Puerto Vallarta is an international beach destination well known for its warm waters, exotic natural beauty, and top-notch facilities that blend in with its warm hospitality. Here’s a guide to ten of the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta.
Located south of Puerto Vallarta, this quiet fishing village has a relaxing atmosphere. In Yelapa, in addition to enjoying its golden sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, you should hike to its waterfall. The route to the waterfall is through the mountain, passing through small hotels and little shops embedded in nature and with views of the bay where you can see Punta de Mita. During the 30-minute trek, you will find beautiful landscapes and swim in the beautiful natural pool formed when the waterfalls cascade to the river. The only way to get to Yelapa is by boat or water taxi. The journey takes 45 minutes, and it’s worth spending the entire day enjoying the beach, gastronomy, and scenarios.
Los Muertos Beach
One of the most popular and famous beaches in Puerto Vallarta is Playa Los Muertos. Located in the heart of Puerto Vallarta, this public beach features a variety of bars and restaurants with a chill vibe and street vendors offering the traditional catch of the day. Here, you can find the Pier of the Dead, which lights up at night and has become a destination icon. You can take water taxis from here to reach the beaches of the southern area of Puerto Vallarta. Playa Los Muertos is surrounded by hotels, restaurants, bars, boutiques, and art galleries. Access is effortless as the beach is located across the Cuale River Bridge, about 5 minutes from the Puerto Vallarta Malecón.
Conchas Chinas Beach
This famous beach is located in one of the most beautiful and romantic areas of southern Puerto Vallarta. The Beach of Conchas Chinas has white sand, crystal clear water, and rock formations that form small water pools for the little ones. On this beach, you’ll see houses and private villas with spectacular views, which are rented for events, weddings, or a vacation in paradise. You won’t find bars or restaurants, so we recommend bringing your food, drinks, and umbrellas to protect you from the sun. It’s easily accessible, although parking options are limited, we recommend you take public transport. This is a perfect option if you’re looking for a great beach to relax and enjoy the moment.
Las Caletas – Vallarta Adventures
Las Caletas is also accessible only by sea, a private beach that belongs to the company Vallarta Adventures. It was once the home of movie director John Houston back in the day. The tour starts from the terminal at La Marina or Nuevo Vallarta. Upon arriving at this beautiful paradise, you will find white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. You can practice snorkeling, diving, paddleboarding, and kayaking. An area with a zip line culminates with a dip in the sea, slide, and trampoline. The southern region is rich in marine life, so you will surely enjoy various colorful fish. There is a special area for adults only with hammocks and trampolines plus a Spa at the top of the mountain. This is an excellent day trip where you can choose relaxation or thrilling exploration.
Las Animas Beach
A beautiful beach with crystal clear water and white sand, Las Animas beach is located south of Puerto Vallarta, with various restaurants with palapas, which provide food and beverage service. You can rent paddleboards, kayaks, and jet skis. There are two ways to get to this beautiful beach: walking through the mountain starting from the town of Boca de Tomatlan. It’s a lovely walk on trails through nature while enjoying unbeatable views of the bay and its turquoise waters. It’s a 1-hour walk, so bring water to stay hydrated. For the return, you can walk or take a water taxi. The other way to get there is a 5-minute boat tour, and the landscapes from the sea are also impressive.
This small beach is located on the way to Playa Las Animas and has no bars or restaurants. It’s a beach to visit only for a few hours, but it is worth it since it’s surrounded by the mountain, making the color of water a beautiful turquoise green. We recommend visiting Colomitos on the way to Las Animas; you will want a photograph this beautiful natural treasure. You can reach it either by walking or by boat or water taxi. Remember that there are no toilets, restaurants, or bars on this beach, so we recommend a short stay.
This legendary beach is famous for being the setting of the 1964 movie The Night of the Iguana with Richard Burton, who stayed here with Elizabeth Taylor during the film shooting. In front of this beach, you will find Los Arcos Marine Park, a collection of rocky islands where you can practice scuba diving and snorkeling and discover the abundant marine life found in its depths. You can find hotels and resorts, some local restaurants, and a Tequila tour in town by the beach.
Los Arcos Marine National Park
Although not necessarily a beach, it is one of the most beautiful places to practice snorkeling, diving, and paddleboarding in Puerto Vallarta. Los Arcos Marine National Park is made up of 2 beautiful islands south of Puerto Vallarta with caves and great deep tunnels with an impressive diversity of marine and birdlife. You can easily spot manta rays, fish of all colors, dolphins, and even the majestic whale shark. Among the birds that live there and reproduce is the famous bobo bird known for its blue legs. It is truly a spectacle of nature and is an almost obligatory stop when you go for a boat ride to the south of Puerto Vallarta. Several tour operators visit Los Arcos daily.
Caballo Beach is another small oasis located nearby Boca de Tomatlán. You can get there by boat or take the famous hike from Boca before you reach Las Animas Beach. There are no restaurants or facilities, so you are surrounded by exotic nature, sand, and turquoise waters.
Sayulita is located on the Riviera Nayarit, 45 minutes from Puerto Vallarta Airport. Sayulita Beach has become the traditional beach for surfing. During the year there are several tournaments of this famous sport as well as the Wind Festival. It is a beach where you will find everything. Restaurants with beach clubs, bars, hotels, as well as surfboard and paddle rental. And if you want to learn to surf or practice paddleboarding, there are plenty of schools. Access is by land; you can get there by car or public transport. It is ideal for spending the entire day, or stay a few days and experience this magical town.
Puerto Vallarta is a place you must visit at least once in a lifetime. There are plenty of spectacular beaches to discover, and each of them has a particular enchantment and magical sceneries. Come and decide for yourself which is your favorite!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com