Spend the perfect Valentine’s Day on Mexico’s Pacific Coast
Full of intimate strolls, cinematic backdrops and atmospheric dining, Puerto Vallarta, in the state of Jalisco, and Riviera Nayarit, in the state of Nayarit, are two destinations couples don’t want to miss! With a high of 27°C throughout February, the resort cities are perfect for exploring the warmth of Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Whether you’re on a first date or have been loved up for years, you can’t go wrong with these romantic ideas.
1. Find undiscovered beauty on the Banderas Bay
Feel like you have the whole place to yourselves in Yelapa and watch the sunrise on the beautifully bareboned beach. Then venture up and cool off in the waterfall. Visit intimate and cosy Colomitos Beach, which is ideal for swimming, kayaking, snorkelling and diving. Take a hike through the tropical jungle to get there and meet some animals along the way! Another off the beaten path beach is Quimixto Beach. Take a romantic horse rise to the beautiful waterfalls from there. The best hotels for couples in the area include Casitas Maraika and Hotelito Mio in Playa Caballo and Xinalani in Quimixto.
2. Wine, dine and play in Zona Romántica
Playa Los Muertos is the most popular and most visited beach in Puerto Vallarta. It’s known for its assortment of bars and restaurants, where you can enjoy dinner for two along with a view of Los Muertos Pier. The shoreline offers ample opportunities to jetski, parasail and windsurf, as well as land sports such as volleyball. You can get there from many parts of Puerto Vallarta by buses and taxis or catch a ride directly from the airport. Just don’t forget your camera!
3. Picnic at Las Amapas
This small beach is located a little south of Puerto Vallarta’s Romantic Zone, away from the crowds of the Old Town. There are no services at Las Amapas, so it’s an all-time favourite beach for couples seeking peace and privacy. Visit the original seahorse statue at Las Pilitas; then continue up past El Púlpito and have a picnic on the “hidden beach” of Las Amapas. Here, the waves are soft, gentle, and the sand a pale yellow. The beach itself is well-kept, and there are several palm trees offering shade to cuddle under.
4. Take a romantic seaside stroll along El Malecón
El Malecón is a mile-long boardwalk and the heart and soul of Puerto Vallarta. Walk along the waterfront promenade hand in hand and see the impressive statues, street artists and vendors. Go for a sunset stroll or get your party on when the promenade turns into a buzzing hotspot for nightlife. Pop into one of the lovely cafes, bars and restaurants along the way, serving everything from homestyle cooking to gourmet cuisine.
5. Experience heart-pumping adventures
Enjoy both the famous Banderas Bay pink and gold sunset and deep blue Pacific ocean on a three-hour Private Sunset Sailing excursion. The French-made, luxury sailing yacht features plump deck cushions, a-list service, plenty of premium refreshments and hoers de oeuvres. Share the sight of the Sierra Madre jungle (and an adrenaline rush) from above. Catch an aerial view of Los Arcos Natural Preserve. Fly at high speeds on Mexico’s longest and fastest “Superman” zip line. You can book the Extreme Zip Line Canopy Tour with Vallarta Adventures or in Riviera Nayarit’s communities such as Punta de Mita, Sayulita and Lo de Marcos. Or explore jungles, beaches and towns on horseback or quadbike with Rancho Mi Chaparrita in Sayulita or San Pancho!
6. Indulge in spa heaven
Spa experiences are all the rage in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, and there are many for couples to choose from. Enjoy the lavish wellness retreats alongside premier facilities, yoga, meditation workshops and nature. To enjoy a combination of the latest hydrotherapy technologies and traditional indigenous treatments head to Secrets Spa by Pevonia in central Puerto Vallarta. For eco-friendly treatments in Riviera Nayarit, the Four Seasons Apuane Spa incorporates nutrient-rich plants and healing mineral waters.
7. Admire the art of Bucerías
Love is an emotion that goes hand in hand with art, and in Riviera Nayarit’s Bucerías is the place to find it. While you’re there, you’ll inevitably fall for its cobblestone streets, brightly coloured homes and tranquil beaches. For a special evening, check out the Art Walk Plaza along Lazaro Cardenas Avenue between 7 pm and 9 pm on Thursdays. The galleries open their doors each week, and some artists produce their work live.
8. Spend the day on white sand beaches and turquoise waters
Explore one of Riviera Nayarit’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve islands, Las Islas Marietas by catamaran, snorkelling and swimming. From December to March, humpback whales come to Banderas Bay to mate and birth their young, while dolphin encounters are possible all year round. Many day trips depart from different locations in Banderas Bay, or you can take a shorter trip from Punta de Mita onboard a luxury yacht. Don’t miss “Lovers Beach”, a natural wonder hidden below the island’s surface.
For more information and to book, visit Punta Mita Expeditions.
9. Soak up romantic vibes in Riviera Nayarit´s boho-chic towns
Many people visit to soak up the hippie vibes of love, peace and nature of Sayulita, but you’ll also find a cosmopolitan scene luring surfers from across the globe. Surfing is one of the main attractions of this traditional fishing village. After a couple’s surfing class you can go shopping for Valentines Days gifts followed by a romantic meal in Don Pedros. For an equally romantic experience, visit San Francisco, “cultural capital” of Riviera Nayarit. Bistro Organico of Cielo Rojo hotel and the Polo Brunch are the best for couple’s dining. Sayulita and San Francisco both have a wealth of villas, hotels, resorts and campsites to stay in.
10. Explore Riviera Nayarit’s rich ecosystem
Cuddle up in a boat as you admire the beauty of Riviera Nayarit’s rivers, lagoons and marshes. You can book many different tours to learn all about the region’s diverse ecosystem. To discover it alongside rural towns and historic ruins, visit La Tovara River. Or take a trip to El Quelele Lagoon, a nature reserve where you can see crocodiles in their natural habitat and participate in turtle release programs.
Book a direct flight to Puerto Vallarta Airport here.
Available via TUI from London Gatwick and Manchester.
Alternatively, AeroMexico offers flights to Mexico City from London Heathrow.