I was recently watching an episode of Bachelor in Paradise(don’t judge me) and one of the couples went on a day date where they took an ATV out into the jungle. The whole thing looked VERY familiar. When they got to the swimming hole I realized that it was because we took the exact same excursion a few months ago. Clearly the producers of the Bachelor program have good taste in excursions.
The tour starts kind of early in the morning, especially if you are staying in Nuevo Vallarta because it will take you quite a long time to get to your destination. You will need to take a taxi from your hotel to the excursion meeting location. Then, you will generally have to wait there for a little while until more people come for your excursion. They will put you on an open-air bus and head through the main part of Puerto Vallarta up into the mountains. Sometimes there will be additional pick-ups along the way so you will definitely not get to your destination for an hour or maybe more.
Once you arrive at Vallarta Adventures they will group you are based on what your particular excursion will be because they have lots of different options including zip lining, horseback riding, etc. We chose to do the ATV adventure because we had done some of the other excursions in past trips to Puerto Vallarta and they were all quite fun but we wanted to try something new this time.
The tour guides will hand you a helmet and a banana (that smelled pretty bad) but it is worth it to wear because, depending on the time of year that you go, the road can be really dusty and when you are in an ATV it’s going to kick up all of the dust all over your face so you want to wear your sunglasses and a bandanna the entire time
I highly recommend trying to be in the front of the ATV line for two reasons: the first is that you’ll have a lot less dust coming in your face and also the second is then you’ll be able to drive a little faster because if you get stuck behind someone who’s a really cautious driver, it will limit the amount of fun you can have on your ATV.
The ATV trail will take you around the mountain and it is a lot of fun. One tour guide will drive in front of everybody and there is someone in the back as well to make sure that if any mechanical issues come up they can address it and that you won’t get left behind. Halfway through the excursion there is a stop at a swimming area where you can climb up on some rocks and jump off and swim around. It’s really refreshing especially if it’s a dry, dusty day to just jump in the water. I recommend wearing your swimsuit underneath your clothes or just jump in with your regular clothes: it’s all good.
On the way back to the meet up area there is a suspension bridge that you can drive over which was a lot of fun and absolutely beautiful. It was an option for some of the people on our tour and it depended on which tour you ended up booking because if you are doing an ATV tour and the zip line I don’t believe that there’s time to go across the suspension bridge. Since we were just doing the ATV tour we got to drive across it and it was really fun.
When you get back to the main meet up area of Vallarta Tours you’ll park your ATV and then go inside for a tequila presentation and tasting. You don’t have to buy any tequila if you don’t want to but they will try to sell you some. There are also pictures that you can buy if you want but don’t feel like you have to. There is also a restaurant so depending on when your bus is heading back to your hotel there is a space for you to eat some food and have a beer or a margarita before your long, winding drive back to the hotel zone.
I recommend giving yourself a lot of time for this excursion. Don’t try to get back to your hotel early for another reservation because it is a much longer day than advertised. The drive is pretty long and although it’s scenic, it is also a long, winding road and so if you get carsick that is something to keep in mind. We ended up getting home maybe two hours later than what we had anticipated.
Booking: You can book the excursion through your resort or online through the company itself. You may also be able to negotiate the excursion through your resort if you attend a timeshare presentation. It is not an inexpensive trip, but excursions usually aren’t cheap.
Overall Assessment: We had so much fun on the excursion that our friends even bought a RZR when we got back to the US. I do recommend the ATV tour although if you’ve never been to Puerto Vallarta what I strongly recommend doing is a combination tour of zip lining and ATV riding. The only reason we only did the ATV was because we had done the other excursions before. I think you get more bang for your buck when you do a combination excursion.