Explore the Pacific Coast on a Puerto Vallarta Honeymoon

This under-the-radar spot in Mexico is the honeymoon destination you've been seeking.
Puerto Vallarta Mexico
Photo: Piero Damiani | Getty
Suzie Dundas - The Knot Contributor.
Suzie Dundas
Suzie Dundas - The Knot Contributor.
Suzie Dundas
The Knot Contributor
  • Suzie is a freelance writer for The Knot, with a focus on honeymoon content and couples’ travel.
  • She’s written for publications like Outside Magazine, TripSavvy, Insider, Playboy, Forbes, SkyLife Magazine, Popular Mechanics, the SF Chron and more.
  • Suzie is an avid traveller, and she’s both stayed in luxury over-the-water villas in the Maldives, and slept in the plastic tube of an indoor playground at an airport when he...
Updated Feb 22, 2024
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A Puerto Vallarta honeymoon blends the best of both worlds. With all the adventure and culture you'd find in Mexico's more popular Yucatán Peninsula but with fewer crowds and more elegance, it's one of the best honeymoon destinations. If you want a beachfront vacation filled with Mexican culture and low-key luxury, a honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta is calling your name.

Puerto Vallarta is also one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly regions in Mexico, making it an ideal Mexican honeymoon spot for any and all newlyweds looking for a romantic getaway in an objectively beautiful locale.

From places to stay to the best things for couples to do in Puerto Vallarta, use this guide to help you start planning.

Puerto Vallarta Honeymoon Tips in this Article:

A couple holding hands walking down a boardwalk
Photo: Inti St Clair | Getty

Best Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta

Thanks to its easy access from cities like Los Angeles and San Diego, Puerto Vallarta is jumping all year long. But there are generally fewer tourists in late June through mid-September, when temperatures are at their peak (in the 90s) and it's most likely to rain. The ocean temperatures are the warmest from August to October (averaging 87 degrees).

November and December are still fairly hot, with warmer water and less chance of rain—making it one of the best times to visit. January through April is also fantastic, though the ocean is slightly cooler, so scuba divers and surfers will need to wear thicker wet suits.

Best weather: November to April.
Festival highlights: Vallarta Pride, celebrated in May, features parades and parties. The Gourmet Festival in November, where international chefs collaborate with local restaurants. Dia de Los Muertos in November is marked with altars, processions and traditional decorations.

Puerto Vallarta Honeymoon Planning Tips

The city is a never-ending display of vibrant colors, from the orange Talavera tiles on buildings to the glittering turquoise ocean and bright-green palm trees. It's without a doubt one of the most beautiful and most romantic cities in Mexico. And no, that's not an overstatement—Puerto Vallarta even has an area called "The Romantic Zone."

Puerto Vallarta is divided into several neighborhoods, some of which offer easy access to the malecón (boardwalk) running along the beach. The malecón is dotted with oversized sculptures from Mexican artists, and art is everywhere throughout the town, from giant Frida Kahlo murals to the El Parque de los Azulejos (an outdoor mosaic park).

The Pacific Coast is more dramatic than the Gulf of Mexico side, and you'll be near everything from villages tucked into the jungle to massive cliffs hiding waterfalls and secret swimming holes.

North and south of the city, you'll find charming small towns like Tequila and Sayulita. Recreation opportunities range from surfing, scuba diving and snorkeling to whale watching and tequila tasting.

As a bonus for West Coast honeymooners, Puerto Vallarta is easy to reach—really easy. Several airlines fly directly into Puerto Vallarta, which is a three-hour direct flight from Los Angeles. It's very doable in just a few days if you only have a long weekend to celebrate your union.

The city isn't as affordable as some other towns in Mexico. Travelers to Puerto Vallarta tend to be fairly high-income, and the prices of restaurants and hotels have risen to meet that standard. It's more affordable than a luxury beachfront destination in the States, but it's still pricier than Mexico City or Ensenada (near Mexican wine country).

Scuba divers and snorkelers will want to note that the Pacific Ocean is generally colder than the Gulf of Mexico, especially in winter and spring—so keep that in mind before buying plane tickets.

Entry requirements: A valid US passport.
The primary language spoken in Puerto Vallarta is Spanish. However, due to its popularity as a tourist destination, English is widely spoken.
Puerto Vallarta is located on Mexico's Pacific coast, in the state of Jalisco.
The Mexican Peso (MXN).
Flight time to Destination:
Around 3 hours from Los Angeles.
Getting around:
Buses, taxis, rental cars, walking.

Pro tip: Invite a honeymoon planning expert to join your vendor team. Browse travel agents near you on The Knot Marketplace for Puerto Vallarta honeymoon expertise, reviews, testimonials and more.

Best Puerto Vallarta Honeymoon Hotels & Resorts

From tiny casitas and eco-lodges to open-air wellness retreats and all-inclusive resorts with honeymoon packages, you'll be amazed by the variety of lodging options Puerto Vallarta offers.

a stunning view over a calm sea
Photo: Cavan Images | Getty

Casa Velas

About 10 minutes from downtown Puerto Vallarta near the Marina Vallarta, Casa Velas has the look and feel of a luxury hacienda—and that includes hot tubs or plunge pools outside every room.

While honeymooners can spend all day lounging by the pool bar or enjoying the gourmet restaurant, what sets Casa Velas apart are the guest offerings that go above and beyond most all-inclusive resorts. Honeymooners can take advantage of daily yoga, mixology classes, tequila tastings, access to Tao Beach Club and the high-end on-site golf course. Oh, and it's adults-only, which many honeymooners are sure to appreciate.

5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Casa Kimberly

It's nearly impossible to set foot in Casa Kimberly and not feel the romantic vibes. Actor Richard Burton bought the home for his paramour, Elizabeth Taylor, while they were both in Mexico filming the famous movie Night of the Iguana.

Now, the hotel has nine suites—most with private terraces, jacuzzis and views of Banderas Bay—plus a helpful concierge team that can arrange everything from spa services to private tours. Though the hotel is within walking distance of countless restaurants (including a chocolate factory), you'll want to spend at least one evening at The Iguana, the hotel's elegant open-air restaurant and tequila bar.

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Hotel Mousai

If you want a honeymoon resort with views of Banderas Bay but prefer more of a modern, tropical-chic vibe, consider spending a few days at Hotel Mousai, just south of Puerto Vallarta. Every room has a private terrace, hammock and beach views, and since it's an all-inclusive resort, you don't need to stress about ordering that extra margarita at the ocean-view bar.

Meals can be a la carte, though you can also opt for a honeymoon package that includes everything from meals and most alcoholic drinks to hotel activities like guided hikes, Kundalini yoga sessions and snorkeling tours.

5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa

It's easy to go on and on about the amenities of this elegant Marriott Resort—a massive infinity pool, several restaurants, an ice cream shop, modern rooms with private balconies and the Ohtli Spa—but it's one of those places that's best experienced in person. From the moment you step inside the colorful lobby, you'll know you're somewhere special.

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Pro tip: If you're looking for Puerto Vallarta accommodations that'll provide you more privacy (or prices for a budget-friendly honeymoon), consider staying at a romantic Airbnb or VRBO.

Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta for Couples

A Puerto Vallarta honeymoon means white-sand beaches and lush Sierra Madre mountains, so you have water and land-based activities at your fingertips. The recommendations below are can't-miss things to do, but options range from waterfall tours to private gourmet picnics for two.

a couple diving with dolphins in puerto vallarta
Photo: Justin Lewis | Getty

Go Whale Watching

Whether you love whales or just love cruising along amazing coastlines where the mountains meet the sea, you'll want to make time for a whale-watching boat trip while in Puerto Vallarta.

Humpback whales travel through Banderas Bay between December and March, during which time you'll find plenty of options for whale-watching tours. Vallarta Adventures runs whale-watching photo safaris for shutterbugs (as well as a cadre of other romantic island adventures, from eco-tours to beach parties). If you're staying closer to the Marina Vallarta, you'll want to consider a whale-watching cruise, which leaves from the marina rather than the ferry terminal.

See the Underwater World

Many all-inclusive resorts in Puerto Vallarta include non-motorized sports with their amenities, and fortunately for honeymooners, that includes snorkel equipment. Nearly all of PV's beaches are swimmable, so if you're new to the sport, you can quickly get the hang of it from your hotel's beach.

Once you've mastered it (which won't take long), you'll want to book a snorkeling adventure. Most tours include transportation, snacks and drinks, gear, and two or three stops at some of Puerto Vallarta's best snorkeling spots. Well-known locations for spotting everything from dolphins to manta rays include Los Arcos National Marine Park, the Marietas Islands and Conchas Chinas (close to downtown).

Have a Night on the Town

Puerto Vallarta may be more low-key than Cancun, but it's hardly sleepy. The city has nearly 1,000 bars and restaurants, so you'll never be hurting for choice. You could start your evening with an early cocktail at a beach bar to watch the sunset—try Swell Beach Bar for something low-key, or spend the day at Majahuitas Beach Club for something more lively.

Next, have a barefoot romantic dinner at the South Pacific-inspired Mar y Vino—and yes, it will need to be barefoot as select ocean-view tables sit in a shallow pool. For something more traditionally romantic, head to the open-air La Cappella, with live music and stunning views of the city's iconic bell tower.

After dinner, take your pick of where to go. Though every business in Puerto Vallarta is gay-friendly, some bars cater primarily to the LGBTQ+ crowd—try Apaches Martini Bar or Blondies Loft and Slushbar. If you like smokey spirits, head to Bar Morelos for mezcal cocktails, or grab a table for two in the garden at Cafe Des Artistes for something quieter. Garbo Piano Bar is the spot if the two of you like to show off your dance moves.

Take a Day Trip to Tequila

Puerto Vallarta to Tequila, a town in the state of Jalisco, is about a three-hour drive. It's a little far if you're driving yourself, but it's perfect if you're taking a tequila tour, as the drive through the countryside is simply beautiful.

If you adore tequila (or mezcal), take a day trip to the small town. Most hotels can recommend a preferred tour operator for a day trip, during which you'll visit one or two tequila factories, walk through the beautiful town (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), visit the tequila museum, and likely have lunch. La Taberna del Cofrade is an exceptionally cool underground restaurant serving traditional Jalisco cuisine.

Pro tip: Add Puerto Vallarta honeymoon experiences to your gift registry so that loved ones can give you and your new spouse a memorable couples activity.

What to Pack for a Puerto Vallarta Honeymoon

a downtown view of puerto vallerta
Photo: Carlos Flores

Even if you're staying at a fancy beach resort, most of the time you can dress like you just stepped off the playa—sandals and beach cover-ups are fine almost everywhere, which makes for an easy packing checklist.

That being said, Puerto Vallarta is becoming a rather stylish destination, and it's not unusual to see travelers dressed up for a night on the town. If you want to wear high heels and a nice sundress, go for it—you certainly won't be out of place. Some bars and nightclubs have dress codes, which usually just means no tank tops or baseball caps, but you'll see people dressed as if they're partying in Miami.

Puerto Vallarta never gets very cold, but it's always a good idea to bring a light jacket in your honeymoon luggage if you're visiting in the winter, as late-night temperatures may get into the mid-60s.

Brittany Barber contributed to this article.

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