In this new age of social distancing, many tourists are looking for outdoor activities as a safer alternative to being confined indoors. The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Trust offers these as examples of some of the many outdoor options available, but there are many, many more options if some of these do not fit what you are looking to do.
1.-Go hiking on the southern beaches
A walk on the beaches is always a comforting experience . Walking on the sand by the sea is inspiring. For this reason, we suggest that you discover the southern beaches of the port on your next trip.
You can start in Boca de Tomatlán with a walk of just over a kilometer through the jungle to Colomitos beach , the smallest in the world according to Unknown Mexico, but of enormous natural beauty. Your walk can continue along the Caballo and Madagascar beaches, of exuberant beauty, until you reach Las Ánimas where there is a beach club. Get ready to discover a piece of paradise that will captivate you.
2-. Hike or ride the Quimixto waterfall
Quimixto is a charming rustic town on the beach 20 kilometers from the center of Puerto Vallarta, where you can get there by boat from Boca de Tomatlán. The adventure begins on the beach, from where the path begins along the jungle, you will cross a river and advance along a path full of vegetation until you reach a clearing in the mountain where the noise of the water will guide you to the waterfall.
The walk can be done on foot or on horseback but the destination is the same, on one side of the waterfall there are some tourist services. Here it is inevitable to take a dive and swim towards the waterfall to take a refreshing natural shower.
3.- Refresh yourself in the waterfalls of Mismaloya, Palo María and Colomitos
A refreshing experience in Puerto Vallarta is discovering the waterfalls that are found in the jungle and that during the rainy season are a wonderful natural spectacle. Today we suggest you visit waterfalls located in three different areas of the port. You can reach the Mismaloya waterfalls by car or after a walk through a gap ; the place also offers small natural pools and various tourist services.
To get to the waterfalls area of the Palo María river you must go into the jungle, as you advance the degree of difficulty increases so it is important to know the terrain and wear appropriate footwear. Finally, the waterfall hidden in Colomitos beach can be seen after climbing between the rocks towards the top of the jungle.
4.-Walk the channels of the El Salado estuary
Defined as a true “lung” of the Bay of Banderas, El Salado is the largest urban estuary in Mexico where it is possible to discover 3 of the 5 mangrove varieties ; its environmental services are essential for the bay, as it generates food for the species that inhabit it.
You can tour its channels in a panga, through a guided tour in which a biologist will guide you to distinguish the different varieties of flora and fauna. Here it is possible to see from iguanas to some crocodiles of different ages and sizes, as well as raccoons, opossums and some other endemic varieties.
Although its access is in front of the Marina area, in a few minutes you will feel in the middle of a unique habitat, surrounded by mangrove navigating channels of wild beauty.
5.-Discover the vegetation of the Vallarta Botanical Garden
South of Puerto Vallarta, in the community of Las Juntas y los Veranos, is the region’s Botanical Garden. Considered one of the 10 most beautiful in North America, according to specialized publications, In this space you will feel at peace and in harmony with nature surrounded by the most beautiful plant species in the region.
Between magnolias, papellilos, orchids and dozens of flowers, your walk will give you multiple reasons to take an extensive photo session . If you wish, you can look out over the garden where the Los Horcones River runs where you can take a refreshing dip.
6.-Join the Pacific Ocean in Los Arcos de Mismaloya National Park
These monumental rocks are an icon of Puerto Vallarta . You can get to them on a boat trip around the bay or in a panga from the Los Muertos dock, in the surroundings you can practice snorkeling, Stand Up Paddle (SUP), diving or just swim in these refreshing waters.
If you decide to take an underwater look, you will discover a fascinating world of marine species , fish of different colors will swim near you. You can also see where the continental shelf ends and descends to one of the deepest trenches in the Pacific. By practicing SUP, you will have another view of the place, from your own height, standing on the Pacific contemplating its vastness.
7.-Feel your heart beat in the viewpoint of La Cruz hill
In the center of the city is this viewpoint that in a few years has become the ideal point to have the best panoramic view of the port. We recommend you bring tennis, sportswear and water to start a walk that includes cobblestone streets and stairs to the top of Cerro de La Cruz.
At the top of the viewpoint you will feel the refreshing breeze and according to the time of day, afternoon or night you will have a unique perspective of Puerto Vallarta in the center of Banderas Bay. In the foreground, the red roofs of the houses in the center stand out, as well as the iconic crown in the upper part of the Guadalupe parish.
Here you can take dozens of images that will cause envy , in which the protagonists are the extension of the port, the wide sea, sunlight, the horizon and the curvature of the earth.
8.-Swim with dolphins in their natural habitat
Nothing like swimming with dolphins in their natural habitat when they are in the Pacific Ocean. A specialized company locates them using a GPS, and takes you to the vicinity of the families of dolphins that live in Banderas Bay.
Those who have lived them catalog it as a life experience that connects you immediately with these beings recognized for their intelligence. It is advisable to relax and let the dolphins feel the confidence to come closer if they wish. You will surely return home with a series of indelible memories after contact with these wonderful beings from the ocean.
9.-Cross the longest suspension bridge in the world
The surroundings of Puerto Vallarta are full of ecotourism surprises . Today we suggest that you visit the El Jorullo ejido, where its inhabitants, far from promoting urbanization, have chosen to carry out low-impact outdoor activities, as well as having a spectacular suspension bridge.
This 470 meter long suspension bridge suspended at a height of 150 meters above the Cuale River, is an exceptional viewpoint of the Sierra Madre Occidental. The Canopy River company offers you various options to cross it on foot or aboard a razer-type vehicle.
10.-Relax in the thermal waters of La Desembocada
North of the port, on the road to the Las Palmas delegation, once you pass the Mascota river you will find a detour to the community of La Desembocada , here you can visit the hot springs.
These are a series of pools where the waters are rich in minerals , a dip in these natural jacuzzis is a pleasant relaxing experience given the rustic, natural environment in which they are located.
In La Desembocada –and in general on this road- you will also find delicious traditional food : birria, roast meat, shaken fish, and traditional products such as fruits, banana bread, empanadas and other delicacies without preservatives.
65 kilometers from Puerto Vallarta is the Magical Town of San Sebastián del Oeste, a quiet place located in the mountains where you can relax, walk, breathe pure oxygenfrom the forest and disconnect from the stress of the city.
Here it is highly recommended to visit the viewpoint of the Cerro de La Bufa , a walk that will make you reach the height of the clouds; From there you will have a spectacular panorama of the region and on clear days you can even see Banderas Bay.
You can come and go or stay overnight in one of its rustic hotels or cabins, to enjoy the tranquility and silence of the mountains.