Fishing and Watersports in Puerto Vallarta
In Puerto Vallarta fishing is a rewarding activity, because of the quantity and variety of the fish that swim off the Bay of Banderas. Puerto Vallarta fishing fanatics come for the Pacific sailfish, which are plentiful all year round. It's also a good place to catch local varieties such as wahoo and huachinango. If you're looking for a large catch, black marlins are around between June and November, as well as blue marlins and striped marlins. You might also find the massive yellow-fin tuna. In-shore fishing in Puerto Vallarta is best in May and June. This is when the sardines head for the shore, and bigger fish follow them.
Fishing boats leave from the Marina Vallarta, and it's possible to hire one for between $350 and $800. For the money, you usually get exclusive use of the boat with a couple of crew members for about eight hours. Boats are usually between 22 and 40 feet. It's usually possible to hire fishing rods from the boat operator for an extra charge. Bait is usually provided free, but check when you book.
If you're planning a fishing trip in Puerto Vallarta, remember to be respectful of the local ecosystem. Billfish are threatened by overfishing, so if you catch one, put it back. Similarly, roosterfish don't exist in large numbers, so let these beautiful creatures go.
Watersports in Puerto Vallarta
However, Puerto Vallarta isn't just for fishing enthusiasts; there are plenty of other activities to enjoy in the warm waters. If you're looking for a strong surfing wave, head to the northern beaches (beyond Nuevo Vallarta), which are often pleasantly quiet, and, more importantly, have heavy surf. However, be careful of the strong undertow if you go swimming in this area.
The southern beaches of Puerto Vallarta are more popular than those to the north, because they tend to be calmer and more sandy. There are plenty of scuba-diving and snorkeling tours in this area. If you're going diving, you should always check whether the dive operator is certified by PADI (the Professional Association of Diving Instructors). Don't be shy about asking to see documentation. You may need a medical check-up before you're allowed to dive, and you will have to bring along some documentation. It's best to call ahead and find out exactly what is required before you leave for your holiday. It's usually possible to hire equipment from the dive operator. It should cost between $10 and $15 for a mask, snorkel and fins. Full scuba-diving equipment costs around $40, including the tank.
Another popular activity in Puerto Vallarta is sailing, but this is mainly for rich inhabitants and visitors, who moor their boats at the marina. The idiosyncrasies of wealthy yacht owners can be as fascinating as Puerto Vallarta's marine life, which makes strolling the marina and seeing how the other half live a fun activity in itself.