Puerto Vallarta Beaches
Los Muertos Puerto Vallarta Beach - Located in old town, 5 min from downtown. If you know Spanish, don't be afraid. This Puerto Vallarta beach is actually the most visited. For those of you who don’t know Spanish, Playa los Muertos, means beach of the dead and actually refers to when the Spaniards entered the Bay of Banderas. A battle between neighboring tribes was under way and the concentration of fallen warriors was highest along this beach.
Hotel Zone Puerto Vallarta beach - There are several public access points to the hotel zone since it literally stretches for miles and some streets even come to an end right in front of the beach. This is where most tourists are everyday, you can do everything from parasailing to windsurfing,banana boating, jet skiing and more. You can enjoy great views of Old Town which is not even ten minutes away. The most used entrances are by the Krystal Hotel, the Sheraton Hotel and the Buenaventura.
Marina Vallarta Beach - Even though beaches in Mexico are public property, you may find it difficult to reach the beach if you're not staying at one of the great hotels in the area.
Of course you can still find a way to the beach by asking security staff from a hotel. They’ll usually let you in, if your primary goal is to go to the beach and not use their facilities. Or you can go to a beachside bar like the Nikki Beach at the Westin Resort where you will find the best Sunday brunch buffet in town.
Boca de Tomates - is a great beach if you are a fan of ecotourism. Crocodiles, sea turtles and exotic birds are what this Puerto Vallarta beach is known for. It is also a very popular beach among boogie boarders. Boca de Tomates is accessible by foot along the beach or by car at the turnoff between the airport and the bridge leading to nuevo vallarta.
Nuevo Vallarta Beach - is certainly the widest and longest Vallarta beach in the bay. Visitors and wonderful resort properties have grown so much in the past 10 years, that Nuevo Vallarta has taken on a whole new dimension. Most people staying/vacationing in a hotel in Nuevo Vallarta rarely venture downtown because they have everything they need at their fingertips; from a marina, to two a two-level shopping mall, tons of restaurants, watersports and one of the Bays greatest beaches. However, those looking for the more traditional Mexico experience still venture downtown in the evenings.
Bucerias, Nayarit Beach - is 25 min north of Puerto Vallarta. Miles of golden sandy beaches is what you will find here. There are numerous palapa and beach restaurants and is a great place for scuba diving. If you like shopping you will probably want to walk through the flea market in the town square.
Piedra Blanca beach - is 40 minutes north from Puerto Vallarta by public bus.
Piedra Blanca beach is separated into 2 sections by rocks as white as snow which is exactly where the name Piedra Blanca (white stone) comes from. The 1st section is only about 200 feet long and 80 feet wide.
The second section is longer at 300 feet in length and 60 feet in width. This section is home to the Piedra Blanca Hotel.
The finely textured white sand plus smooth waters of both ports give this beach the tranquility you are looking for and makes it a great location for diving and snorkeling.
North Bay Puerto Vallarta Beaches
You'll need to drive or take the bus to the Punta de Mita turn off from Route 200, to get to these beaches.
San Francisco / San Pancho - This pristine beach on open sea just a few miles outstide the bay is gorgeous, windswept and primitive feeling, long and wide, with deep creamy sand and rougher waters than inside Banderas Bay. The locals, both Mexican and an increasing number of resident gringos, are super friendly.
Destiladeras - Just past La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, 20 miles north of town, this very popular beach (busy on Sundays) is long and wide. Very popular for boogie boarding with long waves. A couple of beach side restaurants close to the parking area. On weekdays if you walk away from the restaurant areas, you'll find a lot more seclusion.
El Anclote - Just before Punt de Mita is a shallow shelving beach, great for children and also produces some excellent surfing breaks, not big but long. The sand is also finer on the beach than most of the others. Lots of beach restaurants and kayak/boogie board rentals.
A bit over 22 miles from Vallarta. Take the ATM Punta de Mita bus.
Sayulita - About 25 miles north of town and outside the bay (take the Sayulita bus), the beach is quite long, wide and boasts an Women Only Surfing School. Well known in the surfing world. Restaurants on the beach and in the village - which also has a pool hall. To the south, past the rocky point covered with gringo homes, you'll find some small sandy coves (take the path by the cemetery).
Platanitos - About an hour and a half north of Puerto Vallarta, Plata Nitos beach is an exciting place to visit on the weekends. This beach, that is still a local secret, is nestled in a bay and offers good snorkeling and some surfing. The traditional Mexican beach restaurants offer a unique experience and view into the Mexican culture and is a must do day-trip if you have the time. There is a collection of very nice villas for rent a few minutes from the beach as well, and are perfect if you are looking for secluded ocean villas for rent. For more information, visit Mexico Villas.
South Bay Puerto Vallarta Beaches
From Boca de Tomatlan to Cabo Corrientes there are a few beaches that can only be reached by sea, there are a few roads, well that word is an exaggeration, but it's faster by boat. Most of them will have tour boat loads of tourists during the middle of the day, if you time it right you can avoid them. In order of appearance:
Las Animas - The first big beach after Boca, it now has a sort of pier to unload onto, restaurants and bars on the beach but not much more. The tour boats will get there a bit before noon and after the tourists have loaded up on food and booze they will leave. Being the closest beach it is busier than the others. If you are looking for a secluded spot, between Boca and Las Animas there's a pretty decent trail with a couple of usually deserted beaches to explore on the way.
Quimixto - This beach too, will load up with tourists from the tour boats at about 11am, but if you get there early, water taxi from Boca de Tomatlan, you can hike up to the waterfall before the rush and usually have it all to yourself. There are also many, somewhat scrawny horses you can rent to avoid the hike.
Caletas - Once the private residence of John Huston, director of Night of The Iguana and so many other great movies. It is now the location of two tours from Vallarta Adventures, the Caletas day tour and in the evening the Rhythms of The Night tour. Not a good place to go to privately as all the facilities are Vallarta Adventures'.
Majahuitas - Another semi-private beach containing the Majahuitas
Resort. All beaches in Mexico are public, but if the only bathroom is in a private resort .... ? There are some great snorkeling spots around here with usually very clear water.
Yelapa - The old hippie hangout just isn't the same with electricity and telephones. Not a bad beach and there is the village to explore. The waterfall behind the village is OK during, or just after, the rainy season, but dries up fast when the rains stop. Hike up the river where a larger waterfall is if you are looking for an excursion.
Pizota - Another beach which was, more or less, taken over by the owner of the Chivas football team from Guadalajara. Well, that deal fell through so the village still remains the same.
Chimo - There are some wonderful virgin beaches just before this fishing village, which would require a good hike. Since there are only 2 water taxis a day (sometimes only one), these beaches are really only available if you were to spend the night in Chimo, which can be done.
Tehuamixtle - Now this beach is really remote, outside the bay and south of Cabo Corrientes.
I hope soon to have available a one or two day private tour to this beach, which can be reached by road. If you like really fresh seafood, especially oysters, eat at Candy's Restaurant by the dock.