Not far from downtown Puerto Vallarta, 11 miles (17km and 15-20 minutes), you can visit a nice little traditional fishing village, Boca de Tomatlan (or just Boca, among the locals). You can get there by land or sea, there are local buses that go there too.
It's on the way to the Vallarta Botanical Gardens, just past 3 miles past Mismaloya, and it the most popular landing and departure bay for the water taxis that take you to the isolated and beautiful beaches of the south part of the Banderas Bay, including Las Ánimas, Quimixto, Majahuitas and Yelapa. Departure schedule here.
Not to be confused with Boca de Tomates (which is a bit north of the Airport on the other side of the mouth of the Pitillal River and Nuevo Vallarta).
The Horcones river ends its trip from the Sierra Mountains here in the little bay of Boca de Tomatlán, the river course and the layout of the beach changes from year to year and in the video above the author complains that the river changed its course and ended up coming out below the water taxi departure pier...
You'll find the flow of the river is strongest and most abundant in the rainy months that start in June and end somewhere in October.
The bay is a great starting point for your trips in this area, the beach itself is very popular and the waters of the bay are extremely calm (which is why its used as a harbor), so if you are into swimming in the sea, this is the place for you to visit, just stay away from the panga (water taxi) area.
Boca is also the last part of the highway going to Barra de Navidad by sea, it then turns inland taking you through Las Juntas y Los Veranos, El Tuito (18 miles from Boca) and other small towns along the way (also the Botanical Gardens between Las Juntas and El Tuito).
There are palapas with small restaurants along the beach that open from around 10 AM to 6 PM, you can enjoy a cold beer and great simple seafood.
You can get to Boca by car, water taxi, taxi or bus. Water taxis can be caught at the Marina or the Pier at Los Muertos. Local buses run to Boca every day starting off early around 6:30 AM and running at regular intervals until around 11 PM.
Buses say Boca and Mismaloya
They start off in Puerto Vallarta at the corner of Basilio Badillo and Constitución in Old Vallarta (Romantic Zone), the same place and the same buses that go to Mismaloya. You can also try to hitchhike with pickups going south where the highway starts off going south.
There are lodging options in town, bed & breakfasts, villas, apartments and other rental options, if you plan to stay over, which if you like the laid-back atmosphere of the place, would be a great idea.
There are lots of things to do in the area, we've already mentioned the Botanical Gardens which you can get to by bus, the ones that go to El Tuito, you can snorkel, go fishing, kayaking, scuba dive and enjoy the locally brewed whiskey (!!) (The first real Mexican Whiskey called Dorwart) and raicilla too (with moderation!).
Boca an authentic fishing village, ten breathtaking miles south of Puerto Vallarta, where the Horcones River empties into a beautiful, bay, surrounded by bougainvillea, hibiscus, banana, papaya and palm covered hills. Enjoy its soft-sand beach, gentle ocean surf, great food and friendly people!
Boca de Tomatlan, despite its quaint, relaxed demeanor, is also a great starting point for many adventures and some of the best memories from your trip to Puerto Vallarta and the Bay area, be sure not to miss it while you are vacationing here.
From Puerto Vallarta to Boca de Tomatlán
More you'll like:
- Beaches in Puerto Vallarta & The Banderas Bay
- Las Animas Beach
- Las Caletas
- Mismaloya, where it all started
- Yelapa, isolated and beautiful