Who wouldn’t want to take their kids to a destination named “World’s Friendliest City” by Conde Nast Traveler and “Best Holiday Destination in Mexico” by US News.com? Welcome to Puerto Vallarta.
Nestled between the emerald green of the Pacific and the looming Sierra Madre Mountains is Puerto Vallarta, seducing visitors with its colorful culture, friendly locals, and tropical appeal. In addition to the sun-drenched beaches, this Mexican seaside destination offers a myriad of dining experiences, soft and extreme adventure options, and eco-diversity.
And with temperatures which can run anywhere between 70℉ – 92℉ depending on the season, there almost isn’t a good time to enjoy the Puerto Vallarta beaches and activities.
1. Take a stroll on the malecón
The pedestrian-only walkway is the heart and soul of the city. The seaside footpath is filled with open-air colorful sculptures along the ocean side, shops, and eateries on the town side of the Esplanade, and the mountains as a distant scenic backdrop. By day the malecón is buzzing with activity and later it’s a good place to view the stunning Pacific sunsets. Be prepared to encounter the enticing aromas of local Mexican, Mediterranean, and Cuban cuisines, as well as pizza and American-type franchises for the younger palate. On weekends street performers provide merry entertainment.
2. Pirate cruise in Puerto Vallarta
All aboard the Marigalante for a day-long adventure on the high seas! After serving a full breakfast, the pirate crew entertains with shows, singing, and swordfights. The shows are fun for the entire family, and the pirates actively encourage participation and “volunteer” some kids to take part in the shows and games.
The ship anchors at Majahuitas Beach for a 2-hour beach party, with a treasure hunt and tug of war for the kids, and snorkeling, snorkeling and banana boat rides for all. After a grilled buffet lunch, the ship sets sail for the return to port with even more shows and entertainment. I had anticipated the pirate ship would be too kitschy, but to my delight, it was a boisterous good time for all ages.
3. Zipline in Puerto Vallarta
The Los Veranos canopy tour lays claim as the original eco-friendly zip-line adventure in Puerto Vallarta, boasting more than a decade of experience. After a safety briefing and equipment fitting, children as young as six years old can participate in this adventure. The lush jungle course encompasses more than two miles of cable, zooming screaming tourists from tree to tree with views over the Orquideas River. The longest stretch is more than a quarter of a mile long with a stunning birds-eye observation of the ravine below. The property has a restaurant and an animal sanctuary with monkeys, a Burmese python to hold, or test your daring and let a furry tarantula crawl to across your face.
[read more: 10 Reasons to Take Your Family to Puerto Vallarta at The Momiverse]
You may also be interested in:
IMPORTANT! Never travel to any foreign country without travel insurance! Random, unplanned things can happen. I was involved in a horrendous car crash in South Africa in 2014. Click here to compare prices on travel insurance.
Patti Morrow is a freelance travel writer and founder of the award-winning international blog Luggage and Lipstick and southern travel blog Gone to Carolinas. TripAdvisor called her one of “20 Baby Boomer Travel Bloggers Having More Fun Than Millennials.” Patti is the author of the book “Girls Go Solo: Tips for Women Traveling Alone,” and has over 150 bylines in 40 print and online publications, including The Huffington Post, International Living Magazine, Washington Post Sunday Travel, Travel Girl, Travel Play Live Magazine, and Ladies Home Journal. She has traveled six continents looking for fabulous places and adventure activities for her Baby Boomer (and Gen X!) tribe.