Sitting side by side on the hills surrounding Puerto Vallarta‘s southern boundary, Amapas and Conchas Chinas are upscale residential neighborhoods with both upper and lower sections, as divided by the Carr. 200 Sur highway. Here, traditional Vallarta-style villas and modern condominiums sit next to each other, sharing a spectacular view of Banderas Bay, in the case of those located high up on the hill, or within walking distance to the beach, or direct access to it for the lower sections.
The steep winding roads are an adventure to explore, with many open spaces where you will be tempted to stop your car and take a few snapshots of the spectacular vistas available from several high vantage points. The sandy beaches, rock grottos and hidden coves are just as fun, as they are accessible by car, or you can actually reach them directly from Los Muertos beach on foot.
Close to town, mere minutes from everything yet a world apart, this is a haven for those looking for peace of mind and a refined lifestyle. Properties tend to be expensive, many of them bought as second homes and rental properties. Hacienda-style architecture with domed cupolas and integrated palapas predominate, built on several levels to optimize the views and the mountainside lots.
Several streets along the highway, such as Callejón de la Igualdad and Hortensia, allow access to higher Amapas, while the lower neighborhood can be accessed via Amapas St. in Emiliano Zapata.
There are two entrances to upper Conchas Chinas and most locals refer to them as the “first” or “second” entrance, the former being the closest to town. The entire upper neighborhood can be accessed through either, however. Accesses to lower Conchas Chinas are clearly indicated along the highway.
Neighborhoods & Neighboring Regions
Amapas – Conchas Chinas is located right next to Emiliano Zapata, making this neighborhood particularly alluring to those already familiar with Emiliano Zapata’s many restaurants, galleries, coffee shops and other attractions. As you pass Conchas Chinas on the highway and enter the South Shore, population density decreases. However, you will find several spectacular residential developments and condos located alongside the scenic highway as you continue southbound.
- Drive through the hills to appreciate some of the first high-end villas built in Puerto Vallarta, along with great hilltop views of Banderas Bay.
- Enjoy the quiet of Conchas Chinas beach. A little more difficult to get to, but for that reason there are not as many people around. And its more interesting, with its rocky shoreline and small sandy beaches.
Conchas Chinas beach is delightfully quiet, as compared to is next door neighbor, Los Muertos beach. They are connected through a small trail, and divided by a rock formation known as el púlpito, or pulpit. (The beach is also accessible by car from the highway, with limited parking.) The many coves and rock formations you’ll find make it ideal for exploration. And while you can easily spend a beach day there, the lack of facilities (food, showers, etc.) make it more suitable for short visits or picnics.
Where to Stay
There are a few small hotels and several spectacular boutique establishments located along the beach in Conchas Chinas. However, many villas and condos can be rented directly from their owners, or through local real estate agencies.
Some of the best views in all of Banderas Bay are from the luxury homes and condominiums built into hills of Amapas – Conchas Chinas, with panoramic vistas of the whole bay and for some, downtown Vallarta as well. For many, that’s the primary reason for living and owning real estate in this exclusive zone just south of Vallarta’s downtown area, nestled into the foothills of the Sierra Madre. There are oceanfront homes (and a few condo projects), but more are built onto the hillside. The spectacular views and the easy access to town has made this a favorite place to live for many.