Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful city. You could spend your whole trip (or winter!) exploring all that the downtown area has to offer. But what I love best about the Bay of Banderas are all the great day trips to be made! Within an hour or two, there are scores of amazing adventures to be had in the Puerto Vallarta area. PV’s Southshore area is a gorgeous zone with plenty to offer. Enjoy this list of the Top 5 Southshore PV activities.
1. Punta Negra Beach
Punta Negra is one of the most beautiful beaches in all of the Bay and it is located just a 12 minute drive south of Old Town Puerto Vallarta. This long sandy beach is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. It draws large crowds on the weekends because of its easy access and lovely conditions. There is ample parking, restrooms, and even a stylish beachfront restaurant on Playa Punta Negra. There are also a few condo buildings that enjoy a fantastic Southshore lifestyle.
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2. Hike to Las Animas
This is a fantastic way to spend the day for the more active/adventurous types! Take the public bus 30 minutes south to the lovely seaside town of Boca de Tomatlan. From there, you can hike along the shoreline through the jungle for about 5 kilometers. The hike is advanced due to many stairs, and some very technical sections that require coordination and good balance. In Las Animas, you can eat lunch, go parasailing, try the famous “Yelapa Pie” and enjoy a fun taxi boat ride back to Boca de Tomatlan when you’re all done.
3. Vallarta Botanical Gardens
While not technically on the Southshore, the Botanical Gardens are a must-see for all visitors to the area. Located about 45 minutes south of Old Town PV, the gardens are an incredible labor of love. Spending the day at this most gorgeous place allows you to hike along the various walking paths, swim in the Horcones river, and dine at the beautiful on-site restaurant. The grounds at the Vallarta Botanical Gardens will amaze you. They have events year round that attract thousands of visitors.
4. Stand Up Paddle Board in Mismaloya
SUP is a quickly growing sport that many people enjoy here in Puerto Vallarta. Paddle Zone is a company located on Mismaloya Beach that offers SUP tours and rentals. My favorite tour they do is their full moon SUP to Los Arcos. Meet on the beach at sunset, then paddle out to the Los Arcos rock formations under the light of the full moon. It is definitely a magical experience! If you’re lucky, you may see bioluminescence shimmering green in the dark water.
5. Hike to Palo Maria Waterfall
This is another excellent outdoor adventure just 15 minutes south of Old Town Puerto Vallarta. Park on the 200 highway just at the entrance to Garza Blanca hotel and hike along the river bed inland. This hike is best from late Fall to early Summer when the water isn’t too rough. In the Spring and early Summer, the pools are crystal clear and the waterfall is a refreshing respite from the tropical sun.
Did I miss anything on this Top 5 Southshore Activities in PV list? What are some of your favorites things to do in Puerto Vallarta? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! -John!
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