Cruising the Water in Puerto Vallarta
There are many options for sailing and boating in Puerto Vallarta with a lot to see and do. You might choose a small panga (open skiff) or a large luxury motor or sailboat, decide to go fishing or snorkeling, see a sunset, visit the Marieta Islands, go on an eco-tour…the choices are abundant. We have a couple recommendations but online searches are the best way to go.
In the winter you’re bound to see whale, dolphin and manta ray, all thrilling for those who primarily live on the land. If you’re lucky enough to catch a fish, there are restaurants where you can have your quarry cooked along with selections of vegetables and rice; a great memory-maker for all ages.
Several tours leave from the Puerto Vallarta Marina, a location you can reach easily by bus, taxi or private car. Customize your trip by telling your captain what your preferences are; he’ll have suggestions, too. Depending on your initial direction, you’ll usually head south and have a views of the shoreline, Malecón, and Romantic Zone. Destinations will depend on how much time you want to spend on the water and this is a good time to throw the rods out to see if you can snag your lunch. Yelapa is the furthest most but there are stops at Quimixto and Las Animas, too. These small villages are reached only by boat, though we no longer consider them remote. If you’re offered the chance to visit a secluded beach, be aware that several other tourists have also been enticed by the suggestion of seclusion; it’s often very busy.
Most of these trips are suitable for children and there are some wonderful places to drop anchor for swimming in shallow water. Los Arcos, where the big rocks jut out of the water to the south of Puerto Vallarta, is a great place for snorkeling and all passengers are provided with life vests and equipment.
Arrive early; we recommend starting at 9 a.m. If the heat of the day becomes a problem you can always head back or you may want to make it an all day event. Have cash ready for extra expenses. You may want to buy souvenirs, t-shirts, pie from the pie-lady. Don’t forget to tip; we suggest 15% of your total cost for the day. You will be responsible for your own food at these locations but your boat will offer drinks and water, and often snacks.
A Five Star trip can be had with La Vida Bella Boat Tours for as little as $50 per person for a three hour tour. You can always extend your trip; check with the captain to make sure he doesn’t have an afternoon trip booked.
Gay cruises are popular and we recommend Diana’s. She has been offering gay and lesbian cruises in Puerto Vallarta for 20 years and sells out in advance. Book online. For $110 USD, you get continental breakfast, snacks, unlimited drinks (though we also advise sensible limitations), and your lunch is included on shore with a beverage. You’ll be able to snorkel, feed the fish and swim. This trip leaves the pier at Los Muertos Beach at 9 a.m.
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