Beaches South of Puerto Vallarta

While Puerto Vallarta has incredible beaches, just to the south of town, you'll find some secluded spots with silky sand and clear turquoise waters.

Situated directly on the coast of the Bay of Banderas, Puerto Vallarta touts some pretty spectacular beaches. But they’re certainly not the only ones in the area. Just south of the hustle and bustle of the city, a handful of incredibly beautiful (and incredibly secluded) beaches wait to be discovered.

Las Animas (20 minute boat ride)
The first beach in this lineup is Las Animas, roughly 11 miles south of Puerto Vallarta. It’s a quiet spot – free of Puerto Vallarta’s crowds – making it ideal for a day spent in the sun with nothing more than a good book. Though, if you’re looking to be active, there’s plenty to explore. The cove’s crystal clear waters are perfect for those who aim to swim and snorkel and, if you get hungry, nothing beats fresh seafood enjoyed in one of the quaint palapa-style restaurants.

Quimixto (35 minute boat ride)
In between Las Animas and Majahuitas sits Quimixto, a rocky, narrow shoreline that’s usually devoid of bathers. But while it’s maybe not an ideal beach-spot, fun, fast waves make it great for surfing. On shore, horses wait to take travelers to the beautiful Quimixto Falls, where visitors can enjoy a crashing waterfall and swimming a natural pool enclosed by imposing rock walls.

Majahuitas (40 minute boat ride)
Next up is Majahuitas, the ideal spot to relax and really enjoy nature. The white-sand beach is surrounded by verdant jungle and the crystal clear waters are a haven for snorkelers and divers. Exotic marine animals – parrot fish, moray eels, and sea cucumbers – are easily spotted, as well as humpback whales, sea turtles, and dolphins in fall and winter months.

Yelapa (45-50 minute boat ride)
Twenty miles south of Puerto Vallarta is Yelapa, a tiny fishing town that lies in the southernmost cove of the world’s 7th largest bay. Nestled between the lush jungle and the ocean, Yelapa is a place free of roads, cars, and street signs. And though it was once a refuge of celebrities including Bob Dylan and Dennis Hopper, this sleepy village offers the beautiful Cola de Caballo waterfalls and expansive stretches of idyllic beach.

Ready to explore villa rentals? Take a look at all the villas in Puerto Vallarta, or in other parts of Mexico.