Puerto Vallarta Beaches
Puerto Vallarta is known for its array of beaches - more than 50 - the most famous being Playa Mismaloya, where Night of the Iguana was filmed. Predator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger was also filmed nearby, in the jungle overlooking the protected cove. Suffice it to say, you can't go wrong with your pick of sandy spots, everything from action-packed tourist enclaves to secluded coves ideal for two. Just up the coast heading north you'll also find a variety of lovely spots of sun. (See Nuevo Vallarta Beaches)
Playa de los Muertos
"Beach of the Dead," so named for the murderous antics of the pirates that used to live here, is the focal point for sun worshiping, volleyball, parasailing, and more as well as watching Puerto Vallarta's magnificent sunsets. It is also known as Playa Olas Altas or Playa del Sol and is located just off Calle Olas Atlas. The southern end, known as "Blue Chairs," is a popular gay beach.
Las Caletas Beach
A tourist must: This lush hidden cove south of PV is comprised of three small sandy beaches, is the former home of movie director John Huston and is only accessible by an hour's boat ride. It's been referred to as a Garden of Eden thanks to its relaxing hammocks hidden in shady spots, its prostine beach, its gorgeous flora and fauna and the array of watersporting activities including guided kayak tours, snorkeling or scuba diving lessons.
Hotel Zone Beaches
The area from Marina Vallarta to the Rosita is lined with glittery hotels and long stretches of beach.
This is the beach that put Puerto Vallarta on the map thanks to the film Night of the Iguana. And though it's touristier than it was in 1963, it's still gorgeous: a sandy stretch of carpet along a jungle-fringed cove where the Mismaloya creek meets the ocean.
A laid back beach ideal for swimming and snorkeling that is popular among locals and tourists. It's also known for its array of outdoor palapa-shaded restaurants.
Similar to Destiladeras, with clear warm waters which make snorkeling especially easy for beginners, and the shaded restaurants perfect for lounging and drinking in the view.
Boca de Tomatlan
A remote and primitive beach where you can rent pangas to visit the even more remote beaches of Yepala, Las Animas or Quimixto, which are only accessible by boat.
A bit off the beaten track, these small crescent-shaped beaches are located at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountains where the surf is gentle.
Marina Vallarta Beaches
Just north of PV, these beaches are a bit pebbly but still nice for exploring.