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Snorkeling, sand castle building and swimming are enough to keep the little ones smiling, but we’ve got a few more ideas to add to your kid-friendly itinerary. These five picks from Forbes Travel Guide editors are sure to keep your little companions entertained:
1. Saddle up for an EcoRide bike tour. You’ll start in downtown Puerto Vallarta and travel along the Vallejo River into the Sierra Madre rainforest. Any sweating becomes worth your while once you make it to the waterfall, so make sure everyone's donning a swimsuit.
2. Swim with the dolphins. Take the kids to Dolphin Adventure, which offers fins-on experiences that’ll let the kiddos touch, feed, play and swim with the dolphins. The facility has programs that can accommodate children as young as 4 years old, making for the perfect Facebook photo opportunity of your child feeding, kissing or petting the sleek water mammal.
3. Go play at Splash Water Park. Located near Lic. Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport, in Nuevo Vallarta, is this family-friendly attraction with eight full-scale slides and a lazy river. You’ll also find some SeaWorld-like draws such as dolphin encounters and sea lion shows. The place rents bungalows for overnighters, too.
4. Meander the Vallarta Botanical Gardens. Jalisco is home to more orchid species than any other state in the country, and you’ll see plenty on display here. The botanical gardens is an ideal spot for families traveling with kids, as admission is free for those 10 and under. The jungle paradise is open daily from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., except for Mondays April through December.
5. Explore the Vallarta Zoo. About a half mile off the main road leading inland from Mismaloya sits this large zoo with some 700 or so critters waiting to be discovered by your little ones.