Nuevo Vallarta is a sister travel destination nearby neighbor to Puerto Vallarta, located in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit. Though Nuevo Vallarta is in a different state from Puerto Vallarta, which is in the state of Jalisco, they both share the beautiful Banderas Bay (Bay of Flags).
Nuevo Vallarta is not a city, but a planned resort area with dozens of high-end, all-inclusive hotels framing 4 miles of the best beaches on Banderas Bay. The designers of Nuevo Vallarta started fifteen years ago with a goal to offer its tourists the most modern, unique, and high-end experience, making their time in Mexico an unforgettable experience.
Nuevo Vallarta is situated across the Ameca River, about 16 miles north of the center of Puerto Vallarta. Positioned in the middle of Banderas Bay, the area has two fully-equipped marinas – Marina Norte and Marina Paradise. Marina Paradise features over 300 boat slips on fully-equipped piers. In this area of Banderas Bay, the shoreline is cleaner and clearer than the waters of Puerto Vallarta, which have been prone to pollution. The northern shore of Banderas Bay is emerging as the area's most important travel destination along the Riviera Nayarit.
Attractions and Things To Do in Nuevo Vallarta
Nuevo Vallarta and the areas surrounding Banderas Bay offers every kind of water sport that you can imagine. There is no lack of things to do or fun adventure to be had for vacationers seeking snorkeling, diving, deep-sea fishing, windsurfing, parasailing, catamaran or yacht tours, banana boat rides, or wave runner activities.
Whale Watching – Nuevo Vallarta features a variety of humpback whale watching tours during the months of December thru April when the whales come to the area to breed and have babies. Sea-life viewing expeditions are offered all along Banderas Bay.
Turtle Reserve Tours - walk along the beach guided by a special biologist in search of turtles
laying eggs and help release the newborn turtles into the sea. A great outing for the entire family.
Water Parks – if water slides and the lazy river are your idea of water activities, you’ll find one to please in Nuevo Vallarta.
Golf – The area offers several championship golf courses set amidst rivers, lakes, and hills, with the Pacific Ocean as it’s backdrop; designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Robert Von Hagge, Jim Lipe, and Rick Baril. Mini-golf courses are also available for a fun family outing.
Horse Back Riding – ride on the ranches near Nuevo Vallarta, tour the jungle, and stroll the beaches at sunset on horseback.
The Beach at Yelapa – a secluded village and beach that can only be reached by boat. Located about an hour southeast of Puerto Vallarta, Yelapa has a ½ km (¼ mile) long tranquil, grainy sand beach. In high tourist season, water-sports outfitters are available, offering boating, fishing, and parasailing. The more adventurous can take a 20-minute hike into the jungle to see the small Cascada Cola del Caballo (Horse Tail Waterfall), where they can swim in a freshwater pool at its base. Yelapa is a good place to go just to kick back in a sand chair and order in from one of the ½ dozen palapas on the beach.
Diving and Snorkeling at Las Marietas - a half-hour offshore from El Anclote are Islas Marietas. Clear waters, a cornucopia of colorful fish and coral, make it a perfect location for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. Note: there are no facilities on the islands.
Surfing at El Anclote – considered “surf central”, the beach is located a few miles north of Nuevo Vallarta. Water-sports outfitters in the area rent gear and offer surfing lessons. This is a primo spot for viewing a sunset. Shallow for quite a way out, El Anclote is also a good beach for children and average swimmers, but a long slow wave also makes it a great location for beginning surfers.
Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens – features more than 3,000 plant species. Trails lead to specialty gardens, a tree fern grotto, an orchid house, and displays of wildflowers and carnivorous plants, and a refreshing clear water stream for swimming. A hotspot for bird watching and hiking tours.
Spas – many resorts offer spa facilities with expansive treatment rooms where visitors will find a multitude of spa services ranging anywhere from a simple foot scrub and massage to a buttocks sculpt-lift.
How to Get to Nuevo Vallarta
You get to Nuevo Vallarta from Puerto Vallarta. The 16-mile trip into Puerto Vallarta from Nuevo Vallarta takes about 30 minutes by taxi and costs $20-25. The public bus runs back and forth between Nuevo Vallarta and Puerto Vallarta until 10 p.m. and costs about $1.50; a bus will take a little longer than a taxi.