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Time your trip with one of these Puerto Vallarta events for an unforgettable stay.
Puerto Vallarta has been one of Mexico’s top travel destinations for decades. Its charming combination of lazy beach days and electric nightlife keeps people returning year after year.
To make your visit there even better, combine it with one of these upcoming events in Puerto Vallarta.
The city of Puerto Vallarta, and the people in it, are renowned for celebrating life and – well, just about anything as an excuse for a fiesta! This gives the region a vibrantly busy yearly schedule of events you can take advantage of.
Here are a few of the best upcoming events and festivals in Puerto Vallarta to organize your next adventure around.
2022 – 2023 Puerto Vallarta Events
1. Mexican Días Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)
Dates: Nov 1-2, 2022
Mexican Day of the Dead is a beautiful Mexican tradition where families gather to remember friends and family who have passed away. They create shrines and light candles and have a night of reflection.
As celebrations begin at midnight on November 1st, these shrines can be seen dotted along Puerto Vallarta’s Malecón.
The week-long festivities include folkloric ballets, mariachis, and Catrinas (painted skeleton mask) contests.
Although this festival has a mournful theme, you will quickly discover this colorful display of Mexican culture is, in fact, a celebration of life through acknowledging the dead.
2. International Gourmet Food Festival
Dates: November 10-20, 2022
Each year the International Gourmet Food Festival comes to Puerto Vallarta and attracts chefs from all over the region, and the world, to unite in one of Mexico’s biggest culinary events of the year.
Guests will enjoy numerous exciting activities, including a sit-down tasting experience, masterclasses with Michelin-star chefs, and food and wine pairings.
This trip is a great place to get inside knowledge and recommendations for restaurants and specialty dishes to try during the rest of your stay so you can have the most authentic culinary experience possible. This is a must-visit for the foodies out there!
3. Puerto Vallarta International Fishing Tournament
Dates: November 9th-12th, 2022
Did you know Puerto Vallarta has some of the best sport fishing in Mexico? If you’re a fan of the spot, don’t miss this event that brings together the best fishermen from all over the world.
The International Marlin and Sailfish Fishing Tournament takes place in November when hundreds gather in Puerto Vallarta to fish for sailfish, marlin, wahoo, and dorado in the Bay of Banderas.
4. Puerto Vallarta Festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Dates: Dec 1-12 annually
Our lady of Guadalupe (Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe) is Mexico’s most iconic religious image and shares its name with Puerto Vallarta’s main church.
This festival is a significant religious celebration for the locals, but it is a fascinating display of Mexican ceremony, whether you are religious or not.
Festivities begin on December with processions through the Old Town to the city’s main church. The groups represent schools, neighborhoods, businesses, and civic associations.
They are often joined by folkloric dancers, musicians, parade floats, and pyrotechnics as they wind their way through the narrow streets of the Old Town.
On December 12th, activities culminate in a street party with live music, parades, and a taste of the local Mexican cuisine.
5. Año Nuevo (New Year’s Eve)
Dates: December December 31,
Those looking for a unique way to celebrate New Year’s Eve should certainly have Puerto Vallarta on their radar.
The city’s buzzing nightlife comes alive during Año Nuevo, and there are parties in all the main bars on the strip.
Many people like to gather on the Malecon to watch the impressive fireworks displays as all the large hotels and resorts compete to put on the most extravagant show.
But, even better, if you have a hotel with a balcony or rooftop space – there is no better way to welcome the New Year than with a cold glass of bubbles in your hand!
Whether you are planning your trip to attend one of these events or happen to stumble across them, they are a fantastic way to meet the thriving and welcoming community of Puerto Vallarta.
6. Vallarta Cup Race Series
Dates: Month of January
The Vallarta Cup Race is a series of Saturday races hosted by The Vallarta Yacht Club to celebrate local sailing talent. The race is between the 3 Marinas in the area and is quite the spectacle for sailing enthusiasts.
Novices can also participate in several activities alongside the race, such as classes for beginners to learn the art of sailing along the coast of the Bahia de Banderas.
While visiting the Marina, you may also inquire about potential boat trips you can take on your visit, such as the stunning Isla Marietas.
You may find yourself out on the sea – whale watching, wakeboarding, or snorkeling before you know it!
7. Vallarta Bird & Nature Festival
February 23rd-26th, 2023
For those nature enthusiasts, don’t miss the Vallarta Bird and Nature festival.
The Jalisco and Nayarit regions are famed for their incredible untouched jungles, teeming with life.
Puerto Vallarta’s botanical gardens host a yearly celebration of the diversity of the area’s wildlife. The gardens are Located just 30 minutes south of Puerto Vallarta in the nature-rich jungle of Cabo Corrientes.
The event’s mission is to spark awareness of the fragility of the ecosystem and encourage people to conserve the precious natural spaces of Mexico.
This is a truly worthy cause to support and a wonderful celebration for those who want to learn more about Mexican wildlife.
8. Semana Santa
Dates: April 5 to April 9, 2023
Semana Santa, which means Holy Week in Spanish, is the week preceding Easter and the busiest vacation period for Puerto Vallarta, as many Mexicans come there for their holiday.
During Semana Santa, the entire city turns into one giant party and you’ll find the Malecon blocked with people from one end to another.
If you want to get a taste of the best Puerto Vallarta nightlife, come during Semana Santa! Just make sure to book your hotel ahead, as they fill up fast.
9. May Cultural Festival in Puerto Vallarta Mexico
Dates: Month of May
May Cultural Festival is held annually by the local government in Jalisco to celebrate their rich local heritage.
They celebrate the “Festival Cultural de Mayo” with events and activities throughout the month.
Important local painters, musicians, and actors participate in various community events such as concerts, exhibitions, film screenings, dance performances, and food tastings
There are often many events spanning the entire state of Jalisco, so be sure to ask about upcoming exhibits in some of the smaller towns in the region, which could make a fantastic day trip.
10. Puerto Vallarta Restaurant Week
May 15 – June 10, 2022 (2023 dates not yet announced)
Another one for the foodies, Puerto Vallarta restaurant week is the best time to check out the city’s growing restaurant scene at a steep discount.
During the three weeks, some of the top restaurants in Puerto Vallarta offer innovative three-course menus, with three options available for each course at a reduced price.
Stay tuned for what restaurants will be participating in 2023.
11. Puerto Vallarta Gay Pride
Dates: May 23-30, 2023
Puerto Vallarta is well known among the LGBTQ community as one of Mexico’s leading areas in the fight for equality. The city has a thriving gay district in La Zona Romántica, which has a week-long pride week celebration towards the end of May with many parties hosted at the various bars.
This includes the week-long pride celebration at Mantamar beach club on the famed Los Muertos gay beach.
The Top Bar typically hosts The Pink Dinner on opening night with fireworks, a four-course dinner, a live DJ, and the “Pride Vanguard Award” presented by the Vallarta Pride Committee.
Whether you are gay or straight, this is sure to be an unforgettable experience to celebrate pride in such a diverse and welcoming community.
2023 will be the 10th annual celebration, so it will be a fantastic time!
12. Punta Mita Surfing Competition
Dates: May 28 – June 03
Punta Mita hosts a yearly longboard competition – Mexi Log Fest. The 5-day event is located on the beautifully secluded beach around 30 minutes North of Puerto Vallarta – one of the best places to surf near the city.
The competition is a great way to spend a relaxed day in the sun and watch some of the world’s most talented surfers compete to pull off the best tricks.
There are also plenty of other activities on the day, including yoga classes, sound baths, kid’s surf clinics, delicious food, surf films, and live music.
13. Mexican Independence Day
Dates: September 15-16
Mexican Independence day, otherwise known as Grito de Dolores (Cry for Independence), is a national celebration of Mexico’s victory over Spanish rule that ended in 1810.
The citywide festivities in Puerto Vallarta are an impressive 2-day party where traditional displays of Mexican culture invite locals and travelers to celebrate together.
Expect to see how Mexicans like to throw a street party – with blaring trumpets, parades, games, and various local cuisine from street vendors.
On the evening of the 15th, the mayor delivers a speech called The Proclamation of Independence, followed by an impressive firework display. This is a fiesta you don’t want to miss!
14. Humpback whale migration
Not an official event, but if you’re a nature lover, time your trip to Puerto Vallarta to coincide with the whale-watching season from December to March.
Thousands of humpback whales make their way to the warm waters of Mexico to breed, and the Bay of Banderas becomes one of the best places to watch them.
There are many whale watching tours you can join for a closer look or just keep your eyes while on the shore.
15. Turtle Season
July to December
Another one for wildlife lovers – if you’re visiting Puerto Vallarta from July to December, don’t miss the chance to take part in a baby sea turtle release.
The Bay of Banderas has a community-wide conservation program with several protected nurseries for turtle eggs.
They plan turtle release ceremonies during the season at participating hotel beaches and turtle camps. As a tourist, you can part in one.
Check this Facebook group to find turtle-release events in Puerto Vallarta.
There you have it – the top Puerto Vallarta festivals and events! Which one would you love to attend?
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