Puerto Vallarta is often overlooked for Cabo San Lucas and Cancún, but its beautiful location on the Mexico coast with jungles and mountains to the east makes for one stunning destination. While it is known for its beautiful beaches and crazy fun nightlife, it is also an amazing location for a family vacation. We loved our vacation to Puerto Vallarta and found there are plenty of things to do in Puerto Vallarta with kids!
*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!
A trip to Puerto Vallarta doesn’t disappoint. There are fun, family-friendly activities that will keep you all happy all vacation long. While some of these are better for older kids, there are still plenty that are great for younger ones.
Table of Contents
Is Puerto Vallarta a Good Place for Kids?
The good thing about Puerto Vallarta is that it has things for all ages to enjoy. There are many adventure parks that kids will love to explore, along with typical beach activities like kayaking, snorkeling, and surfing.
What Can Kids Do in Puerto Vallarta?
Kids can go horseback riding, zoom on zip lines, visit the beaches and natural caves, waterfalls, and tunnels, and so much more in Puerto Vallarta. All of these activities below are kid-friendly for all ages.
Is Puerto Vallarta Safe for Families?
Yes, Puerto Vallarta is a safe place for families to visit on vacation. Because it is a big tourist place, the beaches are protected and kept clean and secure for everyone. Like always, make sure to be cautious and know your surroundings, and you’ll be good to go!
These 18 activities are some of the best things you can do together as a family when visiting Puerto Vallarta with kids. Choose one of these, or create a list and get as many as you can during your vacation. What adventure do you want to do in Puerto Vallarta as a family?
What to Do in Puerto Vallarta with Family
1. Stroll the Malecón
The Malecón Boardwalk is the center of Puerto Vallarta and stretches along the waterfront. It is filled with street vendors selling trinkets and souvenirs, restaurants, and entertainment. It’s the perfect for kids to enjoy.
This is a place to walk with your family to see everything downtown Puerto Vallarta has to offer. It is also a great place to take beautiful pictures with many sculptures and backgrounds to enjoy.
You will find delicious foods to try, such as shrimp on a stick, and tons of stores to get all your shopping done in one place.
One of the best things to do in the Malecón is free! You can watch street performances as you walk around. Some have seen Voladores de Papantla where these men “fly” everywhere in circles across the street. It’s a pretty amazing thing to watch!
Don’t miss an opportunity to wander the parallel side streets where you will find street art and the beautiful Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This is a famous church in Puerto Vallarta and definitely worth a quick detour.
2. Day Trip to Las Caletas with Vallarta Adventures
Another fun family adventure at Puerto Vallarta has to include Las Caletas. Go explore a beautiful beach hideaway with a day trip with your family. With Vallarta Adventures, you can enjoy the day out at sea with their boat tour.
Las Caletas is one of four beaches that are only accessible by boat. This is quite the adventure as you can paddleboard, kayak, snorkel, take cooking classes, have animal encounters, and so much more. With all of the activities on this beach, kids of all ages will enjoy something, especially the kids’ adventure park.
At the kids’ adventure park, your kids can enjoy a zip line, face painting, riding a donkey, and so much more. If you are traveling with teens, you will also find a teen adventure cove filled with waterslides, a banana boat, and obstacle courses.
If parents want some downtime, don’t miss an opportunity to get a massage while you’re there. You can sign up on the boat and it is 100% worth it!
3. Canopy River Zip Line
If you want an adrenaline-filled adventure as a family, you will love the Canopy River Zip Line. You will fly over through the Sierra Madre mountains and see the river as you fly down the line. At this location, there are 11 zip lines, and at the last zip line, you can dive into the river.
Along with the zip line, you will tour the gardens with a nature walk riding on a mule. There is also an infinity pool to enjoy at the end of your tour. This zip line adventure takes about two hours in total. This fun family adventure is only for children over six years old.
There are plenty of opportunities for parasailing along Banderas Bay in Puerto Vallarta. Children nine and older will love flying through the sky and taking in all the beauty of the ocean. Sometimes you might even see some dolphins.
If you’ve never gone parasailing before, this is a must-have activity; you will not see anything more beautiful than Puerto Vallarta while flying.
5. Eco-Adventure Islands
The Marietas Islands are another fun place to go exploring with kids in Puerto Vallarta. These islands are protected and safe for families. The eco-adventure islands tour goes at your own pace and allows you to snorkel, paddleboard, kayak, just about anything you want to do. You will be able to see sea turtles, stingrays, and even some humpback whales. Enjoy the natural beauty Puerto Vallarta offers with your kids at the Marietas Islands.
6. Day Trip to Sayulita
There are many day trips from Puerto Vallarta that can be booked through tour companies, but consider renting a car and heading to Sayulita with your family. This is a very laid-back town where you can enjoy time at the beach or strolling through town. Sayulita is a great place to escape the busy city and just enjoy some downtime. This can be much needed when traveling with kids!
You can windsurf, snorkel, do some yoga on the beach, or get a massage here. Other fun activities to include in your day trip to Sayulita with your kids are to go horseback riding, whale watching, kayaking, surf lessons, and so much more. There is something for everyone to enjoy in Sayulita.
7. Pirate Cruise
What child wouldn’t love a Pirate Cruise? You can enjoy many fun pirate ship tours, whether you choose a day trip for lunch or a night ride with some delicious dinner. You will find a real pirate ship that is a replica of the Santa Maria ship. This cruise is filled with music, action, shows, food, and more.
8. Cooking Class
If you are traveling with older kids who love to cook and eat delicious Mexican food, there are plenty of fun cooking classes in Puerto Vallarta. You will learn how to cook an authentic Mexican dish that is absolutely delicious!
Many of the cooking classes take you to the local market where you can experience purchasing your food just like the chefs. Then, together as a family, you will learn step by step how to cook whatever dish you choose. This would be a great bonding experience on your trip.
9. Spend the Day at the Beach
Of course, you will want to spend plenty of time at the beach with your family. In case you want to leave the beach at your Puerto Vallarta resort and explore other areas, these are some of the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta for kids:
Playa Los Muertos
Los Muertos Beach is one of the top tourist attractions in Puerto Vallarta, so it will be crowded. However, this means it also has tons of things to do and places to eat nearby. You can enjoy delicious food vendors right on the beach, along with some great photo-op locations and a gorgeous beach for swimming.
Conchas Chinas Beach
This beach is more secluded and relaxing. The way this beach sits, it is almost entirely wave-free, which is great for little ones. This beach is also protected and cleaned regularly to make it safe.
Nuevo Vallarta Beach
Nuevo Vallarta Beach is another great family-friendly beach in Puerto Vallarta with things everyone will love to do. It has soft sand, it’s a wide beach, and has medium waves which are great for boogie boarding and surfing.
If you don’t want to go to the beach, you can always look into getting a day pass at one of the Puerto Vallarta Beach Clubs.
10. Whale Watching
If you plan to visit Puerto Vallarta between December and March, you must go whale watching as a family. You can see amazing humpback whales here and even baby humpback whales too. There are many whale watching tours you can go on, but you might be able to see them from the beach as well!
11. Vallarta Botanical Gardens
The Vallarta Botanical Gardens is another beautiful and relaxing place to visit with kids. Here you can enjoy some downtime in nature. You can see all the beautiful native Mexican plant species.
Explore the garden and forest at your own pace, or you can go on a guided tour. They also have a restaurant with delicious authentic food to enjoy as well. Kids under the age of four get free admission.
12. ATV Puerto Vallarta tours
If you love riding ATVs, go on a fun ATV tour in Puerto Vallarta. Zoom through the forest on a dirt trail in this one-of-a-kind adventure. These tours allow you to go at your own pace and have a tour guide to lead you along the way.
You will also have the chance to do a little bit of hiking if you want and find a hidden natural pool to dip in the water for a bit too. This is an experience you will definitely want to try with your family.
13. Vallarta Food Tours
Puerto Vallarta is all about food. While you can enjoy many of the delicious things this city has to offer, going on a food tour will allow you to savor everything this city has to offer. From learning about the best local food spots to untouristed places, you can learn and enjoy it all. If your family loves food, definitely sign up for a food tour!
14. Los Arcos National Marine Park
One of the best places to visit in Puerto Vallarta with kids is the Los Arcos National Marine Park. Here you can enjoy the five granite islands in the middle of Bandera Bay.
This is the perfect spot to get some stunning family pictures with the islands as your backdrop. Take a snorkeling tour and you will find caves and tunnels to explore along with amazing ocean wildlife.
15. Las Animas Adventure Park
At Las Animas Adventure Park, you will find zip lines and obstacle courses as you spend the day flying through the forest in Vallarta. This is definitely a family spot in Puerto Vallarta you don’t want to miss.
Kids of all ages will love climbing through rope bridges and flying from tree to tree. You can easily make this a day trip from Puerto Vallarta.
16. Choco Museo
Chocolate lovers will enjoy this museum! At Choco Museo, you will learn all about chocolate and delicious Mexican creations that use chocolate. The museum is free to go and explore, but they also offer tours. Kids can have a mini chocolate cooking class to enjoy or learn how to make truffles as a family!
17. Aquaventuras Water Park
Aquaventuras Water Park is one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta with kids. Kids can enjoy going down waterslides or swimming with the dolphins. There are also fun playgrounds and zip lines. Kids of all ages will love coming here, and you will make so many fun memories together!
18. Horseback Riding
Horseback riding is another fun family adventure to do while you are visiting Puerto Vallarta with kids. This horseback riding tour is a unique experience, not quite like any other horseback riding trip you’ve done in the past. You will horseback ride through the mountains together and end up at a waterfall where you can swim and cool off.
Still looking for Puerto Vallarta ideas? Don’t miss our Puerto Vallarta travel guide over at our sister site, Multigenerational Vacations!