, this is one of the best towns near Puerto Vallarta to visit.
2. Las Animas
While you could take a boat to the secluded shores of Las Animas, the more exciting way to get there is through a jungle hike. Starting in Boca de Tomatlan, this hike is done by locals and visitors of all ages, and it’s one of the most popular Puerto Vallarta day trips activities. While there are some tougher uphill sections, you’re rewarded with hidden beaches to cool off at. After hiking for a little over two miles, you’ll reach Las Animas where you refuel with fish tacos and fruit-flavored water. While you could hike back, the local water taxi is much quicker. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or not, this adventure is one of the top things to do in Puerto Vallarta.
Just north of Puerto Vallarta, Bucerias is a smaller town known for its delicious restaurants, quiet beach, and art galleries. On the quiet streets, you can wander between the central plaza and downtown market, discovering souvenirs and handmade crafts. One of the more unique Puerto Vallarta day trips activities are the local bike tours that take you through town and the surrounding countryside. If you’re looking for a quiet day in a beach town, this is one of the best places to visit in Puerto Vallarta.
4. San Sebastián del Oeste
There’s more to see in the area than beaches, and if you turn around, you’ll see emerald green mountains with lush jungles. When you drive up into them, the palm trees turn into pines, and you’ll find yourself in San Sebastián del Oeste, a small town known for its rich mining history and traditions. In fact, the country named it a Puebla Magica, a Magical Town. Here, the cobblestone streets are lined with stunning haciendas and views of the mountains. One of the most popular Puerto Vallarta day trips activities is hiking or ATVing up to La Bufa, a bluff overlooking the forests and mountains, and from here, Puerto Vallarta is just barely visible along the coastline.
Tequila isn’t just one of the most important exports from the state of Jalisco; it’s also a humble town four hours from Puerto Vallarta. It’s truly one of the best day trips from Puerto Vallarta, showcasing the state’s rich history and tradition. Sampling tequila is one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta, but at a distillery in Tequila, you’ll see how it’s actually made and learn how to taste it properly. This is one of the towns near Puerto Vallarta that you’ll never forget.
The best places to visit in Puerto Vallarta showcase its culture and community, but to see more of the country’s diversity, you’ll want to venture off the beaten path. With these options for bestday trips from Puerto Vallarta, you’ll get to know the area like a local.