A One-Week Road Trip from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta
If you’re looking for a fun and adventurous way to explore Mexico’s Pacific Coast, a road trip from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta is a perfect choice. With stunning scenery and diverse attractions, this road trip is sure to be a memorable experience.
The journey will take you through a diverse range of destinations, each with its own unique attractions and experiences. Here’s a sample one-week itinerary to help you plan your road trip from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta.
Day 1: Guadalajara
Start your journey in Guadalajara, one of Mexico’s most vibrant cities. Take a stroll through the historic center to admire the colonial architecture and visit iconic landmarks such as the Cathedral of Guadalajara and the Teatro Degollado.
Don’t miss the chance to try some of the local delicacies and tequila.
Day 2: Tequila
On your second day, head to the town of Tequila, located about an hour’s drive from Guadalajara.
As the name suggests, this is where tequila is produced, and you can take a tour of one of the many distilleries to learn about the process and sample some of the different varieties.
Also, visit the National Tequila Museum to discover more about the history and culture of this beloved drink.
Day 3: Chapala
Next, make your way to the picturesque town of Chapala, located on the shores of Lake Chapala, the largest lake in Mexico.Chapa
Take a boat tour to admire the scenic views and visit the Malecon, a promenade that stretches along the lakeshore and is dotted with shops, restaurants, and street performers.
You can also visit the Ajijic Cultural Center to learn about the local arts and crafts.
Day 4: Sayulita
On day four, drive to the charming beach town of Sayulita, known for its laid-back vibe and world-class surfing.
Spend the day on local beaches soaking up the sun on the golden sands, sampling fresh seafood at the beachside restaurants, and browsing the colorful boutiques and art galleries.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can sign up for a surf lesson or go on a jungle hike to explore the lush surroundings.
Day 5: San Francisco (San Pancho)
Continue your journey to San Francisco, also known as San Pancho, a quaint town located just a few kilometers from Sayulita.
This is a great place to relax and unwind, with a beautiful beach, cozy cafes, and a vibrant art scene. You can visit the Entreamigos Community Center to learn about the local initiatives supporting sustainable development and cultural preservation.
Day 6: Punta Mita
On your penultimate day, head to Punta Mita, a luxury resort area that boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the region.
Spend the day lounging on the white sand beach, swimming in the crystal-clear waters, and indulging in the SPA treatments and gourmet cuisine offered by the upscale hotels of Punta Mita.
You can also take a boat tour to explore the nearby Marietas Islands, home to a diverse array of marine life and stunning rock formations.
Day 7: Puerto Vallarta
Finally, arrive in Puerto Vallarta, a bustling resort city that combines modern amenities with rich history and culture.
Visit the Malecon, a lively boardwalk lined with sculptures, street performers, and restaurants, and explore the old town to see the beautiful architecture and colorful street art.
Don’t miss the chance to visit the iconic Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a symbol of the city’s strong Catholic heritage. You can also take a day trip to nearby attractions such as the Botanical Gardens, the El Eden Canopy Tour, or the hidden beaches of Yelapa.
A road trip from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta is a fantastic way to discover the beauty and diversity of Mexico’s Pacific Coast.
From colonial cities to beach towns, from tequila distilleries to luxury resorts, from cultural landmarks to natural wonders, this route offers something for everyone. So pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready to explore!
Tourist Information & Tips
Where to Stay
There are plenty of accommodation options along the route, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious resorts. In Guadalajara, you can stay at the historic Hotel Morales or the trendy Casa Fayette.
In Sayulita, check out the colorful Casablanca Sayulita or the rustic-chic Hotelito Los Suenos. In Punta Mita, indulge in the lavish amenities of the Four Seasons Resort or the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort.
And in Puerto Vallarta, choose from the traditional Hotel Rosita or the contemporary Hotel Mousai.
Tips for the Road Trip
- Rent a car from a reputable company and make sure to have all the necessary documents and insurance coverage.
- Check the weather forecast before you go, as the region can be affected by tropical storms and hurricanes during certain months.
- Be prepared for toll roads, which are common along the route, and have cash or a credit card ready to pay.
- Plan your itinerary in advance to make the most of your time, but also allow for some flexibility to accommodate unexpected detours or changes.
- Pack sunscreen, bug spray, and comfortable clothing and shoes for outdoor activities.
- Learn some basic Spanish phrases to communicate with the locals and enhance your cultural experience.