Hop on a Panga Today!
Chances are that, if you arrived to our destination by air, the plane’s approach allowed for a brief glimpse of the lush vegetation that surrounds Puerto Vallarta. Indeed, and that can be appreciated all around Banderas Bay. (If this was not the case, simply have a look at a Google map of the region!) Nestled all over the bay you'll find a number of unique destinations that are only accessible by boat.
What They Are
Where To Catch One
- Los Muertos Pier—Although presently under construction, many pangas that depart from Los Muertos travel toward the different destinations located south of Puerto Vallarta, in the South Shore. Although slightly more expensive than Boca de Tomatlán and Mismaloya (see below). Departing from, and returning to Los Muertos is particularly convenient for those without a car to drive south, or for those that live in the Emiliano Zapata vicinity.
- Boca de Tomatlán & Mismaloya—Two South Shore fishing villages accessible by car from which a number of scheduled departures and arrivals take place. They are both also accessible via public transportation from Puerto Vallarta, and Boca de Tomatlán features a wider variety of departure choices, not to mention a pier which facilitates boarding and disembarking.
- El Anclote—A popular departure point for those in or near Punta de Mita. Pangas leaving from El Anclote offer a variety of excursions to the nearby Marieta Islands, along with transportation to several nearby surf points only accessible by water.
What To Bring
Keep in Mind
- Boarding and disembarking gracefully right on the beach is an acquired skill! That said, panga crews are more than happy to help you, making panga rides a great option for people of all ages, families with small children, etc. Wearing waterproof sandals doesn't hurt, either.
- Pangas captains will usually slow down or stop completely upon passing interesting wildlife along the way: from giant manta rays to dolphins and whales (in season), the sightings are amazing, particularly to small children.
- If you are heading south from Puerto Vallarta, and you want to capture some awesome photos of the coast along the way, you want to sit on the left (or port) side.
- Large groups traveling together often get better rates by chartering their own panga.
- When purchasing a round-trip ticket, make sure to remember the actual name of the panga and the departure time. Since pangas make brief stops at different spots along the way, you don't wish to miss your ride.
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