Top 15 Puerto Vallarta Beaches
It took a little time to compile a list of the top 15 Puerto Vallarta beaches. We had to sit down and discuss which beaches had something unique and special. Then we asked our repeat clients, the locals living here, and finally got the list down to 15 top Puerto Vallarta beaches. They all have individual qualities detailed in the guide below.
Some clients who are staying overnight on a Suite Marine yacht or boat chose to hire the yacht captain for a number of hours to visit some of these locations. The prices for hiring the engine includes the price of the yacht captain. Some of these beaches you can only reach by boat! Whatever you need or desires, please let us know and we will make it happen.
You can swim on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta throughout the year. Weather conditions vary a little seasonally. In general, summers have less wind and waves so the water is clearer. The water temperatures fluctuate between 77 in January to 79 in December with a high temperature of 86 in August. The Bay waters are clean, population free and safe, so jump in!
Puerto Vallarta Beaches Map
Click on pins, zoom in and out, and choose your next beach destination.
1. Playa Escondida (Islas Marietas)
Playa Escondida translates to “hidden beach” and is a popular adventure for beach-goers in Puerto Vallarta. If you book a yacht with Suite Marine and it makes for the perfect snorkeling adventure and day trip. Probably the most Instagrammed beach in the Marietas Islands, it really a sunken cave that is only accessed from a boat.
You’ll need to be a good swimmer to swim through the gap to get there. The beach inside the hidden cave is named The Beach of Love for its romantic atmosphere and picturesque quality. A little planned is needed for this beach visit but if you like adventure then this one is for you.
For more information about visiting the hidden beach and other experiences around Puerto Vallarta read this interesting article in The Telegraph. It also connects us nicely to or second choice of beach, Los Muertos beach.
2. Los Muertos Beach
We chose this beach because some traditions are essential when visiting Puerto Vallarta and since Los Muertos beach is in the heart of the city it is easy to find and enjoy. When walking into the Romantic Zone, as you cross the Rio Cuale bridge, you can find this popular stretch of sand and soak up the atmosphere. There are many restaurants and bars for you to choose from. Try the famous fish and shrimp on a stick sold by vendors on the beach.
3. Mismaloya beach
Mismaloya beach was the actual setting for The Night of the Iguana, the film that brought Richard Burton, and Elizabeth Taylor to Puerto Vallarta. It’s located 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) south of Las Gemelas beach. Mismaloya beach is now an important destination since it was the set location that put Puerto Vallarta on the map. It’s best to take a taxi or to drive there.
4. Camarones beach
“Shrimp beach” is unique because it is clean. Camarones beach has the much coveted Blue Flag certificate for low levels of pollution and strict levels of hygiene. This is outstanding considering it’s proximity to an urban area with an abundance of restaurants and bars. In the Hotel Zone, and popular with families, it is a worthy mention in our top 15 Puerto Vallarta beaches.
The south part of the beach is sectioned for jet skiing, stand-up-paddle-boarding, kite surfing, and parasailing. The waters are crystal clear and the ocean the waves are calm, so it is a good place to swim peacefully.
5. Yelapa beach
Yelapa, beautiful Yepala. We chose this beach because it’s remote and surrounded by raw nature, waterfalls and adventurous fun.
Yelapa beach is one of the most southern beaches in the Banderas Bay and also one of the more authentic. It has less tourism and has retained much of his small village charm. There are no paved roads to Yelapa and it can only be accessed by boat. So it’s a perfect destination with your Sunseeker Predator 64 yacht rental from Suite Marine. Take a day trip from Puerto Vallarta to Yelapa’s quiet bay. There you could try the local delicacy of dessert pies sold by locals on the beach. Not to be missed.
6. Garza Blanca beach
We like the Garza Blanca beach because it is the perfect beach to get some practice with snorkeling, kayaking or just swimming in a safe place.
The Garza Blanca beach boasts a standard of certification which recognizes cleanliness, safety, and environmental factors and this makes it a unique spot in Bahía de Banderas. In recent years the resort there built a stone jetty to protect the beach from erosion and since then has become a great place to practice snorkeling in a safe environment. Paddleboarding and kayaking are also popular from this location.
7. Las Gemelas beach
Close to Garza Blanca, Las Gemelas beach is more secluded and remote and takes about 20 minutes by car from the Puerto Vallarta city center. Great for perfect sand and turquoise clear waters, it is wonderful for swimming and playing in the sea.
Playa Las Gemelas means “twin beaches” so you get two for the price of one. Known for fine white sand, clear waters and a lack of hustle and bustle. It is ideal for sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling. There are no public facilities here so don’t forget to bring your picnic!
8. Conchas Chinas beach
Conchas Chinas has two great characteristics that qualify it for the top 15 beaches in Puerto Vallarta. The first is the many rock formations and beautiful natural pools. These sometimes form natural jetties with starfish, crab and small fish which are great fun for kids.
The second is the number of shells you can find, which gives the beach its name: Conchas Chinas (Chinese Shells)
The surrounding areas of Conchas Chinas are very exclusive with many multi-million dollar vllas and condos set into the hills. It is sometimes referred to the Beverly Hills of Puerto Vallarta, just far enough away from the city to get the great views, just close enough to the action if you want it.
9. Sayulita beach
Sayulita beach is north of Puerto Vallarta and has made it to the top 15 Puerto Vallarta beaches because it’s a fantastic place for surfing. It’s also a great place to try stand-up paddle boarding or long-boarding. If surfing is your thing there are a few equipment rental places right on the beach. If you are staying in Puerto Vallarta taking a day trip to Sayulita is highly recommended. Be sure to see our detailed article and recommendations about Punta Sayulita.
10. Las Animas beach
Officially named Las Animas de Quimixto, or Las Animas to the rest of us, it is a beautiful island beach, located in Cabo Corrientes, an area that begins south of Boca de Tomatlan.
Las Animas is a beautiful 2-mile long stretch of beach that lies in a small cove. The beach here is wide and perfect for sunbathing. The water is clear, shallow, and has gentle waves making it a wonderful beach for families with small children.
This beach is very lively with six palapa restaurants and many water activities including snorkeling, kayaking, parasailing, and jet skiing. Visitors from Puerto Vallarta usually arrive by taking a water taxi from Los Muertos Pier or a 15-minute water taxi from Boca de Tomatlan. Las Animas has a pier that helps a lot when disembarking passengers, making it a good choice with a Suite Marine boat.
11. Nuevo Vallarta beach
Nuevo Vallarta beach is a designer beach. It makes the list in the top 15 because it is the longest and flattest beach on the entire coast. Most of the area is surrounded by beautiful tropical vegetation, which it shares with the multiple golf courses close by. With fewer obstructions such as rocks, jetties or boulders, this beach is excellent for refreshing early morning jogs, and long romantic evening walks.
Nuevo Vallarta beach is also shallow and safer for those timid about swimming.
12. Colomitos cove
Everyone who knows about this beach wants to keep it a secret! That’s whay it makes our list of Top 15 Puerto Vallarta beaches. It is 100ft of untouched golden sand, warm water, and some of the best food in the Banderas Bay. Secret beaches don’t get any better than this, hidden away where only boats and in-the-know hikers can get to. If you are looking for adventure, romance, fun, and good food, then this is the place for you.
To get there, ask us at Suite Marine to plan your trip on your personal yacht or boat. Alternatively, plan a two-part journey with a 30-minute drive on a bus from Basillo Badillo street, or water taxi ride from Marina Vallarta. From there, you can ask local water taxis to take you to Colomitos cove or take the adventures route with a scenic half-hour hike through the jungle. Whichever way you decide to go, it’ll be worth it.
If you do choose to hike the final part to Colomitos cove there will be plenty of exotic wildlife and rustic bridges to keep you entertained. Hikers often see butterflies, migratory birds, sunbathing iguanas, and an array of colorful flowers and plants. The fun continues when you arrive as snorkeling at Colomitos is some of the best in the Banderas Bay.
14. Mahauitas beach
Mahauitas beach is another one of those beaches that is difficult to reach on foot and is best accessed by boat. So why not ask your Suite Marine captain to plan a trip here.
The Eco Resort near Mahauitas beach used to have a reputation as a “digital free” area, with no wifi or internet. The resort was mostly self-sustainable and it made for a great digital detox place to relax and enjoy the environment. Although the eco-resort owners are currently looking for a new location, Mahauitas beach remains an excellent secluded beach.
Swim with the dolphins at Mahauitas beach
In recent years one of the main attractions near to Mahauitas is a swim-with-the-dolphins-experience. This lasts about 40 minutes and is organized in small controlled groups of 5 guests per dolphin. On a good day, you will be able to touch, feed, play and swim with your designated dolphin. For many visitors to Puerto Vallarta, this is a bucket list experience that will always be remembered.
15. Tehuamixtle beach
Tehuamixtle is a little fishing village located in a sheltered bay and is famous for its seafood, and in particular, its oysters. Tehuamixtle is mostly untouched by tourism and is considered old style Mexico. The local restaurants are inexpensive, friendly and the food can’t get any fresher.
Want to read more about Puerto Vallarta? Read our guide to Puerto Vallarta Shopping named Malls, Maps, Markets and the Malecon
For an in-depth look at Puerto Vallarta read the Suite Marine definitive Guide to Best things to do in Puerto Vallarta
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