One of the best features of a visit to Puerto Vallarta is the chance to enjoy the natural beauty of the region. Puerto Vallarta offers convenient access to enjoy great restaurants and bars, along with the opportunity to be in nature and enjoy outdoor activities. Are you planning a vacation to Puerto Vallarta and want to make the most of Mother Nature’s blessings? If so, get ready to head outside and get your heart pumping with a challenging and rewarding hike down the southern coast of Banderas Bay. A day hike from Boca de Tomatlan to Las Animas or Quimixto just south of Puerto Vallarta will offer a great workout, splendid sea and jungle views, and the chance to make memories that will last a lifetime. Keep reading below to learn more about this incredible hike in Puerto Vallarta.
Start Hike at Boca de Tomatlan
To begin your hike, you will need to get to Boca de Tomatlan which is about a half-hour south of downtown Puerto Vallarta. You can drive or take public transportation such as a bus, taxi or uber along the 200 highway to reach the quaint and tranquil coastal town of Boca de Tomatlan. A former fishing village that has seen a peak in tourism in recent years, Boca de Tomatlan has beautiful beaches and a laid back vibe. If you drive, park your car at the bottom of the hill near the water in the free parking lot. We recommend you wear sunscreen and a hat and bring along water and your swimsuit so you can take a dip in the ocean after your hike. Bug repellant is also a good idea, especially during the muggy rainy season during summer when the area sees an increase in pesky insects as well. Plan to bring some cash along as well as there are several beachside restaurants in Las Animas or Quimixto where you can enjoy a nice lunch or an ice-cold beer (or refreshing margarita) after your hike.
Work Up A Sweat & Enjoy Great Views
To start the hike, you will need to head across the river’s hanging bridge that you can find close to the parking area. Take a right and climb up steps that as you make your way on the path passing humble homes, shady trees and wildlife. Keep your eyes open as the area is full of native birds and iguanas that you may encounter along the way. Chickens and roosters will definitely make an appearance as well. Keep following the path and watch your step as some of the paths can be a bit steep and rocky. There will be plenty of good spots to take captivating pictures of the epic ocean views you will enjoy during your hike. If you are really fit, you can try a trail run along the path instead of hiking. Just be cautious and tread carefully when approaching steep or narrow slopes in the path. As you continue hiking south along the ocean’s edge, you will eventually reach the Ocean Grill restaurant. Ocean Grill is a lovely spot to dine in paradise, but they require reservations ahead of time so plan ahead and book a table in advance if you’d like to check it out. To continue your hike, follow the path down to the small beach known as Playa Colomitos which is adjacent to the restaurant. Cross the sandy shore and step up along the rocks that line the beach in order to continue following the hiking path. You will see a sign that says “Cuida Tu Madre,” which means “Take care of Mother Earth” in English which will indicate you are heading in the right direction.
Beachside Villages: Las Animas and Quimixto
As you continue your beach hike, you will pass by a few small villas, yoga retreats, and boutique hotels that line the shoreline. When you see restaurants and a small pier, you will know that you have reached Las Animas. Las Animas is a nice spot to eat lunch and swim after your hike. If you want to keep hiking a bit further, Quimixto is a smaller coastal village that is just another 15 minutes or so south of Las Animas. Quimixto also has a lovely waterfall and swimming hole located about a half-hour inland from the shore that you can hike to if you want to get even more exercise. There are numerous restaurants that line the beach in Las Animas and a few spots in Quimixto so you pick your favorite restaurant and order some food and drink to replenish your energy. After lunch, why not take a refreshing dip in the ocean to cool off and enjoy the healing powers of the sea? When you are ready to head back, you can easily arrange a water taxi with help from any of the local restaurants. Water taxis from Las Animas to Boca de Tomatlan only cost 70 pesos per person, which is around $4 US dollars at current exchange rates. After a quick and bumpy 10-minute water taxi ride, you will be dropped off in Boca de Tomatlan where you parked your car or you can walk up the hill to catch a bus or a taxi back into town.
Make sure you try the incredible beach hike from Boca de Tomatlan to Las Animas and Quimixto that is without a doubt one of PV’s best hikes. Plan to start your hike early to avoid the heat and humidity of midday.