9 Best Swimming Beaches in Puerto Vallarta

Nothing feels more refreshing than jumping into the ocean and if you’re looking for the best swimming beaches in Puerto Vallarta, you’ve come to the right place.

Being such a beautiful destination with lots of hotels and resorts, it’s no surprise that there are some truly stunning beaches in the area.

If you want to enjoy some time in the water with sand between your toes, check out this list of the 9 best swimming beaches in Puerto Vallarta.

1. Playa Las Gemelas

Las Gemelas is a remote beach located about 20 minutes away from downtown Puerto Vallarta and one that you won’t be able to resist.

A favorite amongst locals, this beach is a great place to relax and enjoy some time in the sun.

The sand here is white and soft, and the water is calm, which makes it an ideal place for going for a swim or taking a stroll along the shores.

This is truly one of the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta, so don’t miss out!

2. Las Caletas

If you’re looking for a unique beach day, Las Caletas is the place to go. Located on the south shores of Banderas Bay, it’s accessible only by boat.

Here, you can choose between a plethora of activities – paddle around in kayaks or snorkel with exotic sea life, before taking some downtime with spa treatments or simply lazing around in the hammocks on dry land.

In addition to its natural beauty and magnificent mountain views, there’s also an enigmatic Mayan pyramid replica for you to admire.

So if you’re longing for a little mystery sprinkled with loads of fun activities and gorgeous vistas, then Las Caletas beach is definitely your winner!

The only downside? You’ll have to leave it behind when it’s time to go home…

3. Playa Conchas Chinas

Ready to experience one of Puerto Vallarta’s best-kept secrets? Well, pull on your sunscreen and make your way to Playa Conchas Chinas – it’s a hidden gem located just moments from downtown.

Here you’ll be met with a glorious mix of mountain and forest backdrops, hugging an array of natural rock formations which are home to plentiful tidal pools.

And if that wasn’t enough, you can refuel at any one of the nearby restaurants or sign up for water sports to keep the adventure going strong.

You won’t find beauty like this often – get out there now before all the other travelers catch on!

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4. Playa Flamingos

Playa Flamingos is the perfect place to splish-splash, play, and relax in the ocean’s refreshing waters.

The calm waters and shallow depths make it safe for all ages, so whether your kids are keen to try their very first swim or you’re just looking for a place to chill out with a book, you’ll find it on this sandy strip.

Don’t worry about running into crowds here – with an area as large as this one, everyone will have their own space!

Playa de Los Muertos
Playa de Los Muertos Photo by Wally Gobetz

5. Playa de los Muertos

We couldn’t agree more – Puerto Vallarta’s best beaches are located in the city’s Romantic Zone, where you can enjoy the sandy shores while still being close to everything.

Playa de los Muertos is one of these beaches, and it’s a favorite among locals and visitors alike. It’s a small but beautiful stretch of golden sand that comes alive with tons of restaurants and bars within a short walk.

If you’re looking for one of the best swimmable beaches in Puerto Vallarta, then definitely add this one to your itinerary.

6. Playa La Garza Blanca

Garza Blanca Beach is truly something special – and not just because of its “Blue Flag” certification.

Located south of the bustling city, the beach has soft sand and clear, calm waters, a perfect backdrop for an afternoon spent swaying between sleep and wakefulness.

Thanks to the breakwater of boulders that protects it, you can feel safe immersed in the waters.

Playa La Garza Blanca is a serene spot where nature reigns supreme, and as such, there are no amenities here. You won’t find bathrooms and it’s best to pack your own food and drinks.

But the tranquil atmosphere also comes with a bonus – palm trees galore provide shady areas to relax.

7. Playa de Oro

Playa de Oro is located in Puerto Vallarta’s Hotel Zone and is one of the best “Blue Flag” beaches the city has to offer.

The pristine waters moved by gentle waves make swimming a delight and thrill seekers can go parasailing, kayaking, and whale watching.

There are also plenty of beach bars, clubs, eateries, and shopping opportunities if you’re searching for some more lively pursuits further inland.

8. Playa Madagascar

When it comes to Playa Madagascar, patience is a virtue. To get here, you’ll have to hike past Playa Colomitos or take an invigorating boat ride from Boca de Tomatlan. But trust us; it’s worth it!

Playa Madagascar is truly something special, a tiny beach tucked away with pristine waters and all the charm of an undiscovered paradise.

From swimming and snorkeling to just soaking in some vitamin D, the possibilities are endless here.

But hurry before the secret gets out – we don’t want this little oasis overrun with tourists.

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9. Playa Las Animas

If you’re looking for a place to take a dip in the ocean where you don’t have to worry about being wiped out by the waves, check out Las Animas.

Sure, it’s pretty popular and a bit remote – only accessible by boat or a 1.5-hour trek through Boca de Tomatlan – but that’s precisely what makes it an adventurer’s dream.

You’ll find yourself surrounded by swaying palm trees, pristine sand and emerald waters beneath an azure sky.

Plus, when your arms need a rest from swimming and paddling around on paddleboards (which are available for rental), head over to the nearby Las Animas Adventure Park for some fun with ziplines, rope swings and balancing beams.

Finally, top off your day with some refreshing cocktails under the shade of palapas at one of the restaurants or bars nearby.

So if you want calm waters combined with plenty of activities surrounding them – look no further than Las Animas. You won’t regret it!