Featured in Vallarta Lifestyles Magazine, Winter/Spring 2011 issue.
Like night and day, Puerto Vallarta’s North and South Shores are completely different in personality, population density and amenities, when it comes to exploring the entirety of Banderas Bay. The North Shore features town after town worthy of exploration via the highway all the way up to Punta de Mita, while the South Shore’s tropical beauty, due to development restrictions, remains largely unchanged and only accessible by boat beyond Boca de Tomatlán. Fortunately for us, there are several unique ways to discover the South Shore, by day and by night, according to the type of experience you wish to enjoy along with your family or friends.
Las Animas beach, just south of Boca de Tomatlán, has been a preferred daytime destination due to its remote location, gentle waves, expansive beach and variety of no-frills, beachfront, palapa-clad eateries serving traditional Mexican dishes, beer and margaritas. For an absolutely relaxing experience, the staff at the fairly new Las Animas Bay Beach Club will pamper you from head to toe upon arrival, offering you privileged views of the entire bay from their stylishly rustic restaurant or the comfortably shaded teka wood recliners located on the beach in front of it. A well-stocked bar and a savory menu featuring brick oven pizzas, fresh ceviches and other treats, not to mention the occasional splash in the ocean or walk along the surf, will be the highlight of your day. And by night, with most of the day visitors having returned to Puerto Vallarta, Coco Palms Bar & Grill, their restaurant, becomes a truly romantic and secluded getaway, ideal for couples or friends simply looking for extraordinary cuisine in a remote setting.
By contrast, and true to its name, Vallarta Adventures allows you to experience the South Shore through a variety of daytime and nighttime experiences with one thing in common: nonstop adventure and excitement. Their Sea Safari Eco Adventure starts early in the morning, either at their Nuevo Vallarta location or at Puerto Vallarta’s Maritime Terminal, heading south aboard one-of-a-kind Apex rigid inflatable boats that zip you across the bay comfortably and in no time. Timed with clockwork precision, the entire experience packs horseback riding through the mountains and swimming at a remote waterfall in Quimixto, snorkeling in a tranquil cove farther south and a hearty lunch with plenty of playtime in Pizota, a tiny beachfront community beyond Yelapa (Vallarta Adventures being the only provider that will take you that far south from Puerto Vallarta) into a single memorable event. At no time will you feel rushed, however, as their professional, bilingual staff will constantly find things—vegetable, animal or mineral—to point out to you, offering the type of field trip you never dreamed of while you were in elementary school. And by night, their sought-after Rhythms of the Night tour transforms Las Caletas beach into a magical paradise, featuring dining under the stars and an elaborate, fully staged performance that tells the story of ancient Mexico through live music and modern dance.
Relaxing and pampering or exhilarating and adventurous, Puerto Vallarta’s South Shore is ready for you to discover, night and day. Access to Las Animas Bay Beach Club can be as simple as arriving on a public water taxi, or panga, or by making reservations ahead of time and arranging for pickup on theirs from Boca de Tomatlán. For a more luxurious and all-encompassing experience, departing from their Marina Vallarta Yacht Club aboard any of a variety of charter boats is also possible. Visit their website, www.lasanimasbay.com, for more information. Vallarta Adventures’ website, www.vallarta-adventures.com, offers detailed information on the two tours mentioned above, as well as many others.
Browse the image gallery below to discover the many activities you will enjoy during Vallarta Adventures' Sea Safari Eco Adventure.