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Exciting Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port Things To Do with Children in 2024

Exploring Puerto Vallarta from a cruise presents a fantastic opportunity for families to dive into the city’s rich culture and stunning natural beauty. With an array of things to do in Puerto Vallarta cruise port, families can easily fill their day with exciting and memorable experiences. Here’s an optimized one-day itinerary that highlights the best of what to do in Puerto Vallarta cruise port, ensuring a delightful time for both kids and adults. Let’s dive right into Puerto Vallarta cruise port things to do!

Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port Location

Brief History on Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta, a vibrant city on Mexico’s Pacific coast, has a history as colorful as its picturesque landscapes. Originally known as “Las Peñas,” the area was first mentioned in the 16th century as a small fishing village. Its modern history began in the mid-19th century when it was named after Ignacio Vallarta, a former governor of Jalisco.

puerto vallarta cruise port things to do: Malecon

Transformation Begins

The town remained relatively obscure until the mid-20th century. Its transformation into a tourist destination began in the 1960s, catalyzed by the filming of “The Night of the Iguana.” The movie, starring Richard Burton, brought international attention to Puerto Vallarta, attracting celebrities and tourists alike. Burton’s subsequent romance with Elizabeth Taylor, and their residence in the city, further fueled its allure.

A Tourist Destination

The town’s infrastructure and facilities grew rapidly to accommodate this new interest. In 1968, Puerto Vallarta was officially recognized as a city. Its natural beauty, blending beaches with jungle-clad mountains, along with a charming old town featuring cobblestone streets and colonial architecture, continued to draw visitors. Today, Puerto Vallarta is a dynamic mix of traditional Mexican charm and modern amenities, making it one of Mexico’s most beloved tourist destinations. Its rich cultural heritage, vibrant arts scene, and stunning natural setting have ensured its ongoing popularity and growth.

Puerto Vallarta Port to Tequila

Most tequila’s are made in the Mexican state of Jalisco of Puerto Vallarta is located or what some refer to as Mexico’s Napa Valley. Originally produced by the Aztecs, the drink was made from the fermented sap of the agave plant and known as “pulque.” After the Spanish arrived in the 16th century, they began distilling agave, leading to the creation of what we now know as tequila.

Tequila Making Process

The process of making tequila is intricate and deeply rooted in tradition. It starts with harvesting the blue agave plant, primarily grown in the region around the city of Tequila in Jalisco. The heart of the plant, or “piña,” is cooked to convert starches into sugars, then crushed to extract the sweet agave juice. This juice is fermented, often with the addition of yeast, turning the sugars into alcohol. The final step involves distilling the fermented liquid to increase its alcohol content. Tequila is typically distilled twice to achieve the desired purity and flavor profile. The result is a spirit that captures the essence of its native land, rich in history and flavor.

Go tequila tasting for things to do in puerto vallarta cruise port

Types of Tequila

Tequila, the celebrated Mexican spirit, comes in several varieties, each offering a unique flavor profile. Blanco, also known as silver tequila, is bottled immediately after distillation or aged for less than two months, offering a pure, bold agave flavor. Reposado, meaning “rested,” is aged in wood barrels for two months to a year, imparting a smoother taste with subtle oak notes. Añejo, meaning “aged,” is matured for one to three years, developing a richer, more complex flavor, often with hints of caramel and vanilla. Extra Añejo, the newest category, is aged for over three years, resulting in a tequila that’s exceptionally smooth and refined, with a taste profile resembling that of fine aged cognac or whisky.

Popular Tequila Brands

In the United States, popular tequila brands include Patrón, Jose Cuervo, and Don Julio, known for their wide range of offerings across these categories. Patrón ????, particularly, is famed for its premium quality and smooth flavor. On the other hand, in Mexico, aficionados can find exclusive brands like Clase Azul and Fortaleza, which are highly regarded for their artisanal production methods and exquisite flavors. Clase Azul’s distinctive hand-painted bottles are a work of art in themselves, while Fortaleza, a brand steeped in tequila-making tradition, is celebrated for its authentic, handcrafted approach to tequila production. After drinking the premium tequila’s, I would never serve Patrón or Jose Cuervo.

Get tequila in what to do in puerto vallarta cruise port

Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port Things to Do: Morning

  1. Arrival at Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port
    • Your journey starts as soon as you disembark at the Puerto Vallarta cruise port. The port itself offers a variety of shops and eateries, perfect for a quick exploration before heading into the city.
  2. Stroll Along the Malecón
    • A must-do activity at the Puerto Vallarta cruise port is visiting the Malecón. This beautiful seaside promenade is lined with artistic sculptures and street performers, offering breathtaking views of the ocean.
  3. Visit the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe
    • Just a short walk from the Malecón, this iconic church is a significant cultural landmark and a key highlight when considering what to do in Puerto Vallarta cruise port. The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, an iconic symbol of Puerto Vallarta, has a history as rich and colorful as the city itself. Construction of the church began in 1903, on a site where a small chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe previously stood. The project was an embodiment of the town’s growing community and faith.
    • The church’s design evolved over the years, blending various architectural styles. Its most distinctive feature, the crown-topped bell tower, was inspired by a design found on a postcard from Germany. This crown is said to be a replica of the crown worn by Carlota, the Empress of Mexico in the 1860s.
    • Over the decades, the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe underwent several renovations and expansions to accommodate the growing population of Puerto Vallarta. Despite these changes, it has retained its original charm and significance. The church is not only a place of worship but also a cultural icon, playing a central role in the city’s annual Feast of Guadalupe celebrations every December, which attract visitors and pilgrims from all over.

Midday: Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port

  1. Explore Zona Romántica (Old Vallarta)
    • Among the top Puerto Vallarta cruise port things to do is visiting the Zona Romántica. This charming area is filled with cobblestone streets, quaint shops, and vibrant buildings, encapsulating the spirit of old Puerto Vallarta.
    • This area has become a hip spot especially for LGBTQIA+ and there are numerous events and hotels catering to the community.
  2. Lunch at a Traditional Mexican Restaurant
    • For an authentic culinary experience, dining at a local Mexican restaurant is one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta cruise port. Enjoy traditional dishes that are sure to delight the whole family.
Zona Romantica for things to do in puerto vallarta cruise port

What to Do in Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port in Afternoon

  1. Relax at Playa Los Muertos
    • A visit to Playa Los Muertos is a highlight when considering Puerto Vallarta cruise port things to do. It’s a fantastic spot for families to enjoy the beach, with ample opportunities for swimming and sunbathing.
  2. Visit Isla Rio Cuale
    • For a peaceful escape, Isla Rio Cuale is a great choice when exploring Puerto Vallarta on your own from the cruise port. The island offers serene gardens, a local market, and a quiet retreat from the city’s bustle.
Chill at Los Muertos beach in puerto vallarta cruise port things to do

Evening: Back to Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port

  1. Dinner with Ocean View
    • Dining along the Malecón or in Zona Romántica offers stunning ocean views, making it a perfect end to your day exploring Puerto Vallarta on your own from the cruise port.
  2. Sunset Watching at the Malecón
    • Watching the sunset along the Malecón is a serene way to wrap up your exploration of Puerto Vallarta cruise port things to do, offering spectacular views and a chance to reflect on your day.
  3. Return to Cruise Ship
    • As the day winds down, head back to the cruise port, ensuring you leave enough time to board your ship after a fulfilling day discovering what to do in Puerto Vallarta cruise port.


  • Transportation: Easily navigate Puerto Vallarta on your own from the cruise port using taxis, but remember to agree on the fare beforehand.
  • Currency: While exploring Puerto Vallarta cruise port things to do, keep in mind that Mexican Pesos are preferred, though USD is often accepted.
  • Stay Hydrated: The warm climate makes it essential to stay hydrated while enjoying the many things to do in Puerto Vallarta cruise port.
  • Safety: Always be mindful of your surroundings and belongings, especially when exploring Puerto Vallarta on your own from the cruise port.

This itinerary ensures that families can fully enjoy the best of Puerto Vallarta cruise port things to do, making the most of their time in this enchanting Mexican city. From cultural landmarks to scenic beaches, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Puerto Vallarta. Take time to reflect on your journey, as we did watching the sun being swallowed up by the ocean as we headed home. As always contact me if you have any questions or drop comments below!

FAQ: Traveling to Puerto Vallarta with Children

Q1: Is Puerto Vallarta a family-friendly destination?
A1: Absolutely! Puerto Vallarta is renowned for its welcoming atmosphere and a wide range of activities suitable for children. From beautiful beaches to cultural experiences, there’s something for every age.

Q2: What are the best family activities in Puerto Vallarta?
A2: Puerto Vallarta offers numerous family-friendly activities such as visiting the interactive Aquaventuras Park, exploring the Marina Vallarta area with its lighthouse and boats, enjoying the beaches, and participating in cultural tours.

Q3: Are there kid-friendly beaches in Puerto Vallarta?
A3: Yes, many beaches in Puerto Vallarta are perfect for families. Playa de los Muertos is popular for its calm waters and Playa Mismaloya offers great snorkeling opportunities.

Q4: Can we find family-friendly accommodations in Puerto Vallarta?
A4: Certainly. Puerto Vallarta has a variety of accommodations ranging from all-inclusive resorts to vacation rentals that cater to families, offering amenities like kids’ clubs and family pools.

Q5: What kind of food options are available for children?
A5: You’ll find a wide array of dining options in Puerto Vallarta, including restaurants that cater to young palates. Many places offer kid-friendly menus with both Mexican and international dishes.

Q6: Is it safe to travel around Puerto Vallarta with children?
A6: Puerto Vallarta is considered one of the safer Mexican tourist destinations. However, as with any travel, it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings and take standard safety precautions.

Q7: What should we pack for a trip to Puerto Vallarta with kids?
A7: Essentials include sunscreen, hats, comfortable clothing, swimwear, beach toys, and any necessary medications. It’s also a good idea to bring insect repellent and a first-aid kit.

Q8: Are there any educational activities for children in Puerto Vallarta?
A8: Yes, there are. The Vallarta Botanical Gardens offer a chance to learn about local flora, and the El Salado Estuary provides guided tours to explore and learn about the area’s natural ecosystem.

Q9: What is the best time of year to visit Puerto Vallarta with kids?
A9: The best time is between November and April when the weather is more temperate and the rainy season is over, making it ideal for outdoor activities.

Q10: Are there any special health considerations when traveling to Puerto Vallarta with kids?
A10: Basic precautions include drinking bottled or purified water, protecting against the sun, and possibly taking motion sickness remedies if you plan on taking boat trips. It’s always good to consult with a healthcare provider before international travel.

These FAQs provide a helpful guide for families planning a trip to Puerto Vallarta, ensuring a fun, safe, and memorable experience for both adults and children. If you have any questions contact us!

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