Among the most popular water excursions in Banderas Bay are the all-inclusive day trips.  Most of these depart from Marina Vallarta at the cruise ship terminal, however some have pick-up points in Nuevo Vallarta (north of airport) Playa los Muertos (El Centro) and at Mismaloya (south of town). Ask about boarding options at the time of booking, to ensure that you embark at the location that is most convenient. This may save you travel time and transportation costs.

There are numerous options for purchasing tickets. Many local tour operators have websites that offer discounts for booking online, and many visitors to our area actually book excursions from their homes abroad or at local internet cafes in Vallarta, then simply show up at the  departure point with printed receipt in hand. Some of the larger tour companies have their own small ticket offices throughout the city and there are also vendors who sell tours along the popular beaches such as Los Muertos. These vendors wear white and display credentials so you know that they’re legitimate. Finally, there are ticket booths and kiosks that represent numerous tour operators.

These latter two options offer you the opportunity compare prices and features of the tours offered by various companies, and additionally these vendors may be willing to negotiate on the price. However, be aware that some of these tourist kiosks that are offering free tickets or deals that seem to good to be true during “normal" economic times, are often in the time-share or fractional ownership business. However to get these fantastic deals you must attend a sales presentation at their hotel or development. Although some visitors feel this is worth their time, we’ve heard that sometimes these presentations can last much longer than the 90 - 120 minute estimate time you are, so consider all options.

For the most part, day cruises offer the some or all of the following elements: the cruise, an open bar, food (such as snacks, continental breakfast and/or lunch), upbeat music, a fun-loving crew, dancing, deck games and a party atmosphere. Itineraries can include snorkeling with fins, masks and snorkels that are stored onboard, and/or stop at a picturesque beach destination such as the seaside villages of Quimixto, Caletas, Los Animas or Yelapa, some of which have a waterfall in the jungle that you can hike to. The cost of lunch may be included in your ticket price, however on some tours you may need to pay for your own lunch and/or beverages on land, so check to make sure what’s included in the ticket price. Optional activities at an additional price may include scuba diving, helmet diving, swimming with the sea lions, sea kayaking and horseback riding.

The options are endless, so do your research and enjoy a fabulous day on the water.