Adventuring outskirts of Puerto Vallarta

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of October 29 — November 4, 1998
Adventuring outskirts of Puerto Vallarta
No-frills Jamaica
Mountain biking around Taos

Adventuring outskirts of Puerto Vallarta

By Amy Marr

Question: I’ll be heading to the Puerto Vallarta area over Christmas. Any advice on outlying budget places that I should visit? Might be nice to squeeze in a day of hiking, or a jungle visit or something. But I’d also be up for just lazing around.

Cheers, and thanks for your help.

John Bass
Prince George, British Columbia

Rent a kayak to explore Puerto Vallarta's rocky backdrop
Adventure Adviser: A mere 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta’s sprawl, you’ll find the unspoiled rocky peninsula of Punta Mita, on the tip of the Bay of Banderas. The protected coves are home to many an octopus and make for some fine snorkeling, and there’s excellent surfing near El Faro (the lighthouse). I’d opt for a spin on a mountain bike, which you can pre-arrange in Puerto Vallarta courtesy of Oscar de Dios of BikeMex (322-3-1680). The peninsula’s entire coastline is rimmed with a stellar singletrack, passing over a flower-covered plateau and in and out of the jungle to the many hidden beach coves. A four- to seven-hour tour will cost you $100 or so, and includes transportation to and from Puerto Vallarta, lunch, and all equipment.

You’ll find the best surfing in Sayulita, within an hour’s drive north of Puerto Vallarta. The beach fronting El Costeno restaurant (also the best food seaside) is home to a easily-accessible sandbar and consistently good breaks. Bunker down at Papa’s Palapas (about $35/night for two; 805-489-7210), where you can also rent surf and bodyboards, as well as kayaks. Hovering behind town to the south is Cerro de los Monos (affectionately known as Monkey Mountain) and some fine terrain for horseback riding and orchid hunting. One all-in-one option is to stay at Costa Azul, just a few miles north in San Francisco. This multi-acre compound has 28 rooms and is part jungle lodge, part beach bungalow. You can laze away a day or two, or ride, kayak, hike, snorkel, and mountain bike without leaving the compound. All-inclusive packages, including room, board and unlimited activities, begin at $100 per person per night. Call 800-365-7613 for more information.

Search the archives | Ask the Adventure Adviser

©2000, Mariah Media Inc.

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web

Not Now

Got Wanderlust?

Escape your daily grind with Outside’s best getaways.

Thank you!