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Puerto Vallarta vs Cabo San Lucas: Which Is Better to Visit?

Are you considering taking a vacation and are in a dilemma of choosing between Puerto Vallarta vs Cabo San Lucas? It might be hard to pick either, as they are both beautiful Mexican cities with plenty to offer. 

However, you should not worry! I will highlight the key differences, highlights and by the end of this article, you can decide which city you will visit. Let us get started!

Puerto Vallarta vs Cabo San Lucas

Quick Comparison

Both Cabo vs. Puerto Vallarta are well worth seeing if you can fit them into your schedule. Here is how the two cities compare in short:

  • Puerto Vallarta and Cabo found on Mexico’s western coast, are fantastic beach destinations thanks to their proximity to the Pacific coast and the Pacific Ocean. 
  • Cabo San Lucas is famous for its party atmosphere and beautiful beaches.
  • Puerto Vallarta is recognized for its laid-back vibe and cultural attractions.
  • Both Puerto Vallarta and Cabo have plenty of sunshine during the day. 

Keep reading to know more highlights about the geography, beaches, atmosphere, and cost of Puerto Vallarta and Cabo.

Puerto Vallarta vs Cabo San Lucas Detailed Comparison

What would make you choose Puerto Vallarta over Cabo San Lucas or vice versa? Before settling on a vacation destination, consider a few things. Below is a comparison chart to help you decide on Cabo vs. Puerto Vallarta.

FEATURE

PUERTO VALLARTA

CABO SAN LUCAS

Size

Large

Small

Geography

Tropical

Desert

Beaches

A smaller beach is suitable for swimming

Many options, but the waters are dangerous

Atmosphere

Quieter, family-oriented

Loud, suitable for parties

Cruise port

Yes

Yes

Day trip option

Close by

Further away

Tourists type

LGBTQ+, Retirees, ex-pats

Party-oriented of all ages

Cost

A 7-day trip is $1,416 for a solo traveler, $2,543 for a couple, and $4,768 for a family of 4

A 7-day trip is $2,397 for a single traveler, $4,305 for a couple, and $8,071 for a family of four

There is more to learn about both Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. Let us see more features of each city in depth.

Location: Where Can You Find Puerto Vallarta?

Puerto Vallarta sits on the shore of the Pacific Ocean in the Mexican state of Jalisco. It lies around 300 kilometers (186 miles) west of Guadalajara, the capital of the state.

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The city is located on Banderas Bay, one of the world’s largest bays, and is surrounded by rich tropical vegetation, particularly the Sierra Madre Mountains. This makes it one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Location: Where Can You Find Los Cabos?

Los Cabos, Mexico, is near the peninsula’s southernmost point, earning it the name “Los Cabos.” It is located where the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez meet, and it includes the famous tourist spots of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas.

The area is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, which includes towering cliffs, immaculate beaches, and a thriving marine ecology.

Navigation: Finding Your Way to Puerto Vallarta

There are three ways for you to get to Puerto Vallarta:

How to get in Puerto Vallarta

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1. By Air

The simplest way is to go by air. The Licenciado Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR) has frequent flights to and from airports around the United States, Canada, and other parts of Mexico.

Travelers may quickly reach their destinations because of how close the airport is to the city center—just a few kilometers.

2. By Road

Puerto Vallarta has excellent transportation connections to other cities. A good example is Guadalajara, the state capital of Jalisco, which is connected to it by several essential roads.

If you prefer a more affordable and practical option, many long-distance bus companies provide regular services to and from Puerto Vallarta.

3. By Ship

Finally, cruises are another viable option for getting here. Puerto Vallarta is a popular destination for cruise ships, and several significant lines offer itineraries that include the city.

It’s a win-win situation since you see this beauty while basking in a cruise ship’s comforts.

Navigation: Finding Your Way to Cabo

You can use the following three ways to get to Cabo:

How to get in Cabo

1. By Air

The most convenient choice, especially if you’re traveling in from another country, is Los Cabos International Airport (SJD). The airport features daily flights from domestic and international destinations around the United States and Canada.

2. By Road

Reaching Los Cabos by car is also possible, as multiple highways link the city to neighboring urban centers like Tijuana and La Paz.

A road trip to Los Cabos should be seriously considered by anyone living in Southern California. The bus is an affordable option for those on a tighter budget.

3. By Ship

Numerous cruise ships dock in the vicinity. In the heart of Cabo San Lucas, you’ll find two terminals where the cruise ships typically dock:

  • Cruise Termina. 
  • Cabo San Lucas Marina.

From that vantage point, sightseers can explore the region at their leisure.

Important! Given the distances and many attractions inaccessible through public transportation, driving is the most practical option.

Puerto Vallarta vs Cabo: Ambiance and Scenery

Although Cabo and Puerto Vallarta exhibit genuine Mexican friendliness, they have entirely different ambiances. San Jose del Cabo is quieter and attracts more Mexican tourists.

Regarding Puerto Vallarta 

Puerto Vallarta, which was once a small fishing village, has grown within the last 40 years to emerge as a booming international vacation city. Today, it’s a lovely and enjoyable getaway for a winter sun and beach vacation.

Puerto Vallarta 

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The Bahia de Banderas, which translates to “Bay of the Flags,” is a haven for the city. You can hear the birds chirping and see the butterflies fluttering in the tropical vegetation that encompasses the city.

Puerto Vallarta has maintained an authentic Mexican vibe despite its enormous growth. Contemporary apartment developments and hotels have been artfully incorporated with historic colonial-style architecture. 

Particularly attractive is Puerto Vallarta’s Zona Romantica (Romantic Zone), also known as the Old Town, which features: 

  • Cobblestone streets.
  • Vibrant historic residences.
  • Undiscovered fine dining restaurants. 
  • There are also a lot of steps!
Vallarta's Zona Romantica

The Romantic Zone has vibrant and enjoyable nightlife, with live performances every night.

Regarding Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo

There has been tremendous development in both PV and Cabo. An increasing number of Americans are making it their annual or semiannual vacation destination, if not their permanent one. However, the landscape is quite different in Cabo compared to Puerto Vallarta: 

  • The cactus-covered desert of Cabo, located between the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific, contrasts sharply with the lush, jungly setting of Puerto Vallarta.
  • El Arco, sometimes known as “The Arch,” is a striking natural limestone structure rising out of the ocean at the very tip of the Baja Peninsula. Most likely, you’ve seen it on a Cabo Instagram or postcard.
El Arco, Cabo San Lucas

The region is known as Land’s End and is habitat to: 

  • Hundreds of frigate birds.
  • Shearwater birds fly overhead and build their nests in the rocks. 
  • There are barking sea lions. 

Luxurious fishing vessels and Cabo San Lucas Marina yachts may be seen here. It’s also well renowned for its nightlife. 

Cabo San Lucas Marina

San Jose del Cabo, 20 miles (or 30 minutes) away from Cabo San Lucas, has maintained much of its traditional Mexican vibe. The extensive Corridor of timeshares and all-inclusive resorts runs between the two towns. 

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Health and Safety in Puerto Vallarta vs. Cabo

It’s no secret that there is a lot of violent crime in Mexico; we’ve all seen and read the travel warnings about the dangers tourists face. So, before going:

Mexico is not particularly dangerous unless you travel to regions where drug cartels are active (such as the state of Chihuahua, home of famed Ciudad Juarez). I have visited PV and Cabo numerous times and never had any issues (apart from some sunburns).

The most common crime in tourist areas is petty thefts like pickpocketing. You can prevent danger by:

How to avoid pickpocketing in Mexico
  • Taking the same precautions anywhere else.
  • Avoiding questionable neighborhoods.
  • Not flaunting expensive valuables in less-visited parts of town. 

Regarding your health, get the shots you need and follow the CDC’s advice for Mexico.

How Safe Is Puerto Vallarta?

Puerto Vallarta is very safe. There is significantly less crime here than in major American cities like Miami or New Orleans. If you act sensibly, you won’t have to worry about being a victim of violent crime.

How Safe Is Puerto Vallarta?

But remember to keep an eye on your environment at all times. Don’t explore in the middle of the night in neighborhoods that tourists don’t frequent.

How Safe Is Cabo?

San Jose del Cabo is also a safe vacation destination. Just like in Purto Vallarta, tourists should take care of their belongings and should always stay in the tourist’s designated areas. You should avoid walking in dark, isolated streets, and in case you want to move around, call an Uber or a cab.

How Safe Is Cabo?

Now that we have established how safe the two cities are, let us focus on the activities you can partake in.

Cabo vs Puerto Vallarta: Most Popular Beaches

How do the beaches in Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos differ from one another? If you’re looking for a place to swim in the ocean, I recommend Puerto Vallarta as it is protected from tropical storms and strong winds by the Banderas Bay on its coastline. Swimming is not recommended at several of Cabo’s beaches due to dangerous currents and rip tides.

But either way, you’ll find several LOVELY beaches perfect for a stroll or a day of peaceful relaxation while on vacation in Mexico.

Beaches in Cabo

Despite swimming being dangerous on most Cabo beaches, here are three places you can go for a dive:

1. The Playa Medano (Medano beach)

Because of its relative safety for swimmers, Playa Medano (Medano Beach) is the most frequented beach in Cabo. It also features the most exciting action.

The Playa Medano (Medano beach)

The area has everything from:

  • Beachfront eateries,
  • Bars,
  • Shops,
  • Five-star hotels.

2. Playa Chileno Beach

Playa Chileno (Chilean Beach) is another excellent spot for water sports, including snorkeling and swimming. It is an internationally recognized Blue Flag beach. This means that it is always in pristine condition.

Playa Chileno Beach
Credit: www.tripadvisor.com

Although it is less crowded than nearby beaches, visitors should still come prepared with food and drink because there are no nearby vendors or concessions. 

3. Lover’s Beach

You can take a glass-bottom boat or a water taxi to Lover’s Beach (Playa del Amor) in Land’s End. This is a fantastic experience all by itself!

Lover's Beach, Cabo

Lover’s Beach is beautiful, with pure blue water excellent for snorkeling. It is framed by enormous rock formations on either side. 

Puerto Vallarta Beaches

The beaches of Puerto Vallarta are equally recognized for their magnificent beauty. This is thanks to their combination of calm waters, fine sand, and rich tropical vegetation due to the protection given by the large, semi-circular Banderas Bay. Below are some of the most famous Puerto Vallarta beaches.

1. Playa de Los Muertos

You won’t find a more crowded or frequented beach in Puerto Vallarta than Playa Los Muertos. Los Muertos Beach is adjacent to the Malecon and surrounded by several lodging options, resorts, Hotels, and restaurants.

Playa de Los Muertos

You can also visit the stunning Playa Los Muertos Pier, famous for its distinctive sail structure.

2. Playa las Gemelas

A short trip south of Puerto Vallarta will bring you to Playa las Gemelas. The water at this beach is a beautiful shade of turquoise, and the sand is soft and fine. It is perfect for swimming and scuba diving. The beach isn’t bustling, despite a few condo towers in the distance. 

Playa las Gemelas
Credit: www.tripadvisor.com

Fun Activities! Which Is Better, Puerto Vallarta or Cabo San Lucas?

You can’t go wrong with a trip to either Puerto Vallarta or Los Cabos. So it’s a close call here! Choosing between the two is like deciding between mango and lime margaritas. That’s right, (we’re after) both of them!

4 Best Puerto Vallarta Attractions

It’s never a dull moment in Puerto Vallarta. Here is a list of activities you can try in that city. 

1. Taking a Tour of the Marietas Islands

There are many activities on Marietas Island. During your visit here, you can:

  • See some incredible marine and bird species that call this area home.
  • Enjoy continental breakfast and an open bar for those who take advantage of them while on the water.
  • Visit Playa la Nopalera and its surrounding area.
  • You’ll get to kayak, stand-up paddleboard, and snorkel off the coast of Arrecifes on Marietas Island.
  • Have a great supper, plus activities like karaoke and music.
Marietas Islands

2. Taking a Dip With Wild Dolphins

Just the thought of this is giving me chills. Here you’ll get to:

  • Experience a thrilling and unforgettable activity in Puerto Vallarta, swimming with wild dolphins.
  • Learn about and experience the delight of seeing these intelligent and lively creatures in their natural environment.

It is critical, however, to select a tour company that adheres to responsible wildlife tourism standards and prioritizes the dolphins’ well-being.

3. Go For Ziplining!

Take an 11-line zipline tour through the Puerto Vallarta jungle and feel the rush of flying through the air.

 Zipline tour through the Puerto Vallarta jungle
Credit: www.canopyriver.com

This tour is adaptable in terms of the following:

  • Start time.
  • Meeting point.
  • Tour lengths. 
  • Paces. 
  • Vistas through the rainforest.

It’s the ideal adventure for adrenaline junkies of any skill level because it requires no prior ziplining knowledge.

4. Visiting Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens

Visiting Puerto Vallarta’s Botanical Gardens is perfect for nature lovers as it combines wildlife viewing and hiking.

Fun activities here include:

  • View the array of orchids and other plants in the stunning Botanical Garden.
  • Going for strolls along the Horcones River to check out the local animals.
  • Hiking will bring you to the summit, with breathtaking Cabo and the Pacific Ocean views.
  • Swim and unwind in the River’s natural pools.
  • Enjoy a fantastic supper and tequila sampling at a riverfront restaurant.
  • Visit the Los Veranos Animal Sanctuary, where you can get up close and personal with unusual species. It is home to monkeys, toucans, macaws, iguanas, snakes, and other scaly and feathered friends. 
Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens
Credit: www.tripadvisor.com

This is the perfect trip if you and your group want something fascinating and unforgettable.

You can also browse art galleries like:

  • Galleria Dante (Puerto Vallarta’s most extensive fine art gallery).
  • The Loft Galeria shows modern American artists’ abstract oil paintings, sculptures, and other artworks.
  • Galeria Corsica (displaying contemporary sculptures and contemporary Mexican paintings).

5 Fun Things to Do in Cabo

There are a ton of fun activities for you and your friends in Cabo San Lucas. Let’s dive into those activities, shall we?

1. Enjoy a Sunset Cruise

As you cruise, you get to:

  • Enjoy a relaxing boat trip along the beautiful Cabo coastline, taking in the sights. 
  • Relax in style as you cruise through landmarks, including Lovers’ Beach, a sea lion colony, and the iconic Cabo arch aboard a roomy and fully furnished trimaran.
Sunset Cruise, Cabo

The tour features an open bar with free refills, complimentary refreshments, an upbeat playlist, and plenty of opportunities for photos. On this boat excursion, you can relax and enjoy the sunset while seeing all the highlights of Cabo San Lucas. 

2. Experience the City’s Finest Taco Tour

With this tour, you’ll get to:

  • Know the exciting downtown area of Cabo San Lucas while eating authentic Mexican fares like quesadillas and tacos at some of the best local eateries.
  • Participate in a guided, three-hour meal tour of Cabo San Lucas’s best taco joints, courtesy of Juan More Taco.
 Taco Tour, Cabo
Credit: www.facebook.com, @Juan More Taco – Food Tours

With a group size of no more than 12, you’ll receive individualized attention on this tour that will help you better understand the country’s rich history, Mexican culture, and folk traditions.

3. Try Out the Zipline!

Visitors with an adventurous spirit will enjoy the tour’s exhilarating activities and stunning scenery. If you’re in Los Cabos and want to do something exciting or enjoy the natural scenery, the Canyon Canopy Adventure is an absolute must.

4. Take a Fancy Sail

What could be more enjoyable than a sail around the Cabo coast? There’s nothing like taking a luxurious cruise along the Cabo coastline!

Luxurious catamaran, Cabo
  • Spend a day on the glistening waters off the coast of Cabo on this excursion.
  • Relax in the warm Mexican breeze and sip sparkling wine and cocktails from an open bar on a luxurious catamaran.
  • Be treated to a delicious meal with international favorites, such as fresh shrimp and shellfish, after the snorkeling adventure. 

This trip is perfect for individuals who like to kick back and relax since there will be plenty of opportunities to paddleboarding or snorkel amid tropical fish.

5. Whale Watching Tour During the Winter Only

Swimming with humpback whales is another experience you must take advantage of if you’re in Cabo during the peak travel period. Doing so is possible on this tour. 

  • A marine biologist will lead a small-group boat excursion of no more than ten people, providing informative commentary and details about the local animals.
  • Upgrade to a private tour for four to eight individuals if you prefer a more personal encounter.
Whale Watching Tour, Cabo

This tour is convenient for those with varying schedules and interests because of its flexible departure timings. This trip is a must for anyone visiting the area who has even the slightest interest in animals, enjoys the outdoors, or is just looking for something out of the ordinary to do.

Day Trips: Cabo vs Puerto Vallarta

Whether you choose Cabo or Puerto Vallarta, you won’t want to spend every waking moment there. All kinds of exciting opportunities await you in Mexico. That’s why knowing all the day trips you can do is crucial!

Puerto Vallarta Day Trips

There are many day trips you can take in Puerto Vallarta, and they include the following:

1. Yelapa

Yelapa is a little town in southern Banderas Bay. You can reach by boat, horseback, or all-terrain vehicle. In this city, you can:

  • Explore the pedestrian-only side streets. 
  • Relax at one of the beachfront eateries. 
  • You may catch a water taxi to Yelapa at PV’s Pier on Playa Los Muertos. The trip takes roughly 45 minutes by boat.
Yelapa, Mexico

2. Bucerias

Bucerias is a small but rapidly growing beach town located approximately 30 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta. It is quite popular with international residents, who make the area their permanent or seasonal home by:

  • Strolling along the sandy shore. 
  • You can also hire a local Mexican cowboy to take you horseback riding around Playa Bucerias.
Bucerias, Mexico

3. Punta Mita

Punta Mita, often spelled Punta de Mita, is a tiny island in Mexico home to many expansive luxury resorts. These resorts allow guests to spend the day being pampered to the extreme.

Day tickets can be purchased at the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita so that guests can: 

  • Relax by the pool. 
  • Book yourself an amazing massage at the spa while you’re delighting in this activity. 
Punta Mita, Mexico
Credit: www.fourseasons.com

4. Tequila

Some of the finest Tequila in the country come from the state of Jalisco. And Tequila, some four hours’ journey from PV, is where most of the world’s Tequila is produced.

Another common day trip from Puerto Vallarta is a tequila-tasting tour, which can last as long as a day if you’re interested.

Tequila, Mexico

5. Sayulita

It’s no secret that surfers flock to Sayulita for its hip vibe and excellent waves. Are you not a surfer? No problem! Just: 

  • Relax with a refreshing cocktail in hand.
  • Take in the sights and sounds of the beachgoers. 
  • Watch the surfers.
 Sayulita, Mexico

6. Botanical Gardens of Vallarta

The Vallarta Botanical Gardens is another place you can enjoy the following in this picturesque garden I have ever seen:

  • Orchids.
  • Walking paths through Avatar-esque landscapes.
  • A hacienda-style restaurant with vistas of darting hummingbirds. 

Let us now shift our focus to Cabo’s day trips. 

Cabo San Lucas Day Trips

Cabo San Lucas also has a variety of day trips you can try out the next time you visit the city. 

1. Cabo Pulmo

If you want to see the desert, the sea, and the best of nature all in one location, you must travel to Cabo Pulmo. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee recognized Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park in 2015. 

Cabo Pulmo

2. La Paz

La Paz is a tranquil seaside town located two hours north of Cabos. The city’s brand-new, three-mile-long Malecon is lined with restaurants and stores. 

And if you’re looking for a jaw-dropping adventure, snorkeling with sea turtles and whale sharks in La Paz is a must. You need not worry; these placid animals are not sharks but the largest fish in the world (up to 60 feet long). October through February is peak whale shark season.

La Paz, Mexico

3. Todos Santos

Todos Santos, a town classified as a Pueblo Magico, is about an hour away from Cabo. 

  • The town’s art galleries are a significant draw for tourists, making it a popular day trip from Los Cabos.
  • The local Hotel California supposedly served as the creative inspiration for the Eagles’ song of the same name. Despite its notoriety, Todos Santos has managed to preserve its unique culture.
Todos Santos

Winner: If you want to go on adventures outside the immediate area, Puerto Vallarta is better than Cabo. Simply put, there’s more variety regarding locations and things to pursue.

Now that we have covered the day trips, let us see what and where you will eat in the two cities. 

Nightlife and Dining in Puerto Vallarta and Cabo

Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas are two of Mexico’s most popular vacation spots, and they are home to delectable eateries and exciting nightlife.

Restaurants in Puerto Vallarta

It is well known that Puerto Vallarta, in particular, has a wide selection of excellent restaurants serving local and international cuisine. Annually around the middle of November, the city plays host to the International Gourmet Festival. 

Here are a few of the best restaurants in the Puerto Vallarta area:

1. Fredy’s Tucan

Is the thought of hollandaise-drenched Eggs Benedict or Belgian waffles with a mountain of fresh strawberries making your mouth water? You’ll have the most sumptuous breakfast in Puerto Vallarta at Fredy’s Tucan.

Fredy's Tucan
Credit: www.facebook.com, @Restaurante Fredy’s Tucan Puerto Vallarta

Thanks to the restaurant’s superb, extensive menu and generous serving sizes, you won’t go home hungry. 

2. Barcelona Tapas

The food at Barcelona Tapas is sophisticated and reflects the restaurant’s Mediterranean roots. The restaurant specializes in Spanish tapas and paella. 

3. The La Palapa

Do you long for a candlelit beachside meal with your special someone? La Palapa is one of the oldest restaurants in Puerto Vallarta, and it is located right on the beach, so you can enjoy fresh seafood and other delicious meals while listening to the waves.

The La Palapa
Credit: www.facebook.com, @La Palapa Restaurant

4. Tintoque

Tintoque is a seafood restaurant with a “creative menu” that has daily specials and has been called the best in Mexico.

Guests can choose from heirloom corn with cheese and truffle or the day’s catch with a chile and Mexican peanut curry sauce.

Tintoque
Credit: www.tintoque.com

The Best of Nightlife Puerto Vallarta

Feel like showing off your dance skills? Or maybe you’d want to see a live performance? Puerto Vallarta has it all. Puerto Vallarta offers a wide variety of entertainment options, including: 

  • Bar La Playa is a beachside bar with handcrafted cocktails.
  • Act2PV, a cabaret theater in the Zona Romantica.

Restaurants in Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas is a popular tourist destination with many restaurants, but I will mention the most famous ones. 

1. El Farallon

This is a luxury choice. For a special occasion, though, nothing beats a supper of the tastiest seafood while viewing the waves crash against the rock wall.

El Farallon
Credit: www.facebook.com, @Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

2. Los Desios Restaurante 

Do your taste senses beg you to please feed them real Mexican cuisine? Delicious authentic regional cuisine may be found at Los Deseos Restaurante.

3. La Casona

La Casona is one of the best restaurants in Los Cabos, known for its excellent steaks and piano bar atmosphere.

La Casona
Credit: www.facebook.com, @Villa La Estancia Beach Resort & Spa Los Cabos

4. La Dolce

The Italian food at La Dolce is among the best in Cabo. La Dolce is the place to satisfy your Italian food cravings with its homemade pasta and thin-crust pizzas prepared in a wood-burning stone oven.

Cabo San Lucas at Night

After sunset, the nightlife of downtown Cabo San Lucas centers around its many dance clubs, bars, and lounges.

  • For live hard rock later in the evening, visit Cabo Wabo, founded by Sammy Hagar of Van Halen.
  • The Jungle Bar is always good, thanks to the cheap drinks and excellent live music.
  • El Squid Roe is the place to go if you want to let loose and dance like there’s no tomorrow.
El Squid Roe, Cabo
Credit: www.tripadvisor.com

Winner: If I had to rate the two cities, I would rank Puerto Vallerta number one in culinary. The food here is just perfect! However, when it comes to nightlife, Cabo is the winner because of the state-of-the-art nightclubs and bars.

Shopping in Puerto Vallarta and Cabo

A good variety of stores is available in both Puerta Vallarta and Cabo. Many luxury retailers, including Louis Vuitton and Gucci, have flagship locations in Cabo San Lucas, as do upscale boutiques with designer labels.

The best places to buy unique souvenirs and authentic Mexican artwork are in Puerto Vallarta:

  • Many souvenir stores sell affordable local goods, including jewelry made from natural materials.
  • There is also a thriving art community in Puerto Vallarta, with numerous museums, galleries, and cultural events.

Winner: Puerto Vallarta is definitely the winner here due to its great deal of unique offerings.

Hotels and Resorts in Cabo vs Puerto Vallarta

You may easily find a fantastic hotel in Puerto Vallarta or Cabo San Lucas, or anywhere else in the Cabo area.

Accommodations in Puerto Vallarta 

Here are some of the luxurious options.

1. Garza Blanca Preserve Resort and Spa

Garza Blanca Preserve is an exquisite spa resort in a tropical rainforest near Puerto Vallarta. The breathtaking scenery of the white sand beach and crystal clear waters can be enjoyed from the studio, one-and two-bedroom suites.

Garza Blanca Preserve Resort and Spa
Credit: www.booking.com

2. Hotel Mousai

The Hotel Mousai is Puerto Vallarta’s first exclusive AAA Five Diamond adult-only resort. This is the ideal hideaway for a design enthusiast on vacation. 

3. Hacienda San Angel 

Hacienda San Angel, located in the center of Puerto Vallarta’s historic district, is one of the city’s most charming boutique hotels. Twenty exquisite apartments filled with antiques make up this one-of-a-kind urban retreat, complete with three swimming pools, elaborate sculptures, and fountains.

Hacienda San Angel 
Credit: www.booking.com

Vacation Rentals in Cabo

There is no shortage of high-end hotels in Cabo, which is likely Mexico’s most costly vacation town.

1. Grand Velas Los Cabos

The Grand Velas Los Cabos is arguably the best all-inclusive resort in Cabo, thanks to its luxurious accommodations and array of high-end dining options. Recently, it was considered a spot among the world’s finest AAA Five-Diamond resorts.

Grand Velas Los Cabos
Credit: www.booking.com

2. The Cape Hotel, a Thompson  Hotel

The Cape debuted in 2015 and is Thompson Hotels’ first foray into the Mexican market. The 5-star hotel is a sleek, modern structure that overlooks El Arco and provides a memorable stay.

3. The One & Only Palmilla

Beautifully designed in a colonial style, the One & Only Palmilla is a classic sanctuary surrounded by lush gardens.

The One & Only Palmilla
Credit: www.booking.com

Winner: Puerto Vallarta has more reasonably priced lodgings than Cabo, known for its luxurious resorts.

Climate: The Perfect Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Luis

Before traveling to your ideal destination, it is important to consider the weather conditions. You don’t want to go on a vacation and end up staying indoors because of harsh weather conditions, do you? 

Best Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta

April through June, known as the shoulder season, are beautiful times to go to Puerto Vallarta. In April, prices typically drop even though the hurricane season has not yet begun. But bear in mind that the weather is quickly becoming hot and muggy.

Best Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta

My favorite time to visit Puerto Vallarta is in November when the weather is mild and the winter crowds have not yet arrived.

Best Time to Visit Cabo San Lucas

The beginning of summer (May and June) and the end of October through November are wonderful times to visit Cabo. This is because the weather is nicer at the beach and fewer tourists are there.

Best Time to Visit Cabo San Lucas

Budget and Cost: Puerto Vallarta vs Cabo

Food prices in these two cities are very close to one another, with Cabo being the more expensive option. While Puerto Vallarta has several more affordable all-inclusive resorts option, Cabo resorts are more pricey.

  • The average cost of a day (including meals and transportation) is about $75 in Puerto Vallarta and $92 in Cabo.
  • Hotel rooms cost anywhere from $8 to $313 per night.
  • Private rentals can cost as much as $1,000 per night based on location, amenities, and size.
  • A 7-day journey for a single tourist can cost roughly $2,300 in Cabo and $1,400 in Puerto Vallarta.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Which One Is Better, Cabo or Puerto Vallarta?

Which one is better, Cabo or Puerto Vallarta depends on your needs. Cabo, found at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, is renowned for its beach life and a party vibe. On the other hand, Puerto Vallarta is more laid-back and culturally focused.

Why Is Puerto Vallarta So Popular?

Puerto Vallarta is popular and famous due it is home to some of the finest dining establishments in Mexico, serving authentic regional dishes and exotic cuisines. The city has some of Latin America’s finest festivities, clubs, and music festivals. The natural scenery here is stunning.

Is It Worth It to Go to Puerto Vallarta?

Going to Puerto Vallarta is worth it as it’s a fantastic destination for a holiday because it offers both beautiful scenery and a wide variety of things to do. This bustling city on Mexico’s Pacific coast is known for its beautiful beaches, diverse dining options, and dynamic nightlife.

Conclusion

So, which destination is superior, Cabo or Puerto Vallarta? Both places are excellent tourist destinations with distinctive traits that give visitors a chance for a memorable getaway. All that matters when deciding between the two is one’s personal preference.

Puerto Vallarta is ideal if you’re seeking a dynamic and active city with a genuine Mexican flair. On the other hand, Cabo San Lucas is the best place to go for a more upscale and opulent experience. Either place offers plenty of chances to unwind and decompress, whether by swimming in the sea, relaxing on the beach, or visiting the neighborhood.

Both are home to some of the best restaurants and shopping in the world, with menus featuring dishes from around the globe. Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas are fantastic options for a vacation, and you won’t regret your final decision.

Puerto Vallarta VS Cabo