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Finding your perfect stretch of sand won’t be a problem around Puerto Vallarta

By Anita Draycott

Puerto Vallarta’s original happening beach, Playa los Muertos (Beach of the Dead), is action central for both locals and tourists alike. The flat stretch of sand starts south of the River Cuale and runs about 1.5 km (one mile) south while hugging the Romantic Zone. There is a non-stop parade of vendors hawking grilled fish on sticks, jewellery, sombreros and serapes. You can take a banana-boat ride or go para-sailing. A string of restaurants run the length of the beach, most with umbrellas and lounges for daytime and romantic tables for candlelight dining.

To the north of Playa los Muertos is Playa Olas Altas (High Waves Beach). Ironically, there’s nothing dead about the former and the waves aren’t usually very high at the latter.  However, you may find the waters suitable for surfing or boogie boarding near the River Cuale. Olas Altas starts at Daiquiri Dick's excellent restaurant and runs north to the River. It attracts fewer sunbathers then Los Muertos but gets lively during holidays.

South of Vallarta you’ll find several more beaches. Playa Conchas Chinas features a series of rocky coves with crystalline water and millions of white shells broken and polished by the waves forming the sand. The individual coves are ideal for secluded sunbathing and snorkelling. Further south, Playa Mismaloya is where the movie, The Night of the Iguana was made. Further south still, you will find Boca de Tomatlán from where you can arrange snorkelling and diving trips via water taxi out to Los Arcos, a collection of giant rocky outcroppings. Because of its shallow waters, Playa last Ánimas is ideal for children and often fills up with families on weekends and holidays. A few seafood shacks line in the sand. You can also rent Jet Skis, ride a banana boat or go parasailing.

The town of Bucerías, about 20 minutes north of Vallarta, attracts flocks of snowbirds to its excellent restaurants and palm-lined beach. The surf is usually gentle enough for swimming. Two of the best beaches for surfing are at Sayulita about 19 km (12 miles) north of Bucerías. The curvaceous beach hugs a small they that is ideal for beginning and novice surfers. Equipment let rental and lessons are available. The surf at El Anclote, Punta Mita, is calmed by several rock jetties so it's a good spot for beginner surfers and sunset watchers.

 

                                                                       

                

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