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The Essential Guide to Puerto Vallarta Beaches

DESTINATION | Published on 09/02/2021
Optimizada the essential guide to every beach on puerto vallarta

The rustle of the palm trees and the gentle crashing of waves on Puerto Vallarta beaches make the city truly paradise, and while there’s so many high-energy and adrenaline-pumping things to do in Puerto Vallarta, take time to slow down and spend the day on the shore. To make the most of your vacation and have the ultimate beach day, let this guide take you to the most popular beaches and prepare you for a day of fun in the sun.

Everything You Need for a Day on Puerto Vallarta Beaches

For a full day on the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta, there’s a few things you’ll want to pack depending on what you plan on doing. The essential items are sunblock, sunglasses, and a hat to protect your skin from the sun, and you’ll likely want a towel for drying off and laying down. Bring a beach chair for a comfy spot to read a book or chat with friends, or pack a frisbee for playing on the beach. While you can order food and drinks from restaurants along the beach, it’s important to bring water to keep you hydrated all day long and avoid getting fatigued by the heat.

Things to do in Puerto Vallarta at the Beach

You can easily create your own fun on the beach, but there’s also several popular things to do in Puerto Vallarta along the shore. Most all-inclusive packages at resorts include the use of paddle boards and kayaks, and at other Puerto Vallarta beaches, local vendors and shops will rent you one. One of the other best things to do in Puerto Vallarta is snorkeling, and there are many beaches where you can spot tropical fish without having to swim out far. You can also spend your day floating in the waves, body surfing, or boogie boarding.

Most Popular Beaches South of the City

  • Colomitos

    • Access: Jungle hike from Boca de Tomatlan or water taxi

    • Amenities: None

    • Why Visit: Seclusion and tropical beauty

Colomitos is one of the most beautiful places to visit, but to get here, you’ll either have to hike from Boca de Tomatlan or catch a water taxi boat. Here, turquoise water shimmers over golden sands, and tropical fish dart along the rocky cliffs that frame the beach. For an adventure, this is one of the best options for where to go in Puerto Vallarta, and you can hike inland to see waterfalls cascade through the mountains.

  • Mismaloya

    • Access: Bus from downtown

    • Amenities: Restaurants and restrooms

    • Why Visit: Snorkeling at Los Arcos

Mismaloya is a quiet fishing village, but the rocky Los Arcos rising out of the sea draws tourists every day. This is one of the most beautiful places to visit for snorkeling, and you’ll find plenty of local boats to take you out to snorkel around Los Arcos for a very reasonable price. 

  • Punta Negra

    • Access: Bus from downtown

    • Amenities: Small restaurants

    • Why Visit: Quiet and spacious beach

Just south of the city, Punta Negra is a popular option for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city without having to go far. It’s a wide sandy beach, and there’s a couple local restaurants, but it’s also a great place for a picnic lunch.

Best Beaches in Puerto Vallarta

  • Los Muertos Beach

    • Access: Downtown bus

    • Amenities: Restaurants and bars

    • Why Visit: Heart of the city

In the heart of downtown, Los Muertos Beach is busy with fishermen hauling in their catches and water taxis taking off, and it’s the vibrant energy of tourists and locals gathering to feast of seafood, playing games, and exploring the city that makes this one of the top choices for where to go in Puerto Vallarta Mexico. Stop here for pictures of the city and dinner at one of the many restaurants of Puerto Vallarta.

  • Playa Flamingos

    • Access: Walk from resort

    • Amenities: Guests have access to resorts

    • Why Visit: Easy to reach and lots of space

The most popular resorts are located along miles of the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta where you’ll have plenty of room to spread out, throw a frisbee, and swim in the sea. Staying near your resort gives you easy options for food and drinks, and when the sun gets too warm, head to the pool or back to your room to cool off in the shade for a bit.

Best Beaches to the North

  • Nuevo Vallarta Beach

    • Access: Bus, taxi or UBER

    • Amenities: Local vendors and bathrooms at public entrances

    • Why Visit: Long stretches of sandy beaches

Nuevo Vallarta is a resort city north of Puerto Vallarta, and its beach is one of the most beautiful places to visit. While you’ll want to bring your own chair and drinks, you’ll have plenty of room to spread out or walk for miles along the sea. 

  • Careyeros Beach

    • Access: Taxi

    • Amenities: None

    • Why Visit: Secluded paradise

This secluded beach is an idyllic escape with sparkling blue water and long stretches of sand. The rocky formations on the end of the beach are perfect for snorkeling and spearfishing. While getting here is tricky on the dirt road, the view makes it worth it.

  • Sayulita and San Pancho

    • Access: Bus or taxi

    • Amenities: Shops and restaurants

    • Why Visit: Surfing and local culture

These sister cities are popular options for where to go in Puerto Vallarta for a day trip, and you can easily spend the day wandering local boutiques and art galleries. At the beach, try a surf lesson, or grab a seat at a local restaurant. The local culture makes these towns popular spots for tourists to experience.

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