Located on Mexico’s Pacific coast in the state of Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta is best known for its warm climate, beautiful beaches, water sports, and active nightlife scene. It also has quaint cobblestone streets, excellent restaurants, great shopping, art galleries, and more. Each year, millions of visitors travel to Puerto Vallarta to enjoy a wonderful vacation in paradise. During your stay, take time to get to know some of the cute towns you can visit next Puerto Vallarta. It’s a great way to get to know the real Mexico and explore wonderful towns you may have missed otherwise during your vacation to Puerto Vallarta. There are several Pueblo Magicos (Magin Towns) that have received a special distinction by the Mexican government and charming coastal villages that are worth a visit, too. If you’re heading to Puerto Vallarta soon, keep reading below to learn the top 5 places to visit near Puerto Vallarta.
For starters, there’s nothing more Mexican than tequila. If you want to learn more about the rich history of this potent and delicious spirit, head to its birthplace in the town of Tequila, Jalisco. Located around 3 hours from Puerto Vallarta, you can easily take a day trip to explore Tequila if you leave early. Tequila is home to the renowned alcoholic spirit that has become popular all around the world. It’s a great place to sample some delicious and high quality tequila as you learn more about its rich history, too. As you get close to Tequila, you won’t be able to miss the impressive fields of agave plants along the way. Did you know that only certain areas in Mexico are permitted to grow and distribute authentic tequila? During your visit, you can learn how tequila is made and taste a variety of tequila including reposado, blanco, and anejo.
Secondly, another top place to visit near Puerto Vallarta is Bucerías which is located in the state of Nayarit just 20 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta. The area has excellent beaches that are ideal for a variety of water sports including snorkeling, scuba diving, kitesurfing, paddleboarding, and more. Some top landmarks include the Iglesia a la Señora de la Paz church and the city’s central plaza which is located right off the main beach. The local beach is lined with tons of restaurants with tables right on the sand. There, you can enjoy a wonderful meal and drinks as you take in the amazing ocean views. You can even go horseback riding right on the beach if you want. During high season, an art walk is held on Thursday evenings so travelers can visit local art galleries that are located within walking distance on the city’s main street, Lazzaro Cardenas.
Next, Sayulita used to be a quiet surfing village situated about 45 minutes north of Vallarta. These days, Sayulita attracts thousands of visitors each year that love the hippie vibes and vibrant atmosphere. The small town is easily walkable or you can rent a golf cart to zip around town in style. The Pueblo Magico is a fun place to visit for the day and is especially popular with surfers, yogis, and laidback travelers. Located on the Pacific Ocean just north of Banderas Bay, the beach is ideal for water activities including surfing, paddle boarding, and swimming. In town, visitors will love the variety of boutique shops, wonderful restaurants, and fun bars, too. You can also find vendors selling artwork, homemade jewelry, clothing, delicious food, and more. Sayulita is one of the best places to visit near Puerto Vallarta if you want to enjoy laidback vibes and people watching.
San Sebastián del Oeste
If you really want to have an authentic small town experience during your visit to Puerto Vallarta, make sure to visit San Sebastian del Oeste. The mountain town is located just 75 minutes inland from Puerto Vallarta nestled amongst pine trees with a fresh, cooler climate. The area has a rich mining history and important traditions that still continue today. Less than 10,000 people inhabit the small town so it maintains an authentic feel that you can’t find anywhere else. As you stroll around, you will feel as if you are stepping back in time. There are beautiful haciendas, lush green mountains, and quaint cobblestone streets that surround the city’s main church and plaza with a gazebo. Don’t miss a chance to visit La Bufa, which is the town’s lookout point 7500 feet above sea level where you can even see the Pacific Ocean on a clear day.
Lastly, Yelapa is a small beach town not reachable by car. To get there, you must take a water taxi from Los Muertos beach in downtown Puerto Vallarta or hike from Boca de Tomatlan. If you’re in the mood to be active, you can even mountain bike down from Chacala which is located in the mountains behind the village. If you’d like to go fishing, Yelapa is home to an array of exotic and tropical fish. You can book a Yelapa fishing charter tour from Los Muertos beach or Boca de Tomatlan. In general, the best time to visit Yelapa is between November and April when the humidity is less intense. The town didn’t even have electricity until recently and visitors really like the laidback lifestyle. Yelapa is perfect for camping, hiking, exploring the jungle and local waterfall, or just relaxing on the beach sipping a cold drink.
Whether you have been to Puerto Vallarta once or a million times, you’ll always find tons of activities to keep you busy. However, don’t forget that there are also unique places to visit near Puerto Vallarta that may make your vacation to Mexico even more spectacular. While there are endless activities to enjoy in Puerto Vallarta, it’s also a great idea to experience life in Mexico outside of the most popular tourist destinations. If you’re looking for a more traditional experience, make sure to visit these amazing towns located near Puerto Vallarta. A fun day trip to visit Tequila, Bucerias, Sayulita, San Sebastián del Oeste, and Yelapa may end up being your favorite vacation experience. Let us know which was your favorite place to visit and why.