We recently returned from a 9-day vacation in one of our favorite vacation spots: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Aside from Puerto Vallarta being a great beach location, there are other charming things about it that keeps us coming back to experience more of what it has to offer us.

Keep reading to find out why we love visiting Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. You just may find yourself falling-in-love with it just like we have.

1. Puerto Vallarta is Safe

One of the major reasons we love Puerto Vallarta is because it’s probably one of the safest places we’ve visited outside of the U.S. We’ve never felt unsafe walking around during the day or at night. In fact, it’s been deemed one of the safest destinations in Mexico. That’s surprising since the media portrays all of Mexico as being dangerous.  Mexico is huge with many different states, and this particular part of the State of Jalisco hasn’t proven to be anything other than safe for us.
Taco stand we visited late at night

2. Food is Amazing

Puerto Vallarta has some of the best culinary experiences we’ve had, and it’s affordable. We love having a romantic dinner on the beach at La Palapa. Watching the sunset while having wine and tapas at Barcelona Tapas. My husband loves his steaks, and what better place to have a nice prime rib than at Añejo Limon. Picking up authentic Mexican tacos from the street vendors is a must, and having a fish or shrimp burrito from Tacon De Marlin is a must, and will only cost you $5.95 US.

Sea Bass and Shrimp Burrito $95 pesos

3. The People of Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta natives are friendly.  We’ve had people help us catch a taxi. Locals were helpful in directing us to the best spots to eat and drink. And we always seem to leave Puerto Vallarta with a new friend.  This time, we met Ulises, our taxi driver who drove us to Punta de Mita and San Sebastian on an affordable day trip. He stopped at the best local eateries in these places, and when it was time to leave, he met us with gifts to bring back to the U.S.: brownies from Pie in the Sky and an assortment of Mexican Tamales.

My husband and Ulises stopping to take in the view of the mountains & river below

4. The Scenery

One of our favorite parts of Puerto Vallarta is the beautiful views of Banderas Bay we have from walking the Malecon, or while driving through the mountains, or from the balcony of our rental condo in Conchas Chinas.  Traditional Mexican buildings blend with modern and abstract designs, while palm trees and exotic flowers grow abundantly on its cobble-stoned streets.

5. The Ease of Getting Around

Getting around Puerto Vallarta, whether it’s via a bus, taxi or even walking is not only easy but also affordable. A bus from the Vallarta Zoo or Botanical Gardens Conchas Chinas is about $18-20  Pesos ($1USD) Take a taxi and depending on how well you can haggle, it will only cost between $5 and $8.

6. Puerto Vallarta is Great for Families and Couples

The Malecon, which is the boardwalk, is the heart and soul of the town.  Weekends strolling the Malecon, especially at night where locals and tourists with their families come to enjoy the many vendors offering art, souvenirs, balloons, toys, drinks, and food. There are shows and music at the amphitheater. It’s quite fun, and romantic, too. There’s also the zoo to visit.

Related: Travel Tips for a Successful Family Vacation

7. The Beaches

Puerto Vallarta has beautiful beaches. Our favorite beach is Conchas Chinas since it’s so convenient since it’s easily accessible from our rental condo. The water is pristine blue, warm and the beach offers great views of Los Arcos.

Related: The Only Travel Tips You Will Need to Survive Traveling with Kids

Playa La Manzanilla located in Punta de Mita is beautiful. The water is not as blue; however, the fine sand, calm and warm waters combined with the freshly made margaritas and food make it great for a relaxing beach day.

Playa La Manzanilla

8. The  Culture and History

Our family loves learning about various cultures and learning the history of places
we visit, which was important to us that during this trip we finally made the two-hour drive into the rural village of San Sebastián del Oeste.  It’s a beautiful village nestled among pine trees in the Sierra Madre Mountains. It’s here where you can get a feel for colonial Mexico at the 400-year-old former New Spain mining capital. They have a small museum and a great bakery with delicious pastries using the freshest ingredients.  While there, the bakery owner gave us a bag full of guava he’d picked earlier in the day. Oh, and their conchas were amazing!
Bonus: Kinder Surprise Eggs are sold in Mexico. (Now, they’re sold in the U.S.A.; no longer making them an exclusive treat for our daughter.)

Related: Manage Summer Airport Travel for your Family Like A Pro

The next time you’re planning your vacation, consider taking a trip to Puerto Vallarta. I’m sure you will not regret it.
The Top 8 reasons why we love visiting Puerto Vallarta