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The Beaches of Puerto Vallarta

Copyright (c) 2006-2019 Marriott, Inc.
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The beaches in and around Puerto Vallarta may be the most diverse in Mexico. Located at the midpoint of Banderas Bay, the area surrounding Puerto Vallarta boasts 34 miles of coastline, 26 of which are sandy beaches. Within the city, the beaches are elegant and pristine, bordered by restaurants and resorts. Beaches to the north of the city tend to be longer and wider, with great opportunities for surfing and swimming. South of Puerto Vallarta, the mountains topple into the sea in places, creating placid coves and intimate sandy pockets.

Playa Los Muertos is the most frequented beach in Puerto Vallarta. This sandy beach is long and wide with small waves perfect for swimming. Despite its popularity, there is usually plenty of room to spread out a towel and soak up rays. Los Muertos is a bustling place full of craft and food vendors; the beach itself is lined by numerous resorts, restaurants and bars. This is also a great place to ride a parasail and get a bird's eye view of the city. The beach has the added attraction of being on the edge of Viejo Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta's beautiful old town.

Several other beautiful beaches lie in close proximity to the city's Hotel Zone. Playa El Saldo, also known as Marina Vallarta, primarily caters to hotel guests. However, the beach is wide and well-maintained, offering stunning views of the city and its mountainous backdrop. Playa Pelicanos is generally quiet, making it a great place to escape the beach crowds while remaining in the heart of the city. Playa Las Glorias is the name of the sandy stretch between Playa Pelicanos and Marina Vallarta. If you're staying in a hotel north of the primary Hotel Zone, you will find this excellent swimming beach outside your back door.

North of the city, the beach of Nuevo Vallarta offers a wider stretch of sand with fewer rocks than most beaches within Banderas Bay. As favorites of families, visitors to Playa Destiladeres and Playa Bucerias can expect mild waves (perfect for boogie-boarding or learning to surf), elegant white sand beaches and fresh seafood at charming palapa-shaded restaurants.

To the North, Punta Mita, also known as Playa Anclote, is distinguished for its row of pleasant beach restaurants and gentle slope, making it a perfect beach for all ages. With consistently low, rolling waves, Punta Mita is also celebrated as an excellent place to learn to surf. There are even a few surfing schools that offer instruction to travelers.

For those with more experience on the waves, the tiny community of Sayulita is the place of choice. A surfing mecca of international renown, the shoreline of this picturesque fishing village is home to abundant coves and beaches where surfers hunt perfect waves and day trippers relax in the sun. As Sayulita has developed over the past few years into a surfer's town with a bohemian feel, travelers will be treated to a refreshing, laid-back attitude.

A few miles beyond the northern-most point of the bay are the beaches of San Francisco and San Pancho. Sporting a windswept and primitive feeling, with deeper, creamier sand and rougher waters than inside Banderas Bay, these beaches are ideal for travelers who want a taste of pristine nature and the open sea.

To the south of Puerto Vallarta lie such treasures as Playa Gemelas, Playa Garza Blanca, and Playa Punta Negra. Because both are slightly more difficult to access, you'll find beautiful beaches that are fairly secluded and scarcely used, with great rock outcroppings for snorkeling. In this area, you'll also find Playa Mismaloya, where John Huston's The Night of the Iguana was filmed in 1963, putting Puerto Vallarta on the international tourist map.

With a rustic South Seas feel, Boca de Tomatlan is a small sandy cove at the jungle's edge three miles south of Mismaloya where the Tomatlan River meets the bay. Boca de Tomatlan is the last beach stop on the primary road heading south from Puerto Vallarta. It is another great site for swimming or snorkeling with a couple of lovely beach restaurants where you can sit under a palapa on the beach and enjoy fresh seafood.

To the south of Boca de Tomatlan are a number of quaint fishing villages, secluded beaches and peaceful coves. Playas Las Caletas and Las Animas are elegant, rock-lined stretches ideal for quiet relaxation. Quimixto, one of the largest fishing villages in the southern half of Banderas Bay, features a number of excellent restaurants and the best surf south of Puerto Vallarta. Near the southern-most point of the bay, Majahuitas and Yelapa allow visitors to feel completely removed from civilization. Bordered by lush jungles, these beaches are the definition of tropical privacy.


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This article was written by Justin Burch. Justin writes select pieces about travel in Mexico for the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort. http://marriott.com/property/propertypage/PVRMX

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Word Count: 783

Total Views: 3974

Article Rating: 3.17 of 5
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Last Distribution Date:
2006-08-31 13:13:00

Internal ID: #3486





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