Although large Bahía de Banderas and towns to the north and south have lots of beautiful beaches to explore and wildlife to see, there are few sailing adventures for the public. Most boating companies don't want to rely on the wind to get to area beaches for the day's activities.
For insurance reasons, companies or individuals here don't rent bareboat (uncrewed) yachts even to seasoned sailors. Those who want to crew the ship themselves can do semi-bareboat charters, where the captain comes along but allows the clients to sail the boat.
Banderas Bay Regatta. The winter season brings foreign vessels and lots of racing and boating activities, including the five-day Banderas Bay Regatta that usually takes place in March. There are cocktail parties, charity events, receptions, seminars, additional races, and boat parades as well as competitive races among boats designed for coastal and offshore cruising. Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. 322/297–2222. www.banderasbayregatta.com.
Annual Sports Classic. The 7 day Annual Sports Classic that takes place in May invites amateurs, pros, and semipros to compete in basketball, soccer, and bowling; some years they also offer events in tennis and beach volleyball. Most events take place at the Agustin Flores Contreras Stadium, Los Arcos Amphitheater, or the beach in front of the Holiday Inn. Zona Hotelera, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. 322/226–0404 Ext. 6038 [Veronica Alarcon at Sheraton Buganvilias]. www.puertovallarta.net/news/sports-classic-2008.php.
Puerto Vallarta International Half Marathon. The Puerto Vallarta International Half Marathon, held mid November, gets bigger each year. There's a 5K run, too, and a big pasta dinner on the beach the day before the race. 12 de Octubre 688-A, Centro, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. 322 299 1839. www.maratonvallarta.com.
International Puerto Vallarta Marlin & Sailfish Tournament. The International Puerto Vallarta Marlin & Sailfish Tournament celebrated its 59th anniversary in 2014. The entry fee is nearly $4,000 per boat (up to four fishermen), but the prizes and prestige of winning are great. Categories are dorado (mahi-mahi), tuna, marlin, and sailfish—the last one is catch-and-release. Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta. 322/225–5467. www.fishvallarta.com.