This trip was sponsored by the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board. The opinions are my own.
I love traveling with my family and showing them the world. I’m also a strong believer that couples should take kid-free trips sometimes for the benefit of their relationship. And there’s something enlightening about traveling solo, too. But there’s another important way that every woman needs to travel at times: a girlfriends only getaway. It’s not just fun, it’s also good for your health (it’s science; check out this article to see why). After I quit my corporate job to run Fab Everyday full-time I have embraced connections with my peers since my interaction now happens mostly online with my community of bloggers and influencers. Our proverbial watercoolers are group DMs, Facebook groups, and Twitter (especially when Instagram goes down… again). Earlier this year, a group of us realized that we could benefit from some much-needed facetime as a change from our usual social media interaction. We were fortunate to have the perfect opportunity to break away from the day-to-day… a girls getaway to Mexico! My friends Stacey (Posh in Progress), Lizzie (Lizzie in Lace), Megan (Bowtiful Life), and Caitlin (Sophisticaition), and I spent five incredible days in Puerto Vallarta with the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board (visitpuertovallarta.com). Let me tell you: this trip was good for the soul. Puerto Vallarta, which is an incredibly romantic destination on one hand, was the perfect place for reconnecting with your girlfriends. It would also be a great location for a Mexico bachelorette party or any reason where you need a girls trip. Today I’m sharing all the tips and recommendations you need to plan your own Puerto Vallarta bachelorette weekend or girl’s getaway, including what to do, where to stay, and where to eat. You’ll want to pin this post for sure, as it is full of Puerto Vallarta travel tips!
Puerto Vallarta travel tips
A few FAQs and notes to start:
- Is Puerto Vallarta safe? Absolutely! Having been twice this year I can attest that the city is not only safe, but incredibly hospitable and friendly.
- How to get around Puerto Vallarta: Many hotels and resorts offer transportation to and from the airport, but Uber is also a popular and reasonably-priced transportation option in Puerto Vallarta.
- Do I need to know Spanish to visit Puerto Vallarta? While I think it is helpful and respectful to know basic greetings and travel-related phrases when traveling outside of the United States, almost everyone we interacted with in Puerto Vallarta spoke some English.
- Is Puerto Vallarta a party city? While many do come to Puerto Vallarta for the nightlife on spring break, there is much, much more to the city than Señor Frog’s. As you’ll see in today’s post, Puerto Vallarta is a cultural mecca, full of art, world-class dining, natural beauty, luxurious spa experiences, and adventure.
- See more Puerto Vallarta travel tips to help you plan your vacation on VisitPuertoVallarta.com.
What to do in Puerto Vallarta for a girls getaway
Whether you’re planning a bachelorette party in Puerto Vallarta, a best friend’s reunion, or just a getaway with the girls, there are so many cool things to do in Puerto Vallarta. Check out the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board’s website for a great list of things to do in the city, but here are my recommendations for what to do during a girls trip.
Take cooking classes. We took two cooking classes during our Puerto Vallarta Girls Getaway: a chocolate workshop at Chocomuseo and a ceviche-making class at our hotel, the Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa. At Chocomuseo we did a complete bean-to-bar workshop followed by a truffle-making class for their Total Chocolate Experience Workshop. This was SO fun, and was a highlight of the trip. We learned the history of chocolate, how it’s grown and processed, and then got hands-on making cacao tea, hot chocolate, and our own truffles that we got to take with us. Our ceviche class at Ceviche restaurant and Tequila Bar was informative, fun, and delicious (plus the pool and ocean view weren’t bad either!).
Treat yo’self to a spa day. Make a relaxing trip to paradise even more relaxing by treating yourselves to a spa day during your Puerto Vallarta girl’s trip. There are many wonderful spas, but we especially loved our experience at Maiavé Spa at the Sheraton Buganvilias hotel. I haven’t been as relaxed as I was after my massage and hydrotherapy session in months! This was just the thing that was needed for a girl’s getaway!
Sight-seeing. Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful city with so much to see! The boardwalk and downtown Puerto Vallarta have a lot to offer in terms of art and culture.
Malecón art walk. The Malecón is a mile-long stretch on the Puerto Vallarta waterfront that is lined with bronze sculptures created by different artists. While walking the Malecón and viewing the sculptures is free, I recommend doing a walking tour with a guide. We used Vallarta101, and thanks to the insights on the history of the art and the town in general, our guide, Memo transformed a casual art walk into what would be one of my favorite experiences of the trip. This is perfect for a girls getaway, couples, family, or solo travelers who appreciate art and ocean views.
Explore downtown Puerto Vallarta. The Malecón alone can entertain for hours, but there is even more to explore with your girlfriends in the downtown area of Puerto Vallarta.
Go shopping! I mean, is it even a girls getaway if shopping isn’t involved? In downtown Puerto Vallarta you can shop at local market stalls, high-end boutiques with custom jewelry, and everything in between.
Fun in the sun! With such lovely beaches and natural beauty around you in Puerto Vallarta, take an excursion to get the most of it. Vallarta Adventures offers a number of different tours whatever your interests (such as zip-lining, scuba diving, dolphin experiences, cultural tours, and more). For our girls getaway, we opted for a Luxury Sailing excursion. On a luxury catamaran, we sailed across the Bay of Banderas while being served delicious food and drinks. We ended up at a private beach where we snorkeled, swam, lounged in hammocks, and did water sports like paddleboarding. We had so much fun on the boat together (dancing to Havana and Old Town Road) and in the water!
Where to stay – Puerto Vallarta beach hotels
Puerto Vallarta has many wonderful hotel options, but I recommend staying at one located on the beach so you can soak up as much of that beautiful coastline in Bahia de Banderas as possible during your girls getaway. While many resorts offer all-inclusive packages, you will want to make sure you find one that has a more personal feel, and doesn’t feel like a mass-produced cruise ship or Vegas casino. We happened to find one that was the perfect match, and actually felt like a home away from home.
Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa. When you arrive at this resort, you are immediately treated like family. In fact, many of the staff will welcome you “home.” This comfortable family feel may be the result of many staff members having worked there for a larger part of the resort’s nearly 30-year history. While the resort’s age gives it clout and tenure in the area, it doesn’t mean it’s any less modern than newer resorts. They just concluded a complete renovation and the results are stunning. There is so much to love about this resort: the service, the comfortable rooms (ALL with an ocean view), the delicious dining options, the amenities, their efforts towards sustainability, their support of local charities and indigenous people… I could go on and on. Oh, and they have a sea turtle sanctuary for their beach nesting. I’d stay at Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa again in a heartbeat.
Fabulous restaurants in Puerto Vallarta that you must visit during a girls getaway
You know me; food is an incredibly important component of travel and how I experience new cultures. The dining in Puerto Vallarta exceeded my already high expectations. Read more about the gastronomic delights that await you in Puerto Vallarta on the Tourism Board’s website, and see my personal recommendations on where to eat in Puerto Vallarta below.
The Iguana at Casa Kimberly. I had no idea that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton had a love nest in Puerto Vallarta! He bought Casa Kimberly for Liz while he was there to film Night of the Iguana. It’s now a boutique hotel and fine dining establishment that has a beautiful mix of Hollywood and Jalisco history. I wholeheartedly recommend you visit Casa Kimberly for a tour during your Puerto Vallarta bachelorette trip or girls weekend, and a fancy dinner at The Iguana is a must.
El Dorado. Top shelf dining with the most perfect sunset views? Yes, please! You must include El Dorado on your list of restaurants to try in Puerto Vallarta. Located on the popular Playa de los Muertos, El Dorado serves up delicious modern Mexican fare with an even better ambiance.
Ceviche & Tequila Bar. Located at the Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa, casual dining Ceviche is a delicious restaurant for lunch, a ceviche-making class (see above), dinner, or drinks (you’ll see more about their expansive tequila collection below).
La Estancia. Also located at Marriott Puerto Vallarta, La Estancia blends traditional flavor with modern flair. We especially loved our 7-course Taste of Jalisco dinner where we got to see how La Estancia’s chefs riffed on their abuelas’ recipes to give us a culinary introduction to the region.
Tequila tasting at Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa. Ceviche & Tequila Bar is home to more than 180 tequilas and mezcals, and is the perfect place to sample some you haven’t tried or do a tasting. Since we were on our girls getaway, we decided to do a tequila tasting flight of the Marriott’s artisanal house tequila brand, CasaMagna. We tried the blanco (meaning white), reposado (my favorite; meaning rested), and añejo (meaning aged) while learning about how tequila is made (and how to best enjoy it) from the resort’s resident Tequilier. Since tequila is from Jalisco (much like Champagne is specifically from the region in France by the same name), taking time to appreciate some good tequila is essential when visiting Puerto Vallarta.
I can’t wait to visit Puerto Vallarta again, as there was even more to do and see! Plus, as our hotel staff at the Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa said, it’s home now, and I’ll have to be back one day.