The beaches in Puerto Vallarta are, by and large, fantastic; so much so that it would be a shame to limit yourself only to the private beach of whichever resort or hotel you are staying at. In order to help you get out and about we’ve compiled a list of the top 8 public beaches in Puerto Vallarta.
Top Best Beaches in Puerto Vallarta
- Playa Nuevo Vallarta
Easily one of the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta (or rather Nuevo Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit), Playa Nuevo Vallarta is a long, wide, flat sandy beach which has shallow, choppy waves, perfect for families. This wonderful beach is lined by the hotels that cover the area, but is huge so you should never struggle to find a space on this seemingly endless stretch of sand; Playa Nuevo Vallarta merges almost seamlessly with Bucerias.
- Playa Los Muertos
On the southern side of Puerto Vallarta, firmly in Old Town, is Playa Los Muertos which is arguably the most popular and vibrant of all the beaches in Puerto Vallarta. Full to the hilt with bars, restaurants, and vendors Playa Los Muertos is thoroughly lively. Groups of friends will find this beach the best place to hang out during the day as music can generally be heard, and the bars are nearby. With that said, however, families will also find this beach appropriate; the waves are relatively calm and not too deep and, as such, make a great, safe place for children to play in the surf.
For surfing and the hippy lifestyle, Sayulita is one of the best Beaches near Puerto Vallarta. For the entirely bohemian, and lovers of surfing this beach town is just radical. Hippy-chic is what it’s all about here, and Sayulita is arguably the centre of all things boho-chic. The surf here is great, and there’s plenty of space for sunbathing. Though this won’t be the quintessential relaxing beach day, Sayulita certainly won’t fade from your memory.
- Playa Camarones
On the other side of Puerto Vallarta’s famous Malecon boardwalk is Playa Camarones beach, which stretches southward; one of the most popular beaches in Puerto Vallarta. This beach has recently received certification of cleanliness and has fewer vendors than Los Muertos which makes it a little better suited to those who want some peace and quiet. Here there are more locals and national tourists, so it’s even more “Mexican” than the tourist beaches. Keep an eye on the kids, though as the ocean here has a strong current and the drop off in the seabed is pretty sharp.
- Playa Pelicanos
One of the more relaxing beaches in Puerto Vallarta Pelicanos beach is perfect for those who want to relax in peace and quiet. Frequented mainly by locals, expats living in Puerto Vallarta and national tourists (though you’ll find the odd international visitor), this beach enjoys low, gentle waves. Stretching from the Sheraton Hotel and past Plaza Genoveza, this beach is not monopolized by hotels and resorts so you’ll find there is plenty of space for the public to enjoy the pristine sands of Playa Pelicanos.
- Boca de Tomatlan
Not strictly classified as one of the beaches in Puerto Vallarta but easily accessible nevertheless, Boca de Tomatlan is a quiet fishing town to the South of Puerto Vallarta, served by local buses. Although the beach here is quaint, with typical restaurants, Boca de Tomatlan is more of a stop off point for boats en route to more secluded beaches and coves such as Quimixto and Yelapa. You can get a local bus from Puerto Vallarta Old Town to this quaint little haunt quite easily.
- Playa Destiladeras
This beach, like Nuevo Vallarta beach, is wide and long with the kind of tall, but fairly gentle, waves that are perfect for swimming, boogie-boarding, and even learning to surf! Playa Destiladeras is enduringly popular with Mexican families for many reasons; it’s large enough that it never feels too crowded, it has some really great restaurants within a short walking distance, and the waters and sand alike are kept very clean. Families, especially those with young children, will find that this is the best beach for them.
- Playa Gemelas
Along with its sister beaches Playa Garza Blanca, and Playa Punta Negra, Playa Gemelas is a lot more secluded and quiet than many of the public beaches in Puerto Vallarta. They can seem difficult to get to as you need to pass the condos and cliffs, but if you just keep walking you’ll get to them eventually. What awaits at these beaches is well worth the walk, but the waves can be rough so swim at your own peril.