The Ultimate Guide to Puerto Vallarta Mexico

The beautiful Puerto Vallarta sits on the Pacific coast of Mexico in the state of Jalisco. There are many all inclusive resorts that live there along with a main strip of bars and restaurants if you’re feeling adventurous.

Back in 2016, my friends and I were looking for a tropical getaway that wasn’t too expensive but something that also wasn’t the Caribbean since we’ve been so many times! I couldn’t think of a better place than Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Here’s my guide and some tips for things to do and I hope I inspire you to take a trip to Mexico!

Is Mexico Safe?

This is one of the many questions I get when I tell people I’ve been to Mexico. I think the best piece of advice for all traveling is to just be wary of your surroundings and to respect the culture of other countries.

I never once felt unsafe in Puerto Vallarta and we ventured off the resort to try some local cuisine and I even went to the bars at night.

The Mexican people are very protective of their tourism since it accounts for a large part of their income. They will do everything in their power to ensure you have a great trip!

If you don’t feel comfortable leaving the resort – you can always stay in the all inclusive. There is more than enough entertainment, drinks and restaurants.

All Inclusive Resort Recommendation

When going to Mexico I totally recommend for your first time booking an all inclusive!! I looked at quite a few online

Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta

Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta

  • $$$
  • American owned hotel
  • 1 of 3 Four Diamond hotels in the area
  • 6 restaurants on the property
  • Very inclusive menus (vegetarian/gluten free etc)
  • 2 large outdoor pools
  • Spa on site
  • 4 bars and lounges
  • Located on a beautiful and clean beach
  • GREAT customer service
  • 24 hour room service
  • Plenty of entertainment – pool parties and live music
  • Beds are comfortable and some rooms come with a Jacuzzi

Top Things to do in Puerto Vallarta

1) ATVing, Zip lining and Mule Ride
Canopy River Excursion


So after a few days lounging around the pool and eating our hearts content – we decided we really wanted to explore PV and we wanted to be adventurous.

We made our way down the concierge to check out what excursions we could do and we came across an ATV, zip line and donkey ride package. We could not resist so we booked it for a little over $100 each!

This excursion DID NOT disappoint and it’s one of my most favorite travel memories because it was so spontaneous and wild.

The company Canopy River picked us up from the Hard Rock via bus and we traveled all the way up into mountains. When we got there we received a complimentary welcome drink and were then debriefed on some of the safety features for ATVing.

I have NEVER been ATVing in my life and I was able to figure it out with the help of our wonderful instructors. Before you know it we were ATVing through the jungle of the Sierra Madre. We stopped upon some sites of waterfalls and photo ops spots.

Puerto Vallarta Mountain Range

Zip Lining and Mule Ride

After we went ATVing we then were suited up with gear and were ready to go zip lining. At this point the adrenaline is pumping! I took a shot of tequila (naturally because we’re in Mexico) because I was a little nervous about zip lining through the a mountain range.

We zipped our way through 11 different circuits – on the last circuit we plunged through a waterfall called El Salto and were able to swim through the beautiful waters.

At the end we were then guided to a clearing where we met up with a pack of mules! Everyone was able to sit on their own mule as they took us back up the mountain.

We then were able to have an authentic Mexican lunch at one of the restaurants on site that was tucked away in the mountain range. I could NOT recommend this excursion enough – especially those who are seeking a little bit of adventure.

Getting ready to ATV through the jungle

OOO Blonde Pro Tip: Make sure to spray yourself with bug spray and apply sunscreen since you’ll be in the jungle most of the day! Bug bites are bound to happen. You can also bring a holder for your go pro to attach to your helmet when zip lining – I left mine in the hotel and was so mad I couldn’t capture the footage.

2) Snorkeling Boat Trip – Vallarta Adventures

Continuing on with our adventurous streak through our stay in Puerto Vallarta we decided to take an Eco Discovery tour of the Marieta Islands. We once again book this excursion through our concierge desk! This is how we had access to a shuttle pick up.

The beautiful water we snorkeled in!

Vallarta Adventures started us off with a very filling but light lunch before we got on the boat! We then were directed towards a Catamaran – during our time on the boat the crew played music and we had a few drinks!

When we got to Marieta Islands – you had many options of activities to do between snorkeling, kayaking and even paddle boarding.

Whatever you chose to do whether it be spending your day lounging at the resort or being adventurous and exploring PV – Mexico is truly an amazing vacation spot. Between the food, drinks and great people – I know one day I’ll be coming back!

Have you ever been to Mexico? If so what’s your favorite spot? Drop a comment below!

Be sure to check out my Ultimate Guide to Booking a Cheap Flight!

5 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Puerto Vallarta Mexico

  1. Your trip looks like so much fun! I’ve never been to Puerto Vallarta but it always seems to come up when I’m looking into Mexico. I can’t believe you rode a mule, that sounds so crazy! 😆 I’ve looked into Hard stock hotels before but never stayed at one and now I think I might have to!


    1. Omg you totally need to go! I love love loveeeeeee Mexico and I feel bad because I think it sometimes gets such a bad rep. It’s one of my favorite places and it’s so affordable and the food is amazing. If you go to Mexico I’ll go to the DR haha!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Even though Mexico has a bad rep, I would still go. I go to Jamaica twice a year – have you seen the news? 🧐 Honestly, it really doesn’t bother me. Now where do I book my ticket? 😊
    Lovely read, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

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