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Travel Planning Guide To The Best Puerto Vallarta Beaches


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Ailene Elizondo



Welcome to Puerto Vallarta, a stunning coastal city nestled on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Known for its breathtaking beaches, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality, Puerto Vallarta is a top destination for travelers seeking a tropical paradise. With its pristine coastline, crystal-clear waters, and a wide array of activities, Puerto Vallarta offers a beach experience like no other.


Whether you’re a sun-worshipper looking to lounge on the sand, an adventure enthusiast seeking thrilling water sports, or a nature lover wanting to explore marine life, Puerto Vallarta has a beach to suit every preference. From popular tourist spots to hidden gems off the beaten path, the beaches of Puerto Vallarta are ready to enchant you with their beauty and charm.


Planning your beach getaway can be overwhelming with countless options to choose from, each offering its own unique features and attractions. In this travel planning guide, we will introduce you to some of the best Puerto Vallarta beaches, highlighting their distinctive qualities, and helping you make an informed decision about which ones to visit.


Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler to Puerto Vallarta, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and practical tips to create memorable experiences along the coast. So, grab your sunscreen and towel, and let’s dive into the splendor of Puerto Vallarta’s beaches!


Overview of Puerto Vallarta

Nestled on the Bay of Banderas, Puerto Vallarta boasts a perfect blend of stunning natural beauty and a vibrant cultural scene. This popular beach destination is located in the state of Jalisco, on the western coast of Mexico. With its charming cobblestone streets, colorful colonial buildings, and breathtaking sunsets, Puerto Vallarta captures the hearts of visitors from around the world.


Puerto Vallarta offers a plethora of activities and attractions beyond its pristine beaches. The Malecón, a picturesque seaside promenade, stretches along the shoreline and pulsates with energy day and night. From art galleries and shopping boutiques to street performers and lively restaurants, the Malecón is a hub of entertainment and a great place to immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture.


The city also offers a range of exciting excursions and outdoor adventures. Take a boat tour to discover hidden coves and secluded beaches, or get your adrenaline pumping with activities like zip-lining through the lush jungle or snorkeling in crystal-clear waters. With its diverse ecosystems, Puerto Vallarta is a haven for nature enthusiasts, offering opportunities for birdwatching, hiking, and exploring vibrant flora and fauna.


When it comes to dining, Puerto Vallarta caters to every palate. From authentic Mexican street food to upscale international cuisine, the city is a food lover’s paradise. Indulge in fresh seafood, savor traditional Mexican tacos, or enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner at a beachfront restaurant while being serenaded by the sound of crashing waves.


With its warm and welcoming locals, Puerto Vallarta truly embraces the spirit of hospitality. Whether you’re strolling through the historic Old Town, known as Zona Romantica, or venturing out to neighboring towns and villages, you’ll be greeted with smiles and open arms.


With its stunning beaches, rich culture, and enchanting landscapes, Puerto Vallarta offers an unforgettable vacation experience. So, get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of this coastal gem.


Factors to Consider When Choosing a Beach

With so many beautiful beaches to choose from in Puerto Vallarta, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones to visit during your trip. To help you make the best choice, here are some key factors to consider when selecting a beach:

  1. Location: The location of the beach is an important factor to consider. Some beaches are located within walking distance of popular tourist areas, while others may require a short drive or boat ride to reach. Think about how accessible you want the beach to be and whether you prefer a more secluded or bustling location.
  2. Ambiance: Each beach in Puerto Vallarta has its own unique ambiance. Some are lively and bustling with activity, offering beachfront bars, restaurants, and water sports rentals. Others are more tranquil and secluded, perfect for those seeking a peaceful and relaxing beach experience. Think about the kind of atmosphere you prefer and choose accordingly.
  3. Amenities: Consider the amenities available at the beach. Do you prefer beaches with beach chairs and umbrellas for rent, restroom facilities, and showers? Are you looking for beachfront restaurants and bars where you can enjoy a refreshing drink or a delicious meal? Consider the amenities that are important to you and choose a beach that offers them.
  4. Water Conditions: Take into account the water conditions at each beach. If you enjoy swimming and snorkeling, look for beaches with calm and clear waters. For surfers, look for beaches with larger waves. It’s also worth considering if you prefer beaches with a gradual slope or ones with a more dramatic drop-off.
  5. Activities: Think about the activities you’d like to engage in during your beach visit. Some beaches in Puerto Vallarta offer a range of water sports, such as paddleboarding, kayaking, and jet skiing. Others are known for their excellent snorkeling or scuba diving opportunities. Consider the activities that interest you and choose a beach that offers them.

By considering these factors, you can narrow down your options and choose the beaches in Puerto Vallarta that align with your preferences and desires. Whether you’re seeking a lively beach experience or a secluded hideaway, Puerto Vallarta has the perfect beach waiting for you.


Playa los Muertos

Playa los Muertos, or “Beach of the Dead,” is one of the most iconic and popular beaches in Puerto Vallarta. Located in the heart of the Romantic Zone, it is easily accessible and offers a vibrant and lively atmosphere. The beach got its name from an old legend that tells a story of pirates burying their dead here.


This picturesque beach stretches along the coastline and offers a wide strip of golden sand dotted with palapas, umbrellas, and beach chairs. Playa los Muertos is known for its lively beach clubs, restaurants, and bars that line the shore, where visitors can enjoy delicious food and refreshing drinks with stunning ocean views.


The beach is also a hub for water activities. From jet skiing and parasailing to paddleboarding and banana boat rides, there is no shortage of thrilling water adventures to enjoy. Snorkeling enthusiasts can explore the colorful underwater world, teeming with marine life, just off the shore. Playa los Muertos truly offers something for everyone.


One of the highlights of Playa los Muertos is the famous pier, known as Los Muertos Pier, that extends into the ocean. It has become an iconic symbol of Puerto Vallarta and offers a great vantage point to admire the breathtaking sunsets that paint the sky in vibrant hues.


When visiting Playa los Muertos, be sure to explore the charming streets of the Romantic Zone, known for its eclectic shops, art galleries, and lively nightlife. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in some delicious street tacos or fresh ceviche from the local vendors.


Playa los Muertos is not only a beach but also a social hub where locals and tourists come together to relax, socialize, and celebrate. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun, engage in water activities, or simply people-watch from a beachfront café, Playa los Muertos is a must-visit beach destination in Puerto Vallarta.


Playa Conchas Chinas

Tucked away in a scenic and upscale neighborhood just south of Puerto Vallarta’s main city center, Playa Conchas Chinas is a hidden gem that offers a tranquil and luxurious beach experience. The name “Conchas Chinas” translates to “Chinese Shells,” inspired by the area’s collection of unique seashells.


This beautiful beach is known for its pristine white sand, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and stunning rock formations that add an intriguing natural beauty to the scenery. Playa Conchas Chinas provides a sense of serenity and seclusion, making it a favorite spot for those seeking a more private and exclusive beach experience.


Unlike some of the more crowded beaches in Puerto Vallarta, Playa Conchas Chinas offers ample space to spread out and relax. Lounge on the soft sand, soak up the sun, and listen to the soothing sounds of the waves. If you prefer shade, you’ll find scattered palm trees and shaded areas along the shore to retreat to.


Playa Conchas Chinas is also an excellent destination for snorkeling and swimming. The calm waters provide great visibility, allowing you to explore the colorful marine life and vibrant coral reefs just a few steps from the shore. Snorkeling equipment can be rented from local vendors in the vicinity.


While there are no beach clubs or restaurants directly on Playa Conchas Chinas, you can find nearby luxury resorts and boutique hotels that offer beachfront dining options. Treat yourself to a delicious meal while enjoying the stunning ocean views and indulging in the flavors of Puerto Vallarta.


For those looking to venture beyond the beach, Playa Conchas Chinas is located near hiking trails that lead to scenic viewpoints overlooking the coastline. You can immerse yourself in the lush tropical vegetation and witness panoramic vistas of the Pacific Ocean.


Playa Conchas Chinas offers a serene and exclusive beach experience, perfect for couples, families, or anyone seeking a peaceful and picturesque escape. Whether you spend the day lounging on the sand, exploring the underwater wonders, or hiking through the surrounding natural beauty, Playa Conchas Chinas is a beach not to be missed in Puerto Vallarta.


Playa Garza Blanca

Tucked away in a pristine and secluded area just south of Puerto Vallarta, Playa Garza Blanca is a hidden paradise that offers a tranquil and idyllic beach experience. With its powdery white sand, clear blue waters, and lush tropical surroundings, it is a picture-perfect destination that feels like a true escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.


Playa Garza Blanca is known for its unspoiled beauty and natural splendor. The beach is nestled between towering cliffs and verdant hills, creating a breathtaking backdrop that enhances its serene ambiance. The tranquil waters are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, or simply floating in the gentle waves.


One of the highlights of Playa Garza Blanca is the luxurious resort that overlooks the beach. The resort offers exclusive amenities including beachfront loungers, swimming pools, and gourmet dining options. Visitors can indulge in top-notch service and enjoy a day of leisure in a pristine and private setting.


For those seeking adventure, Playa Garza Blanca is a gateway to exciting water activities. The nearby Marietas Islands are a marine sanctuary and offer excellent opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving. Explore the vibrant coral reefs, swim alongside tropical fish, and marvel at the extraordinary marine biodiversity.


If you prefer to stay on land, take a leisurely walk along the shore and admire the spectacular coastal views. The beach is dotted with natural rock formations and caves that add an element of intrigue to the area. The untouched beauty of Playa Garza Blanca makes it a popular spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts.


While there are no public facilities or restaurants directly on Playa Garza Blanca, the nearby resort’s beach club offers a variety of dining options, ranging from casual snacks to sophisticated cuisine. Treat yourself to a delicious meal while savoring the panoramic views of the beach and the sparkling ocean.


Playa Garza Blanca offers a serene and exclusive beach experience, making it a perfect retreat for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty. Whether you spend your time engaging in water activities, lounging on the beach, or simply immersing yourself in the peaceful surroundings, Playa Garza Blanca provides a slice of paradise in Puerto Vallarta.


Playa Boca de Tomatlán

Located about 12 kilometers south of Puerto Vallarta, Playa Boca de Tomatlán is a picturesque beach that offers a peaceful and scenic escape from the bustling city. This charming fishing village is nestled at the mouth of the Tomatlán River and provides a tranquil setting surrounded by lush tropical forests and rugged cliffs.


Playa Boca de Tomatlán is the perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. The beach serves as a starting point for various outdoor activities and excursions, making it a popular spot for hikers, kayakers, and boat enthusiasts.


One of the highlights of visiting Playa Boca de Tomatlán is embarking on a scenic boat ride along the coastline. From here, you can hop on a water taxi that will take you to secluded beaches and hidden coves that are only accessible by boat. Sail along the shimmering waters and explore untouched stretches of sand where you can swim, snorkel, or simply bask in the tranquility of your surroundings.


For those looking to explore on foot, there are hiking trails that lead into the lush jungle surrounding Playa Boca de Tomatlán. You can embark on a nature hike and discover breathtaking viewpoints that offer panoramic vistas of the bay.


At Playa Boca de Tomatlán, you’ll also find a variety of waterfront restaurants serving freshly caught seafood and traditional Mexican dishes. Enjoy a leisurely meal while taking in the serene atmosphere and enjoying the views of the Tomatlán River as it merges with the ocean.


Although Playa Boca de Tomatlán is not known for its swimming conditions due to the strong currents, it still offers a charming and laid-back beach experience. It’s a great place to relax on the sand, take a stroll along the shoreline, or mingle with the friendly locals who call this peaceful fishing village home.


Playa Boca de Tomatlán provides a unique and off-the-beaten-path beach experience in Puerto Vallarta. Whether you choose to explore the surrounding natural beauty, embark on a boat adventure, or simply sit back and relax, this hidden gem is a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.


Playa de Oro

Located in the Hotel Zone of Puerto Vallarta, Playa de Oro, also known as Golden Beach, offers a lively and vibrant beach experience. This popular stretch of coastline is easily accessible and offers a wide expanse of golden sand, making it perfect for sunbathing, building sandcastles, or playing beach volleyball.


Playa de Oro is known for its energetic atmosphere and a range of water sports activities. From jet skiing and parasailing to banana boat rides and paddleboarding, there is no shortage of thrilling adventures to enjoy. Rental shops along the beach provide equipment and instruction for those wanting to try their hand at these exciting water activities.


The beach is backed by hotels, resorts, and beach clubs, offering convenient amenities and services. Beachgoers will find a variety of restaurants, bars, and cafes serving refreshing drinks and delicious meals. Lounge chairs and umbrellas are available for rent, providing a comfortable spot to relax and soak up the sun.


For those seeking a break from the sun, you can explore the nearby shopping centers and boutiques, where you’ll find a mix of local handicrafts, designer goods, and souvenirs. Indulge in some retail therapy or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the bustling promenade.


Playa de Oro is known for its stunning sunsets, and catching the mesmerizing display of colors is a must-do while visiting. As the sun sinks below the horizon, the sky transforms into a palette of vibrant oranges, pinks, and purples, creating a truly magical experience.


Playa de Oro offers a lively and dynamic beach experience, making it a popular choice for families, groups of friends, and those looking for a fun-filled day by the sea. Whether you’re seeking thrilling water activities, delicious beachside dining, or simply a relaxing day in the sun, Playa de Oro has all the ingredients for a memorable beach getaway in Puerto Vallarta.


Playa Las Caletas

Tucked away in a secluded cove on the southern coast of Puerto Vallarta, Playa Las Caletas offers a tranquil and enchanting beach experience. This hidden gem is accessible exclusively through a boat tour or excursion, providing visitors with a sense of exclusivity and seclusion.


Playa Las Caletas is known for its untouched natural beauty and pristine surroundings. The beach is lined with lush tropical vegetation and soaring cliffs, creating a picturesque backdrop that adds to its charm. The golden sand and crystal-clear waters make it an ideal spot for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing.


One of the unique features of Playa Las Caletas is its vibrant underwater world. The beach is home to an abundant marine life and vibrant coral reefs, making it a paradise for snorkeling enthusiasts. Dive into the crystal-clear waters and witness a kaleidoscope of colorful fish and fascinating sea creatures.


When you visit Playa Las Caletas, you’ll have the opportunity to explore beyond the beach. Take a stroll along the jungle trails that surround the area, immersing yourself in the beauty of the tropical rainforest. You may encounter exotic wildlife, including iguanas, tropical birds, and even playful monkeys.


While at Playa Las Caletas, you can also enjoy a range of activities and amenities. From kayaking and paddleboarding to yoga classes and spa treatments, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Indulge in a delicious meal at the beachside restaurant or relax with a cocktail at the bar while taking in the breathtaking views.


Playa Las Caletas also offers unique cultural experiences. As the former private home of film director John Huston, the beach is home to the Rhythms of the Night show, a mesmerizing performance that showcases traditional Mexican dance and music. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Mexico against the backdrop of this secluded paradise.


Playa Las Caletas offers a serene and secluded beach experience, perfect for those seeking a break from the crowds and a chance to reconnect with nature. Whether you spend your time exploring the underwater wonders, meandering through the rainforest, or simply unwinding on the pristine sand, Playa Las Caletas promises a truly magical and unforgettable beach experience in Puerto Vallarta.


Playa Gemelas

Located just a short drive south of Puerto Vallarta, Playa Gemelas is a hidden paradise that offers a peaceful and picturesque beach experience. As its name suggests, Playa Gemelas consists of two beautiful sandy beaches separated by rocky outcrops, creating a unique and enchanting landscape.


The beaches of Playa Gemelas are known for their pristine beauty and crystal-clear waters. The soft golden sand is perfect for sunbathing or simply taking a leisurely stroll along the shore. The calm and gentle waves make it an ideal spot for swimming and snorkeling, especially for those who prefer a more tranquil and relaxed environment.


Playa Gemelas is a great beach destination for nature lovers. The surrounding area is rich in natural beauty, with lush green hills and a backdrop of jungle-covered mountains. It’s not uncommon to spot dolphins swimming offshore, adding a touch of magic to your beach experience.


One of the unique features of Playa Gemelas is the absence of large resorts or commercial developments. It provides a more secluded and intimate beach experience compared to some of the more crowded beaches in Puerto Vallarta. Visitors will find a few smaller hotels and vacation rentals nearby, offering a peaceful and serene atmosphere.


While there aren’t many facilities directly on Playa Gemelas, the nearby restaurants and snack bars provide delicious local cuisine and refreshing beverages. Grab a refreshing drink or enjoy a seafood feast while soaking in the panoramic ocean views.


Playa Gemelas also offers opportunities for exploration and adventure. Take a scenic hike through the surrounding hills and discover hidden viewpoints that offer stunning panoramas of the coastline. Or, hop on a kayak or paddleboard and explore the nearby coves and rocky formations that dot the shoreline.


Whether you’re looking to relax on the tranquil sands, swim in the clear waters, or explore the natural beauty of the surroundings, Playa Gemelas offers a serene and untouched beach experience. It’s the perfect getaway for those seeking tranquility and a connection with nature in Puerto Vallarta.


Playa Mismaloya

Tucked away in a picturesque cove on the southern outskirts of Puerto Vallarta, Playa Mismaloya offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and cinematic history. This stunning beach gained international fame when it was featured in the film “The Night of the Iguana” in 1964 and has since become a sought-after destination for its beautiful scenery and tropical charm.


Playa Mismaloya is known for its pristine white sand, turquoise waters, and towering jungle-covered cliffs that create a postcard-worthy backdrop. The beach’s tranquil and inviting atmosphere is perfect for a day of relaxation and unwinding in the sun.


For those seeking aquatic adventures, Playa Mismaloya offers excellent opportunities for snorkeling and diving. The crystalline waters are home to an incredible variety of marine life and colorful coral reefs, making it a paradise for underwater enthusiasts. Explore the underwater world and discover a vibrant ecosystem teeming with tropical fish, rays, and even sea turtles.


The area surrounding Playa Mismaloya is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, making it a great spot for birdwatching and nature walks. Stroll along the jungle trails and immerse yourself in the lush tropical greenery, listening to the symphony of nature as you encounter exotic birds and other wildlife that call this area home.


Playa Mismaloya also offers a range of amenities and services to enhance your beach experience. Beachfront restaurants serve up delicious seafood and traditional Mexican dishes, allowing you to savor the flavors of the region while enjoying a stunning view of the ocean. You can also rent kayaks and paddleboards to explore the nearby coves and coastline.


While Playa Mismaloya is easily accessible by car or taxi, it still maintains a sense of tranquility and seclusion. The absence of large resorts and commercial developments ensures that the beach retains its natural charm and peaceful atmosphere.


Whether you’re seeking relaxation on the sand, thrilling underwater adventures, or a getaway into the lush wilderness, Playa Mismaloya offers a captivating beach experience. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty and charm of this iconic coastal destination in Puerto Vallarta.


Playa Majahuitas

Nestled in a remote and pristine cove south of Puerto Vallarta, Playa Majahuitas offers a secluded and untouched beach experience. This hidden gem is accessible only by boat, ensuring a sense of exclusivity and tranquility that is hard to find elsewhere.


Playa Majahuitas is renowned for its untouched natural beauty and breathtaking surroundings. The secluded beach is framed by lush green hillsides and boasts soft golden sand that slopes gently into the crystal-clear turquoise waters. The tranquil atmosphere and picturesque landscape create a perfect setting for relaxation and rejuvenation.


One of the highlights of Playa Majahuitas is its incredible snorkeling and diving opportunities. The sheltered bay is home to vibrant coral reefs and a diversity of marine life, including colorful tropical fish, rays, and occasional sea turtles. Dive beneath the surface and explore the underwater paradise, immersing yourself in the vibrant and diverse ecosystem.


Beyond snorkeling, Playa Majahuitas is an excellent spot for kayaking, paddleboarding, and exploring the coastline by boat. Cruise along the crystal-clear waters, marvel at the secluded coves, and take in the panoramic views of the surrounding tropical landscape.


As you relax on the pristine beach, you may encounter friendly and curious iguanas that call Playa Majahuitas home. These fascinating reptiles add a touch of intrigue and make for great photo opportunities.


While there are no restaurants or amenities at Playa Majahuitas, many boat tours and excursions include a delicious beachside lunch as part of the experience. Savor a freshly prepared meal while enjoying the tranquility and beauty of the surroundings.


Playa Majahuitas offers a true escape from the crowds and a chance to connect with nature in its purest form. Whether you spend your time snorkeling through vibrant reefs, exploring the coastline by boat, or simply enjoying the serenity of the secluded beach, Playa Majahuitas is a truly magical and unforgettable destination in Puerto Vallarta.


Playa Quimixto

Tucked away in a tranquil fishing village nestled in the hills of Puerto Vallarta’s southern coast, Playa Quimixto offers a peaceful and off-the-beaten-path beach experience. Accessible only by boat, this secluded paradise provides a glimpse into the authentic coastal lifestyle of Mexico.


Playa Quimixto is known for its unspoiled beauty and laid-back atmosphere. The beach is lined with soft golden sand and fringed with palm trees, creating a picturesque setting that invites relaxation and serenity. Take a leisurely stroll along the shore, listen to the soothing sounds of the waves, and breathe in the refreshing ocean breeze.


One of the unique attractions of Playa Quimixto is the majestic waterfall located just a short hike away from the beach. Embark on a scenic trek through the lush jungle, following a winding path that leads to the cascading waters of the Quimixto Waterfall. Take a refreshing swim in the pool beneath the waterfall or simply bask in the natural beauty of this hidden gem.


The village of Quimixto itself offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the authentic charm of a traditional Mexican fishing community. Observe the daily routines of local fishermen as they prepare their boats and nets, or visit one of the local eateries and savor delicious seafood dishes made with the freshest catches from the ocean.


While at Playa Quimixto, you will find several small palapa-style restaurants serving refreshing drinks and traditional Mexican cuisine. Indulge in a mouthwatering seafood ceviche or try a refreshing margarita while gazing out at the stunning ocean views.


Playa Quimixto offers a true escape from the crowds and a chance to immerse yourself in the peacefulness of a secluded coastal village. Whether you’re hiking to the waterfall, savoring the flavors of local cuisine, or simply unwinding on the tranquil beach, Playa Quimixto promises a serene and authentic beach experience in Puerto Vallarta.



Puerto Vallarta is a beach lover’s paradise, offering a diverse range of stunning coastal destinations that cater to every preference and desire. From lively and vibrant beaches like Playa los Muertos and Playa de Oro to secluded and tranquil gems like Playa Conchas Chinas and Playa Gemelas, each beach in Puerto Vallarta has its own unique charm and allure.


When planning your trip to Puerto Vallarta, consider factors such as location, ambiance, amenities, water conditions, and available activities to choose the beaches that best suit your preferences. Whether you’re seeking adventure with snorkeling and water sports or simply looking to relax and unwind on the soft sands, there is a beach in Puerto Vallarta waiting to fulfill your desires.


Take the time to explore beyond the beaches and experience the rich culture, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality that Puerto Vallarta has to offer. Indulge in delicious Mexican cuisine, stroll through the vibrant streets of the Romantic Zone, embark on boat tours to discover hidden coves, or venture into the surrounding natural beauty through hikes and wildlife encounters.


As you visit each beach, remember to respect the local environment and contribute to the preservation of these natural treasures. Take only photographs, leave only footprints, and be mindful of the marine life and delicate ecosystems that call these beaches home.


Whether you’re a sun-worshipper, an adventure enthusiast, or a nature lover, Puerto Vallarta has the perfect beach for you. Immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of this coastal paradise, and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.


So pack your sunscreen, flip-flops, and sense of adventure, and let Puerto Vallarta’s beaches captivate you with their breathtaking beauty, warm waters, and welcoming spirit. Whether you choose to explore the popular beaches or venture off the beaten path to discover hidden gems, your beach experience in Puerto Vallarta is sure to be a memorable one.