Vallarta Botanical Gardens#6 in Best Things To Do in Puerto Vallarta
To explore beyond Puerto Vallarta, you might want to try the popular Jardines Botánicos de Vallarta (Botanical Gardens of Vallarta). The gardens feature an assortment of wildflowers and insect life that provides a relaxing and romantic getaway from the day-to-day hustle of Vallarta's downtown.
Some travelers also expected to spend one or two hours but ended up staying the entire day since along with enjoying the magnificent plant-life, you can also boulder the jungle's rocks and swim a section of the river. Some say that these activities are only for fit travelers. Also be sure to buy a meal or, at the very least, a drink at the on-site restaurant, which comes highly recommended by both travelers and experts. If you plan to hike, you'll want to bring insect repellent (it also available to purchase on-site) and consider wearing long sleeves and pants.
The gardens are generally open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., though hours can vary depending on the season. Keep in mind: The gardens are closed on Mondays during the months of April through November. The gardens are located just about 20 miles south of the city and accessible by taxi or the special "El Tuito" bus from the corner of Carranza and Aguacate in the Romantic Zone. Bus fare is 30 pesos (about $1.60) each way; buses leave every 30 minutes. Most past travelers arrived to the gardens via Uber. Admission to gardens costs 200 pesos (around $10.50) per adult and is free for kids 4 and younger. For more information on tours and more, visit the website.
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#1 Los Arcos and El Malecón
Stretching for more than a mile along Bahía de Banderas (Banderas Bay), El Malecón is a great place to stroll any time of day, but especially in the evenings. Along the way, visitors will see everything from sand sculptures and bronze sculptures to the iconic Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. El Malecón is also home to the Los Arcos Amphitheater, another iconic symbol of Puerto Vallarta that plays hosts to free performances, featuring live musicians and traditional Mexican dance troupes, just about every night.
Recent travelers recommend grabbing a bite along the way at one of the street vendors and enjoying the ambiance of the night. If you can time it right, they also suggested visiting at sunset to snap some spectacular photos. Though many reviewers called it a "must-see," some were annoyed with the pushy vendors that line the boardwalk, saying it detracted from the romantic atmosphere.
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