With the weather warming up here in Michigan it’s got me in vacation planning mode. We’ve been lucky and have been able to do a lot of traveling with Kora & Logan whether it’s been just the four of us or with extended family and we look forward to doing a lot more as they get older.
What I love about family travel is visiting destinations where we’ll leaving with amazing memories that we can all reminisce about for years to come. That’s why I was excited when the following 12 fun family travel activities in Puerto Vallarta and photos landed in my inbox. They sound so amazing I just had to share and there’s a chance to win a family trip too!
The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board has launched a family-focused sweepstakes to promote the destination’s family travel offerings, including its hotel kid’s clubs, museums, outdoor activities. The promotion will include a sweepstakes for three lucky families to visit Puerto Vallarta on a 3-night stays at the Barceló Puerto Vallarta, Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, Meliá Vacation Club Puerto Vallartaor Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta. Enter the sweepstakes here.
Puerto Vallarta is a perfect family friendly destination providing a host of activities that will please children, teenagers and adults alike. The city itself greatly reflects the best of what authentic Mexican family life has to offer.
From joining local families on a leisurely Sunday stroll along Puerto Vallarta’s lively Malecón with to enjoying the arts and crafts markets and free outdoor entertainment, that include concerts, theater, mimes, and the flying dancers of Papantla, to riding zip lines across tree tops, watching whales several feet out of the water, or swimming with dolphins and sea lions, children and adults of all ages can share memorable moments in a fun-filled and educational vacation.
A Day On A Traditional Mexican Ranch
An educational experience for the entire family, learning about life in a traditional Mexican ranch will make for a memorable vacation. The small town environment allows for interacting with the locals as well as an immersion into their local customs and traditions. Some ranches also offer tours on horseback, by motorbike or hikes through surrounding ecosystems. Guests also have a chance to savor some of the Mexican delicacies prepared at the ranch where meals are often cooked in traditional Mexican kitchens.
Sea Turtle and Baby Alligator Release Program
An educational experience for the entire family in the protection and conservation of an endangered species, Puerto Vallarta’s Sea Turtle and Baby Alligator Release Programs are specially endearing to younger children who can release newborn tiny sea turtles into the ocean or newborn baby alligators into the swamps of El Salado Statuary.
From May to September of every year, thousands of sea turtles come to lay their eggs on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta. As part of Puerto Vallarta’s Sea Turtle Release Program, every night throughout turtle season, staff members from various hotels located along the beach gather the turtle eggs from the shore and take them for incubation still in their nests to best preserve natural conditions.
Once the hatchlings are born and are ready to be released into their natural habitat, the various hotels invite visitors and locals to aid in the release of the newborn hatchlings on the beaches so they find their way into the water.
Whale Watching and Dolphin Spotting
Banderas Bay provides the ideal setting to see humpback whales. Humpbacks return to this area every year from their northern homes to mate and give birth and are known to be the species that breech most often, making it easier to spot them. Banderas Bay also provides a natural habitat for dolphins.
A favorite with both parents and children, canopy tours are an exciting way to see and learn about the varied tropical flora and fauna of the rainforest surrounding Puerto Vallarta. The adrenaline mounts as one rides from treetop to treetop, hovering over the canopy of the lush vegetation of the Sierra Madre Mountains. The scenery and bird life is spectacular from this truly privileged vantage point.
An introduction to popular Mexican culture for the entire family, Mexican fiestas are held weekly in various hotels and restaurants in Puerto Vallarta with fun-filled activities for everyone including dancing, games and competitions accompanied by extensive buffets of traditional Mexican food and drink specialties.
Swimming with Dolphins
A wonderful opportunity for the entire family to learn about dolphins, an encounter with these endearing mammals, will prove a memorable experience for everyone. Children can swim and play with the dolphins or simply stand on a submerged platform to pet them and hug them, if they prefer. Special programs also allow spending an entire day with dolphin trainers to learn more about these animals.
Encounter with Sea Lions
An educational program allows for an up-close encounter with these playful and curious creatures. Visitors can interact with them in a waist-deep pool and learn more about their behavior from qualified marine mammal trainers.
A strong, unified family is a key component of Mexican society and children are treated like royalty throughout the country. On April 30th of every year, Mexico dedicates the entire day to honor children and Puerto Vallarta comes alive with numerous celebrations throughout town.
A street parade and a lavish party are held in the downtown area and along the Malecón and many hotels hold their own festivities to mark the date.
Fun at the Beach
What’s more fun than spending a day at the beach with the entire family? The Puerto Vallarta area offers 26 miles of beautiful beaches along picturesque Banderas Bay, set on the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. Kids can enjoy playing on the sand, building sandcastles, playing ball, or throwing frisbees, or simply enjoy the clear waters of the ocean. Numerous other activities are also provided, including jet skiing and parasailing.
For those boys and girls who looking for an outdoor adventure, exploring the back roads of Puerto Vallartaon an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) will prove a fun-filled experience. The tour takes riders to the rural countryside and along dirt roads and through rivers. It is recommended to bring old clothes and sneakers for this excursion as drivers end up completely covered in dust and mud. The tours are only open to children over 6 years old who have to ride with an adult holding a valid driver’s license.
Numerous water parks offer a wealth of fun for the entire family with swimming pools, slides, toboggans, tube and thrill rides. Some water parks also offer dolphin, seal and sea lion shows as well as the experience for children to get close and personal as they go for a swim with the dolphins. Age restrictions apply for certain activities.
Exploring the lush vegetation on the jungle and mountain trails around Puerto Vallarta on horseback is a fun adventure for the entire family. Various ranches around town offer horseback riding tours. Typical routings take riders along rivers, waterfalls, canyons and picturesque mountaintop villages that offer spectacular views of the bay and the town of Puerto Vallarta below. Refreshing waterfalls allow for a well-deserved break where riders can go for a swim under cool cascades. Horseback rides are not recommended for children under 10 years of age.
Additional information on Puerto Vallarta is available at visitpuertovallarta.com