When you’re deciding on a vacation to Puerto Vallarta, of course one of the first things to do is to search for the best “Things to do in Puerto Vallarta” so that you can plan and get the MOST out of your vacation – no matter how long or short. Although, what you'll find is that not all of the best things to do are on the beach necessarily – although there are many, you can’t overlook the astounding charm and rich culture with deep roots that run into the Sierra Madre Mountain range just on the outskirts of Puerto Vallarta. We all, of course, have our chosen favorites for things to do that are off the beach – things that provide a refreshing respite from the heat and humidity of the beach. Our favorite, hands down, is the small town of San Sebastian del Oeste – the most famous Pueblo Magico (or “Magic Town”) in the state of Jaliso, Mexico.
San Sebastian del Oeste is located just a couple hours from the city center along the scenic and winding mountain roads – but the drive is well worth the time. Nestled deep inside the Sierra Madre Mountains, and loved by tourists far and wide, you can discover one of the best towns to visit near Puerto Vallarta.
When you step food on the cobbled-stone roads of this Pueblo Magico, you’ll feel as if you stepped back in time – to an era where life was slower, neighbors were friendlier and large micheladas covered in fresh shrimp and spices where cheaper! The winding and picturesque roads and the humble city square lined with boutiques feels like a scene from a story book. Actually, many musicians have chosen to have their videos shot in San Sebastian del Oeste due to this quaint and other-worldly feel to it!
San Sebastian del Oeste is a colonial town tracing its history back with ease to the era when the mining industry was booming and the town was alive with the bustle of its numerous inhabitants. At San Sebastian del Oeste, you can visit old, deserted Haciendas that time as forgotten, mines that still exist but are not functioning and settlements where people used to thrive.
We said the drive was worth it, and we meant it – all along the scenic mountain roads, you’ll watch as the palm trees give way to pines and the air changes from humid sea breeze to a crisp and refreshing mountain wind. Another way you’ll feel transported! You’re so close to Puerto Vallarta, yet so far away.
There are a variety of things to do in San Sebastian del Oeste, from grabbing a fresh cup of coffee and people watching in the sleepy town square to a hike or ATV ride up the hill of La Bufa to a lookout where, on a clear day, you can see for miles above the mountain tops! Admire the landscapes, grab a few selfies and then head back to Puerto Vallarta to relax and warm up on the beach at Mantamar!
Surrounded by trees, the Pueblo Magico of San Sebastian del Oeste is irresistible. A destination and a day trip you have to see for yourself in your next vacation to Puerto Vallarta.
Learn from its history, delight in its typical dishes, relax in nature and enjoy your vacation.
Photo: Vallarta Adventures