The beautiful town of Puerto Vallarta is known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico. The lovely cobblestone streets of Old Town Vallarta and its historic Malecon which is great for walking and people watching are just stepped away from some of its best beaches. Whether you are looking to sit back and relax with a cocktail, or enjoy the excitement and energy of crowded beaches, Puerto Vallarta has many options so you can find the perfect beach for your mood.
Playa Los Muertos
The main beach that is found just off the Puerto Vallarta malecón is called Playa Los Muertos. This is the most popular beach in Puerto Vallarta due to its easy access into Old Town and all the shops and restaurants. You can find everything from upscale dining to street vendors selling fresh oysters and grilled shrimp and fish on sticks. There are also water sports available for those who have adventure on their mind. The banana boat is fun for all ages, and if you aren’t afraid of heights, try your hand at parasailing for expansive and impressive views of Puerto Vallarta and the entire Banderas Bay from high above. If you’d rather sit back and people watch, most restaurants have tables and chairs and/or loungers on the sand where you can relax and enjoy the day and gorgeous views. The Puerto Vallarta pier is located in this area, and shouldn’t be missed at night when it lights up in a colorful array that makes any evening more romantic and memorable.
If romance and tranquility is on your mind, Conchas Chinas is one of the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta with its beautiful blue-green water and soft, white sand. It is located just a few minutes south of Old Town, Conchas Chinas is partially hidden from the crowds so it is quiet and usually a great spot for swimming depending on the tides. The beach is called Conchas Chinas as the sand is actually made up of tiny sea shells which are called conchas chinas in Spanish. The beach also has tide pools near the south end of the beach that are great for little ones to go exploring sea life in a safe environment.
A favorite beach for locals just a bit further south from Conchas Chinas is Playa Palmares. This beach is named for the condominium that is located right beside this beautiful spot. You can access the beach by taking the stairs down from the main road next to the condominium. This beach is generally fairly quiet and not very crowded, yet boasts some of the best swimming in the area. The water is clear and the sand is very softer compared to other rockier beaches in Puerto Vallarta. It’s best to pack a lunch for the day as there are not many options for dining.
Boca de Tomates
If you aren’t interested in swimming, but prefer a different kind of experience, why don’t you try Boca de Tomates. This beach is located about 5 minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta Airport and is known for having crocodiles and other native wildlife close to the beach. You take a dirt road from the main road as you head to the beach, and you will come across swampy spots that are teeming with crocodiles. Make sure to stay behind the fenced areas and be careful if you bring your dog along. If this excitement of seeing crocodiles works up your appetite, head to one many restaurants that line the beach to try some of the best ceviche and Pescado Sarandeado in the area.
If you want relaxation and adventure, why not visit Playa Colomitos which is a tiny beach that is only accessible by boat. You would have the taxi drop you off at Boca de Tomatlán which is about 20 minutes south of Old Town, and there you can jump in a quick 10-15 minute water taxi ride to Playa Colomitos. This special spot has beautiful blue-green waters and some of the whitest, softest sand in the area. The beach is very small with clear water, so it’s ideal for a quick dip and then relaxing on the sand. If you plan ahead, make sure to request a reservation at the restaurant Ocean Grill that is located next to this private beach. If you dine at the restaurant, they will even help arrange for your water taxi return to Boca de Tomatlán.
Puerto Vallarta has endless beaches to explore and these are just a few that may interest you. Next time you are in Puerto Vallarta, you should check them out for yourself in person.