Puerto Vallarta Heads To The Beach

Puerto Vallarta’s beaches cover a lot of territory, not all within the confines of the city limits. Choose between bringing your own blanket, beverages and food, or getting table service from one of the various restaurants that grace the shoreline. Dine in style, munch nachos, or buy roast shrimp and fresh fruit off the vendors who wander in and out of the crowds. On several beaches, there are divers who will bring you fresh oysters straight from the sea and provide garnishes.

Along Playa Los Muertos, the main beach of Zona Romantica, there’s something for everyone. Loved by tourists and locals alike, the waves are generally calm enough for those lacking in Olympic swimming skills. The south end of the beach hosts beach bars and cafes that cater to the LBGT crowd, but not exclusively, and you are bound to find live music from one end to the other. The pier, the pride of Puerto Vallarta, which was completed and opened in January 2013, is the terminal for smaller boats and water taxis. It’s the perfect place for a romantic stroll at sunset.

From the Los Muertos Pier, day trippers can head south of Puerto Vallarta to beaches at Yelapa, Las Animas and Quimixto. These are highly recommended trips and during the winter season you are almost certain to spot whale, dolphin and manta ray. Some of these venues offer horse trips and day hikes to waterfalls, plus parasailing, kayaking and jet skiing.

Sayulita, north of Puerto Vallarta in the state of Nayarit, is an hour long road trip over the mountain where one will find competitively priced surfing schools and surf boards to rent. Once a well kept secret, it’s grown exponentially and can be very crowded on weekends.

Several small beaches on the road to Punta de Mita, you’re likely to find less boards in the water and fewer bodies lolling in the sand. Coral reefs off shore create great breaks and waves for those interested in putting surfing skills to the test.

Mismaloya is the beach that put Puerto Vallarta on the map, famous for the filming of The Night of the Iguana. Mismaloya was once the destination for campers and RV’ers when the backdrop was nothing but a cliff and jungle. South of the river that runs down from the mountains are a string of palapas, in complete juxtaposition of the hotel to the north on this charming beach. Mismaloya is one of the oldest settlements in the area, rich with history and colorful characters.

Though the actual beach has receded through natural causes over the years and is now lapping the steps of the hotel, the locals have stoically shifted their palapas on to more stable ground. Close to Los Arcos, Mismaloya is a perfect day trip from Puerto Vallarta for beach play, snorkeling, fishing, and hiking.

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Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article!

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