What to do and see in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico: The Best Places and Tips

July 31, 2017 Natalie Tallman

In Nuevo Vallarta, you can lounge on the golden-sand beaches of Banderas Bay… or take an ATV tour through the nearby Sierra Madre jungle. A local water park has great twisting slides and sea lion shows… or you could treat the kids to a memorable swim with dolphins. (It'll make for a great "What I did over summer vacation" report.)
Restaurants in Nuevo Vallarta

1. Nuevo Vallarta Beach

Av. Paseo de los Cocoteros 1, Nuevo Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta 63735, Mexico +52 322 226 6770
Excellent
64%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Nuevo Vallarta Beach

Reviewed By sp0409

We booked our trip last minute through Tui. We hoped to get nice weather and a good hotel. What we got was amazing weather and an amazing hotel. The staff are wonderful, the rooms are gorgeous, the location of the hotel is fantastic.
We went to the local town, Buscerias, one of the days. It is beautiful. Definitely worth a fifteen minute walk down the beach to go and take a look.
We walked towards Puerto Vallarta one of the days. We got as far as the Hard Rock and then got a taxi the rest of the way. Puerto Vallarta is great. We had lunch on the beach while we were there. Everything is so inexpensive. We spent £18 on lunch for two of us plus 2 cocktails, a beer and a wine!
There are quite a few groups at the hotel who are on spring break. They aren't TOO annoying, but it would have been nicer without them here to be honest.
We had read reviews about thefts taking place in the rooms. We emailed the hotel in advance and raised our concerns. We requested that nobody other than housekeeping are to go into our room.
The hotel really took notice and we have had no problems at all.
The staff that serve the drinks around the pool are brilliant. They always have smiles on their faces and they seem to genuinely enjoy their jobs.
We have 2 days left of our holiday and we really don't want to go home! I think we will be back :)
Tip: request a room on a high floor on the north side. Amazing views and sunsets from your balcony!!

2. Puerto Vallarta's El Malecon Boardwalk

Paseo Diaz Ordaz | Centro, Puerto Vallarta 48300, Mexico
Excellent
64%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 13 reviews

Puerto Vallarta's El Malecon Boardwalk

Reviewed By Kyle V

We took a taxi from our hotel. Easy 20-30 ride. Boardwalk itself was really interesting. Great introduction to Puerto Vallarta. We had lunch at a small local restaraunt above the Flea Market - hidden gem.. Good deals at the flea market too!

3. Estudio-Cafe

Paseo de la Marina 31B, Nuevo Vallarta 63735, Mexico +52 322 297 0825
Excellent
71%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 116 reviews

Estudio-Cafe

Recognized local artists show in studio by café. Outdoor waterside shows Saturday mornings November thru March.

Reviewed By MaryLS - San Diego, California

Our favorite breakfast spot! Bottomless coffee cups. Lovely view of the marina. Discovered the hottest habanero sauce ever...it was hours before my lips stopped tingling. Pancakes seem to be the specialty, but we stuck with eggs that were cooked perfectly, be it an omelet or scrambled eggs with chorizo (a favorite of mine).

4. Dolphin Discovery Puerto Vallarta

Carretera Tepic Km 155, Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico
Excellent
54%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
2%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 595 reviews

Dolphin Discovery Puerto Vallarta

Dolphin Discovery Puerto Vallarta invites you to live the dream of swimming with dolphins in paradise! With a range of programs, we have family-friendly adventures for all ages that you will never forget. Located in Aquaventuras Park, you'll enjoy your dolphin experience and a day on the water slides, an adventure full of adrenaline and smiles!

Reviewed By DO3OP - Seatt

I got a 30% discount and even then the experience was far below our expectations. The "dolphin experience" was pretty vapid and underwhelming, the price charged for photos ($70 per person initially) was ridiculous and the water park itself was dilapidated with most of the slides not even suitable for kids under 4' height.
They did agree to sell the pictures for $45 total in the end, but the quality of the said pictures turned out to be very low. They don't have a photographer on staff, and the dude taking pictures seems to have taken all of them in automatic mode with his camera (the basic Nikon D3300 with a kit lense). So, he got his setting wrong in most cases.
Not worth the $67 price per ticket, for sure.

5. Aquaventuras Park

Carretera a Tepic Kilometro 155, Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico +52 1 866 393 5158
Excellent
40%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
5%
Terrible
5%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 438 reviews

Aquaventuras Park

Reviewed By Pmikemjm - Escondido, California

The entire staff at the park was welcoming and provided a great experience for our entire group of 11 people travelling from California. Our family member that works at the Aguaventuras park shared an incredible time. The training staff was great. Andres and Patty were very skilled and caring working with the dolphins. One of the adults that traveled with us said it was the greatest experience of her life.

6. Nuevo Vallarta Sea Lion Encounter

Las Palmas 39, Nuevo Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta 63735, Mexico
Excellent
81%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 53 reviews

Nuevo Vallarta Sea Lion Encounter

Reviewed By Susan D - Kansas City, Missouri, United States

We went on our first Sea Lion Encounter last week and thoroughly enjoyed it. Paola was the trainer and the sea lion was Shannon. I was impressed with not only the educational piece to the presentation but clearly the wonderful care these animals receive. Much of the encounter was fun "photo ops" but there was a lot of education provided. We were in a group of families with young children and the kids had a blast! While I thoroughly enjoyed myself and would recommend this, if you have small kids it will be a memorable event!

7. Santuario de Cocodrilos El Cora

Carretera Puerto Vallarta-Tepic, Bucerias, Mexico +52 322 206 9314
Excellent
58%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 65 reviews

Santuario de Cocodrilos El Cora

El Cora preserves local biodiversity through protection of and education about the ecosystems found in the Riviera Nayarit area. We offer educational tours that teach our visitors to see animals from a new perspective. By helping others understand the natural world around them, we think that people will better understand how their actions impact these places.

Reviewed By Colleen L - Ponoka, Canada

It was a bumpy ride down a dirt road through the jungle and extra cab fare because they would have to wash the cab but worth every penny. We were warmly greeted by our host who explained respect for animals and there need for space
Our host was a biologist and showed his love for the animals.
We wish the sanctuary much success in teaching the public that animals can co-exist with us if we both respect their needs
Thanks for a wonderful experience!

8. Marina Nuevo Vallarta

Mza 8 Paseo de Lote 46, Nuevo Vallarta 63735, Mexico +52 322 297 7000
Excellent
48%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 42 reviews

Marina Nuevo Vallarta

Reviewed By WinterTexanfromMN - Brainerd, Minnesota

We went on a Sunday morning and it was VERY quiet. We did find somebody to take 8 of us a pontoon ride down the river/channel and saw many crocodiles, hundreds of iguanas and nice homes and yachts. Glad we found somebody to do this as it was well worth the hour plus boat ride. We paid $14 each for 7 of us and they didn't charge for the 3 year old. Who really enjoyed looking for the crocs and iguanas. Fun day in the marina. Dec 2017.

9. Riviera Farmers Market

Paseo de los Cococteros # 55 | Centro Empresarial, Nuevo Vallarta 63735, Mexico
Excellent
69%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 22 reviews

Riviera Farmers Market

Reviewed By ChiTownTravlR - Chicago

Sure you'll find the typical tshirt and souvenier vendors here but you will also find a fish monger selling the morning's catch, several higher end artisnal jewellers and potters and a variety of foods including homemade pastas, sausages, coffees, arepa's, empanadas, juices and such. Plus a few spas and other options. Worth a stroll over, especially if you are staying near Paradise Village.

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