What Are the Beaches Like in Puerto Vallarta (and Can You Snorkel and Dive There)?

Situated in the Eastern Pacific, this jewel of Banderas Bay has charming beaches enough for a needed R&R. Its charming smaller resort town vibe, with waters that hold quirks that would make seasoned travelers extend that 3-day stay just a little longer.
What Are the Beaches Like in Puerto Vallarta
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Puerto Vallarta’s steady rise in fame has further put it on Mexico’s growing list of must-visit places. While it may not be as grand as loud and fun Cancun or celebrity famous Cabo, Puerto Vallarta’s authentic charm and swim-worthy beaches make up its overall special flavor.

Are the Beaches in Puerto Vallarta Nice?

The beaches in Puerto Vallarta boasts different shades of blue, with a pleasant, more intimate, authentic vibe that most tourist-saturated beaches in Mexico don’t have.

While it gets overshadowed by other Mexican giants like Cabo, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and big Cancun, Puerto Vallarta has a relatively thriving, albeit smaller beach scene.

This gritty, charming, friendly beachside city is a jewel on the western coasts of Mexico. While the beaches in its golden shores are not Mayan Riviera level, the warm, authentic Mexican town atmosphere makes the beaches and the whole experience special in its own way.

Does Puerto Vallarta Have White Sand Beaches?

Puerto Vallarta doesn’t boast the same gorgeous white-sand beaches as Cabo or Cancun, however, it has charms that are enough to make it one of Mexico’s best. Most beaches in Vallarta boasts golden sands that have a uniqueness to them compared to the Riviera Maya.

Tread just outside the central part of the town, beaches like Playa Garza, and southern Mismaloya is just equally awe-inspiring.

Are the Beaches in Puerto Vallarta Public?

Beaches in Puerto Vallarta are federal-owned, meaning their free for public access. Being a coastal city, Puerto Vallarta is blessed with several beaches that became an integral part of its charm.

With its plethora of beaches, the most famous one has to be Playa Los Muertos, the longest golden sandy beach just near the Old Town.

Are Puerto Vallarta Beaches Swimmable?

Beaches around Vallarta are swimmable, from its main beach area to the outer lying area along the bay. Situated in Banderas Bay, fronting the Pacific Ocean, Puerto Vallarta is an ideal locale for swimming, surfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling.

Where is the Hidden Beach in Puerto Vallarta?

The Hidden Beach is located 22 miles west off the shores of Puerto Vallarta. In Marietas Islands, the Hidden Beach has an amazing blue water beach inside, encased within an island cave that has an opening exposing the sky, allowing sunlight to add to its beach’s already perfect hue.

How Do You Get to the Hidden Beach in Puerto Vallarta?

There are boat tours available in the city that take you to the Marietas Islands. The boat ride typically takes about an hour to get to the islands. Once there, you can safely swim with the currents that pass through the cave. You can even explore the extraordinary terrain that the islands possess.

Which Ocean is Puerto Vallarta on?

Located on the western coasts of Mexico, in the state of Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta is on the Pacific Ocean. Puerto Vallarta is part of the larger Banderas Bay, its location gives it near-perfect weather all year long for holiday getaways.

What Bay is Puerto Vallarta on?

Situated within the greater Banderas Bay or Bay of Flags, one of Mexico’s largest bays that stretches for 100 km or 62 miles. Puerto Vallarta is the pride of the bay, with its charms and quirks, has helped attract visitors to the bay raking in significant revenue for the Jalisco state.

How Deep is the Bay in Puerto Vallarta?

Being one of the largest bays in the country, Banderas Bay has staggering measurements. Its maximum depth is about 4,711 feet or 1,436 meters. With an approximate length of 100 km or 62 miles.

What is the Water Like in Puerto Vallarta?

While it boasts beautiful Pacific blue waters, however, the water in Puerto Vallarta isn’t as clear as the ones in the Caribbean side of the country. Water temperatures have a yearly average of 24 C to 26 C or 75.2 F or 78.8 F. which is typical in this side of the country, fronting the mighty Eastern Pacific.

Is the Ocean Water Warm or Cold in Puerto Vallarta?

The ocean in Puerto Vallarta is generally warm throughout the year but it’s especially warm during the summer. The pleasantly warm waters in the ocean make Puerto Vallarta ideal for swimming, surfing, jet-skiing, parasailing, and even whale watching.

What is the Ocean Temperature in Puerto Vallarta?

Puerto Vallarta enjoys pleasantly warm waters throughout the year, some months are colder than others. Ocean temperatures play around 18 to 24 C or 65 to 76 F from January to May, and the warmer months of June to December have temperatures around 24 to 29 C or 76 to 84 F.

What Color is the Water in Puerto Vallarta?

Puerto Vallarta boasts the most beautiful shades of blue, even green, from a gorgeous deep blue to almost emerald green in certain areas. However, its golden sands don’t quite give the water that famous turquoise shade like the Caribbean, but it just makes Puerto Vallarta a different league of its own.

Is the Water Blue in Puerto Vallarta?

From the deep blue to a lighter shade, even to beautiful emerald green, Puerto Vallarta’s beaches have charms to them that certainly make them swim-worthy.

Is the Ocean Clean in Puerto Vallarta?

Despite it being a popular holiday spot, Puerto Vallarta has ranked as one of the cleanest beaches and oceans to swim in, in Mexico. Nuevo Vallarta and the main beach area ranks at the top of Mexico’s list of cleanest beaches, as well as the nearby Bucerias.

Is the Water Clear in Puerto Vallarta?

Despite boasting the most interesting blue water beaches in Mexico, the majority of the beaches in Puerto Vallarta doesn’t have clear waters. This doesn’t mean it’s not clean, it just doesn’t have the same clarity compared to the ones you can find on the Caribbean side of the country.

Can You Swim in the Ocean in Puerto Vallarta?

Banderas Bay’s calmer waves and warmer waters make it perfect for swimming and other water activities. Without the threat of powerful undertows and sharp drop-offs, beaches in and nearby Puerto Vallarta are generally swimmable. You can also safely snorkel, kayak, and jet ski all over the waters.

Is It Safe to Swim in the Ocean in Puerto Vallarta?

Generally, it is safe to swim in the ocean in Puerto Vallarta. However, bay areas tend to have rip currents so one has to be careful about those in Banderas Bay. Many visitors to Puerto Vallarta has said that even though rip currents can happen, they have never encountered problems so far.

Does Puerto Vallarta Have Good Snorkeling?

Puerto Vallarta is a great destination for snorkeling, as the area hosts a rich marine life. The best time for snorkel tours in Puerto Vallarta is during the winter and spring, from November to May. As underwater visibility is best during this time, and relatively calmer waters making it easy for swimming.

Where is the Best Snorkeling in Puerto Vallarta?

If you’re looking for stunning beauty, you can check out Los Arcos National Marine Park, just on the south of the Banderas Bay near Mismaloya. There you can see an interesting rock formation that juts out of the sea. With a wide array of marine life, with typically good visibility, this locale is highly recommended.

Marietas Islands off the shore of Puerto Vallarta, with the famous Hidden Beach, offers a great snorkeling experience. Getting there via boat takes about an hour that adds up to the beauty of the experience. Excellent visibility and a plethora of fishes are there to reward you. Manta rays and turtles can be rarely spotted, as well.

Playa Conchas Chinas is the nearest snorkeling spot, with just a short drive from the town center. Playa Conchas Chinas offers an abundance of fish that you can easily spot right at the hidden boulders in the water.

Can You Snorkel Off the Beach in Puerto Vallarta?

While you can definitely snorkel in the main beach areas of the city, the best snorkeling spots in Puerto Vallarta are a little outside of the town center. Beaches around the main area of the town don’t offer visibility that would make a good snorkeling experience.

According to visitors, the best resort for snorkeling by far is in the southern part of the town near the Playa Conchas Chinas, which is the Lindo Mar Resort. The beach by the resort hosts a considerable amount of marine life, and visibility is good especially during calmer seas.

Is Puerto Vallarta Good for Diving?

One of the best activities in Puerto Vallarta is scuba diving. While it may be overshadowed by more well-known places like Cozumel or Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta’s charming, relatively more relaxed scene is its best touch.

The best diving spots in Puerto Vallarta would take a short drive and fun boat trips around the bay, offering post-card worthy scenes along the way, which is half the fun. It’s best to go diving in Puerto Vallarta during the calmest seas, between November and May.

If you’re looking for dive-worthy conditions, Los Arcos, Chimo, and the famous Marietas Islands are the best spots to go. Los Arcos’ natural rock arches, caves, tunnels, and a reef teeming with marine life is what makes it the most popular diving spot.

The seclusion of Chimo is probably its defining charm. This fishing village is better suited for advanced divers, where you can spot tropical fishes and other large pelagic species. You can also spot manta rays, sea turtles, and even humpback whales from December to April.

The famous Marietas Islands will always be a go-to spot not just for snorkelers but for divers as well. With its protection from hunting and fishing, marine life thrives here, with an abundance of fishes, and rare sightings of manta rays, sea turtles, eels, and even dolphins.

Are There Jellyfish in Puerto Vallarta?

Jellyfish sometimes visit Puerto Vallarta, and you can get stung by them so it’s important to watch out, many of them can be washed ashore too. It’s best if you bring quick remedies. Ask around town where you can buy some. Locals are exceptionally knowledgeable with quick remedies, even homemade ones.

Huge swaths of jellyfish come only during red tides, try to look up in advance for reported red tides around the Banderas Bay, it will surely help you to prepare. However, the ocean in Puerto Vallarta isn’t home to deadly jellyfish.

Are There Any Sharks in Puerto Vallarta?

Sharks, especially the dangerous carnivorous ones can’t be found in Puerto Vallarta. Although there are much smaller harmless sharks that make their appearance but on rare occasions. The only type of shark that draws quite an attraction that is in Puerto Vallarta is the large yet gentle whale shark.

Another species of relatively harmless shark can be found near the Marietas Islands, the bay or silky shark. They can grow up 2 meters long, and can usually be found around the western coast of Mexico.

Can You Swim With Sharks in Puerto Vallarta?

While you can certainly swim with whale sharks in the Marietas Islands, but there are no shark swimming tours available, only the dive tours that are best reserved for advanced simmers and experienced divers.

Can You Swim With Whale Sharks in Puerto Vallarta?

Various dive tours and even snorkeling tours can get you to encounter whale sharks, however, they’re better suited for advanced swimmers and experienced divers. Most whale shark encounters are with tours that get you around the Bay, especially in Marietas Islands.

Are There Dolphins in Puerto Vallarta?

A pod of wild bottlenose dolphins calls Puerto Vallarta home. These amazing marine creatures have been permanent residents of Puerto Vallarta for a long time that they’re protected and looked out for by various organizations.

The bottlenose dolphin pod native in Puerto Vallarta is also part of a research project that will help understand these magnificent creatures.

Can You Swim With Dolphins in Puerto Vallarta?

There are inland dolphin encounters in adventure parks and centers that are available for anyone who wants to interact with these creatures in a controlled environment. Prices usually range from 69 to 132 US Dollars or 1,365 to 2,611 Mexican Pesos.

However, there is another option where you can encounter them in the wild with the help of dolphin experts and marine biologists. Prices usually start from 87 US Dollars or 1,721 Mexican Pesos. This excursion helps experts understand them better in their natural environment, free and happy.