This pristine beach on open sea just a few miles outstide the bay is gorgeous, windswept and primitive feeling, long and wide, with deep creamy sand and rougher waters than inside Banderas Bay. The locals, both Mexican and an increasing number of expatriates valuing untrammeled nature, are super friendly. A long-established adventure resort attracts outdoor types from around the world, offering just about every activity you can think of, year round, including surfing, kayaking, sport fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking, as well as tours — one an hour and a half north to Matachen Bay, which boasts the world's longest rideable wave, according the the Guiness Book of World Records. And the town itself is a treat to explore, the main street is really cool, immediately conveying a sense of what village life is like, and has been for generations. Even better, offers the amenities one might want, like an Internet Café, good coffee and restaurants, of which there are a surprising number of really good ones here.

What you should know