The series centers around Dora, a seven-year-old Latina girl, with a love of embarking on quests related to an activity that she wants to partake of or a place that she wants to go to, accompanied by her talking purple backpack and anthropomorphic monkey companion named Boots (named for his beloved pair of red boots). Each episode is based around a series of cyclical events that occur along the way during Dora's travels, along with obstacles that she and Boots are forced to overcome or puzzles that they have to solve (with "assistance" from the viewing audience) relating to riddles, the Spanish language, or counting. Common rituals may involve Dora's encounters with Swiper, a bipedal, anthropomorphic masked thieving fox whose theft of the possessions of others must be prevented through fourth wall-breaking interaction with the viewer. To stop Swiper, Dora must say "Swiper no swiping" three times. However, on occasions where Swiper steals the belongings of other people, the viewer is presented with the challenge of helping Boots and Dora locate the stolen items. Another obstacle involves encounters with another one of the program's antagonists; the "Grumpy Old Troll" dwelling beneath a bridge that Dora and Boots must cross, who challenges them with a riddle before permitting them the past that needs to be solved with the viewer's help. Known for the constant breaking of the fourth-wall depicted in every episode, the audience is usually presented to two primary landmarks that must be passed before Dora can reach her destination, normally being challenged with games or puzzles along the way. The episode always ends with Dora successfully reaching the locale, singing the "We Did It!" song with Boots in triumph.
Boots loves riddles. He loves them so much, that he wants to be called Mr. Riddles. Now he's confident he can solve the very silliest riddles when he and Dora are chosen to put their riddle-solving skills to the test at the Tall Mountain.