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White sandy beaches and warm, inviting waters are some of the main draws of Puerto Vallarta. Here are the best water activities in Puerto Vallarta, so you can go ahead and choose how to have the most fun in the sun!

Water temperatures remain comfortable all year round, with averages of 80°F (26.5ºC) from June to December and 70.5°F (21ºC) from January to May, making it the perfect place to play in and around the ocean.

Besides jumping in the ocean for a swim from the beach, add these water sports and day trips to your PV bucket list for an even more fun time.

8 Unmissable Puerto Vallarta Water Activities and Tours

Los Arcos Snorkeling

los arcos water activities in puerto vallarta

Los Arcos National Marine Park has a spectacular collection of natural rock arches rising dramatically out of the sea, creating a wonderland of natural caves, tunnels, and protected coral reefs to explore. It’s one of the best places to go for outdoor adventure.

The park is home to various tropical fish, sea turtles, rays, and mantas. It’s the perfect place to strap on a snorkel and swim with the local wildlife. 

If you want to explore the underwater world of Los Arcos, this snorkeling excursion is a great choice.

It’s guided by a marine biologist, so you can learn about coexisting with the precious natural marine life on your short boat ride to and from Los Arcos.

They’ll let you know where to go and what to look for to make sure you get the most out of your fun boat tour.

For more snorkeling spots in Puerto Vallarta, check out this guide.

Puerto Vallarta Diving

scuba diving puerto vallarta water activities

Scuba diving is another top choice for water activities in Puerto Vallarta. With access to one of the biggest bays in the world, there are plenty of unique sites to scuba dive.

Puerto Vallarta’s most popular dive site is Los Acros Marine National Park, where you can swim through undersea tunnels, caves, and reefs.

Be sure to book a tour with a professional dive shop, as they will know all the best spots and can provide you with all the gear you need.

Swim alongside giant manta rays and sea turtles up close under the safe supervision of your friendly guides. There’s even an option to dive at night, to see a whole different underwater world under the stars. 

Lunch and drinks are included in this full-day tour. Divers must hold a valid certification card to participate. 

Jet Ski Puerto Vallarta

jet ski puerto vallarta

Enjoy all the best scenery of Banderas Bay from the back of your own speedyJet Sk on this exhilarating tour. You can ride the waves solo or buddy up with a partner on a double Jet Ski.

Puerto Vallarta is the perfect destination to try out jet skiing for the first time, with vast amounts of calm water and scenery to explore.

Departing from Marina Vallarta, this guided tour will point out all the best views of the Malecon and old town while learning a little about its history. 

Jet Skis aren’t allowed inside Los Arcos National Marine Park, but you can ride up close and soak in some excellent views and photo opportunities. You might even attract some local dolphins to jump along in your wake.

Your guides will ensure you know all the ins and outs of using your Jet Ski, including signals and formations for optimal safety.

You can even jump in for a refreshing swim or snorkel at some choice spots along the way, making this one of the best water sports in Puerto Vallarta.

Swimming with Free Wild Dolphins 

swimming with dolphins puerto vallarta

Swim with some happy, wild dolphins in their natural environment with this tour from Wildlife Connection.

By swimming respectfully with these bottlenose beauties, you’ll be participating in a research project that aims to better understand and protect these intelligent animals.

From December to March, you might also get the chance to see humpback whales, spinner dolphins, rough-toothed dolphins, and orcas.

The guides are professional biologists who love to share fascinating information about the animals and their research with you.

The tour 100% guarantees you’ll see animals or they’ll give your money back. They also have an onboard hydrophone that allows you to hear the dolphins communicating underwater – so neat!

Note: There are plenty of tours in PV that keep dolphins captive so you can “hug” them – this is not ethical. Please only swim with dolphins if they are truly in their natural habitat and the organization cares about their conservation.

Parasailing Puerto Vallarta 

For a slightly different view of the region, why not look at Puerto Vallarta from the air? Parasailing is an exhilarating way to get a bird’s eye view of the town, beaches, and mountains.

By taking off from the beach rather than the back of a boat, this experience allows you to fly much higher and gain access to unequaled views.

Your safety is a number one priority, with only the most experienced employees allowed to guide your adventure. 

Strapped in safely to your seated harness, you might even find the ride relaxing in the unique quiet of the breeze above the sea.

A taxi to the take-off location at Sunscape Hotel is included in the price, so all you need to bring is your sense of adventure.

Swimming in Waterfalls

yelapa waterfall

Just a little further out of Puerto Vallarta are the idyllic villages of Yelapa and Majahuitas, which are two of the best day trips in Puerto Vallarta to go on!

On this awesome tour, you can check out both in one day.

During the tour, you can go hiking to waterfalls or try your hand at kayaking, paddleboarding, or snorkeling with all equipment provided in pristine turquoise waters.

Lunch and drinks are included on your boat. The beaches here are a little quieter – so take your time and enjoy the swaying palm trees at your leisure.

Or if you prefer to DIY, here are some other waterfall hikes to check out in Puerto Vallarta.

Relax on a Yacht

water sports puerto vallarta

If you’re ever on Mexico’s Pacific coast, taking a yacht is definitely one of the Puerto Vallarta activities you should add to your bucket list. Nothing in the world feels as liberating as the fresh sea breeze around your face while sipping on a mojito in luxury.

Not only will you be able to see Puerto Vallarta from a different perspective, but you’ll get the chance to explore other parts of the Bahía de Banderas and the beautiful secluded beaches along the coast.

If you’re feeling active, take a stop in the gorgeous waters to go snorkeling or paddleboarding during the excursion, and keep an eye out for wildlife including dolphins, wish turtles, and colorful fish.

Or simply relax on deck and admire the coastline views around Puerto Vallarta.

Drinks and snacks are included, so you don’t have to worry about anything but enjoying the views.

Marietas Islands

marietas islands

When it comes to pristine nature near Puerto Vallarta, it doesn’t get better than Marietas Islands. The only way to visit these idyllic islands two hours away from Puerto Vallarta is on a guided tour.

You’ll meet your guides at the Maritime Terminal in Puerto Vallarta to begin your ocean adventure.

As you sail through the Bay of Banderas to the islands, keep a close lookout at sea for Pacific Bottlenose dolphins, spotted dolphins, spinner dolphins, and whales if you’re visiting from December to March.

As you approach the islands, sip refreshing beverages from the open onboard bar and look for more diverse species of marine life and indigenous birds such as the blue-footed booby and red-billed tropicbird perched on the rock.

birds on marietas island

At the islands, select from kayaking, snorkeling, and stand-up paddling to explore the pristine habitat beneath you. Experienced eco-guides are always on hand to ensure your safety and confidence!

When planning your itinerary, be sure to add a few of these Puerto Vallarta water activities to your schedule.

Jumping in the ocean is one of the best things to do here, and these water sports in Puerto Vallarta make it so much more fun!

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 Lora Pope is a travel content creator who’s been wandering solo for over a decade. She lives a nomadic lifestyle and is on a quest to visit every country in the world - always on the lookout for new adventures, hidden gems, and dogs to pet. You can follow her adventures on Explore with Lora and Instagram

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