You truly needed to have been in Puerto Vallarta in late May or early June to witness and appreciate the amazing annual transformation of the surrounding hills as they blossom into dazzling hues of green with the return of summer rains. And summer’s warmer ocean water brings a surge in plant and animal activity, sought after by snorkeling enthusiasts, who insist that summer is the best time of year for underwater exploration. Summer also is the time thousands of sea turtles end their journey on beaches throughout Banderas Bay, carefully laying their eggs in the sand in preparation for their hatchlings to return to the sea, thus continuing a centuries-old ritual. Indeed, nature seems to remind us of her undeniable presence all around us in this place many people refer to as “paradise.”

So why do folks insist on calling summer in Puerto Vallarta the “low” season? With increasing numbers of national and international visitors taking advantage of equally increasing promotional summer incentives, the misnomer begs reconsideration. Needless to say, the shift in weather from the winter to summer months is more than palpable—winter dry and cooler, summer wet and humid. But is it possible that a considerable number of people stay away from Puerto Vallarta during the summer months simply because we advised them to do so in the first place?

“Fourth of July weekend was great for us,” commented Andrew Briskin of My Own Concierge. “Despite the rainy days, we booked more canopy tours for our clients than we do in January or February.” His company one of several in town that provide tourists with a broad range of services—from airport pickup and restaurant reservations to overnight excursions in nearby towns—Briskin is an outspoken advocate for what he calls “summer value season.” “More and more people are realizing that if you get a few cloudy days in a row, there are many things to do other than going to the beach,” he adds.

Briskin is not alone in this crusade. More and more locals are responding to the fact that today’s tourist is looking for the best value possible. We spoke to a number of tourists, residents and local business owners to collect some of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta during the summer. Some will appeal to tourists, while others will hopefully inspire locals to enjoy our destination in new and different ways. Regardless, we trust that you’ll find the suggestions useful.

1. Enjoy getting wet.

Getting wet is half the fun at Vallarta Adventures. Not only do they offer discounts on their activities during the summer months, they, along with other tour providers, provide a memorable experience any time of year, regardless of the weather.

2. Act like a tourist.

Many hotels in town offer affordable day-pass access for locals looking for a vacation experience, even if for just a few hours.

3. Become a VIP.

Look for an increasing number of businesses offering VIP cards or attractive discounts and promotions that provide additional incentive for their clients.

4. Look for restaurant promotions.

Inspired by Restaurant Week, many local restaurants offer special fixed-price menus throughout the summer, along with all-you-can-eat or 2x1 cocktail promotions.

5. Head to the mountains.

If the heat and humidity are getting to you, there are excellent getaway opportunities in nearby towns such as Talpa, Mascota and San Sebastian. Visit the Getaway section of VirtualVallarta.com to read about these and other nearby getaways.

6. Make time for reading.

Whether it’s a Kindle, an iPad, a paperback in your hands or headphones on your head, or if you decided to explore the Los Mangos Public Library, summer is a great time to immerse yourself in a good read.

7. Make time for writing.

Many travelers and businesses rely on websites such as TripAdvisor.com as reliable sources of information about destinations, hotels, restaurants, shops and more. If you’ve had a positive experience in Puerto Vallarta, make time to share your views with the rest of the world by writing a review.

8. Go to the movies.

Summer blockbusters are a huge deal north of the border. Locally, take advantage of our multiplexes, which offer the latest releases in comfortable (air-conditioned!) theaters comparable to those in the USA and Canada at about half the price.

9. Enjoy the sweating.

If you cannot avoid it, you might as well enjoy it. Enroll in a dance class or a neighborhood gym.

10. Put your camera to work.

Not only is summer great for nature and landscape photography, overcast days provide perfect, diffused light for friend and family portraits.

11. Explore cold food.

Shrimp cocktails, ceviche and gazpacho are a few of many cold dishes you can enjoy at local restaurants.

12. Succumb to summer.

It is here; it is inevitable; and if you find a way to implement a paradigm shift in your lifestyle, you will love it as much as we do.