After the 500th time of someone asking me if I’d like to “get f*cked up” and try some tequila, I was more than ready to get the Sasquatch out of Puerto Vallarta and explore the natural side of the area….gringo free.
I wasn’t even aware of how smothered I was feeling until I was halfway through my day-hike and realized I was literally RUNNING up the trail. I guess I’ve always been a little more granola than I’d like to admit.
The good news is: There’s a GIANT nature preserve just south of Puerto Vallarta, and it’s super easy to access. There is a “moderate/difficult’ hike around the coast to a small local’s beach, called “Playa Animas”. I found the hike to be pretty easy, though you do need to have solid footing because some portions of the trail are crumbling away.
The total hike was about 40 minutes, although I walked an extra 30 minutes to the bus stop (because breakfast, thats’ why). After staving off my hanger, I was en-route to a hidden beach with perfect blue water and golden sand. And no beach buskers. And (almost) no gringos!
If you’re feeling stifled- here’s how to craft your own day adventure:
Playa Las Animas: Hiking Near Puerto Vallarta
The locals’ beach we hiked to was perfect for a picnic and a cold beer. I highly suggest grabbing snacks and drinks for the trip, either before you catch the bus out of PV, or in town before you begin your hike.
Walk (or bus) down to Old PV, where you can catch a bus out of PV for 8 pesos (0.30 USD). The bus is located on 200 and Constitucion, on the side of the OXXO minimart. It will have “Mismolaya” and “Boca De Tomatlan” written across the windshield. Here’s where to catch the bus:
You will take the last stop off the bus at Boca De Tomatlan, and walk down into town.
Upon reaching the river, you turn left, walk 3 blocks and cross a small bridge. Then continue right and hug the coast.You will pass this sign just before the bridge
After about 40-60 minutes of hiking, you will reach Las Animas Beach. About 500 feet to the right of the beach is a (rather expensive) restaurant called Ocean Grill. If you do get hungry and don’t feel like hiking all the way back into Boca De Tomatlan, you can easily hail down a water taxi, and have them drive you back to town for 50pesos each. I had a delicious (VEGAN!) meal in town for about 1/5th of the cost of the Ocean Grille.
I hope you enjoy!! Let me know if you find any other wonderful places near PV……I’m headed back to Mexico next month and would love any and all tips. I plan on spending the better part of 6 months there, so fill me up!!!