My DH, 2 daughters and I took the van into Puerto Vallarta. We walked around some of the shops but we weren't really impressed with anything. We did walk up to the Cathedral. Mass was being said so we didn't go in. The outside of the building is very impressive though. The highlight of our time in Puerto Vallarta were the sand sculptures. The people who make them are truly talented. My SIL's went on the Las Caletas Private Beach Getaway tour. The boat ride to the private beach was supposed to take 1 hour, but due to the large number of whales and dolphins in the area the ride took 2 hours. My SIL's were able to see the whales and dolphins up close and it made the tour. They also enjoyed the fact that there were only 40 people on the tour which meant that the beach wasn't crowded at all. They were served a yummy lunch buffet while they were on the island. From their recommendations I would highly recommend this tour.
DH and I were going to walk around Mazatlan by ourselves, but after meeting Jose Osuna on the dock we changed our minds and used him as a tour guide. He is licensed and certified as a tour guide. His email address is email@example.com. I would highly reccomend this man as a tour guide. He charged us $25/person for 3 hours. He would have taken us out for the whole day but we had an appointment at 2 that we had to get to. He took us around the outskirts of town and showed us the lighthouse and cannons. He showed us different neighborhoods that aren't normally on a tour. He let us get out to take pictures whenever we asked. He then took us through old town and then into Mazatlan. The ladies in the group asked him where we could find a clean restroom and he took us to a department store where we were able to use the facilities (don't laugh, on a 3 hour tour this is important to us ladies!) We had about 45 minutes there to shop or look around. There was a cathedral across the street that DH and I went to look at. It is under renovation but we were able to go in and look around. It is very beautiful and very different from the Churches that I have seen here in the US.
My SIL's took the Stone Island Beach Tour, I did't hear very much about it one way or another. I am sure they had a good time, but not as good as the day before.
My SIL's and older daughter took the Santa Maria Cove Sail & Snorkel tour. They all LOVED this tour. There weren't many people on the tour only about 20 -25. The ladies saw so many fish! They said if they were still the fish would swim right up to them and swim around their hands and legs! They had a nice lunch on board and drinks were served on the way back. They had a great time on this tour,