There’s more to do in Mexico than just lying by the beach. Check out my recommendations for day trips from Puerto Vallarta!
Opinions are my own & I didn’t receive compensation for my writing. This post contains affiliate links, which means I get a few cents (at no extra cost to you) if you book or buy something via that link. This helps me keep costs down & posts up! All images copyright Teaspoon of Nose.
On our recent trip to Puerto Vallarta, we managed to hit that perfect balance of rest and adventure. We had plenty of time lying by the pool, walking on the beach, and eating our way through the week, but we also planned some fun excursions away from the hustle of the town.
Day Trips from Puerto Vallarta
Yelapa & Majahuitas
What I didn’t realize before we got there was that the trip itself has a set structure. First you take a boat to Majahuitas, where you can snorkel, kayak or lounge on a picturesque quiet beach. We saw tons of fish while snorkeling, especially once you leave the beach area. My mom even spotted an eel and we watched it for a few seconds before it slithered back into its hole. I never get tired of snorkeling, so they practically had to drag me out of the water by the end.
After lunch (provided on the boat, and pretty good!), we travelled over to Yelapa, a small fishing village only accessible by sea. There’s something magical about arriving by boat: it lends a magic to the spot. We took a
hike steep walk through the village to a waterfall, which offered a new perspective of the Mexican forest than we’d had before: beautiful tropics with a rocky waterfall. The trail felt a bit tourist-choked (mostly our own boat’s passengers coming back and forth), but it was still beautiful and worth the walk.
The boat was full (maybe 80-100 people?), but we didn’t feel too packed in, and there was space to stretch out on the bow if you wanted to watch the waves or sit in the sunshine. The staff also put on a hilarious show at the end, lip synching several popular songs. That’s all I’ll say there, I don’t want to ruin the surprise! But it was fantastic.
For groups with multiple age ranges and interests, this day trip was a great fit. The staff bent over backwards to make sure we had a good time, from answering questions to helping us find whatever we may be looking for. One of the photographers even took me on a short cut through the village in order to get set up for his next shot, giving me a local’s view of the streets of Yelapa!
We booked the day trip from Puerto Vallarta through Vallarta Adventures. Our resort helped us with the reservation (including a discount), but you can also book it yourself if you’d prefer.
Canopy River Zip Line
After our day of oceans and boating, a few of us wanted to experience more of the gorgeous mountains right off the coastline. So we headed out to zip line!
I’ve done a few zip lines before, but this one was my favorite by far. Here’s why:
- It was big. And fast. What more do you want from a zip line than to feel like you’re flying?? Several of them lasted for nearly 60 seconds.
- The lines swung between two mountains over a valley, complete with a river. So the views were stunning throughout. The final line sends you just inches over the water, and it was so funny to watch everyone try and lift themselves up to avoid getting wet!
- The staff was fantastic. Knowledgable as well as fun. They knew who they could joke and tease (me), but were reassuring and kind to the kids in our group who were a tad nervous.
- We went through the course in a group of about a dozen, but things move so quickly you never felt like you were waiting beyond what you wanted to catch your breath and laugh about the previous zip.
- They let me go upside down! On a few of the lines, you can ride upside down tandem with a guide if you want to. Just make sure and tell the staff; they’ll let you know when it’s possible.
- At then end of the course, you ride mules back up the mountain! They’re well trained and just follow the mule in front of them, but if you’ve never ridden a mule up a mountain, you should. They take steep enough steps that it feels like an adventure all its own!
We chose Canopy River at the suggestion of our hotel, and I’m so glad we did. The company is co-owned by about 20 local farmers, combining their land to create an adventure park. It’s mostly staffed by the children and family members of the farmers, allowing our tourism dollars to go back into the local community.
The beaches in Mexico are fantastic, but you’re missing out if you don’t take a few day trips from Puerto Vallarta! These were our favorites and I highly recommend checking out both companies.
Planning a trip of your own? You can see what else we did in Puerto Vallarta, and stay tuned next week for my favorite restaurants!