When you think of a holiday to Mexico, tacos, tequila and Aztec ruins probably spring to mind. But Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit offer another side to the story. For starters, they’re on a different coast. The Pacific side of Mexico is home to spotless sands, thick rainforest and protected parks. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s the lowdown on our favourite things to do…
This place is one of Mexico’s most beautiful natural hotspots. The Marieta Islands are packed with wildlife, including humpback whales and exotic birds. You can watch dolphins leap through the waves, and go snorkelling with rays and turtles. But the ‘hidden beach’ is the real highlight. As the name suggests, Playa del Amor is totally invisible from the outside. Hop in a kayak, paddle through the long rocky tunnel and prepare to be wowed.
Playa del Amor, Marieta Islands
Just a stone’s throw away from Punta de Mita, the picturesque village of Higuera Blanca is a great spot for horse riding. You can saddle up, trot over white sands and splash in the surf. When you fancy a break from the beach, head over to Litibu Golf Course – the fairways here have tropical forest on one side, and the Pacific Ocean on the other.
Embrace your inner David Attenborough and spend a day at Los Arcos National Marine Park. Just south of Puerto Vallarta, this protected coastal area is only accessible by boat. It’s a popular spot for snorkelling, thanks to its coral reef, deep tunnels and hidden caves. The granite cliffs, meanwhile, are covered in all kinds of birds, ranging from pelicans to parrots to penguins.
Los Arcos National Marine Park
If the urban jungle is more your scene, head to the city of Puerto Vallarta, where you can visit ornate churches and browse trinket-filled markets. Overlooking the sea, the Malecon boardwalk plays host to a long line-up of restaurants and bars. Pull up a chair, order some tacos and margaritas, and watch the sun sink into the sea. Not quite ready to go to bed? You can dance the night away in the low-lit bars and clubs, which stay open until the early hours.
Mexico’s Pacific Coast isn’t just about beaches and wildlife. You’ll also find some world-renowned golf courses in Riviera Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta. Some of the greens were designed by golfing legend Jack Nicklaus, and come with great views to boot. If you’re staying in the Nuevo Vallarta area, you can practise your swing against a backdrop of sun-topped mountains, leafy rainforest and sandy beaches.
Punta Mita Golf Course
If you want to add a dash of adrenaline to your holiday, check out our Jungle Expedition. Hidden in the depths of the green-clad Sierra Madre Mountains, treetop bridges and sky-high zip lines make for a great adventure. Explore the jungle à la Tarzan, as you don a harness and zoom through the leafy canopy. And if that’s not enough to get your heart racing, you can even ride a raft down the river afterwards.
Tales of tradition. A melting pot of culture, tradition and food in...
Traditional mountain villages, laid-back lakeside towns and musical cities – Austria has...
Thick or thin, doughy or crisp – everyone loves pizza. People have...
Author: Sarah Reeves
Published: September 27, 2016
Our top deals tailored to you, straight to your inbox Sign up for offers
Shop Finder Ask a question? Contact us
We're part of TUI Group - one of the world's leading travel companies. And all of our holidays are designed to help you Discover Your Smile.
Registered address: Wigmore House, Wigmore Lane, Luton, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom, LU2 9TN
More from TUI
Terms & conditions
Ways to Pay
Google Play Store
App Store for Ios
TUI Travel Money
Holiday Budget Calculator
TUI Credit Card
Travel After Brexit
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and National Travel Health Network and Centre have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad.
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information check www.gov.uk/travelaware and follow @FCOtravel and Facebook.com/FCOtravel
More information is available by checking /destinations/info/travel-aware
Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting www.travelhealthpro.org.uk
The advice can change so check regularly for updates.
Some of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme.
But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website.
This website will provide you with information on the protection that applies in the case of each holiday and travel service offered before you make your booking.
If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it,
those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.caa.co.uk