5 of the Best Beaches in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Sunbathing at Conchas Chinas- One of the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta

Where can I find the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta?

How many times have I been asked this question? A ton.

If you didn’t know this about me already, I lived in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for almost 3 years. During that time I had the pleasure of spending my free time on some of the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta.

Some with a landscape that reminds me of my new home state of California, some with the clearest blue water I have ever seen, and some that made me feel like I was stranded on a desert island, just me and the sea.

Luckily enough, Puerto Vallarta (PVR) is only a 3 hour non-stop flight from Orange County (SNA), so I try to go back for a visit whenever I can. Each time I go back to visit Puerto Vallarta, I always make sure I have enough time to head back to some of my favorite spots.

If you’ve never been to Puerto Vallarta, read more about visiting Puerto Vallarta here.

Some people like to spend their entire trip on their resort’s beach, under a palapa, with a drink in hand. Don’t get me wrong, this is the perfect idea of a Mexican vacation, but if you are anything like me, we need to explore a variety of beaches!

I like to experience what life is like outside of the resort. Explore areas that are not so touristy that give me a chance to relax. But I also like to mix in some that are touristy, fun, and vibrant! I like to meet the locals, see how they live, where they eat, and where they hang out.

If this sounds anything like you, I encourage you to step off the resort during your vacation in Puerto Vallarta. Get out there and explore the best beaches that Puerto Vallarta has to offer.

I have picked out a few of my favorites, each with their own unique vibe. After checking them out, tell me which one you would like to visit!

Planning a trip to Puerto Vallarta? Be sure to check out my Ultimate Guide for Planning a Trip to Puerto Vallarta!

5 of the Best Beaches in Puerto Vallarta

Entrance to Conchas Chinas Beach in Puerto Vallarta

1. Conchas Chinas Beach

Location:

Playa Conchas Chinas is located on the south end of Puerto Vallarta, off of Easy Street in the neighborhood of Conchas Chinas. This gorgeous beach has received the official Blue Flag certification, which means it has met and maintained certain environmental needs, as well as other requirements.

How to get there:

Take Highway 200 south through the windy streets of Conchas Chinas. Turn right onto Easy Street. Once you get down the hill you will see the beach to the right. There is no designated parking lot, so park anywhere you find an open spot on the side of the road without blocking a driveway.

You can also take the bus (the orange one), a taxi, or Uber. If you tell them you are going to Playa Conchas Chinas they will be able to get you where you need to go.

Why it made the list:

The reasons this beach is one of my favorites in Puerto Vallarta is because of the gorgeous clear water, picture perfect rock sections, swim-ability, and lack of tourists. The rocks create a nice place to snorkel too!

Almost every time I have been to this beach it almost felt like I had the whole beach to myself. There are a few condos on the beach, but other than that, this is a secluded area. I would typically see locals here and not too many tourists.

Looking out from Conchas Chinas Beach in Puerto Vallarta

Tips for visiting Conchas Chinas Beach:

If you do head to this beach, bring your own drinks and water. You might be lucky to find an umbrella and snack food vendor, but I would recommend just bringing your own stuff in case they are not there because like I mentioned, this is not a touristy beach. There is an OXXO convenience store on the main highway before the beach.

This is a beach where you can have some peace and quiet, relax, and go for a nice enjoyable swim.

View of Los Muertos Beach from the Pier

2. Los Muertos Beach

Location:

Playa Los Muertos is located south of the Rio Cuale officially in the neighborhood of Amapas, but also very close to the popular area of Olas Altas.

How to get there:

You can get to this beach by heading straight towards the ocean on Francisca Rodriguez, or if you are on the Malecon (boardwalk), walk south until you reach the Los Muertos Pier. Any taxi or Uber driver will know exactly how to get to Los Muertos Beach. The blue and green bus routes can also get you within walking distance.

Why it made the list:

The reason Los Muertos Beach made it onto my list is due to the cool vibes and atmosphere. There is always something going on at this beach, and there are tons of bars and restaurants. I always enjoyed going here to listen to live music. There are so many great performers in Puerto Vallarta!

View of the Pier at Los Muertos Beach during Sunset

Tips for visiting Los Muertos Beach:

Los Muertos is a touristy beach, so be prepared for it to be busy. Lots of locals go here, as well as tourists. Hang out and make some new friends!

If you are heading here for the day, you really don’t need to bring anything with you. There are tons of vendors to provide you with umbrellas, drinks, snacks, and even souvenirs. You also have several options for food and beverages, a lot of them with tables on the beach.

If you want to save some money head to the Oxxo (you can almost literally find one of these on any corner) and buy a Styrofoam cooler. Grab some snacks and drinks and you are set to hang out for the day at one of Puerto Vallarta’s most popular beaches, Los Muertos.

Entrance to Destiladeras Beach in Puerto Vallarta

3. Destiladeras Beach

Location:

Destiladeras is actually located in another state, which is Nayarit. It is not uncommon for locals and tourists to travel freely in between Puerto Vallarta which is in Jalisco state and the neighboring state of Nayarit.

How to get there:

You can take the bus, taxi, or Uber over to Nayarit. It has been a while since I have been to this beach, and since then there have been some improvements and/or changes made to the road. You should be able to take highway 200 North into Nayarit and look for a place called Nahui. The beach is right after Nahui and before Rancho Banderas. I recommend mapping out your route first if you are planning to head there on your own.

Why it made the list:

The reason this beach made it onto my list even though it is not located in Puerto Vallarta, is due to the adventure and difference in scenery. The drive to get from Puerto Vallarta to Destiladeras is about 45 minutes to 1 hour, and the drive will force you to venture out and explore more of this beautiful area.

The beach itself has different scenery than other beaches in Puerto Vallarta. There are actually cliffs, so when you arrive you are on top looking down onto the beach. It is very pretty and not too crowded.

Walking with the dog on Destiladeras Beach in Puerto Vallarta

Tips for visiting Destiladeras Beach:

You have the option to bring your own stuff or find the beach restaurant. As far as I know, there is only one restaurant on this beach, so you won’t have many options.

If you do head over to Destiladeras, you can continue your journey north and make a stop at Punta de Mita. This is the northern-most point of the Banderas Bay. Heading back south to Puerto Vallarta you can make a stop in Bucerias, which is a popular beach town for expats and has some great food.

Palapa view from the beach in Yelapa, Mexico

4. Yelapa

Location:

Yelapa is a remote fishing village located south of Puerto Vallarta. The village can only be accessed by water taxi or tour boat, which makes for an awesome adventure! It almost feels like an island!

How to get there:

I have had the pleasure of experiencing Yelapa by tour boat and by water taxi, and I most definitely prefer the water taxi. With the water taxi, you venture off to Yelapa on your own, without the tour boat, tour guide, and a bunch of other tourists. I personally prefer this method because I like to make my own adventure, not stick to a schedule.

If you want to take the water taxi, head to Los Muertos Pier and it is almost guaranteed that you will be greeted by someone offering you the water taxi. They can help you make a reservation, which I recommend you do at least the day before you want to go. Don’t try to book it on the same day.

If you want to take a tour to Yelapa, definitely go for it! Vallarta Adventures and Miramar Excursions are going to be the best options.

If you prefer a more intimate experience with Yelapa locals: BOOK THIS TOUR.

(I have actually stayed at this couple’s Yelapa rental house a few times, and they are great hosts! He is from Yelapa, and she is from the United States and they run their business together. You will love them!)

If you prefer to be with a larger group of people with a well-known tour company: BOOK THIS TOUR.

Why it made the list:

I absolutely love Yelapa, and it was the perfect little weekend getaway for me when I lived in Puerto Vallarta. The reason Yelapa is such a great place to visit is that it is so unique and you can get away from everything here, literally.

It is a fishing village, with no cars! It feels like you are on a remote island. There are no major stores, no big buildings, no fast food, and no banks. You can find some small restaurants and corner stores, but that’s about it.

It is really a different lifestyle that I feel everyone who is visiting Puerto Vallarta should experience at least once.

Yelapa has horseback riding, hiking, some small waterfalls, a few boat activities, and beach-front restaurants where you can hang out all day with a margarita in your hand.

If you are staying in Yelapa for a while there are even a few water activities and tours you can take directly from town with MiraMar Excursions!

View of the boats and beach in Yelapa, Mexico

Tips for visiting Yelapa:

If you are only staying in Yelapa for the day you should book your water taxi to head there at the earliest time possible and to leave at the latest time possible. The reason for this is since the taxis do not run all day and night. You want to make sure you have plenty of time to spend there. Don’t miss the taxi on the way back to Puerto Vallarta!

Bring a backpack with you for anything you will need to hike, swim, change clothes, etc.

If you plan to stay in Yelapa overnight (via water taxi), I recommend that you bring a cooler with food and drinks. The local corner store may not have much of a selection.

I like to head to Yelapa to get away from things, slow down, and enjoy nature. You can easily spend a day here, even better if you can experience the feeling of Yelapa overnight.

This is the place I always stay when I am in Yelapa for the night: Casa MiraMar

Sitting on the rocks at Hyatt Ziva's Beach

5. Hyatt Ziva’s Beach

Location:

Hyatt Ziva is a resort located on the south side of Puerto Vallarta in the neighborhood of Conchas Chinas. Hyatt Ziva might just have THE best beach in Puerto Vallarta.

How to get there:

Hyatt Ziva is a well-known resort, so any taxi or Uber driver will know how to get there. The orange bus also goes right past the resort and there is a bus stop close enough for you to walk the rest of the way.

If you are driving your own car, you should head south on Highway 200 through the windy streets of Conchas Chinas. You will soon see the resort on the right side of the highway. Shortly after you see it, there will be the entrance on the left. Check in with security to enter and park.

Why it made the list:

The reason this beach is on my list is that it is basically a private beach since no other businesses have access to this beach. Technically, beaches in Puerto Vallarta are supposed to be public. As far as I know, the only way you have access to the beach at Hyatt Ziva is by staying at the resort.

Enjoying the water at the Hyatt Ziva Beach

Tips for visiting the beach at Hyatt Ziva:

If you are not staying at this resort, you can ask for a day pass to enjoy the beach and the other amenities just like the guests. The day pass will allow you to have unlimited access to the restaurants and drinks on the beach or at the pool.

You can get information on a day pass by contacting the resort directly.

Don’t try to get to this beach on your own without going through the resort. The only way in is by going through the river or by boat. I really don’t want to hear that someone got hurt or kicked off the beach!

5 of the Best Beaches in Puerto Vallarta Pin

 

There you have it, my top 5 best beaches in Puerto Vallarta! Which beach sounds the most amazing to you?

As always, leave me a comment below if you have any questions about any of Puerto Vallarta’s beaches!

 

READ NEXT:

The Ultimate Guide for Planning a Trip to Puerto Vallarta

What to Expect When You Visit Puerto Vallarta

Tips for Planning a Wedding in Puerto Vallarta


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