Boca de Tomatlan, a quaint fishing village with lots to offer

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.

Boca de Tomatlán

Puerto Vallarta to Boca de Tomatlán map
Location map

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).

Maps of beaches South zone

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...

Now Boca has a Malecon and a reinforced exit for the Horcones river, this will help keep the river on the course and provides a great starting point for fishermen and water taxis. Watch the video below.

You'll find the flow of the river is the strongest and most abundant in the rainy months that start in June and end somewhere in October.

Horcones river ends in Boca

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 de Tomatlan from the highway

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).

Vallarta Botanical Gardens
Vallarta Botanical Gardens

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.

Boca de Tomatlán panorama

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 south
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.

Boca de Tomatlan Beach view

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.

Boca lodging options

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 de Tomatlán water taxis

Another popular activity is to hike to Colomitos Beach, maybe splurge with a lunch or dinner at the best restaurant in the bay (at least that's what many think) called Ocean Grill.

Ocean Grill and Colomitos Beach

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 from across Horcones River

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 

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