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8 Unique Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta

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Nestled between the shimmering Pacific waters and the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains, Puerto Vallarta is more than just another beach destination. It’s a vibrant blend of history, culture, and innovation, waiting to be explored by the curious traveler. While its golden sands and crystal-clear waters beckon many, the city’s heart lies in its unique experiences that transcend typical tourist trails. From the enchanting rhythms of its streets to the flavors of its hidden eateries, Puerto Vallarta promises a journey like no other. Dive in as we uncover the most unique things to do in this coastal paradise.

If you fall into the latter category then adventurous activities in Puerto Vallarta may be right up your alley. From zip-lining above the canopy to scuba diving beneath the waves, there is something in Puerto Vallarta for everyone seeking outdoor adventure and action.

River Expedition

river expedition in puerto vallarta

If you are looking for an adrenaline-filled outdoor experience, Canopy River has many different tours and activities that are bursting with fun and excitement in a spectacular location.

Ride an ATV or hike across the Jorullo bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the Americas, and take in the stunning views of the Sierra Madre mountain range. The bridge spans a length of 514 yards and sits proudly at 164 yards in height.

Of the many different tours, one particular canopy tour highlight is the River Expedition. Described as an “adventure without limits”, the river expedition combines 6 zip lines, hanging bridges, rappelling, hiking trails, a Tarzan line, inflatable rafting along the Cuale river, and mule riding. If that’s not enough, finish with tequila tasting at the Los Coapinoles restaurant.


parasailing in puerto vallarta

Parasailing is a low-risk, high-fun activity that will see you fly high with the birds. Reaching heights of over 160 feet, view Puerto Vallarta from the air as you look down on your friends and family while soaring past. This is an adventure for everyone over 9 years of age and is a great way to begin your ‘career’ as an extreme adventure enthusiast. Parasailing is most popular on Los Muertos beach, but can be undertaken all along the coastline of Banderas Bay.

Outdoor Adventure

outdoor activities in puerto vallarta

High up on the list of unique things to do in Puerto Vallarta is the Outdoor Adventure by Vallarta Adventures that includes the Zipline Roller Coaster, a stunning adrenaline-pumping ride that combines the freedom of zip lining with the pretzeled twists and turns of an amusement park roller coaster. Voted one of the top ten activities in Mexico, this tour is not for the faint-hearted and is one of the best extreme activities in Puerto Vallarta. It will leave your sensations tingling and your heart pounding. Participants must be physically fit and healthy as this is a demanding tour. (Minimum age: 8 years old.)

Also included in this tour:

  • Speedboat ride across Banderas Bay
  • 4×4 Unimog ride
  • Mule ride through the jungle
  • Thrilling series of zip lines
  • Rappelling down rock faces
  • Cascade down Mexico’s largest water slide

Ocean Mania

Ocean Mania is a breathtaking adventure tour that includes a speedboat ride (thriller boat), parasailing, marine life encounter, ocean zip line, ocean waterslide, and snorkeling. Prepare yourself for the ultimate in senses overload. The most extreme part of this tour is the Thriller Jet Boat, a high-speed boat that can pull off intense 360° spins as well as do something that other boats can’t, it can also nose-dive under the waves! This is because the boat does not rely on a traditional propeller and it pulls water in through a powerful jet and then shoots it out through the stern. You will get wet and it will make you giddy, you also might scream, and then you’ll scream for more. After that, you can be as extreme or relaxed as you want at the natural ocean water park where you can zip line, slide, and rest. This tour lasts 5 hours and you must be at least 9 years old to participate. As adventure parks go, this tour is one of the best.

Los Arcos

snorkeling in puerto vallarta

Located just a few minutes south of Puerto Vallarta, Los Arcos de Mismaloya (The Mismaloya Arches) are a group of five rocky inlets protruding proudly from the ocean. A national park protected by law, Los Arcos is open to tourism and has become popular for activities such as swimming, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), and kayaking. A marine enthusiast’s dream, the waters around the national park are also perfect for diving and snorkeling with depths ranging between 9 and 480 meters deep (some of the deepest in the entire Banderas Bay). Private tours are readily available from Puerto Vallarta or the adjoining towns of Mismaloya or Boca de Tomatlan.

ATV Tours 

atv tour in puerto vallarta

Several tour companies offer ATV tours in Puerto Vallarta. Ride on dirt tracks and dusty roads past Mexican towns and villages before entering the jungle through muddy trails, dense canopy, and high vistas. Stop for a break at the Rio Cuale and swim the river pools adjacent to a stunning waterfall. Half-day tours are available, with or without a zip line adventure, and usually include a refreshment stop at a traditional Mexican restaurant – tequila tasting optional. Single or double ATVs can be hired for the private tour that includes a personal guide.

Marietas Islands 

For a truly world-class adventure in Puerto Vallarta, the Marietas Islands are not to be missed. Located 22 miles off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, the islands are home to over 100 species of birds and fish. Within the islands, visit Playa Del Amor (Lover’s Beach), a hidden beach that opens up to the sky and is accessible by swimming 200 feet through cave formations and rock archways. Awe in the magnificence of nature in what has become a world heritage site. Snorkeling is also available during this tour with a better than good chance of seeing dolphins or whales.

Whale Watching

whale watching season in puerto vallarta

Witness wildlife at its absolute finest as humpback whales put on a spectacular show, sometimes just feet away. Whale watching season runs from mid-December through to the end of March and excursions and day trips are readily available from eager tour operators all along the coastline of the bay area. Feel the intense exhilaration of nature in its purest form as dolphins, manta rays, and seabirds join in the fun. You’ll want to bring along your camera to record some lifelong memories.

Mountain Biking

mountain biking in puerto vallarta

Test your physical endurance with biking tours to suit just about every ability. Environmentally friendly mountain biking in and around Puerto Vallarta is an incredible fitness journey through city colonias, towns, villages, jungle, and mountain. From steep inclines to exhilarating downhills, be prepared to feel the burn… and also to relax and cool off in the Rio Cuale.

Don’t Delay, Book Your Extreme Adventure!

Extreme activities in Puerto Vallarta are becoming increasingly popular and continue to attract large numbers every year. An intense adrenaline rush and getting closer to nature are two of the reasons vacationers choose these types of activities. There are also positive health benefits, both physically and mentally from participating in extreme sports, and although taking part can be challenging, participants leave with a huge sense of self-satisfaction, renewed vigor, and zest.

Whatever you choose as your extreme activity, you’ll be hooked and will want to return year after year. And what better place than Hotel Mousai for setting up your ‘base camp’; perfect for an end of day rejuvenation, and, to prepare yourself for the next extreme adventure.


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