Explore Acapulco and the Pacific beaches
Puerto Vallarta’s beaches vary in nature as you move round the bay: those to the north, out near Nuevo Vallarta and the airport, are long, flat stretches of creamy white sand – swimming is usually OK here, but the surf gets heavier to the west, with the best breaks around Punta de Mita. To the south of Puerto Vallarta are a series of steep-sided coves, sheltering tiny, calm enclaves. The town beach, Playa de los Muertos (Beach of the Dead), or “Playa del Sol” as the local tourist office would prefer it known, is south of the river and falls somewhere between the two extremes: not very large, it features coarse, brown sand and reasonably calm surf, despite facing apparently open water. It’s also the most crowded of the city’s beaches – locals, Mexican holiday-makers and foreign tourists are packed in cheek-by-jowl during the high season. With the omnipresent hawkers selling everything from fresh fruit and tacos to handicrafts and fake jade masks, it can be a far from relaxing experience, but it’s always entertaining. Just don’t leave anything of value lying about. The gay section of this beach is at its southern end, opposite the Blue Chairs Resort – look out for the blue chairs.