White sandy beaches and warm, inviting waters are some of the main draws of Puerto Vallarta. 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. 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!
7 Unmissable Water Activities and Sports in Puerto Vallarta
Los Arcos Snorkeling Excursion
Los Arcos National Marine Park has a spectacular collection of natural granite arches rising dramatically out of the sea, creating a wonderland of natural caves, tunnels, and protected coral reefs to explore.
The park is home to various tropical fish, sea turtles, rays, and mantas, making it 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 all 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 3.5-hour tour.
Scuba Diving with a 5-Star PADI Center
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 amazing 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 all the gear you need.
Swim alongside giant manta rays and explore shipwrecks 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 7-hour tour. Divers must hold a valid certification card to participate.
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 of the excellent views and photo opportunities. You might even attract some local dolphins to jump along in your wake.
Your guides will make sure 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
Meet 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 which allows you a chance 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 take a 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 beyond.
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.
Yelapa Waterfall & Majahuitas Snorkeling Tour
Just a little further out of Puerto Vallarta are the idyllic villages of Yelapa and Majahuitas. It’s one of the best day trips in Puerto Vallarta to go on! There you can go hiking to waterfalls or try your hand at kayaking, paddleboarding, or snorkeling with all equipment provided.
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. You can choose your own adventure on this flexible tour!
Ride a Jet Boat
If you’re ever on Mexico’s Pacific coast, a ride on a jet boat 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 whipping around your face.
During this adrenaline-pumping experience, you will get to see the force of nature water up close. 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.
The speedboat has extraordinary performance. As a result, the boat not only reaches enormously high speeds but can also take tight hairpin turns. The ride with the jet boat will surely catapult your adrenaline levels up!
Despite this, you don’t have to worry about your safety at all. You will be strapped in during the entire ride to avoid accidents or being thrown out of the boat. In case of an emergency, you are still equipped with a life jacket. You’ll likely be completely soaked after this trip, so stow your cell phone and other valuables in the locker, and don’t forget to bring a change of dry clothes with you!
When planning your itinerary, be sure to add a few of these water activities in Puerto Vallarta 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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