Best known as the setting for the movie that put Puerto Vallarta on the tourist map, director John Huston’s “The Night of the Iguana,” Mismaloya is a typical fishing village located in a beautiful small bay framed by tropical rainforest-blanketed mountains. It’s name, derived from the Náhuatl michmaloyan, means “place where they grab fish with their hands.” On the beach are lots of rustic palapa restaurants and a large hotel; inland a small village with country-style restaurants that are fun to explore.

Getting There

Mismaloya is located a short, 15 minute drive from Puerto Vallarta’s colonia Emiliano Zapata. Public buses from Puerto Vallarta make regular stops there, continuing on to Boca de Tomatlán, while other regional buses go even further, to El Tuito and beyond.

Culture: Arts, Music, Cuisine

John Huston’s “The Night of the Iguana,” undoubtedly placed Mismaloya in the international limelight. Regretfully, what remains of the original sets built for the movie are no longer accessible to the general public. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Predator was filmed nearby, in a jungle setting known as El Edén.

There are several palapa eateries located on the small but popular beach with the same name, where you can comfortably spend a typical Mexican day, eating local specialties and taking in the view.

Neighborhoods & Neighboring Regions

Located within Puerto Vallarta’s South Shore, is the first important destination after Conchas Chinas in Puerto Vallarta. Immediately following Mismaloya is Boca de Tomatlán, another typical fishing village.

Landmarks, Sights & Activities

  • The Puerto Vallarta Zoo is a fairly new facility that is increasingly attracting visitors.
  • Although not as popular as nearby Boca de Tomatlán, Mismaloya is another departure point for pangs or water taxis that can provide transportation to South Shore destinations only reachable by boat.
  • Visible from Mismaloya is the Los Arcos National Marine Park rock outcroppings, an ideal location to snorkel, and scuba dive.


  • Spend a day at Mismaloya beach. All the basic amenities are there and doing so will give you a glimpse of a typical beach day for many locals.
  • With hardly any proximity guidelines when compared to its US counterparts, the Puerto Vallarta Zoo encourages direct contact and play with many species. You’ll be surprised when a giraffe reaches out to kiss you!


  • Mismaloya Beach

Where to Stay

  • The impressive Barceló Puerto Vallarta hotel is located right on Mismaloya. And for locals, their day pass offers luxurious comfort at an affordable price.

Real Estate

Real estate options here are primarily the condominiums overlooking Mismaloya and the hillside homes situated above the highway in Lomas de Mismaloya.

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