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When it comes to what to do in Nuevo Vallarta, there’s something for every type of traveler. From outdoor adventures to activities on the water, exploring the tourist attractions in Nuevo Vallarta will make your trip truly memorable. These unique vacation ideas include a variety of activities for families, but whether you’re here on a solo trip or traveling with your partner, you’ll still find the excitement of these things to do in Nuevo Vallarta truly infectious. 

1. Spend the Day at the Beach

Most people associate a Nuevo Vallarta vacation with days spent on the beach, and once you see the endless miles of soft sands and gentle waters, you’ll understand why. With plenty of space to spread out, you can enjoy a variety of Nuevo Vallarta activities for families here. Spend the day laying out with a good book, throwing a frisbee, splashing in the waves, and building elaborate sand castles. Because the beach stretches on for miles, just walking along the shoreline is one of the most popular things to do in Nuevo Vallarta.

2. Go for a Luxury Sunset Sail


While the city’s known for its activities for families, it’s also a romantic destination for everything from a quick weekend getaway to a 50th anniversary celebration. One of the most unique vacation ideas for date night is a luxury sunset cruise aboard a catamaran. As you sail across the Bay of Banderas, you’ll be treated to hors d'oeuvres, drinks, and a sunset that paints the sky in pinks and oranges. 

3. Visit the Crocodile Sanctuary

One of the best Nuevo Vallarta family activities is a trip to the local crocodile sanctuary. At El Cora, visitors are taken on Nuevo Vallarta activities tours where they’ll not only get to see crocodiles in their natural habitat, but they’ll also learn about the unique coastal system of Riviera Nayarit. Being a part of these conservation efforts is one of the best educational Nuevo Vallarta family activities. 

4. Ride Along the Bike Path

The local bike path is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Nuevo Vallarta, and in the shade of palm trees, families and friends walk, jog, and bike from one end of the city to the other. Getting out and staying fit are the best things to do in Nuevo Vallarta, especially after indulging in sizzling tacos and sugary drinks. 

5. Paddle Board & Kayaks


Paddling on the open water is an exhilarating experience, and when you’re out on a Nuevo Vallarta vacation, you’ll likely see some manta rays, schools of fish, sea turtles, dolphins, and possibly even whales. If this is on your list of what to do in Nuevo Vallarta, check to see if your all-inclusive package includes paddleboards and kayaks.

6. Visit a Hidden Beach

Of all the tourist attractions in Nuevo Vallarta, none are as famous as the Marietas Islands. These nationally protected islands are home to the famous blue footed booby birds and one of the world’s most stunning hidden beaches. On Nuevo Vallarta activities tours to the islands, you’ll learn more about their natural history, spot the birds as you sail around, walk along the hidden beach, and snorkel among schools of tropical fish. 

7. Sink your Teeth into Authentic Mexican Cuisine

In Nuevo Vallarta, the authentic Mexican cuisine of the area includes traditional favorites, like tacos and enchiladas, as well as fresh seafood, and on a Nuevo Vallarta vacation, you can try it all. From your resort’s restaurants to the local taco stands, the flavors of Mexican spices is captivating, and for one of the best day trips activities, head next door to the Bucerias Food and Bike Tour. 

8. Swim with Dolphins


One of the most popular unique vacation ideas for families of all ages is swimming with dolphins. During these Nuevo Vallarta activities tours, you’ll learn about what makes dolphins such unique animals, and you’ll also have the chance to meet some friendly sea lions. Here, there are several options for Vallarta family activities with the dolphins, including special encounters for younger kids who aren’t strong swimmers yet.

9. Explore Nearby Surfing Villages

In Riviera Nayarit, Nuevo Vallarta is the starting point for a variety of day trips activities to the charming surfing and fishing villages that dot the coast. Hop on board a bus, rent a car, or book a tour to start exploring the magic of Riviera Nayarit. In towns like Sayulita and San Pancho, you’ll discover charming boutiques, surf schools, and fresh seafood during your day trips activities.

10. Volunteer

If you want something truly unique to add to your list of what to do in Nuevo Vallarta, consider volunteering with a local nonprofit. Take a rescue dog for a walk and see more of the countryside at A Dog's New Life, or head to Campamento Tortuguero to release baby sea turtles into the ocean. You can also contact the International Friendship Club to find out about more volunteer opportunities during your vacation.

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