Today, Puerto Vallarta is one of the most popular beach destinations in Mexico. Thanks to its exotic natural beauty, warm waters, and top-notch beaches, Puerto Vallarta is well known among tourists who are seeking a mixture of warm hospitality and excellent service.

But let’s start from the beginning

In the past, the coastal city of Puerto Vallarta was just one unknown fishing village. Thanks to Hollywood couple Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Barton who moved to this area, bringing all world’s attention with them, this place soon transformed into a very popular tourist place.

Why You should come to Puerto Vallarta

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Yes, here you can find the greatest restaurants and hotels. But what really attracts tourists are plenty of beaches to discover and to choose from. Every single one has its own enchantment. Some of them are only accessible by boat, some are hidden, some are surrounded by magical nature and others are full of life all around them.

Best time to visit Puerto Vallarta?

The best time to visit Puerto Vallarta is between April and June when the weather is nice and the price in hotels are affordable. During these months, rain is rare and there are fewer tourists compared to the winter high season. If you’re interested in whale watching, however, visit from December to March.

Best Beaches in Puerto Vallarta

It was really hard to choose between all those beautiful beaches on Mexico’s Pacific coast, but here are our recommendations.

Las Animas Beach

Playa Las Ánimas is a beautiful beach in the southern zone of Puerto Vallarta. It is the first stop water taxis make on the way West in the southern section of Banderas Bay.

Las Animas beach is a day tour favorite, so there are many cruise trips in the bay that arrive here during the day. It is very popular among beach lovers; the sand is clean and fine, the waters are clean, the waves are soft, and the surrounding nature is breathtaking.

At Las Animas, you’ll find a lot of restaurants and bars to enjoy drinks and authentic seafood under the shade of a palapa. There are banana boat rides, paddleboard rentals, Las Animas Adventure Park with zip-lines, balancing beams and so much more.

Las Gemelas Beach

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Las Gemelas Beach is located about 10 miles south of central Puerto Vallarta. The easiest way to reach it is by Uber or a car, and it takes about 30 minutes ride. Also, access to the beach is free.

Well known for its sandy shore and cerulean waves, this beach is a great place to escape from crowded beaches and just enjoy in beautiful sand and water. Still, Las Gemelas beach is small so it can be really crowded with tourists over the weekend. To avoid the crowd, tourists should visit this beach during the week.

If you want your place in the sand, you should arrive early in the morning. Since there is a very few shops nearby, you should bring your own supplies – food, drinks, snacks, sunscreen, and towels.

In the end, the privacy of the beach, beautiful sandy beach, and blue-green waters here definitely make it a worthwhile stop.

Camarones Beach

Camarones Beach or Shrimp Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches near Colonia Olimpica in Puerto Vallarta. It is never crowded with tourists and vendors, and its waters are great for surfing, jet skiing, and parasailing.

In addition, the sand is really soft so you can stay in one place all afternoon. Also, Camarones Beach is a great place to relax and enjoy fresh food (there are some food stands and seafood restaurants).

This is not a beach where you can find an “all-inclusive” experience but you will find facilities like toilets, umbrellas, chairs, water sports, and beach bars. Sunsets from this beach are spectacular, as also sunrises and moonsets.

Marietas Islands

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The Marietas Islands, also known as Lover’s Beach, are some kind of Puerto Vallarta’s “hidden gem”. The shore is formed inside an underground crater, creating a small beach amid the rocky Redonda Island.

Accessible only by boat, the Marietas Islands are popular among scuba divers, snorkelers, and birdwatchers. Spots are limited, so you’ll have to make a reservation ahead of time – most groups take off from Punta de Mita, a short drive north of Puerto Vallarta.

There is plenty of eco-tour to The Marietas Island. Most of them provide a full-day experience: snorkeling, exploring the bay, seeing whales, getting close up to the bird sanctuary on one of the islands, spending an hour or two on a beautiful, quiet private beach…The water is crystal clear and the beach is wonderfully sandy.

Las Caletas

Las Caletas is a hidden paradise, a private tropical beach accessible only by boat. If you want to go there you will have to book a trip out there. When you arrive, staff wait and serve drinks. They also point you to other activities such as snorkeling with sea lions, scuba diving or guided nature walks.

This is a great place for families with children because there are also child-friendly activities like donkey rides, swinging bridges, and zip lines…

The natural beauty of Las Caletas and its tropical sanctuary was discovered by the famous film director John Huston, who made it a private home for many years. But now, it’s open to the public.

If you looking for excitement, you will find it here. Huge tropical forest, three beaches, complete dive facility, kids adventure park, teen adventure cove… This beach is a “must-see” if you looking for a “Heaven on Earth” feeling or traveling with your children.

Los Muertos Beach

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Los Muertos Beach is the most visited beach in Puerto Vallarta. Popular among the locals, families, and tourists from the nearest cities and states, this beach provides one of the most beautiful sunsets in Mexico.

People who come here also enjoy the local culture, beer, tradition, soft sand, and excellent food. The first part of the beach in the Romantic Zone (Old Vallarta), between the Cuale river mouth and Venustiano Carranza street, is called Olas Altas beach. And the south of Venustiano Carranza is called Los Muertos beach.

Los Muertos Beach, compared to the rest of the beaches in Puerto Vallarta, is usually crowded with people. There’s food, beers, parasailing, vendors… The ocean waves aren’t big so you can swim as long as you like. And, the sand is great for building castles with your kids!

Garza Blanca Beach

This beach is one of the few in Puerto Vallarta that has white sand. Garza Blanca is celebrated for providing hours of fun for everyone who uses their hotels. There are full waiter service and free use of non-motorized beach toys.

In addition, this beach is certified for its cleanliness, and it is truly a paradise for everyone who is looking for a perfect vacation.  If you like to hike, nearby, you can find the Palo Maria River and take a 20-minute hike to its refreshing waterfall before relaxing by the shore. And when you do relax, you will do so by the “Blue Flag” certified clear waters.

Featured image: Unsplash-CinthiaAguilar