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Puerto Vallarta is a seaside city on Mexico's west coast. The region started as a collection of pearl-diving villages and sleepy fishing. The city and surrounding areas of the Bay of Banderas (Bahía de Banderas) are popular with visitors as a resort destination. A variety of outdoor family activities can be found here, from water sports to secluded beaches and botanical gardens. The Bay of Banderas is a beach stretch of 62 miles (100 kilometers) with rocky outcrops, white sand and clear water. Puerto Vallarta is the biggest community and home to the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Scuba dive or snorkel off the shoreline where you will see dolphins, sea bass, and manta rays.
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Similar to other airports in Mexico, it’s recommended to book your transportation to and from the airport in advance, if it’s not already provided by your hotel or resort. One highly rated option is Puerto Vallarta Airport Transportation - you can choose different vehicle options depending on your group size, and they will take you right to the door of your hotel. If you’re looking to catch a taxi, make sure you go to the ticket booth just outside the airport doors to make sure you are getting an official taxi. Just be aware that the taxis that can pick up passengers at the airport tend to be more expensive than a regular taxi, since they require a special license. There are also many options for car rental, either at the airport or in town, as well as public transportation – just check with your hotel!
If you’re looking to tour around the Puerto Vallarta area, you can save money by doing some research and fashioning a DIY tour instead of going with a tour company. There is lots of information online through travel blogs and websites, and you can also ask around to locals at your hotel or in shops or restaurants. There are also lots of free activities in the area, including beautiful jungle hikes, visiting the Vallarta Botanical Gardens or walking around the iconic Malecon to take in all the sights and sounds – and if you're there at night, you might catch the nightly fireworks show! If you’re out and about, it’s also a good idea to take out some Pesos so you can pay in local currency and avoid getting dinged with exchange.
The state of Jalisco, where Puerto Vallarta is located, is the capital of Mariachi music in Mexico. Make sure to take the time to enjoy a performance from one of the many Mariachi bands in Puerto Vallarta. You might run into one performing on the beach in Playa Los Muertos, or in a restaurant seranading the diners. Some of them even take music requests!