Warm days on the water and lively nights in old town are hallmarks of most Puerto Vallarta vacations. With two days, you can enjoy the beaches and water sports of the Bay of Banderas and still have time to venture inland for a jungle adventure. Here are our top tips for spending 48 hours in Puerto Vallarta.
Day 1: Bay Breezes and Old Town Tacos
Morning: Mingle with locals, tourists, and street vendors on a stroll along El Malecón, Puerto Vallarta’s lively seaside promenade. Stop for photos by the famous Boy on the Seahorse statue, or join a bike tour to see more of the waterfront on two wheels.
Afternoon: After glimpsing the Bay of Banderas from land, get out and experience its warm waters on a snorkeling, sailing, or whale-watching tour. Cruise to white sandy beaches, hidden coves, or rocky reefs at Los Arcos National Marine Park or the Marietas Islands for an encounter with Pacific marine life.
Night: After working up an appetite, sample Puerto Vallarta’s food. Follow your nose or a guide to street vendors and spots dishing up regional specialties such as tacos dorados (fried tacos), pork quesadillas, and fresh corn tortillas. Wash it down with local tequila, found in tasting rooms, at distilleries, and eateries.
Day 2: Jungle to Beach
Morning: Head inland to Jalisco’s jungles, where the mountainous terrain of the Sierra Madre range provides a natural playground for adventure sports such as canopy ziplining and rappelling down waterfalls. If you prefer to stay grounded, explore forested trails on an ATV or horseback riding tour.
Afternoon: Wind down with beach time on one of the sandy stretches near downtown Puerto Vallarta. Urban Beach of the Dead (Playa de los Muertos) boasts plenty of amenities, while a short bus ride and hike down hidden stairs leads to uncrowded Playa las Gemelas—ideal to watch the sunset.
Night: Puerto Vallarta hums with energy after dark. Live shows featuring mariachi bands, fire dancers, or traditional Mexican folk music serve up a feast for the senses, often combined with dinner. Kick it up a notch at coastal nightclubs, where DJs spin and drinks flow well into the pre-dawn hours.