Puerto Vallarta, situated in the Banderas Bay, the second largest bay of the world, has about 26 miles or 42 km of different beaches. Some of the beaches are different in kind of sand, the visitors quantity, accessability and also regarding the wind and ocean activity. To find the romantic beach, the family beach, the party beach, the surfers beach and each kind the traveler could be looking for, we listed the most interesting beach areas around Puerto Vallarta below, including information about the different options offered at each beach and a short “How to get there” guide.
Puerto Vallarta Beach Map
1) San Francisco Beach
San Francisco is a small village at the northern end of Banderas Bay visited by just a few US tourists. The village is still an authentic mexican one, no mayor hotels are build there until now. With about 1 mile of golden sand, the beach is a quite place, where the traveler may relax a day at the palms. Restaurants at the beach offer a variety of food. On one hand of the beach is a small natural lagune, with many bird species. The ATM bus needs from Wal Mart bus stop in Puerto Vallarta to this beach about 1 hour. No water sport options.
2) Sayulita Beach
Just ten minutes from San Francisco Beach to the south lays another small village, Sayulita. As it is very well known by families and surfers, Sayulitas beach is visited by many people. Nearly all services are available, including surf schools. 50 minutes with the ATM bus.
3) Burros Beach
A secret beach for surfers. As Sayulita is crowded by beginners and tourism, the experienced surfers visit the Burros beach. Services are not available. To get there ask for the Flamingos Hotel in the ATM bus. Once arrived, enter the small street which leads down to the hotel, first street to the left You see some parked cars. There walk along the small path through the trees, You cant miss the beach, 5 minutes walking and You are at the surfers secret home.
4) Manzanilla Beach
Investigations made by the Universities ecologic department say, that the water quality of La Manzanilla beach arround Puerto Vallarta. In 40 Minutes with the ATM bus to the small village La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, a very nice, small and authentic fishers village with some tourism and beachfront properties. This year, 2007, the village receives its own marina, so properties will raise in price. Just walk down the small street passing for the village and You will find the beach easily, there walk to the right to get to the Manzanilla area. Some services as restaurants are available. Mostly mexican tourism there.
5) Bucerias Beach
After Puerto Vallarta, Bucerias is the largest village at the Banderas Bay coast line, all services, including different watersports are offered at the about 2 mile long beach. Restaurants at the beaches and inside the village, smaller hotels and vacation rentals make it a very nice option especially for families. The water is not deep, one can walk in about 100 meters and that for it warms up quite fast. About 35 minutes with the ATM bus from Puerto Vallarta bus stop.
6) Nuevo Vallarta – El Salado Beach
Nuevo Vallarta is the newer Puerto Vallarta hotelzone, about 25 minutes from Puerto Vallarta by bus. The water is not deep and all services are available. Most hotels at this area are of very high class, as the Velas Vallarta, the Mayan Palace or Westin, so it could be a bit more expensive. One feature is an artifacal waterchannel system of about 10 km. Very nice properties and golf courses there !
7) Puerto Vallarta Marina – Playa de Oro
The Marina Vallarta, within Puerto Vallarta, offers about a mile long beach extending from the marina to the river Pitillal. As there are several higher class hotels most services are available, the marina is worth a look, best restaurants are around. Walking from there to the Puerto Vallarta Malecon is possible.
8 ) Puerto Vallarta – Hotel Zone – Las Palmas Beach
Las Palmas Beach consits of several smaller beaches with its on names, Los Tules, Las Glorias and Camarones, but its one long strip along the Puerto Vallarta hotel zone. All services, familyfriendly, accessible from nearly everywhere. All in all about 3 miles of beach. Also its the last interesting beach area north to Puerto Vallarta Downtown.
9) Puerto Vallarta – Romantic Zone – Los Muertos Beach
Playa Los Muertos extends from the Rio Cuale which devides the old city in the Centro and Romantic Zone up to the beginning of the Conchas Chinas area. This is the most popular classic beach, as it was the first where hotels were build. Many people say its the best area around Puerto Vallarta, all services including well known restaurants and shopping optons are available.
10) Puerto Vallarta South – Conchas Chinas Beach
Conchas Chinas is called the area south to Puerto Vallarta, where many private beach front properties and some smaller hotels and rentals are setteled. The beach conists of various smaller bays which are not as frequented as the beaches at the mayor hotel zones. The water is clear and invites to swim, a few bars and restaurants are available walking along the beach, other services like water sports are not available. A quite zone to relax close to the city. To get there just enter a white / blue bus to Mismaloya, after a mile on the right hand is a mini market called Oxxo, there get out of the bus, and walk down to the beach. Otherwise You can get there from Playa los Muertos south end, walking over the small mountains stairs.
11) Mismaloya Beach
The village where John Huston filmed the movie The night of the iguana. The beach is nice, several hotels and restaurants are situated there, many services including horse riding to the jungle or boat tours to the big rocks Los Arcos are available. To get there enter a white / blue bus to Mismaloya about 10 minutes from Puerto Vallarta.
12) Las Animas Beach
Las Animas is a paradise like beach only reachable by water. It is south to Boca de Tomatlan, a small village after Mismaloya, where the road leaves the coast area and goes inside the land. You may book a small boat at Boca de Tomatlan at only 3 US Dollar, or a more expensive one at the Los Muertos Beach, close to the pier. Some restaurants offer their services, nothing else. Have a look to the the djungle also. Highly recommended for relaxing.
13) Quimixto Beach
Quimixto is a bit more south then Las Animas, some more service as it is a very small village, also a perfect paradise, waterfalls close in the forrest. Very nice relaxing area. To get there use a boat as mentioned for the Las Animas beach.
14) Yelapa Beach
Yelapa also is also a beautyful beach zone, an authentic fishers village. With all services, reachable only by boat. As it is featured by several tours, its a lot more visited. Well known as a hangout , a must see together with the nice waterfalls in the djungle. Lodging is possible and not very expensive.