Top 5 Best Free Things to-do In Puerto Vallarta (part 2)

La Cruz Marina Market

Top 5 Free Things to-do In Puerto Vallarta Part 2 Hiking Around Puerto Vallarta For this list I made sure to only include hikes that are easy to intermediate, nothing to strenuous or outlandish so most people can try each of these hikes out. a) Palo Maria Get ready for an epic hike that’s the talk of the town – seriously, it’s a must, especially when the weather’s cooled down a bit after the rainy season. The trail is short, just around 20 minutes, but it’s a blast, taking you over boulders and through streams (yep, your shoes might get a little wet, so wear the grippy ones, not flip flops). Start your adventure right off the main road near Garza Blanca in the Conchas Chinas area – super easy to get to from downtown Puerto Vallarta. Once you hit the waterfall, it’s like nature’s reward ceremony. The water is clear as day, a bit chillier than the ocean, and guess what? You can swim with the local fish! Feeling brave? There are spots deep enough to jump off the rocks, but hold up – you’ll need a rope to get back up the wet, rocky slope. Now, here’s the deal – no facilities at the waterfall, so pack your water, sunscreen, and a picnic. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, there are more waterfalls waiting if you trek up the left side of the cliff face – just be cautious, okay? It’s all about embracing the thrill and making your own wild discoveries! ?? #EpicHike #VallartaAdventures #NatureThrills Directions: Palo Maria b) Nogalito Important notice: **This hike is only suitable for dry conditions. During rainy season this place is inaccessible**  This is a wonderful hike with a spectacular final destination. But first the slightly tricky part will be finding the hike.  To locate the starting point of the hike, keep your eyes open while driving towards Mismaloya – it will be on the left side before you reach Mismaloya and right across the street from Playa Punta Negra. Google map”El Nogalito” to be directed to the restaurant. Once you make the turn off of the main highway road, the dirt road  is really only accessible with an SUV with clearance, so taking a small car is not advisable.  Once you park your car in the parking lot, head up the inclined driveway towards the restaurant. You can eat and drink here before or after your hike – whatever your heart/stomach desires. As you navigate the restaurant grounds, a path will guide you towards the hike itself. The journey spans approximately 1-2 hours, contingent on your pace, and winds through rocky terrain. Along the way, you’ll encounter a petite freshwater pool.  However, the true spectacle awaits just beyond this modest oasis—a breathtaking waterfall. To enhance your experience, we often bring hammocks and snacks to relax by the pool’s side and savor the cool, invigorating waters. Though the water may be notably brisk, it’s always exceptionally refreshing after your hike. The opening of the rock once you reach the waterfall itself is a wondrous sight to behold. Nature never disappoints! ??? #Mismaloya #Vallartahike #Mexicohike Directions: Nogalito   c) Monkey Mountain Explore the renowned Monkey Mountain, locally known as “Cerro del Mono,” a sought-after hiking spot near Punta de Mita, Nayarit. This trail promises a picturesque journey through vibrant tropical jungle terrain and rewards hikers with a breathtaking 360-degree view from the summit. Conveniently located about 10 minutes by car from Punta de Mita or a 20-minute drive south from Sayulita, it caters to all adventure enthusiasts. Trail Challenge: The hike presents varying difficulty levels, with some moderately challenging sections. It’s ideal for those with a moderate fitness level and some hiking experience, featuring steep segments and uneven terrain. Time Commitment: Plan for a 2 to 3-hour trek to reach the summit, depending on your pace and break preferences. The return journey is typically quicker. Scenic Splendor: As you ascend, immerse yourself in the lush jungle surroundings, benefitting from shaded trail sections for sun relief. For an optimal experience, kickstart your hike early to avoid crowds and intense midday sun, especially before 10 am. Best Timing: Busy periods, like Christmas and Semana Santa in April, attract more hikers, so consider exploring Monkey Mountain on mid-week days for a more tranquil outing. Natural Beauty: The trail is adorned with rich greenery and tropical flora, enhancing the overall beauty of the expedition. Arm yourself with mosquito repellent and stay vigilant for scorpions to ensure a safe and enjoyable hike. Also sadly, there’s no actually monkeys on this hike – it’s simply a name. ?? #Monkeymountain #Puntademita #hikingvallarta Directions: Monkey Mountain 2. Visiting Puerto Vallarta’s Cathedrals a) Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe) One of the most remarkable landmarks in Puerto Vallarta is the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Towering as the tallest in the city, it captures attention nestled in downtown, particularly dazzling at night with its illuminated grandeur. Recognized for its distinctive crown design, the cathedral stands as an architectural beacon. Constructed in the early 20th century and completed in 1951, the Cathedral is dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of Mexico. It serves as the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Puerto Vallarta and hosts the famous “Noche de Reyes” every January 5th, drawing thousands for carol singing and the blessing of the Three Wise Men. Open daily to the public, the Cathedral is a must-visit for tourists, showcasing not only architectural beauty but also deep historical and cultural significance. Directions: Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe b) Iglesia Bíblica Cristiana Other noteworthy cathedrals include Iglesia Bíblica Cristiana in Cinco de Diciembre, walking distance from Our Lady of Guadalupe. This used to be the tallest building in all of Vallarta for many years, and holds a significant place in the hearts of those born and raised in Puerto Vallarta. However since the completion of Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe, this church has taken a

Top 5 FREE Things to-do In Puerto Vallarta (part 1)

los muertos pier

What Can You Do for FREE in Vallarta? Are you seeking the ultimate insider’s guide to experiencing the best of Puerto Vallarta on a budget? Your search ends here! As a former resident of both Centro and Nuevo Vallarta for two years, I’ve already done the groundwork for you. Say goodbye to countless hours of internet research! Whether you have a week or just a few days to spare, you can effortlessly check off all five items on this curated list. The cherry on top? Every single experience comes at absolutely no cost to you. While indulging in a resort stay in Vallarta is a splendid means to relax and detach from the hustle and bustle of daily routines, it’s important to remember that there exists an entire realm of wonders beyond the confines of the resort gates. Vallarta, nestled in the captivating embrace of the Bay of Banderas, holds a wealth of hidden treasures just waiting to be explored. Venture beyond the boundaries of your resort, and you’ll discover a cornucopia of awe-inspiring experiences and breathtaking sights that will leave an indelible mark on your journey. So, let’s dive right in and uncover a few of the best FREE experiences that Puerto Vallarta has to offer! 1. Mirador de la Cruz If you’re up for the climb, visiting Mirador de la Cruz (the View Point) is an absolute must. The effort is well rewarded by the breathtaking panoramic view it offers. From this elevated vantage point, you can take in the entire expanse of Vallarta. The sight encompasses everything from whales gracefully breaching in the distance to the vibrant downtown area, the Hotel Zone, Marina, Nuevo Vallarta, and extends all the way to the scenic point of Punta Mita. To truly appreciate the city, venture to the backside of the cross where you’ll discover the tunnel that links the negihborhood of Agua Azul to Zona Romantica, and views of the largest neighborhood in Vallarta – Pitillal. Here, you’ll gain a comprehensive perspective of Vallarta as a whole, realizing its vastness and scale. Many visitors tend to confine themselves to the popular areas near the beach, unaware that the majority of locals reside on the opposite side of the main highway (highway 200) to the east. From the elevated viewpoint, you’ll not only grasp the size of Vallarta, but also gain an appreciation for the sheer magnitude of the Bay of Banderas. Without observing it from above, it’s difficult to comprehend the immense stretch of this bay. Spanning approximately 42 kilometers (26 miles) from Punta Mita in the north to Cabo Corrientes in the south, the Bay of Banderas encompasses an area of about 1,500 square kilometers (579 square miles). If you’re interested in embarking on this adventure, the starting point of the walk is located at the end of Gringo Gulch, an area known for its movie star residents. Simply head up the hill, slightly north from Cathedral de Guadalupe (the famous church with the grey crown). For your convenience, here is the Google Maps location of Mirador de la Cruz so you can navigate your way there. Enjoy the spectacular views! 2. Romantic Zone and Los Muertos Pier Next on the list is something I recommend doing both during the daylight with sunshine, and at night. Sunset is the ideal time to immerse yourself in the charm of Old Town while taking a leisurely beach stroll. As the sun dips below the horizon, it casts a gentle pink and orange glow on the hillside buildings, creating a captivating atmosphere. No visit to Vallarta is complete without exploring the place where its oldest roots lie. As tourism flourished in the late 1960s and early 1970s, thanks to the global recognition brought by the movie “Night of the Iguana,” the Romantic Zone (Old Town) witnessed the emergence of numerous buildings. Tourists flocked to the area, staying at beachfront resorts while admiring the architectural beauty and cobblestone streets that give Old Town its illustrious charm. The architecture in the Romantic Zone is a delightful fusion of traditional Mexican elements and contemporary designs. Colorful buildings, charming boutique hotels, inviting cafes, and captivating art galleries line the streets, inviting exploration. Moreover, the neighborhood is a haven for food enthusiasts, boasting a diverse culinary scene that caters to all tastes, from mouthwatering traditional Mexican street food to refined international cuisine. After the sun sets, the Romantic Zone comes alive with its vibrant nightlife, offering a variety of bars, clubs, and live music venues. The Romantic Zone also embraces a relaxed and bohemian ambiance, attracting a diverse mix of locals, expatriates, and tourists. The neighborhood fosters a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, celebrating Mexican culture alongside international influences and a vibrant LGBT community. Muertos Beach, located within the Romantic Zone, beckons nearly all visitors to its sandy shores. As the most popular beach in Vallarta, it offers a picturesque setting for relaxation and recreation. At Muertos Beach, you’ll also find the iconic Los Muertos Pier. Situated in the heart of the Old Town district, the pier extends into the Bay of Banderas, providing breathtaking views of the water and the surrounding mountains. The Los Muertos Pier holds a special appeal for both tourists and locals, offering a delightful setting for leisurely strolls, scenic vistas, and people-watching. Along the pier, you’ll encounter an array of shops, restaurants, and bars, providing a diverse range of dining and entertainment options. Additionally, the pier showcases various art installations and public artwork, inviting exploration and appreciation of the city’s vibrant culture. A highlight of the Los Muertos Pier experience is witnessing its magnificent sunsets. The pier offers a prime location to observe the sun descending over the bay, attracting locals and visitors alike to gather and savor the evening spectacle. Fishing enthusiasts can also be spotted casting their lines off the pier in search of a catch. At night, the pier is adorned with colorful lights, creating a relaxed ambiance that beautifully illuminates the surroundings after the sun has dipped