Top 10 to Visit from Puerto Vallarta

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Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta has been a first class tourist destination for travelers from all over the world for almost 50 years. Its paradisiacal beaches and mountains covered with exuberant vegetation have made it one of the favorite places for conventional, adventure, ecological and recently, medical tourism thanks to its modern facilities.

However, beyond all this beauty that has taken years to discover, there are other places that are well worth knowing, places that are not so much on the radar of travelers but that have their own supply of wonders to unveil.

Whether on the beach, in the mountains or in the valleys surrounding Puerto Vallarta, there will surely be some site that will be of interest to travelers who are not satisfied with knowing what everyone else comes to see, and want to explore a little further.

So here are our recommendations of places to visit from Puerto Vallarta.

San Sebastian del Oeste

San Sebastian had its heyday during the colonial period. When you arrive at the place its architecture transports you to the past and the inhabitants could spend several hours telling you the captivating stories. It is a delight to enjoy a cool climate, with its vegetation dominated by pines and oaks, which give off aromas that fill you with energy. One of its main attractions is the Cerro de la Bufa, which gives you an incredible view to take memorable photos with your family and friends. To get to the place the tours take you on ATVs or 4×4 trucks, we recommend you to wear warm clothes and good shoes for the adventure. (complete article about San Sebastián del Oeste)

San Sebastian del Oeste

Mascot

Its name comes from the word Amaxacotlán, which means place of deer and snakes. It is a land of friendly and warm people, who seek to provide you with the best experience during your visit. One of its main attractions is the Temple of the Precious Blood, with its unfinished structure where beautiful gardens blend in to create a dreamlike atmosphere. Today it is the ideal setting for cultural events, plays and concerts. San Sebastián del Oeste, Talpa de Allende, Atenguillo and Mascota are part of the Biocultural Landscape project, which seeks a balance between rural communities and the landscapes of the Sierra Madre Occidental. It was named Pueblo Mágico in

Talpa

The center of the magical town is invaded by the aroma of the typical sweets, among which the guava roll stands out; while walking you can peek into the locals to observe the elaboration of such an addictive flavor. You will find an endless number of carefully crafted gum figurines, which should not be missing on your shopping list. Its church is visited by hundreds of people and the Virgin of Talpa is a reason for celebration during the first days of May. This town is rich in vegetation and shows it by having a maple forest that we could imagine visiting only in Canadian cities.

Ameca

In this city you can enjoy a delightful average climate of 21°C and its forests of pine, oak and eucalyptus among many other species. You can visit the parish church of Santo Santiago, which dates back to 1749. Another of the main temples is that of Guadalupe, from 1875 and another attraction is the Templo de la Concepción also known as Capilla de la Conchita from 1872. It also has a variety of haciendas, the oldest of which dates back to 1716. In each of the structures there are architectural details that will amaze you.

Sayulita

Color, rhythm, cobblestone streets, wonderful beaches and much more is what this picturesque town has to offer. It has become the place of escape for surfers, lovers of good music, and those who enjoy life. If you are not yet an expert in surfing, you can attend one of the schools to learn this discipline that connects you with the sea or if you prefer you can simply enjoy refreshing drinks and great tasting dishes in one of the restaurants with a good view. Its beaches are a paradise rich in wildlife, and boat rides are also an option.

Sayulita, Nayarit.

San Francisco

Better known as San Pancho, it is a small town where old traditions are combined with modern customs. Among the activities you can do are horseback riding, water sports or simply enjoy its gastronomy. Through its streets you can inhale the aroma of coffee from the different locals. Its beaches are a beautiful contrast of colors between the blue of the sea, the white of its sand and the green mountains in the background. Being in such a quiet place, take the opportunity to pamper yourself with a massage or some other treatment that will remove the tension from your body.

San Pancho. Nayarit.

Rincón de Guayabitos

This town has beaches with warm water temperatures, where you can practice water sports such as canoeing, rowing, skiing, sailing and surfing, but our recommendation is diving. Its crystalline waters allow you to appreciate the marine flora and fauna; two places where this experience will captivate you are Coral Island and Crab Island; the beaches of Beso and Tortuga are also a great attraction for locals and visitors. In addition, from June 19 to 27 you can enjoy the festivities to the Virgin of Perpetual Help, where music, dancers, floats and fireworks fill the streets of the town.

El Tuito

This picturesque little town has no famous virgins or spectacular churches, but what it does have is a special charm of a Mexican town from five centuries ago that seems to have been frozen in time. With an average temperature about 5 degrees lower than Puerto Vallarta, it is an excellent destination to spend the day. A must-see is the Cultural Center, where you will find the “Universal Revolution” mural painted in 1970. You can also visit the House Museum “El Patio de Don Alfonso” and of course enjoy the famous panela cheeses and the traditional raicilla, a distilled agave drink typical of the region.

Juanacatlan Lagoon

Just sixteen kilometers away from Mascota, passing through the towns of Yerbabuena and Navidad, you will arrive at one of the most beautiful places in Jalisco, the Juanacatlan Lagoon. This natural lagoon has an extension of 24 hectares, and in its water mirror you can practice water sports or sport fishing, or if you prefer hiking, a walk along its shores is for you. The lagoon is believed to be the crater of an ancient extinct volcano, and has depths of up to 50 meters. If you decide to stay more than one day, the cabins at Hotel Sierra Lago are a very good option.

Ahualulco de Mercado

Our last recommendation is the town of Ahualulco de Mercado, located in the Valles region of Jalisco, a place full of history that was founded by the pre-Hispanic peoples who inhabited this area and was the scene of several important battles during the Mexican War of Independence. Its main historic buildings date back to the XVI and XVII centuries, such as its parish church and several haciendas.

The name Ahualulco comes from the Nahuatl language and means “place that surrounds the water”. One of the main attractions of the site are the so-called Piedras Bola, formed of obsidian volcanic glass and believed to have been formed 40 million years ago.

If you decide to visit Ahualulco, there are lodging options such as Hacienda El Carmen, which in addition to its facilities, offers guided tours to the archaeological zone of Guachimontones and the town of Tequila, to learn about the process of making the famous drink of the same name. Ahualulco de Mercado is definitely an experience not to be missed.

By Monserrat Ortiz and Francisco Morás

Credits courtesy of © Bay Vallarta in collaboration with © Vallarta Online