Traveling to Puerto Vallarta with children

Traveling to Puerto Vallarta with kids
Author Ray Smith
January 2024

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is not just a tropical paradise for adults; it's also a fantastic destination for families with kids aged 8-12. With its beautiful beaches, rich culture, and diverse activities, Puerto Vallarta offers an unforgettable experience for every member of the family. Here's a guide on things to do when traveling to Puerto Vallarta with kids in this age group; plus take lots of pictures to capture those memories..

  1. Beach Bonanza: Start your Puerto Vallarta adventure by exploring its stunning beaches. Playa Los Muertos and Playa de Oro are family-friendly options with calm waters perfect for swimming. Bring along some beach toys, build sandcastles, or simply relax and enjoy the sun.

  2. Wildlife Encounters: Take a day trip to the Vallarta Zoo, located just outside the city. Kids can marvel at the diverse collection of animals, and the zoo offers interactive experiences like feeding sessions. The Puerto Vallarta Dolphin Adventure is another highlight, providing a chance to swim with these magnificent creatures.

  3. Pirate Ship Cruise: Embark on a thrilling pirate ship cruise for a family-friendly adventure on the high seas. These tours often include pirate-themed entertainment, snorkeling opportunities, and delicious meals. Kids will love the excitement of sailing on a pirate ship while enjoying the beautiful coastline.

  4. Exploring the Malecón: Stroll along the Malecón, Puerto Vallarta's famous boardwalk. This vibrant area is filled with street performers, shops, and restaurants. Kids can enjoy the lively atmosphere, and you might even catch a live performance or street art demonstration.

  5. Cultural Exploration: Visit Old Town Puerto Vallarta and explore its historic charm. Take a walking tour of the colorful cobblestone streets, visit the iconic Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, and discover local markets. Engage your kids in the rich history and culture of the city.

  6. Outdoor Adventure Parks: Head to one of the many outdoor adventure parks in the area, such as Canopy River or Los Veranos Canopy Tour. Zip-lining through the lush canopy, exploring jungle trails, and taking a dip in refreshing natural pools provide an adrenaline rush for the whole family.

  7. Water Park Fun: Splash into excitement at the Aquaventuras Park, offering a variety of water attractions suitable for all ages. From lazy rivers to thrilling slides, the park ensures a day filled with aquatic adventures for the entire family.

  8. Local Cuisine Tasting: Puerto Vallarta is a haven for delicious Mexican cuisine. Encourage your kids to try local specialties like tacos, quesadillas, and fresh seafood. Many restaurants offer family-friendly atmospheres and menus catering to younger palates.

  9. Boat Tours and Island Hopping: Explore the nearby Marietas Islands or Yelapa by taking a family-friendly boat tour. These trips often include snorkeling opportunities, sightings of marine life, and stops at secluded beaches. It's a great way to bond as a family while enjoying the scenic beauty of the region.

  10. Craft Workshops and Souvenir Shopping: Engage your kids in local arts and crafts by participating in workshops. Many shops in Puerto Vallarta also offer handmade souvenirs and traditional Mexican items. Let your children pick out their favorite keepsakes to remember the trip.
Puerto Vallarta, with its blend of natural beauty and cultural richness, provides an ideal setting for a memorable family vacation. By combining beach relaxation, wildlife encounters, cultural exploration, and thrilling adventures, you're sure to create lasting memories that will be cherished by the whole family.