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Mexican Riviera

Puerto Vallarta Beaches Near the Cruise Port

Puerto Vallarta beach
Sculptures are commong along the Puerto Vallarta beach boardwalk. Credit: Pixabay Creative Commons license

The Pacific Ocean beaches are the main draws to Puerto Vallarta. Visitors enjoy golden sand along with aquamarine waters.

Abundant activities can be found in the area from snorkeling and diving to skiing and parasailing. For a more relaxing vibe, there are plenty of quiet shores for you to enjoy as well.

Cruise Port Beaches

Cruise visitors to Puerto Vallarta have two choices: so-so beaches within walking distances and great beaches that require transportation to reach them.

Beaches within walking distance are visible from the cruise ship as it pulls into the port. Just look to the right of the port. They are part of the lower end hotel district to the south of the docks.

One of the best and most popular options for cruise visitors is a trip south to the most active stretch of the boardwalk or malecon. Visitors will need a taxi, public bus or excursion bus to get there.

Shore excursions to better beaches that include transportation and some amenities will cost about $45 per person. A 25-minute trip to Sabal Playa north of the port is one example. Amenities include a beach chair and umbrella. The total excursion time is four to five hours.

An example of a beach excursion that is more expensive and also has more amenities is a boat trip to Majahuitas Cove and Yelapa Beach. Visitors can hike to a waterfall and natural pool and tour the Yelapa fishing village. The cost is $90 for teens and adults with discounts for children. Amenities in this example include lunch and open bar.

A more expensive option with more amenities is Las Caletas. This highly rated, six and a half hour shore excursion costs about $140 for adults and teens with discounts for children. The excursion includes three beaches, gourmet lunch, open bar, kayaking, animal adventures and other activities. It is a nature reserve accessible only by boat.

Prices, amenities and destinations for beach excursions like the ones above are subject to change at any time.

Other Puerto Vallarta Beaches

Swimming/Snorkeling Beaches

Puerto Vallarta Beach Map

Las Animas Beach - Golden sand beach with shallows waters of the Pacific Ocean. Shallow water makes it convenient for swimming, snorkeling and kayaking.

Quimixto Beach - This beach has an abundance of sea life, from sea turtles and tropical fish to colorful coral. Seafood and Mexican restaurants are located on the beach for tasty food.

Las Gemelas Beach - This beach is actually considered as a pair of beaches, both with crystal clear water and mild waves. It’s a wonderful area to swim and snorkel.

Quiet Beaches

Garza Blanca Beach - This beach is quiet and sometimes goes unnoticed, making it even more enjoyable for visitors who stumble upon it. The shores are decorated with gorgeous white sand and turquoise ocean water. Public access is located on the side of the developments that are on the coastline.

Yelapa Beach - Visit this beautiful beach with its laid-back atmosphere and friendly villagers. Waters are very calm and the beach is surrounded by lush vegetation.

Majahuitas Beach - At the base of a flourishing jungle, you will find Majahuitas Beach. It is a spectacular blue bay with soft white sand and music from local birds.

Conchas Chinas Beach - Find natural tide pools and a pristine white sand at Conchas Chinas beach. Clear waters show off vibrant marine life and tall palms sway on the shore.

Family Beaches

Los Muertos Beach - One of the most visited beaches in Puerto Vallarta, many families can be found here playing in the waves and frolicking in the sand. Adjacent to the shore you can find souvenir shops, galleries, restaurants and bars.

Playa de Oro Beach - This is a very popular beach among locals and visitors. The shore and water is clean and safe. Many aquatic and recreational activities can be found here including waterskiing and parasailing.

Mismaloya Beach - Families can enjoy this aquamarine bay at the southernmost point of Puerto Vallarta. Attractive flowers are birds scatter the area along with beachside restaurants.

Cabo Corrientes - This beach has a variety of animal and plant life, including the biggest sea turtle conservation and release camp in Jalisco. It’s very exciting to see marine turtles released into their natural habitat!