Nuevo Vallarta is known as ‘Little Venice’ with good reason. Tucked among luxury hotels, fine restaurants and beautiful condos are 7 miles of watery channels, a 300-slip marina, 4 miles of dazzling white sand, and, sat invitingly on the horizon, a vast shimmering ocean, dotted with intriguing paradise islands.

Nuevo Vallarta therefore offers a unique array of thrilling and beautiful water-based activities, with something for the entire family. So when you’ve finished cooing over the loveable and majestic resident iguanas, why try out our favorite aquatic activities…

Swim with dolphins at Aquaventuras Park

Aquaventuras Park Dolphins SwimSurely top of anyone’s list – both the young and the young at heart – is an encounter with these cheeky, intelligent and beautiful creatures. Aside from cute dolphins, this sea life center also has slides and a tube park. Perfect for an unforgettable, and refreshing, family day out!

Charter a boat and relax around Islas MarietasBoating-Mexico

If you have some keen snorkelers to appease, then we know just the spot! A mere 20 minutes away by boat is remarkable Islas Marietas; home to caves, underwater tunnels, reefs and transcendent crystal clear waters, positively teaming with life. As you relax on deck, keep your eyes peeled for sea turtles, mantas, dolphins, jumping fish…. And maybe even whales!

Whale Watching

But if you really want to see some whales with the family (November to March only), then we recommend a dedicated tour. This is an encounter none of you will forget; watching dumbstruck as enormous humpback whales propel themselves out of the water before you.


Sail the Bay of Banderas

This unmissable stretch of utopia is best enjoyed by sailing; so why not take a basic family lesson? Glide majestically over turquoise, crystal clear waters, to inviting ivory beaches, feel the wind in your hair and the sun on your face, and learn a new skill whilst considering your only problem: which beach next? For this paradise bay has many to tempt you!

Banderas Bay mexico

Swim under waterfalls at Yelapa

Heading inland for the day, how about swimming under some remote giant waterfalls? The quaint, charming and traditional little town of Yelapa is the perfect spot for this- and it’s just a simple boat ride and day trip away.


From swimming with dolphins, to snorkeling around islands, to whale watching, to frolicking under waterfalls, to just chartering your own boat for a relaxing day on the lagoon; the options for water-based family fun in Nuevo Vallarta are abundant and unforgettable.


Created by Melissa Elderfield