Summer is here and with that comes planning for great summer getaways. Visitors to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico will find that the destination’s low season can provide them with discounted rates on the most popular activities while saving on daily expenses by adding to their itineraries one of the many free activities to do in the beach city.
Walk the Malecon
A first stop for all visitors to Puerto Vallarta is the world-famous Malecon, the boardwalk that hugs the historic downtown and the coastline of the Bay of Banderas. It is a must-visit location where visitors and locals alike can immerse themselves in the flavour, colour, and 24/7 activity that embodies the Puerto Vallarta vibe.
After 10 p.m., the Malecon also becomes the heart of Puerto Vallarta nightlife as entertainment spills out into the streets for all to enjoy. The Southside of the Malecon includes the colourful Los Muertos Pier and the Rio Cuale crafts market which make the perfect backdrop for a selfie.
One of the most beautiful and best-preserved sections of Puerto Vallarta is its historic Zona Romantica. Here visitors will find the iconic cobblestone streets, terra-cotta roofs, historic buildings, and winding roads that lead up into the lush, jungled hillsides. The state of Jalisco has named Puerto Vallarta’s historic centre a protected Cultural Heritage area, as well. The best part? Wandering is free and every vantage point provides a picture perfect “Instagrammable” moment.
The majority of beaches in Mexico are public and, therefore, free. While it might cost money to rent a beach chair at one of the various beach clubs, visitors can BYO-anything and camp out on the sand for an afternoon soaking up the sun and gorgeous views of the bay. Some of the best beaches to explore are Playa Los Muertos, Playa Las Gemelas, and Playa Mismaloya.
Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe
If you’ve seen any picture of Puerto Vallarta, then you are sure to recognize this iconic landmark. Dominating Vallarta’s downtown skyline, this gorgeous red brick cathedral is best-known for the golden crown that sits atop. Not only is it great for souvenirs photos, visitors will get an inside (and free) glimpse into one of the most important monuments of the city and the spiritual centre of the Catholics in town. Surrounding the church is always a frenetic hum of activity.
Cerro de La Cruz Mirador
Get a bird’s eye view of Puerto Vallarta’s historic downtown, the Church, the Hotel Zone, and sweeping views of the Bay of Banderas from this clifftop perch. The locals know of it as a place for recreation, relaxation and meditation, and visitors love it for its perfect photography vantage point.
Puerto Vallarta has established itself as a centre of creation, exhibition and promotion. An important contribution to the city’s art scene is the weekly ArtWalk, which is held every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. during high season. Low season offers visitors the opportunity to do the tour on their own and include other galleries not included in the regular schedule. The participating galleries in Historic Center exhibit works by important national and international artists.