Visiting Puerto Vallarta means immersing yourself in the sights, sounds, and tastes of Mexico! But this area’s ambiance, natural beauty, and cultural richness aren’t all there is to experience. Mexico has a long list of fascinating and fun holidays you can celebrate with us, along with sporting events, festivals, and annual events for every interest.
When planning your Puerto Vallarta vacation, this calendar can help you decide when you want to visit to get everything you want out of your getaway!
The best time for whale watching in Puerto Vallarta is December through March, when the migrating Humpback whales come to Banderas Bay to calve. There, these fascinating gentle giants begin teaching their young to hunt and breach. Our eco-tours, Whale Watching Photo Safari, on board speed boats, and Whale Watching Adventure, on steady boats with open bar and lunch included, give you a front-row seat for this spectacular nature marvel.
January 1 - New Year’s Day (Año Nuevo): This national holiday is celebrated widely with fireworks and other special events you won’t want to miss! A stroll along El Malecon Bay is the perfect way to welcome the new year in Mexico.
January 6 - Three Kings Day (Día de Reyes): This traditional Mexican gift-giving holiday is a wonderful day to nibble rosca de reyes and drink warm chocolate. Why not bring a special toy or book to donate to one of the many toy drives?
January 13 - Chocolate and Vanilla Festival: The Vallarta Botanical Garden presents the third edition of the Chocolate and Vanilla Festival on Sunday, January 13.
January 30 - Aguachile and Ceviche Festival: This 2024 we start the year celebrating the 11th edition of the ceviche and aguachile festival, which is about to be held on Sunday, January 30 at the Lázaro Cárdenas Park located in Olas Altas and from 12:00 to 7:00 pm.
February 5 - Constitution Day: This national holiday is celebrated throughout Mexico with parades, picnics, fairs, and festivals, concerts, and boisterous street celebrations.
February 14 - Friendship Day (El Día del Amor y la Amistad): Here in Mexico, love and friendship are both celebrated on this special day! Restaurants and live music venues are usually fully booked well in advance of El Día del Amor y la Amistad - so plan accordingly. Don't miss out our list of the 10 Best Romantic Restaurants in Puerto Vallarta!
January 31 - February 4th - International Charro Championship: Celebrate one of the most representative traditions in Jalisco at the X International Charro Tournament at Hacienda Serena.
All month long - Banderas Bay Regattas: Puerto Vallarta’s beautiful Banderas Bay fills with sails each year between late February and March as sailors from all over the world converge on these calm waters to test their skills. If you love Sailing, don't miss our amazing Luxury Sailing All-Inclusive tour!
The First Tuesday - Carnaval Day: Many people plan their Puerto Vallarta vacations around this colorful celebration where incredible floats, elaborate masks, and awe-inspiring stilt walkers take over the streets. 30,000 residents and tourists gather each year to enjoy the spectacle!
March 7 - 9 - Mexican Wine and Food Festival: The first Wine and Food Pairing Festival arrives in PV, to learn more about the fascinating world of wine and gastronomy whilst delighting palates, offering lectures, tastings, and pairings with dishes from renowned restaurants in Puerto Vallarta, known as the Best Gastronomic Destination in Mexico. For those who love culinary experiences, Sunset Gourmet Experience is a seasonal must!
March 23 - Touristic Route | Puerto Vallarta & Bahia de Banderas: The Puerto Vallarta Tourist Route is a cycling event that unites the bicycle-loving community. The venue is #PuertoMagicoPV. There are 3 distances to choose from.
Semana Santa and Pascua: Puerto Vallarta sees its largest influx of vacationers during the pre-Easter Holy Week/spring break, as many families from around Mexico visit to enjoy the area’s beaches and natural beauty. Don't miss out our list of the Best 5 Things to Do with Children in Puerto Vallarta!
April 21 - International Marathon Puerto Vallarta: After two years of suspension, the third edition of the greatest race in Puerto Vallarta is back on April 21st, 2024!
April 30 - Día del Niño (Children's Day): This isn’t an official national holiday but schools, malls, restaurants, parks, and toy stores all hold special celebrations (and sales) so if your Puerto Vallarta vacation overlaps this holiday and you’re traveling with kids, nothing better to spend a day at Las Caletas!
All month long - May Cultural Festival (Festival Cultural de Mayo): This annual celebration is an entire month of events and activities designed to highlight the contributions of artists, painters, musicians, and actors. If you love Mexican art and culture, plan your visit in May!
All month long - Fiestas de Mayo (May Fiestas): Experience the traditional fairs of Mexico in the charming neighborhood of El Pitillal! There you’ll find all of the games and attractions you could wish for plus livestock exhibits, entertainment, and delicious foods and drinks throughout the month.
May 2 - May 5 - Puerto Vallarta International Sports Classic: This annual series of sporting events draws thousands of competitors and spectators from all around the world!
May 5 - Cinco de Mayo: This national holiday commemorates the Battle of Puebla (not Mexican independence) and isn’t that big of a deal in Puerto Vallarta. That said, bars and restaurants that cater to tourists may be packed.
May 10 - Mother's Day (Día de la Madre): Mothers are revered here in Mexico, so if your Puerto Vallarta vacation overlaps Día de la Madre you may find that there is more traffic and fewer restaurants taking reservations.
May - Restaurants Weeks 2024: Restaurant Week provides diners in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit with the opportunity to enjoy fixed-price, innovative, three-course menus (with three options each) at some of the most prestigious restaurants in the destination.
May 31 - Puerto Vallarta Anniversary Day: With cultural and sporting events, live music performances, and a beautiful firework display over Banderas Bay, Puerto Vallarta’s anniversary celebration is a lot of fun!
June 1 - Navy Day (Día de la Marina): This celebration honors the memory of those who sailed out in the ship "Tabasco" in Veracruz - the first Mexican merchant ship - along with all sailors who’ve lost their lives on the sea. Captains lay wreaths of flowers in the waters of Banderas Bay in a ceremony that is followed by sailing competitions, parties, fireworks, and general revelry.
August 24 - Manos & Magia: The transformation of food into spectacular dishes is truly an act of magic, which is why, @vinomafest and @gaviotas.vallarta have created the pairing dinner, Hands and Magic, a tribute to the transforming hands of the chefs and cooks who, with their talent and creativity, perform truly magical acts.
September 14 - Charro Day: If you love Mexican cowboys, make sure your Puerto Vallarta vacation overlaps with this fascinating cultural celebration! Beginning at 10 a.m., Charros parade through the streets in their elaborately decorated jackets, pants, and sombreros on horses equally decked out. There are traditional displays of roping and bullfighting plus plenty of good food and dancing.
September 15/16 - Independence Eve & Mexican Independence Day (Fiestas Patrias): This holiday is celebrated throughout the month, with the famous Independence Eve celebrations on the 15th. That’s when you’ll hear cries of “Viva Mexico” followed by an amazing firework display, music, and dancing, an abundance of food, and a general atmosphere of revelry. The festivities continue the next day, with more fireworks, parades, and even more partying.
Begins in October - Art Walk: This cultural event starts at the end of October and runs until the end of May. Dozens of Puerto Vallarta art galleries stay open late, attracting visitors with a free drink, beautiful classical and contemporary art, and the promise of scintillating conversation.
October 12 to 18 - Gastronomic Vallarta Nayarit: From October 12 to 18, the gastronomic event with the most stars in Mexico and Latin America will celebrate its 14th uninterrupted edition.
October 31 - Halloween: Halloween celebrations in Puerto Vallarta are similar to those in the United States, but the costumes tend to be both more elaborate and more ghoulish. Costume contests are serious business here, with venues offering up cash prizes in the thousands.
Dates vary - Puerto Vallarta Art Festival (Festival de las Artes): Art lovers will fall in love with Puerto Vallarta’s cultural scene in this month-long celebration of art that includes gallery shows, theater performances, and other cultural events - all of which are free.
Dates vary - Festival Gourmet Internacional de Puerto Vallarta: This 10-day-long celebration of gourmet food showcases the culinary skills of local chefs and guest chefs from around the globe. If you love to cook, plan your vacation around this festival and look for cooking classes, wine tastings, and other opportunities to savor the foods of the region.
November 1 - All Souls’ Day (Día de Todos Santos): This somber prelude to the Day of the Dead honors the souls of children who have passed on. You’ll see beautiful altar exhibitions throughout Puerto Vallarta.
November 1 - 2 - Day of the Dead (Día de Los Muertos): Thanks to movies and TV, more people know about the graveside vigils featuring food and drink laid out on bright altars for departed ancestors who are the heart of this celebration. The three places you can't miss to see the spectacular Day of the Dead altars are the Malecón of Puerto Vallarta, and the special editions of Rhythms of the Night and Majahuitas Beach Party.
November 8 - 9 - Puerto Vallarta México by UTMB: Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco will become the official venue for the most emblematic trail running series in the world: the UTMB® World Series, which brings together the best trail running races on the planet held in exceptional places surrounded by nature.
Mid-November - International Gourmet Festival 2024: The greatest gourmet tradition in Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit. An extraordinary event with the participation of more than 60 chefs in 30 restaurants, turning our destinations into the showcase of gourmet gastronomy in Mexico.
November 20 - Mexican Revolution Anniversary: Yet another parade through the center of town marks the celebration of the Revolution of 1910-1917!
Dates vary - The Surf Classic in Sayulita: Sayulita Nayarit is famous for its surfing and it is wonderfully close to Puerto Vallarta, which means there’s no reason you can’t go to this annual event that draws surfers from all over the world.
December 1-12 - "Guadalupe" Processions: This 12-day series of processions bears the name of the patron saint of both Puerto Vallarta and Mexico and is a sight to behold, with folk dancers, floats, beautiful singing, and even fireworks.
December 12 - Festival of the Virgin of Guadalupe (Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe): An important religious and social holiday, Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is the culmination of the aforementioned processions. People gather in the central plaza to enjoy local specialties and fireworks and, in the small south shore community of Quimixto, a “flotilla” of decorative fishing boats that makes its way down the shoreline.
December 16 to December 24 - Christmas Week: Throughout Puerto Vallarta, everyone celebrates the birth of Christ with gatherings called “posadas,” where people re-enact Joseph and Mary’s search for a place to stay in Bethlehem. Processions travel to designated homes to ask for lodging in song, and the party begins when the host throws open the door.
December 31 - New Year’s Eve: In Mexico, the end of the year is celebrated with fiestas, big and small, in clubs, hotels, and restaurants. Live music is everywhere and parties routinely last into the morning. Don't miss out our Guide to New Year's Eve in Puerto Vallarta with tips and the best ways to receive 2025!
Of course, there are other, less widely celebrated holidays in Mexico, as well as theater performances, concerts, art shows, sporting events and more all year round. When you book your vacation with us, be sure to ask about what will be happening in and around Puerto Vallarta during your stay!