The magic of Puerto Vallarta’s Beaches….
Finding a destination that offers amazing beaches as well as incredible gastronomy, great shopping and wonderful eco adventure tours is not always easy. Puerto Vallarta’s beaches offer all of this and more.
Voted the friendliest city by Conde Nast in 2001, Puerto Vallarta still lives up to that title today. The culture and the charm of the city and the people make it a magical place.
Puerto Vallarta is located in the state of Jalisco on Mexico’s Pacific coast framed by the majestic Sierra Madre mountains. It is also located right at the mouth of the Bahía de Banderas (Banderas Bay), considered to be one of the most beautiful bays in the world.
It offers over 40 km of golden beaches, with an abundance of things to do on Puerto Vallarta’s beaches, and in and around town.
The near constant temperatures, location, and geographical characteristics make Puerto Vallarta and its beaches the ideal place to enjoy an unforgettable vacation.
Puerto Vallarta also provides the latest in ecotourism and extreme adventures. The lush jungles and incredible waterfalls offer many opportunities for those that like an adventure. You can enjoy zip lining in Mexico’s longest line, to ATV, to swimming with the dolphins or releasing turtles. You can go mountain climbing, take boat trips, horseback rides, or diving trips and day trips to the interior.
Or you can just relax on one of Puerto Vallarta’s beaches, shop along the historic Malecon or dine in one of its many gourmet restaurants.
I enjoyed a lovely ride out to Los Arcos on a private yacht, where we were able to snorkel and swim with the fishes. Or if you like, stop and dine on the beach or enjoy one of the many activities they have along Puerto Vallarta’s beaches… parasailing or even just tubing on the banana as they call it.
I have found in the last few months that I have a need to be near water, I am not a very good swimmer but I enjoy activities on or near water. Puerto Vallarta allows me to enjoy all of this.
Walking along the Malecon early before everyone else is there is a perfect way to start the day – such a beautiful area, it runs from the Romantic Zone to the start of the Hotel Zone. You’ll find a great collection of bronze sculptures here, including the town’s iconic Seahorse. Or you can head down there before 6 pm to catch the catch the VOLADORES DE PAPANTLA (FLYING RITUAL) every night. They are pretty incredible to watch.
A great program to check out is the turtle release and conservation program; Puerto Vallarta supports the local sea turtle protection programs run by many hotels in the area. They have been doing this for over 30 years, running from July to December. I am hoping to experience this the next time I am there.
Some of Puerto Vallarta’s beaches to visit:
Playa Los Muertos (Beach of the Dead)
The city’s largest public beach.
1964 movie The Night of the Iguana in Mismaloya, directed by John Huston was filmed at Playa MIsmayola. The beach is 20 min from the Puerto Vallarta town center, at the mouth of the Mismaloya River. The main set was located on the hillside to the south of the beach. This area is now developed with a number of restaurants.
Surrounded by volcanic formations and lush tropical jungle, this is a great place to snorkel, dive and swim. Where Hidden Beach is located, a secluded beach that you have to swim through a short tunnel in order to get to.
Playa Las Caletas
A secluded beach that is now a wildlife preserve; there is a living natural reef close to shore, which makes the beach a popular destination for snorkelers. It was also once the private retreat of film director John Huston.
Puerto Vallarta Awards and achievements
- Friendliest City by Conde Nast in 2001
- Best place in the world to retire by AARP (North American Association of Retired Persons), Best
- Vacation Destination in Mexico by USNews.com in 2010
- Most Romantic Place in Mexico
- Puerto Vallarta’s beaches were voted “Favorite Beach Destination in Mexico” by About.com in 2012
- Top 10 Destinations in Mexico by TripAdvisor in 2015.
Be sure to check the Tourism website for great events going on throughout the year that can help enhance your experience.
*Disclosure: I participated in a sponsored campaign hosted by Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board and I received compensation for this post, however, all opinions expressed are my own.