Puerto Vallarta is an honest-to-goodness authentic Mexican town as well as a world-class resort, so visitors here enjoy a wider range of experiences than your typical vacation destination offers. Plus we’ve got all the requisites for that much-anticipated trip down south – weather as good as it gets (similar to Hawaii’s, but the peso gives you a lot more bang for your buck), gorgeous scenery, 100 km of pristine beaches on the bay where Puerto Vallarta is situated (Banderas Bay, Mexico’s largest and deepest, and home to award-winning sport fish, giant turtles, manta rays, dolphins and whales), more than a thousand restaurants, and every imaginable activity to engage in – even flying through the tree canopy!
: A favorite with many Vallartans, especially families and on Sundays, when they flock here to enjoy the wide white sand beach and fresh seafood at its outdoor palapa
-shaded restaurants at the edge of the water.
El Anclote Beach
: This is one of two public beaches at Punta de Mita, which is the peninsula at the northern tip of Banderas Bay. Both a bustling beach and seaside community, there's a lot more to do here than swim!
Garza Blanca Beach
: A small city beach located off the Barra Navidad road at Km 6 on the way to Mismaloya, this white sand beach is framed with palms and crystal clear water that laps the shoreline. It is popular with the locals on weekends who pack a picnic, as there are no amenities.
: "Twin" beach is two small crescent-shaped beaches at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Here the surf is gentle and good for swimming.
Hotel Zone Beaches
: This wide sandy beach stretching from Marina Vallarta to the Rosita is lined with resort hotels, Puerto Vallarta's original and still growing tourist playground.
Las Animas Beach
: A favorite with locals who arrive on their own boats, this secluded very pretty beach actually consists of two sandy stretches each about a mile long, separated by rocks. One has half a dozen palapa restaurants and a dock, while the other is still pretty much the way God made it.
Las Caletas Beach
: This lush hidden cove with three small sandy beaches and rock formations south of PV is the former home of movie director John Huston.
Experiencing Vallarta: Where to Stay
: One of the most alluring features of Puerto Vallarta as a destination is that — unless you are traveling onboard one of the many cruise ships that dock for the day at our Maritime Terminal or are simply driving through on your way somewhere else — when the day is done and it’s time to get some well-deserved rest after exploring our town, the lodging options are as plentiful and varied as our restaurant choices.
Los Muertos Beach
: It's ironic, considering that the literal translation of Los Muertos is "The Dead," that this long sandy beach on the South Side is the town's liveliest by far.
: A small, very pretty jungle-fringed cove that feels as removed from civilization as any island, a luxurious Mexican Boutique Hotel also called Majahuitas offers rustically elegant amenities to its guests only.
Marina Vallarta Beaches
: Primarily catering to those staying at the resort hotels, this beach is wide and sandy, offering a great view of Puerto Vallarta proper and its undulating-mountain backdrop.
: A small sandy beach on a beautiful jungle-fringed cove south of Puerto Vallarta where the Mismaloya creek meets the ocean, this is where the "The Night of the Iguana" was filmed in 1963 — the movie that put Puerto Vallarta on the international tourist map.
Nuevo Vallarta Beach
: This wide sandy beach stretches farther than the eye can see, lined with fancy condominiums and sprawling resort hotels.
Top Ten Best-Kept Activity Secrets
: Beyond the glitz and high profile are some activities and destinations that you may not have heard of.
Punta de Mita Beaches
: One of two beaches on this pretty peninsula at the northern tip of Banderas Bay, the road to Punta de Mita's Emiliano Zapata neighborhood leads right to it.
North Shore Loop
: Not too long ago, travel guides and websites referred to Puerto Vallarta as a small village. And while certain neighborhoods in town can still rightly claim a certain “pueblito” feel, you may have to leave our fair city to truly experience one.
The Unique Neighborhoods In and Around Banderas Bay
: It’s impossible to paint all of Banderas Bay with the same brush, so to help you get a taste of the different neighborhoods around the bay (“colonias” in Spanish), we’ve created this handy list of some of the most popular.
South Shore Loop
: Puerto Vallarta’s southern thruway will gradually shift your surroundings from palms to pines in less than an hour. But given the amount and variety of attractions along the way, you may wish to relax the pace and take your time getting there. With its varied destinations, Puerto Vallarta's southern highway (Carr. 200 Sur) is ideal for a day trip's worth of exploration.
: This is where you will find the only surf break on the south side of the bay. A remote beach and one of the biggest fishing villages on the south part Banderas Bay, there are lots of palapa restaurants where you can hide from the sun and enjoy cold refreshments and a meal.
: For decades, surfers of all ages have flocked to Mexico’s Pacific coast, long considered to be a destination of choice, in order to benefit from its more than 1,500 miles of beaches, points and reefs. Well-known surf spots from the northern state of Sinaloa all the way down to Oaxaca are awaiting exploration year round.