The coast of Puerto Vallarta includes about ten gorgeous beaches. The most popular are La Manzanilla and Destiladeras, located in the north. They are famous for a large number of people and a developed infrastructure. And even more popular is Los Muertos beach, which is the biggest public beach of the resort, it is located near the old town.
All beaches in Mexico belong to the state. There is a so-called 50-meter federal zone, measured from the edge of the sea, which cannot belong to a private person. The problem is that the shape of the sea coast is constantly changing. There is even a law that states that this zone should be measured from the highest point of the tide 180 days after a major storm. The sea lives its own life and changes the coastline from year to year, and yet traditionally the best beaches of Vallarta are located in the northern part of the bay.
Playa Los Muertos
Los Muertos Beach (also known as Playa Olas Altas or Playa del Sol) probably is the most famous, most visited and most sought after beach in Vallarta, Los Muertos is located at the southern end of the Malecón and the Río Cuale. Here you can find a wide variety of restaurants, bars, galleries, boutiques and souvenir shops. It is the only beach in the city with its own pier, which acts as a point of arrival and departure for water taxis to the north or to the south, as well as a point where tours can pick up passengers on the way. This beach is ideal for fun and entertainment, day or night.
Playa de Oro
Located to the north of the city, Playa de Oro beach is wide, clean and safe, with rocky configurations that give the small bay its specific and cozy touch. Surrounded by large hotels in Playa de Oro you can enjoy a series of recreational activities, such as parasailing, jet skis and swimming. It is one of the most popular beaches in Puerto Vallarta among locals and visitors alike.
Playa Mismaloya is located in a beautiful bay about 10 km south of Puerto Vallarta along highway 200. The water is clear, the beach is famous for snorkeling. It was here that the film Iguana Night was shot, making Puerto Vallarta a world famous city. You can reach the beach by bus departing from Basilio Badillo and Insurgentes in the city center (every 15 minutes from 5:30 am to 10 pm). The Mismaloya Beach is a strip of sand of 250 meters, with palm trees and surrounded by tropical vegetation and small hills. This small jungle is inhabited by wild animals, such as pumas and jaguars that are usually seen loitering around the place.
Playa Las Gemelas
Las Gemelas Beach is one of the most popular in Puerto Vallarta, it is 200 meters long and has an important vegetation, responsible for the pleasant shade. The beach has clear sands and crystal clear water, the sea can sometimes look green and sometimes blue or turquoise. This beach is located south of the city, about 20 minutes from downtown. To get there, it is necessary to go down a long flight of stairs, it is recommended to bring food and drinks to spend the day since there are no restaurants or businesses that sell food nearby.
Playa Las Animas and Playa Quimixto
Las Ánimas and Quimixto are the most distant beaches from Puerto Vallarta. From these beaches you can climb into the jungle, walk along the trails and see the waterfalls. You can only get to these beaches by boat. From the pier for cruise ships (muelle, also called the Terminal Marítima) excursion boats go to these beaches. Water taxis to Las Animas, and Quimixto depart from 10 am to 6 pm from the Playa Los Muertos pier.
Playa YelapaGetting to Yelapa is, in itself, a two-hour adventure, taking a water taxi from Puerto Vallarta to the south to a traditional town that still maintains the essence of a small fishing village. It is the perfect place to get lost in the jungle, to ford rivers, take a long walk through the town until you reach a refreshing waterfall of 50 meters, or go for a swim, fish or dive in its calm waters. Overnight stay is available only in Yelapa. Water taxis to Yelapa depart from 10 am to 6 pm from the Playa Los Muertos pier.
Playa Las Caletas
It was once the private home of film director John Huston and is now a private beach with access through a special tour. This lush hidden cove is secluded and completely intact, and consists of three small beaches and rock formations. Here you can get lost in the orchid gardens, enjoy the beach and water activities or explore the May pyramid where, every night, a contemporary dance show is held.