Highlights of Gay Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta has many gay-friendly establishments and events. This guide for planning your visit includes recommended accommodations, nightlife, and tours, as well as advice on which beach is the place to be.

What are some must-do activities in Puerto Vallarta?

At any time of the year, one of the most pleasant and inspiring experiences you will have in Puerto Vallarta is a simple one: a sunset walk along the Malecón, the pedestrians-only waterfront promenade. Fabulous tropical sunset colors in the sky, dozens of quirky and beautiful modern art sculptures along the promenade, sand sculptures below on the narrow beach, and hundreds of crazily amusing people to watch. Free, fun, and unforgettable. I recommend taking a day trip to the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens, an hour south of town. Wander the lush, lovely gardens, then swim in the river than runs through them.

Where should travelers go for the gourmet experience of a Puerto Vallarta lifetime?

Dine at Café des Artistes, a few blocks up the hill from the Malecón in downtown Puerto Vallarta. It’s similar to a first-class, gourmet dining room in New York or Paris. If you want to go the cheaper and more ethnic (and some would say better) route, get a shrimp burrito from Tacos Marlin—there’s one across the pedestrian bridge at the airport and another downtown. One burrito is big enough to feed two people!

Do you have any recommendations for making the most of a trip to Puerto Vallarta?

I have two suggestions. 1. Go on a whale watching trip during the season (November through May), in a fast boat, and with a real whale scientist, such as Nico Ransome at Vallarta Adventures or Oscar Frey at Ocean Friendly Whale Watching. With an expert as your guide, whale behavior—all that jumping and tail thumping and splashing—begins to make sense, and knowing the meaning of whale behavior deeply enriches the experience. 2. Learn how to paddle a stand-up paddleboard while you’re here, in either Bucerias, Sayulita, or Punta Mita. It’s super fun, super healthy, easy to learn in an hour, and a great way to experience the ocean.

Learning and Speaking Spanish in Mexico

Being able to speak Spanish is not necessary for visiting (or even moving to) Mexico, but it can open up a lot of doors. In this article, author Julie Doherty Meade covers the benefits and difficulties of learning Spanish in Mexico, as well as where to find language classes around the country.

Getting to Puerto Vallarta by Air, Bus, Train, or Ferry

The vast majority of travelers reach Puerto Vallarta by air—flights are frequent and reasonably priced, but travelers can also arrive by bus, train, or ferry. Author Justin Henderson shares information about the various options for getting to Puerto Vallarta.

Puerto Vallarta’s Best Beaches

Looking for the perfect beach in Puerto Vallarta? Justin Henderson suggests great all-purpose beaches with convenient access, fun amenities, and opportunities for everything from snorkeling to kayaking. He also shares the best hidden beaches, the best beaches for wildlife viewing on the Nayarit Coast, and more.