The Bestest of the Beaches of Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay

best beaches of Banderas Bay

2 May, 2019

If you’re planning on heading down to get your yearly requirement of Vitamin B, that’s vitamin beach to you, you couldn’t pick a better spot on the planet. The second your toes touch the pure white sand you are going to feel spectacular. We asked travelers who come here often and know it well, to share their favorite beach on the bay with you and one name came up over and over again. Los Muertos.  The Deadmen’s Beach. That name may be historically accurate, because of the discovery of old bones many years ago, but it hardly describes how fabulously alive this world famous beach is.

It was chosen as best for kids. Best for partying. Best for eating. Best for drinking. Best for people watching. Not so great for surfing, but who’s complaining when there is so much else to rave about.

Boats, bathing suits, parasailing, whale watching, dolphins jumping, beach vendors, seaside places to eat and drink or just chill out, take in the sun and the surf and do NADA.


Now if its privacy you’re after you might do better at Conchas Chinas or if it’s snorkeling, try the white sands of Los Arcos Beach with its big, off-shore rocks. But for all the rest of what we all head for the beach for, Los Muertos Beach, just south of the famous Malecon, the River Cuale and the pier is the perennial favorite. My only complaints of the Old Town beaches are the occasional rocks you find, but other than that, they rock big time.

Now, we’re on a big bay, the Bay of Banderas, so that means there are lots of places to catch some rays, some fish, some siesta time and some waves that are high up on the best lists as well. Head a little north to Nuevo Vallarta and the beach get wider, sandier, less crowded and lined with world-class resorts.

Bucerias, the next stop up is a funky little town I love. Great sand, lots of locals walking their dogs and kite sailing, great places to eat and drink and a nice little market that’s sells all the trinkets and treasures you could want. La Cruz where my favorite Sunday market is held in season, has a gorgeous local beach just south of the marina called La Manzanilla. A beautiful spot with nice calm water, the shore lined with great places to eat and your chance to see how locals do Domingo with their families and the delicious picnic fare spread out all around them.

Punta Mita, just to the north is rapidly becoming one of the stars of the bay. Bill Gates bought a chunk including the renowned, Four Seasons Hotel and I keep hearing they have big plans in store for this cool little spot.  The water is a little more Caribbean here, a little greener and calmer and just a 30-minute trip in a taxi or a little more on the bus, which by the way, is simple, cheap and fun  because Mexicans are super friendly and love to laugh.

My little secret sweet spot is south of downtown. A slice of heaven called Boca de Tomatlan that brings out the little boy Tarzan in me. It’s a typical tropical village scene with small shops, great restaurants lining the cove and mongo homes up in the hills. But best of all, a jungle river flows right past your legs into the sea.  I don’t know why, but that makes my day.  Of course, no visit to the bay is ever complete without a boat trip to Boca de Tomatlan. It’s one of those places that seem too good to be true. You might even decide to pet one of the iguanas.

And then there are the intangibles. The super friendly, humble and kind, Mexican people, the right out of the ocean sea food, the peso at around 20 to USD, all the world-class action around the Bay and perhaps the best, most reliable weather in the world.

All reasons why Puerto Vallarta and the entire Banderas Bay are one of the world’s best-loved resorts. The # 1 pick of the LGBT community year after year. And it’s the Pacific, so no problems with seaweed.

For me, after playing Tarzan there’s nothing better that an ice-cold artisan tequila, sipped in a colorful hammock between two palm trees feeling the cooling breeze while the waves roll in. Just another day in paradise on the bay. Amigo, what are you waiting for?

Oh yeah, one more thing. Before your book your ticket, check out all the best of the bay on  You’ll find the best of everything in this, best place on earth.

Boca de Tomatlan, Banderas Bay