For cruise passengers and land visitors, Puerto Vallarta has lined up a series of special events this fall, starting with the Vallarta Nayarit Gastronomica on Oct. 22 - 25 with chefs coming from all over the world to participate in what is called a gastronomical celebration and educational experience with special events like Glamour Night at River Café and the Gourmet Party at De Santos.

Día De Los Muertos takes place Oct. 31 - Nov. 2. Pre-Hispanic religion, life, death, art, sorrow and humor come together to commemorate and honor family members and friends who have passed on. In Puerto Vallarta the main cemetery is the site of traditional Day of the Dead observance on Dec, 5, but the city’s other and smaller cemeteries will receive thousands of local residents and visitor during this three-day event. The City of Puerto Vallarta is also sponsoring an altar competition in the city square while themed art workshops will take place at Art Vallarta and in the Zona Romantica organized by the Asociacion Vallarta Centro.

On Nov.8, there is the Puerto Vallarta International Half Marathon and 5K, expecting more than 1,600 runners from all over Mexico and from the U.S., Canada and as far as Kenya. An estimated 15,000 spectators are also expected.

An International Sailfish and Marlin Tournament is hosted Nov. 12 - 15. The 59th edition of this event showcases the great diversity of deep sea fishing found in Puerto Vallarta. The tournament takes place in Banderas Bay, offering cash prizes for anglers with the biggest catch.

The International Gourmet Festival takes place Nov. 13 – 23. The 20th edition of the festival promises to feature more than 30 chefs. The 10-day event has attracted over 350,000 gourmet fans since 1995 and will kick things off with an inaugural event at the newly renovated Los Muertos Pier, followed by a Chef’s Welcome Cocktail Party at Westin Resort and Spa Puerto Vallarta and a full schedule of culinary activities including chef tastings functions, culinary safaris, sensorial tastings and themed nights offering distinct dishes from cities from around the world.

The Vallarta-Nayarit Classic Rock Festival is organized Dec. 11 – 14. For its inaugural year, the Vallarta-Nayarit Classic Rock Festival will a lineup performing the best hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

On Dec. 12, Fiesta de Gaudalupe is honoring the appearance of the “Queen of Mexico” in 1501, as well as the day that Puerto Vallarta was founded. The midnight ceremony is televised nationwide and serenaded by Mariachis and other performing artists who chant to the spirits and dance until the next day in front of the Basilica.

Christmas or La Navidad is widely celebrated, and the nine days before are also celebrated in anticipation of the special day with Las Posadas, processions that take place along the streets throughout the city. People gather in the heart of historic downtown area and on Christmas Eve at Our Lady of Guadalupe church with piñatas and to enjoy live music and participate in the festivities.

Next comes the New Years celebrations when all of Puerto Vallarta gathers on the Malecon, the preferred spot to watch the fireworks display. Puerto Vallartans celebrate New Year’s Eve by honoring the Catholic traditions of the Spaniards who came centuries ago by eating the 12 grapes of happiness, one grape every time the clock strikes at midnight.

Additional information is available on Puerto Vallarta website or dedicated sites for the individual events.