Puerto Vallarta Beaches

All info on Puerto Vallarta beaches!

Puerto Vallarta Beaches, Mexico

From Nuevo Vallarta beaches Nayarit to Mismaloya

Puerto Vallarta Beaches:
Puerto Vallarta is more about quiet secluded beaches and ecotourism than Mexico’s other beach vacation destinations.
Banderas bay itself is approximately 34 miles in length containing 26 distinctly different beaches which cover nearly 80% of it’s shoreline.

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The northern Puerto Vallarta beaches tend to be longer and wider than the beaches on the south of the bay. This is due to the foothills of the Sierra Madre in Puerto Vallarta and south of Vallarta which are closer to the sea.

South of PV the mountains almost fall into the sea. Therefor there are many small coves and intimate secluded hidden beach spots. On Sundays many Mexicans take their families out to the beaches and have a real day of bask in the beauty of the Bay.

Los Muertos beach, Puerto Vallarta

Los Muertos beach, Puerto Vallarta

Los Muertos beach, Puerto Vallarta

Los Muertos beach, Puerto Vallarta

We will go over the principal Vallarta beaches starting within Puerto Vallarta and then move north towards Nayarit state. For the beaches south of Vallarta up to Yelapa, see our page Yelapa beaches.

Los Muertos Puerto Vallarta Beach: Located in old town, 5 min from downtown. If you know Spanish, don’t be afraid. This Puerto Vallarta beach is actually the most visited. For those of you who don’t know Spanish, Playa los Muertos, means beach of the dead and actually refers to when the Spaniards entered the Bay of Banderas. A battle between neighboring tribes was under way and the concentration of fallen warriors was highest along this beach.

Playa Los Muertos

Playa Los Muertos

You can take a water taxi from there to the most remote Puerto Vallarta beach on the south end of the bay. Mainly frequented by Mexicans, but a lot of Americans and Canadians enjoy the beach because they are staying in the area. There are a large variety of beach front hotels, small hostels or other condo vacation rentals available in the area. If you’re hungry you can choose from great seafood restaurants like La Palapa and El Dorado or the typical fast-seafood places which are more affordable.

Hotel Zone Puerto Vallarta beach

There are several public access points to the hotel zone since it literally stretches for miles and some streets even come to an end right in front of the beach. This is where most tourists are everyday, you can do everything from parasailing to windsurfing,banana boating, jet skiing and more.

You can enjoy great views of Old Town which is not even ten minutes away. The most used entrances are by the Krystal Hotel, the Sheraton Hotel and the Buenaventura.

Map of Puerto Vallarta beaches

Map of Puerto Vallarta beaches

Beaches Map

Boca de Tomates

Boca de Tomates

Marina Vallarta Beach: Even though beaches in Mexico are public property, you may find it difficult to reach the beach if you’re not staying at one of the great hotels in the area. Of course you can still find a way to the beach by asking security staff from a hotel. They’ll usually let you in, if your primary goal is to go to the beach and not use their facilities. Or you can go to a beachside bar like the Nikki Beach at the Westin Resort where you will find the best Sunday brunch buffet in town.

Boca de Tomates is a great beach if you are a fan of ecotourism. Crocodiles, sea turtles and exotic birds are what this Puerto Vallarta beach is known for. It is also a very popular beach among boogie boarders. Boca de Tomates is accessible by foot along the beach or by car at the turnoff between the airport and the bridge leading to nuevo vallarta.

Nuevo Vallarta Beach is certainly the widest and longest Vallarta beach in the bay. Visitors and wonderful resort properties have grown so much in the past 10 years, that Nuevo Vallarta has taken on a whole new dimension. Most people staying/vacationing in a hotel in Nuevo Vallarta rarely venture downtown because they have everything they need at their fingertips; from a marina, to two a two-level shopping mall, tons of restaurants, watersports and one of the Bays greatest beaches. However, those looking for the more traditional Mexico experience still venture downtown in the evenings.
Nuevo Vallarta beach

Nuevo Vallarta beach

Bucerias, Nayarit Beach, is 25 min north of Puerto Vallarta. Miles of golden sandy beaches is what you will find here. There are numerous palapa and beach restaurants and is a great place for scuba diving. If you like shopping you will probably want to walk through the flea market in the town square.
Chileno bay

Chileno bay

Playa Barco Varado (Shipwreck Beach), 6 miles north of cabo, curves around a rocky shelf and the remains of a Japanese freighter that was shipwrecked here in 1960. Playa Cementario, 2.5 miles north of Cabo, is a nice white-sand beach, ideal for swimming.

Piedra Blanca beach. Location: 40 minutes north from Puerto Vallarta by public bus. Piedra Blanca beach is separated into 2 sections by rocks as white as snow which is exactly where the name Piedra Blanca (white stone) comes from. The 1st section is only about 200 feet long and 80 feet wide. The second section is longer at 300 feet in length and 60 feet in width. This section is home to the Piedra Blanca Hotel. The finely textured white sand plus smooth waters of both ports give this beach the tranquility you are looking for and makes it a great location for diving and snorkeling.

Destiladeras beach, located 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta by public bus, 30 minutes by car (pay parking lote available). A favorite with many Vallartans especially families 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. Alternately, the large flat rocks found here can be used as picnic tables. Surfers appreciate its two- to five-foot swells, while others enjoy strolling its seemingly endless beach. During the week you pretty much get the place to yourself as local Vallartans will mostly be working. The timid and parents alike appreciate the gradual dropp-off of the coast: you can wade a long way out into the water before it even reaches your waist.

Punta Mita beach

Punta Mita beach

Sayulita beach

Sayulita beach

El Anclote, only minutes south of Punta de Mita, is a great beach spot to teach children how to surf and a favorite Puerto Vallarta beach for both locals and tourists. There are a number of shops for renting surf/boogie boards, snorkeling gear, and several great restaurants to dine in.

Punta de Mita, Nayarit beach, located 35 min. north of Puerto Vallarta, at the northernmost tip of Banderas Bay. Punta de Mita is quickly growing into the prime Real Estate location within the bay.

Two great beaches and seafood galore make this a must see. Make sure you have a chance to see it for yourself before Real Estate companies change the face of Punta de Mita forever.

Sayulita, Nayarit Beach: Sayulita Nayarit beach is without question the main surfing spot in Puerto Vallarta. Sayulita is a fishing village similar to Puerto Vallarta some decades ago. It is very popular among the American visitors, it takes less than 45 minutes to get there from the hotel zone. Great seafood can be found on the beach for all budgets. Many free spirits from Canada and the US have made Sayulita their home. If your heart still lives in the sixties you’ll love this quiet beach community.

San Francisco, “San Pancho”, Nayarit Beach: A very relaxing beach north of Puerto Vallarta where time seems to stand still. Two things you will notice more so than any other beach in the Puerto Vallarta area are the birds… and the silence. In San Pancho you’ll find a huge beach near the mouth of a river. This is definitely a wild spot for ocean lovers with good waves and access to all of your favorite water sports. Thanks to the newly constructed highway the trip to this Nayarit beach is only about 45 minutes and is worth every step of the journey.

Come and enjoy the Puerto Vallarta beaches on your Mexico vacation!

San Pancho beach

San Pancho beach