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Discover Hidden Gems 9 Beach Towns South of Puerto Vallarta

Ready to explore the hidden gems of Puerto Vallarta? Did you know that there are nine unique beach towns just south of this popular Mexican destination? These towns boast stunning beaches, vibrant cultures, and a laid-back atmosphere that will make you forget about the hustle and bustle of city life.

According to recent statistics, Puerto Vallarta is the second most visited destination in Mexico, with over 4 million visitors in 2019. While this bustling city has plenty to offer, sometimes you just need to escape the crowds and discover something new.

That’s where these nine beach towns come in – each one offering its own charm and character, waiting to be explored by the adventurous traveler within you. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to discover the hidden gems of Puerto Vallarta’s southern coast.


You’re going to fall in love with Sayulita – it’s a charming little spot that’s full of character and warmth. This small beach town is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Sayulita has a laid-back vibe, and you’ll feel immediately at home here. One of the main attractions in Sayulita is the surfing lessons. The waves are perfect for beginners, and there are several surf schools in town that offer lessons for all levels. Even if you’ve never surfed before, you’ll be standing up on your board in no time. The instructors are patient, friendly, and will make sure you have a great time.

If surfing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other activities to keep you busy in Sayulita. The town is known for its artisan markets, where you can find beautiful handmade goods from local artists. You’ll find everything from jewelry and pottery to clothing and home decor. The markets are open every day, and they’re the perfect place to pick up a unique souvenir to take home with you.

Sayulita is a hidden gem that’s just waiting to be discovered. From the beautiful beaches to the friendly people, there’s something special about this little town. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an adventure-filled vacation, Sayulita has something for everyone.

So pack your bags, and get ready to experience the magic of Sayulita.

San Pancho

San Pancho has a rich cultural scene and a laid-back vibe that makes it a great alternative to the more touristy areas nearby. Here are four things you can do to enjoy your visit to San Pancho:

1. Explore the town’s art scene: San Pancho is home to many local artists who showcase their work in galleries and studios around town. Take a stroll through the streets to see colorful murals and street art, or visit the Entre Amigos community center to check out the art and craft markets held on Saturdays.

2. Enjoy eco-tourism opportunities: San Pancho is surrounded by lush jungle and is a great place to explore the natural beauty of the area. Hike through the jungle to reach secluded beaches, go birdwatching, or take a guided tour to learn about local flora and fauna.

3. Relax on the beach: San Pancho has a beautiful, wide beach that is perfect for swimming, surfing, or just lounging in the sun. The beach is never too crowded, so you can always find a quiet spot to relax and enjoy the ocean breeze.

4. Shop for artisanal crafts: San Pancho is known for its artisanal crafts, including pottery, woven textiles, and jewelry. Visit the local shops and markets to find unique souvenirs to take home with you.

In San Pancho, you can immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy eco-tourism opportunities while also relaxing on the beach and shopping for artisanal crafts. Whether you’re looking for adventure or just a peaceful getaway, San Pancho has something for everyone.


Get ready to experience the laid-back charm of Yelapa, where you’ll find stunning waterfalls, lush jungle, and a vibrant local community. This hidden gem is only accessible by boat, making it the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The main attraction in Yelapa is its waterfall hikes, which take you through the picturesque jungle to reach the cascading falls. Eco tourism is a big part of Yelapa’s culture, and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in nature.

Take a boat tour to see dolphins and whales in their natural habitat, or go snorkeling to discover the vibrant marine life that calls Yelapa home. If you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at paddleboarding or kayaking along the crystal-clear waters of the bay.

Yelapa’s vibrant local community is another reason to visit. You’ll find plenty of local restaurants serving up authentic Mexican cuisine, and the town’s weekly farmer’s market is a must-visit for fresh produce and handmade crafts.

Embrace the slow pace of life in Yelapa, where the only thing on your agenda is relaxation and exploration. With its stunning natural beauty and laid-back charm, Yelapa is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

Boca de Tomatlan

When you arrive at Boca de Tomatlan, you’ll immediately see why it’s a must-visit destination in the Puerto Vallarta area. The town is known for its stunning kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding opportunities, allowing you to explore the crystal-clear waters and take in the gorgeous scenery.

After a day on the water, be sure to indulge in the delicious seafood and refreshing cocktails available on the beach. Or, take a boat tour and try your hand at whale watching.

Kayaking and Stand-Up Paddleboarding

You can easily explore the beautiful coastline of Boca de Tomatlan by trying out kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding. It’s a unique way to see stunning views from a different perspective, and discover hidden gems that you may not be able to access by foot.

As you glide along the crystal-clear waters, you’ll be able to explore coastal caves and rock formations that are only visible from the water. Kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are perfect for those who love adventure and want to experience the freedom of the great outdoors.

You don’t need any prior experience to enjoy these activities, as the calm waters and friendly locals make it easy for beginners to get started. So why not take the plunge and try something new? You might just discover a new passion while exploring the hidden treasures of Boca de Tomatlan.

Seafood and Cocktails on the Beach

If you’re looking for a delicious way to unwind after a day of adventure, the seafood and cocktails on offer at Boca de Tomatlan are sure to satisfy your taste buds. This small fishing village located just south of Puerto Vallarta is home to some of the best seafood restaurants in the area.

From fresh ceviche to grilled octopus, the seafood here is always top-notch. Be sure to try the local specialty, Pescado Sarandeado, a whole fish marinated in a spicy sauce and grilled to perfection.

But it’s not just the food that makes Boca de Tomatlan a must-visit spot. The creative beach cocktails are also a highlight. Sip on a refreshing margarita or try something new like a coconut mojito while you relax on the sandy beach.

The laid-back atmosphere and stunning ocean views make it the perfect place to unwind and soak up the sun. So, grab a seat, order a drink, and let the ocean breeze take your worries away.

Boat Tours and Whale Watching

Boat tours and whale watching are a must-do activity in Boca de Tomatlan, where humpback whales can be spotted from December to March. Hop on a boat tour and witness these majestic creatures as they migrate from the Arctic to Mexico’s warm waters. The tours are usually led by experienced guides who will take you to the best spots to see these gentle giants up close. You might even get lucky and see them breach, tail slap, or blow their spouts.

Aside from whale watching, Boca de Tomatlan also offers sunset cruises and snorkeling excursions. Imagine watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean as you sail on a boat with a drink in hand. Or dive into the crystal-clear waters and explore the underwater world filled with colorful fish and coral reefs.

These activities are perfect for those who crave adventure and want to experience the beauty of nature up close. Don’t miss out on these exciting boat tours and snorkeling excursions in Boca de Tomatlan!


Let’s explore Mismaloya, a charming coastal spot with picturesque views and a tranquil atmosphere. Here, you can bask in the warm sun while enjoying the cool breeze and the sound of the waves crashing onto the shore. This small town is perfect for those looking for a peaceful getaway, away from the hustle and bustle of Puerto Vallarta.

There are plenty of activities to do in Mismaloya, so you won’t get bored. Here are three things you can do:

1. Visit the El Eden Canopy Tour for a thrilling jungle adventure. This is the same location where the movie ‘Predator’ was filmed, so you can expect an exciting and unforgettable experience.

2. Take a hike up the mountain to see the stunning views of the bay. The hike may be challenging, but it’s definitely worth it. You’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the ocean and the surrounding mountains.

3. Visit the Mismaloya Beach, where you can relax on the sandy shores and swim in the clear blue waters. This beach is not as crowded as the other beaches in Puerto Vallarta, so you can enjoy a more peaceful and laid-back experience.

Mismaloya is a hidden gem that offers a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, this charming coastal spot has something for everyone. So pack your bags and head on over to Mismaloya to experience the beauty and tranquility of this coastal paradise.

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is a charming fishing village that offers a unique cultural experience with its traditional market and authentic Mexican cuisine. You’ll find the best fish tacos at Tacos on the Street, a local favorite that’s been in business for over 10 years. The combination of fresh fish, homemade salsa, and a crispy tortilla makes for a mouth-watering treat that you won’t soon forget.

Aside from the delicious food, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle also boasts traditional festivals that are a must-see. One of the most popular is the Festival of the Virgin of Peace, which takes place in January. This festival includes a procession, live music, and fireworks. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and witness the community come together to honor their traditions.

Overall, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is a hidden gem that you won’t want to miss. From the delicious local cuisine to the traditional festivals, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So, if you’re looking for a unique cultural experience, be sure to add La Cruz de Huanacaxtle to your list of must-visit beach towns south of Puerto Vallarta.

Punta de Mita

You’ll be enchanted by Punta de Mita, a seaside destination that offers a unique blend of luxury resorts, world-class dining, and breathtaking natural beauty. This charming town is located just a few miles from La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and is known for its pristine beaches and surfing spots. Punta de Mita is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and indulge in a luxurious, yet laid-back vacation.

Here are five things you can do in Punta de Mita to make the most of your stay:

– Enjoy the beautiful beaches: Punta de Mita boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico. Playa Punta de Mita and Playa Anclote are two of the most popular and offer crystal-clear waters and soft, white sand.

– Go surfing: Punta de Mita is a surfer’s paradise, with some of the best surf spots in Mexico. La Lancha and El Anclote are two popular spots for beginners, while experienced surfers can head to La Bahia or El Faro.

– Indulge in world-class dining: Punta de Mita is home to some of the best restaurants in Mexico. From fresh seafood to traditional Mexican cuisine, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss the chance to dine at the world-renowned restaurant, Mita Mary.

– Take a boat tour: Explore the stunning coastline of Punta de Mita on a boat tour. You’ll have the chance to see dolphins, whales, and other marine life, as well as some of the most beautiful scenery in Mexico.

– Relax at a luxury resort: Punta de Mita is home to some of the most luxurious resorts in Mexico. From the Four Seasons to the St. Regis, these resorts offer world-class amenities, including spas, golf courses, and private beaches.

Punta de Mita is a magical destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a little bit of both, this charming town won’t disappoint. So pack your bags, book your stay at one of the luxury resorts, and get ready to experience the beauty of Punta de Mita.


Congratulations, you’ve just discovered some of the most amazing beach towns south of Puerto Vallarta! From the vibrant and colorful Sayulita to the peaceful and serene Yelapa, these hidden gems offer the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

But there’s more to these towns than just their breathtaking beaches and picturesque landscapes. Rumor has it that they’re also steeped in fascinating history and culture, waiting to be explored by curious travelers like yourself.

So don’t hesitate to take a deep dive into the local customs, traditions, and festivities – you might just uncover a hidden treasure trove of knowledge and insight that’ll add even more depth to your unforgettable vacation.

Happy exploring!