9 Cool Things to do Around Banderas Bay

If you thought this was an article about how to keep cool in Puerto Vallarta in August, you’re wrong. But follow some of these suggestions and perhaps you’ll be so distracted by the fun you’re having, you’ll forget how hot it is right now.

1. Visit the famous and iconic Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Located in downtown (or el Centro), you can’t miss this gem in the heart of Vallarta. What is very cool to see are the locals who always show respect when they pass by with the sign of the cross.

2. Cool off at one of the local cabaret/theaters including Act II on Basilio Badillo and Incanto along the Rio Cuale. Both offer air conditioning, beverages and musical and theater shows throughout the year, but check their schedules during the summer to be sure they’re open.

3. Walk the Malecon (in the early am or after sun down). This promenade offers the perfect platform for taking in the sites, sounds and tantalizing aromas of the local scene. On Sunday evenings, you will find musicians, artists, local vendors selling all types of food, merchandise, bundles of balloons and fun souvenirs for kids. See the street performers show off their skills as well.

4. Take a surf or stand up paddle board (SUP) lesson. Head south to Mismaloya and rent boards from Paddle Zone. Here you can take a quick lesson and then test the waters. Paddle through Los Arcos at night for a bioluminescent fiesta! Possible sightings of sea turtles, humpback whales (Nov – Mar) and giant manta ray will make the experience even more special. Head to Punta Mita or Sayulita for a day of surfing.

5. Visit Los Mangos Library (Biblioteca Los Mangos). This beautifully landscaped, peaceful and resourceful community cultural center / library provides book lending in English and Spanish and holds classes for kids to adults, including art, yoga, language, dance, theatre, reading, computer access and much more.

6. Join in a turtle release. Many hotels have special agendas for guests to enrich their experience during the turtle-hatching season. Check out www.facebook.com/seaturtlenan for daily updates on turtle releases at the Boca de Tomates nursery.

7. Visit Los Muertos Beach  – this is where the action happens. Lively entertainment and great dining options combined with beach chairs and umbrellas – what more could you need?

8. Experience the ‘Romantic Zone’ – Here you will find over 200 restaurants, bars and clubs along with boutiques and spas. From homey to high-class this busy neighbourhood is the heart of Puerto Vallarta.

9. Waterfall hike in Yelapa – Accessible only by boat, take a panga (water taxi) from the pier in old Town or bus to Boca de Tomatlan and go by water taxi from there to Yelapa. There are two waterfalls in Yelapa. The smaller one is a short walk through the town while the bigger one is better accessible by horseback, along the river and back into the valley. Both are refreshing and beautiful examples of the natural wonders in Banderas Bay.