Las Animas is the first stop made by the water taxis (pangas) on their way down the southern shoreline. Our first visit to the beach community of Las Animas was in the late ‘90’s and not much has changed. That’s what we like about it… there are a few more houses and some improvements to the palapa restaurants and the dock, but Las Animas is much as it was on our first visit over a quarter century ago. Our original trip was via panga arrival. The skipper of our small uncovered skiff pulled close enough for us to pile into the water and swim to shore. We lounged in the sun, drinking ice cold beer and waited for lunch. We had been lucky enough to catch several bonita (a small fish), on our journey and the proprietor kindly cleaned and prepared them for our group for a small price. We tipped him handsomely.
There are many boats for hire at the beach in Mismaloya who will take you snorkeling, fishing and sightseeing for very reasonable prices. You can also get to Las Animas by taking a water taxi from Boca de Tomatlan for under $5-US. It’s a quick trip around the corner and the first stop on a route that goes all the way to Yelapa. The bus “station” for Mismaloya/Boca can be found on the corner of Constitución and Basilio Badillo in Old Town in Puerto Vallarta. Boca de Tomatlan is the end of the line, about forty minutes to the south. Exit the bus and walk down the hill, through the village and to the beach. Look for a panga marked TAXI. Quite often people on the beach will inquire if you heading out to sea and will be happy to alert you when the taxis are ready to load.
For more adventurous tourists, a hike from Boca de Tomatlan to Las Animas is highly recommended. It’s not difficult to find the trailhead, parallel to the water, and if you get lost searching, simply ask for it. Everyone in Boca is friendly and helpful.
Don’t try the trek in flip-flops; make sure you have sturdy walking shoes. Be prepared to climb some not-too-serious inclines and lots of stairs. During and after rainy season, some parts of the trail can be questionable, so use good sense. If you decide to return the same way you came, make sure to give yourself plenty of time because you wouldn’t want to be caught in the dark in uncertain territory where branches need to be ducked under and snags carefully avoided.
Some visitors prefer the larger boats for a cruise to Las Animas due to anxiety regarding seasickness. Tour companies around Puerto Vallarta can help with reservations or ask the concierge at your hotel. Some of these cruise boats make stops in more than one port and will go further south to Quimixto and/or Yelapa.
Have fun, be sure to use sun protection and watch your step!
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Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article!
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