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While Puerto Vallarta is an amazing destination in and of itself, it’s fun to get out of town now and then. There are several options for a quick excursion. One of the best is a Puerto Vallarta to Bucerias day trip, which we’ll take a closer look at in this post. Vamos, amigos!

puerto vallarta to Bucerias
Bucerias from above. Photo by Sasha Savinov

An Intro to Bucerias Mexico

This chilled-out beach town is actually in the neighboring state of Nayarit and not in Jalisco. It’s still a part of the Banderas Bay area, including Puerto Vallarta and a few other towns.

The name Bucerias can be translated as “the place of divers,” and there’s even a statue of one right near the beach. It’s called “El Buzo” (The Diver), and it’s right next to the colorful Bucerias sign.

Once upon a time, the area was famous for its pearls. Divers would head deep into the water in search of them without any scuba equipment. They simply held their breath and used a crowbar.

Bucerias sign
Welcome to Bucerias! Photo by Sasha Savinov

Bucerias is a small town that’s very typical of the area. There are cobblestone streets and a central plaza with a church. Life moves slowly here and that’s a big part of the appeal!

There’s a nice stretch of beach in Bucerias, which is where many of the hotels and restaurants are. In town, you’ll also find some cool markets, galleries, and bars.

Since it’s only about a 30-minute drive from PV, a Bucerias day trip is totally doable. Let’s take a look at how to get there, what to do, and more.

How to Get From Puerto Vallarta to Bucerias

The cheapest way to get to Bucerias is via the local bus system. Just head to the bus station in front of Sam’s Club and Walmart by the cruise ship pier (click here for directions).

There are several buses that ply the route up to Bucerias from here. Look at the windshield to see where the bus is heading. If you look like a confused gringo, chances are someone will point you to the bus headed for Bucerias and Sayulita.

The fare is just 20 pesos ($1) and it takes around 45 minutes depending on the number of stops. It’ll drop you off on the highway near the main square. Just head back there at the end of the day and catch the bus going the other way.

local bus in mexico
The local bus is only $1! Photo by Sasha Savinov

If you want to save some time, you can always catch a cab or use a rideshare app to get up to Bucerias. You can expect to pay around 200-400 pesos depending on where you’re departing from.

Uber works in PV and Bucerias but there aren’t that many drivers these days. Many have switched to InDriver as it charges them a lower fee.

This is a great app to use when you’re in the area. You offer a fare, and then drivers can accept or give a counter offer. Just be aware that you need cash for this.

Things to do in Bucerias

Now that you know how to get there, what is there to do on a Bucerias day trip? Not a whole lot, really, but that’s kind of the point! This is a place to relax on la playa, preferably with a margarita and some fish tacos.

First thing’s first, though – head to the plaza to snap a pic with the aforementioned statue and Bucerias sign. If you don’t post a pic with the sign to the ‘gram, did your trip really even happen?

Unless you bring your own chair and umbrella, you’ll want to hit up one of the beachfront places. You can rent them for the day or just head to one of the restaurants. As long as you order something you can use theirs.

beach in Bucerias
Vamos pa la playa! Photo by Sasha Savinov

For a little more action, you can rent a SUP (stand-up paddleboard). Bucerias Surf rents them out for $15 an hour and they also do outdoor adventure excursions.

If you’re looking to take home a souvenir from your Bucerias day trip, head over to the flea market. There are a bunch of different vendors here selling a variety of goods.

One of the most fun things to do in Bucerias is going on a bike ride. Bici Bucerias has bikes for rent, and they also have a few tours, including a popular 3-hour food tour.

Should you happen to visit on a Thursday between November and April, you can stick around for the Bucerias Art Walk. Just head to the meeting point at six and enjoy a stroll to several local galleries. It’s similar to the Art Walk in Puerto Vallarta every Wednesday.

street art in Bucerias
There’s lots of great art here. Photo by Sasha Savinov

Where to Eat and Drink in Bucerias

The most important decision you’ll make on a Bucerias day trip is where to eat and drink! For such a small town, there are lots of great options that rival the restaurants of Puerto Vallarta.

If you want to be on the beach, it’s hard to beat Sukha Beach House. They recently moved up the coast a bit, so it’s a little far from town, but it’s worth it for the ceviche and micheladas on a quiet stretch of beach.

One of the most popular choices in town is Mariscos El Gordo. They’ve got a full menu here with lots of delicious seafood and plenty of cocktails.

Mmmmmm…. ceviche! Photo by Sasha Savinov

For a super local experience, hit up some of the taco trucks around the plaza. Fill up on delicious street food for just a few bucks and grab a cerveza from a local shop to wash it all down.

If you’re a craft beer lover, you’ll definitely want to check out Cerveceria Bahia de Banderas. They’re pouring some locally made craft beers here and also have some tasty pub food.

Local craft beer is something to smile about. Photo by Sasha Savinov

Should you choose to extend your Bucerias day trip into the night, there are a few places that usually have live music. Jax Bar & Grill is rocking every night of the week with local bands.

Other fun places to grab a drink include Barchelata, the Snack Bar, and the Rhythm & Blues Lounge.

Jax is always rocking. Photo by Sasha Savinov

Just keep in mind that if you stick around too late, you’ll miss the last bus back to PV. Thankfully taxis are always ready to drive you back if you indulge a bit too much in the nightlife.

Hopefully, this guide helps you make the most out of your Bucerias day trip. It’s definitely a fun town that’s worth checking out while you’re in PV.

If you’ve got a recommendation for Bucerias, drop it in the comments below!

Looking for more day trips from Puerto Vallarta? Check out these charming towns and attractions in Jalisco and Nayarit.

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Sasha is a teacher, writer, and video producer from Detroit, Michigan. He graduated from Michigan State (Go Green!) and has since lived in China, Indonesia, Mexico, and Colombia. Sasha and his wife Rachel run Grateful Gypsies, where they write about teaching ESL, digital nomad life, long-term travel, live music, and more.

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