With over 360 days of sunshine a year, Puerto Vallarta is the ultimate destination for sand and surf. But being on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, the beaches here can be quite different from the ones on the Caribbean Sea. Instead of pristine white sands, you’ll find that many places have pebbles or rocky outcroppings scattered across the shores.
But don’t let Puerto Vallarta’s landscape deter you! Not all the beautiful beaches in town are rocky. I’ll share some of my favorite beaches to visit (both rocky and sandy), along with why they should be on your PV itinerary!
Are Puerto Vallarta Beaches Rocky?
Puerto Vallarta does have several rocky beaches. Some have small pebbles mixed in with the sand, while others have large rock formations dotting the shoreline. However, not all of Puerto Vallarta’s beaches are rocky. There are still tons of places where you can sink your feet into soft, velvety golden sands.
Whether you’re interested in swimming, sunbathing, or sunset-watching, I bet you’ll have no problem finding the perfect spot amongst the different beaches in Puerto Vallarta.
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Rocky Beaches in PV
Los Muertos Beach
With a central location right in the middle of the city near Old Town and the Romantic Zone, Playa de Los Muertos is the most popular beach in PV (for tourists and locals).
While the main part of the beach has some sand, large stretches can be pretty rocky. However, that doesn’t deter people from swimming, sunbathing, or hanging out here.
You’ll also find tons of beachfront bars and restaurants lining the shore, although there are more options for dining along the nearby MalecThe Los Muertos Beach is also where you’ll find the Los Muertos Pier, where you can enjoy the fresh sea breeze and expansive ocean views.
For many travelers, this is easily one of the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta and something all visitors should see at least once during their trip!
Similar to Los Muertos, Playa Camarones has a coastline that is a mix of golden sands and little pebbles. However, it’s far less crowded, making it a fantastic option for those staying near the Old Town.
During low tide, the beach can be extra rocky, which can make swimming here a bit difficult. So, make sure to bring water shoes if you’re planning on taking a mid-day dip!
While you can bring a towel to sunbathe, renting chains and sun umbrellas here is also possible for a nominal fee.
And if you’re feeling hungry, there are also a few beachside restaurants that you can easily walk to.
Sandy Beaches in PV
Colomitos Beach may be small (I heard it’s one of the smallest beaches in all of Mexico), but it’s worth coming just for the stunning scenery.
The turquoise blue waters and surrounding rocky outcroppings of this little cove will make you feel like you’re sunbathing in the Caribbean!
There’s a small restaurant on-site that also rents out umbrellas and chairs.
Getting to Colomitos can be tricky, as it’s only accessible by a 30-minute hike or a water taxi from PV or Boca.
And while it’s no longer a hidden gem, Colomitos Beach is still considered to be a good spot if you’re looking for someplace with sand.
Playa de Oro
With over 3,400 feet of shoreline, Playa de Oro is a lovely beach for a day out in PV. Its located north of Old Town near the Hotel Zone, making it a popular choice for tourists and travelers.
This blue flag beach has pristine blue waters that attract swimmers, kayakers, and windsurfers, although people also come here for the soft sand.
The only downside is that the waves can be rough. If you plan on venturing into the water, come in the early morning or evening when things are calmer.
Playa Los Tules
If you head south from Playa de Oro, you’ll come to Playa Los Tules, a large and clean section of beach near many resorts in the Hotel Zone.
While the waves are big in the afternoon, the sandy beach is excellent for sunbathing, horseback riding, or even whale watching!
Unlike other beaches near downtown Puerto Vallarta, there aren’t many restaurants or cafes nearby. For this reason, it’s usually only visited by people staying in the resorts.
Otherwise, I would recommend bringing a picnic if you’re hoping to spend the day here!
Conchas Chinas Beach
Venture south of Puerto Vallarta and spend a nice, relaxing day at Conchas Chinas Beach. Instead of just one beach, you’ll see that there are lots of smaller beaches separated by rocky outcrops.
It’s an excellent beach for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, or paddleboarding.
As it’s a bit out of the city, Conchas Chinas is a secluded beach that’s rarely frequented by tourists.
There aren’t any highrises or resorts nearby, making it one of the best beaches to enjoy a day of peace and quiet.
As you can see, there are many amazing beaches to discover during your visit to Puerto Vallarta.
And while they are rockier than the beaches on the Caribbean side of the country, they are equally as beautiful and worthy of a beach vacation.
With the perfect blend of natural beauty, fun activities, and coastal charm, I know you’ll have an unforgettable trip visiting the best Puerto Vallarta beaches!