Former fishing village of Sayulita.

Sayulita is a former fishing village located north of Puerto Vallarta. (Photo: Getty Images)

Beach Travel

3 Unexpected Ways to Fall in Love With Nature in Puerto Vallarta

There are many places in Mexico where nature takes your breath away. And perhaps, at first glance, Puerto Vallarta is not among them, as it seems too touristy. But close your eyes and look at this destination again. Ahhh… see? Because of its location by the sea and at the foot of a chain of extremely impressive mountains, Puerto Vallarta doesn’t have to compete with any other destination. It has many places where you can fall in love with nature.

Here’s our guide to some of the best places to experience nature in Puerto Vallarta, and it’s worth mentioning that it’s not even comprehensive. There’s plenty more for you to discover.

1. Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden

From its foundation, this garden aims to propagate “the study, the discovery, the conservation and the exhibition of the native flora of Mexico.” And it has definitely achieved this goal. Many impressive views await you here.

Don’t forget your swimsuit since you can get into the river that runs through the garden, and don’t worry about getting hungry after the trip; there’s a restaurant on site, La Hacienda de Oro.

2. The Beaches

If you’re dreaming of your next vacation and have been researching Puerto Vallarta on the web, you’ll surely be aware that one of the biggest natural attractions of this destination are its beaches. And we’re not just referring to the beaches within Puerto Vallarta proper, but also those in nearby areas and towns.

One of the most popular beaches in the region is Sayulita. This small town next to Puerto Vallarta attracts visitors who love the sand and rolling waves.

3. San Sebastián, “Pueblo Mágico”

If you’ve been paying attention to your surroundings, you’ve probably noticed that the beach is not the only geographic formation of interest in Puerto Vallarta.

If you look at its edges, you will see the mountains of the Sierra Madre, and there you will find a variety of experiences and adventures. Among them, the possibility of visiting San Sebastián, one of Mexico’s so-called “Pueblos Mágicos” (magical towns).

Places declared Pueblos Mágicos preserve some aspect of Mexican culture and tradition. San Sebastián was a mining town; nowadays, it’s known for its coffee production. You can take a day trip to explore and learn more about this charming town.