South Shore: Nature and Seduction
Considered an earthly paradise by many, the South Shore hosts some of the bay’s most beautiful and spectacular beaches. This region basically comprises the area from Conchas Chinas to the coastal towns a little beyond Boca de Tomatlán. The natural scenery is essentially the same throughout: the mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental merging with the Pacific to create extraordinary hidden coves and secluded Edens.
Although one of the best ways to explore the South Shore when time is constrained is by car (the trip itself worth the effort, affording the opportunity to view and stop in the many natural sites located along Carretera 200 Sur), the most popular option is taking one of the numerous boat tours that depart from the Maritime Terminal, which offer onboard continental breakfasts and entertainment on the way to your final destination. Whichever you choose, we strongly recommend you start early to make the most of your time in this wonderful area.
Unlike any of the other micro-destinations mentioned in this special, the South Shore is made up of many beaches, each with its own particular features and characteristics. Easily accessible from the highway and offering calm waters, the Conchas Chinas, Palmares, Gemelas and Mismaloya beaches are ideal for spending much of the morning. If you want to spend the whole day, the options start at Boca de Tomatlán, where you can board a water taxi to visit Las Ánimas, Quimixto and Yelapa, small coastal towns that can only be reached by sea. In these areas, you won’t want to miss the great variety of palapa restaurants offering seafood prepared in the typical fashion.
To consider: The South Shore is also home to Madagascar, one of the bay’s most beautiful and spectacular beaches. With fine white sand and crystal-clear waters in shades of blue and green, it is framed by gigantic rocks that add an exotic touch. To reach it, you need to take a water taxi or walk there from Boca de Tomatlán. Along the way, you can also visit Colomitos beach.
At the southern end of the bay, there are various gourmet restaurants located on the cliffs, surrounded by vegetation and offering stunning views of the bay from their enclave on the mountain. Their gastronomic offerings range from tropical and international cuisines to fusion and more, a true gastronomic experience.
Due to its setting, geography and way of life, there are really very few shopping options for South Shore visitors. This activity is highlighted only in Boca de Tomatlán, Las Ánimas, Quimixto and Yelapa, where street vendors offer everything from Mexican handicrafts and beachwear, to wooden sculptures and accessories such as necklaces, bracelets, earrings and much more.
Nightlife in the South Shore can be as simple and quiet or as elegant and exclusive as you wish. If you are going to spend the night in one of the coastal towns, it is best to go out to dinner early and return to the hotel to end the evening with the relaxing sound of the waves as a backdrop. On the other hand, many of the resorts located on Carretera 200 Sur offer establishments open to the public, such as sky bars where you can enjoy breathtaking views of Banderas Bay and contemplate spectacular sunsets. Afterward, an exquisite dinner can be savored at one of their restaurants, with menus featuring cuisines from around the world.
With its exuberant natural attractions, Puerto Vallarta’s South Shore is a paradise well worth enjoying with your companions. Whatever your itinerary, this micro-destination is a must-see during your visit to our destination.