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When you go hiking in Puerto Vallarta, you’ll see a side of the city few others do. The mountains and jungles behind the city contain lush tropical plants, peaceful rivers, and hidden waterfalls. Exploring the Puerto Vallarta hiking trails gives you a fun vacation workout and the opportunity to shoot some incredible pictures. The different trails for hiking near Puerto Vallarta range from simple nature walks to more rugged expeditions, giving every traveler an option for discovering the beauty of the mountains, and other than the cost of transportation to the trailhead, this is one of the free Puerto Vallarta activities. 

Hike to Las Animas


When it comes to what to do in Puerto Vallarta with family or friends, spending the day on a secluded beach will make you feel like you’re truly in paradise, and on the Puerto Vallarta hiking trails, you’ll discover beaches you couldn’t reach any other way. One of the most popular spots for hiking near Puerto Vallarta is from Boca de Tomatlan to Las Animas Beach, and while there are guided Puerto Vallarta hiking tours here, you can easily hop on an orange bus from downtown Puerto Vallarta, and head south to the fishing village of Boca de Tomatlan where your adventure begins. There are several steep climbs, but visitors of all ages agree it’s one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta if you can. You’ll wind your way south along the coast, at times through lush jungles and at some points on secluded beaches. Stop at these enchanting spots for a quick dip to cool off before continuing to hike. When you reach Las Animas, stop for a meal of fresh fish and cold beer before taking a water taxi back.

Hike to Cerro La Cruz


Because the city is surrounded by emerald green mountains, you don’t have to go far for some of the best hiking in Puerto Vallarta. Right behind downtown, Cerro La Cruz is a small mountain with breathtaking views of the whole bay, and because it’s so conveniently located, it’s one of the quick things to do in Puerto Vallarta that you can add into any day’s schedule. Your journey to this lookout point begins on the Malecon boardwalk as you hike up Calle Abasolo towards the verdant hills. As the road gets steeper, turn left on Calle Emilio Carranza, and then take the first right onto Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez. Like many of the other Puerto Vallarta hiking trails, this one has several hand painted signs that let you know that you’re on the right path. The last part of the hike is a long set of white stairs up to the platform that looks out over the entire bay. After a short but steep hike, soaking up the view is one of the perfect Puerto Vallarta activities to help you relax.

Hike in the Botanical Gardens


Visiting the Vallarta Botanical Gardens is at the top of many travelers’ lists of what to do in Puerto Vallarta with family, friends, or even solo, and for first-time guests, taking one of the garden’s Puerto Vallarta hiking tours will show you all of the natural wonders here. These tours show off the immaculate gardens filled with exotic plants native to Mexico before taking you into the jungle on the trails. The difficulty of the trails varies, but many of them lead to the river, an oasis to cool off in on a hot day. After these Puerto Vallarta hiking tours, grab a bit of authentic Mexican food at the on-site restaurant, Hacienda del Oro. Here, you’ll have wide views of the surrounding mountains as you sink your teeth into fresh fish tacos and sizzling fajitas. 

Hike to the Waterfalls in Yelapa


Visiting nearby villages is one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta to see more of the local culture, and at the southern tip of the bay, Yelapa has become a favorite destination for locals and visitors wanting to escape the city. This small town has two waterfalls to hike to, one in town and one further out in the jungle. Both of these options for hiking near Puerto Vallarta are easily accessible trails that travelers of all ages have enjoyed. The one in town can be reached by most hikers in under twenty minutes, but for a larger waterfall with room to swim, you’ll hike inland along the river for about 40 minutes. Afterwardwards, hanging out at a local beach club, sampling the city’s famous pie, and shopping for souvenirs are just a few of the other Puerto Vallarta activities in Yelapa.

If you’re looking for what to do in Puerto Vallarta with family, friends, or even on your own, hiking should be at the top of your list. It’s budget and environmentally friendly, and when you’re surrounded by incredible views of the bay and mountains, you’ll be able to take some of the best pictures of your vacation. Spending the day hiking in Puerto Vallarta with the fresh air and natural scenery will make your Mexico vacation truly unique and memorable.

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