There are so many great beaches in and around Puerto Vallarta and the Bahia de Banderas region. Some cater to a specific group, most are for everyone.
From family-friendly beaches to LGBT beaches. Puerto Vallarta has them all. There are great surfing beaches to the North in Punta Mita and Sayulita. Calm and tranquil beaches can be found to the south in Yelapa and Boca de Tomatlan.
Los Muertos beach is the most popular beach with the beautiful Los Muertos Pier, completed in January 2013, in the middle of the beach.
Use the map to locate your next favorite beach.
*There are no nude beaches in Puerto Vallarta or the Bahia de Banderas region, but feel free to be naked under your clothes.
Choosing a Beach
Most visitors will likely spend time at the closest beach to where they are staying. If you want to venture out and try a different beach, here are some suggestions.
The beaches in the area vary greatly, some are rocky, some have high surf and some have shallow flat sand that extends out into the bay for hundreds of feet.
The photos are starting from the north, Sayulita is angled just right for big waves and is the surf beach.
Moving south the main beach that starts at Bucerias and extends south to the Nuevo Vallarta Marina is over 8 miles long and you can walk all of it. The sand is flat and extends shallow way out into the surf. Hotels and restaurants dot the beach along the way.
The hotel zone in Vallarta beaches are quite steep sand and it gets deep within 30 feet or less. The surf can be quite aggressive, there are rip currents and hidden sandbars and it can be dangerous. Stay close to shore and have fun!
The main beach in town Playa los Muertos is very popular with locals and gets very busy on weekends. The people watching is amazing! The beach can have quite high surf at times so exercise caution.
South of town you will find a completely different set of beaches, sand and rocks combine to create amazing coves and spots where you can sit in the gentle surf waist deep or snorkel. The photograph below is Amapas beach.
Our friends at Vallarta Lifestyles recently published this list of their top five choices for beaches.
5 BEACHES IN VALLARTA · NAYARIT WITH BEAUTIFUL CRYSTAL-CLEAR WATER TO SWIM
Aug. 31, 2018
We have an intimate connection with water. We live in a blue world and more than half of our body is made up of this liquid. We relax each time we see it and renew our energies by just being on the beach. In Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, we can proudly say that we have beaches that conquer us with their soft, golden sand, tranquil waters and pristine landscapes framed by beautiful vegetation. Here we present a list of our favorite spots for snorkeling, swimming, tanning, and experiencing an extraordinary moment. Photos are in the same order as paragraphs.
Majahuitas and Yelapa
The Puerto Vallarta South Shore shelters some of the best beaches in the bay. Majahuitas is ideal for snorkeling, kayaking or paddleboarding thanks to its very calm waves. The beach is clean and the blue hues of the water will make you feel in a dream. A few minutes from Majahuitas is Yelapa, a small coastal town that jealously guards secluded beaches where you can get away from it all.
A little further away, in the municipality of Cabo Corrientes, the fishing village of Tehuamixtle is located. The town is well known for its exquisite oysters and the locals refer to this beach as the “Playita del Amor” (Little Beach of Love), because once you get there, you really fall in love! It is so quiet, it feels like if you were in a big, natural swimming pool… you just have to be there to experience yourself.
At the other end, north of the bay in Riviera Nayarit, the Coral Island is located. This is a peaceful beach that has soft, white sand that makes a beautiful contrast with the turquoise hues of the sea. You just choose a place to lay or sit down on, place your towel and get the perfect tan while you listen to the swinging waves.
Located as well in Riviera Nayarit, this is one of the favorite spots for the enthusiasts of diving and snorkeling. This ecological reserve is protected due to its diversity of marine life and birds, like the famous blue-footed booby. The Marietas Islands are well known as the home of the “Playa Escondida” (Hidden Beach) or “Playa del Amor” (Beach of Love), which was formed in a crater due to the effects of marine erosion. This unique feature made it famous worldwide.
This is one of those places that make you feel a complete connection with nature since you have to hike the tropical jungle to get there. Along the road, you will admire beautiful postcards, where the green hues of the trees and the blue of the sea blend into the landscape. Colomitos is a natural retreat with golden sand and emerald green water that invites you to immerse yourself into and splash all day long.
Enjoy the experience and don’t forget that our beaches need everyone’s help to stay clean and beautiful, so always carry a bag to pick up, take and place your trash in the proper container.
Keep in mind that weather conditions and each season of the year have an effect on both the conditions of the beaches and the color of the sea.