Playa Garza Blanca is a beach south of Puerto Vallarta, it is right next to the resort of the same name. Currently, it is much more beautiful and comfortable than it was a few years ago, at that time, storms and waves had taken away much of the clear soft sands that had covered the shore.
An effort was made to put a breakwater of boulders that has closed the beach off a little, also helping to reduce the swell and on the other hand, accumulates the sand and keeps it there too. The shore is now covered with a soft, clear sand, this together with the gently curving shore makes and the colorful waters make it extremely attractive.
The water is crystal clear and an intense green-blue emerald color, the clarity, and transparency is not by chance, the Blue Flag certification that Garza Blanca has obtained is an award/certification that is granted to beaches that fulfill a large number of requirements that guarantee not only the pristine waters but also protects the environment and the creatures that inhabit the area, as well as providing access to adequate toilets and trash cans.
The name is not random, if you watch the video, you'll notice that some white herons are on the shore feeding on small fish that live in these beautiful waters, they have given the beach its name (white heron beach).
Playa Garza Blanca Beach is on Kilometer 6.0 of the Federal Highway 200 going to Barra de Navidad, this road starts off in the southern end of the Puerto Vallarta romantic zone (Old Vallarta, another name this area south of the Cuale river has), the beach itself is less than 5 miles from the city's main square (plaza de armas), or about 15-20 minutes by bus, taxi or Uber. It is 1000 yards away from Playa Palmares (Palmares Beach) and if you find yourself at Las Gemelas Beach (Playa Las Gemelas) you have already passed it!
The simplest and most comfortable way is to take a taxi or Uber directly to the beach, the price will not be that high, but it will be much more expensive than taking the bus which will cost around half a dollar (2018: $8 pesos). The buses leave from the corner of Basilio Badillo and Constitución street in the romantic zone.
Buses are white with orange and have a sign that states that they go to Boca de Tomatlan and/or Mismaloya, both are small towns and beaches further south than Garza Blanca. Let the driver know you are going to Garza Blanca and keep an eye on the signs along the road so you know when you are arriving.
I usually add it to Google Maps so I can follow along on the map as I approach it, no need to stress over it :-). If you go by car, it is not easy to find a oarking spot in the area, they do not allow parking on the streets that access to the beach, I parked about 50-100 meters before the northern entrance.
Streetview northern access
There is a little more parking in the southern access:
The obvious options include sunbathing, playing in the sand or enjoying the beautiful waters and waves. Being next to the Garza Blanca resort, you can also take advantage and order some cold beers, margaritas or similar drinks. I think you can also ask for snacks and other dishes (do not forget to get the prices, Garza Blanca is quite exclusive). Snorkeling is also a good option, head to the boulders that offer a nice variety of sea life. You can check and see if you can rent a SUP (stand-up paddle) also from the same resort, but I can't guarantee they do so.
One great thing you can do from Las Garzas Beach is go hike the Palo María waterfall, it's a great and medium-level walk from that location, walk 100 yards towards Puerto Vallarta along the side of the road to Palo Maria Bridge, go down to the right and follow the edge of the stream inland, on the right side of the river (south side), you skirt the fences, you walk for 15-20 minutes. You'll pass several pools along the way. When the trail ends, you will have to go along the river's edge and through pools over the rocks, that's why it's better you wear old tennis shoes or the typical water shoes, like those used by windsurfers. After you get to the first waterfall, you can continue climbing to several other beautiful waterfalls, but you must be a good climber and hiker. It is a beautiful walk, highly recommended.
Obviously, the best option to enjoy this beautiful beach is to stay at Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa, a few steps away you also have Hotel Mousai, which offers spectacular views of the bay. Nearby places include Villa La Mansión, Villas Altas Garza Blanca, Casa Bonita or Sierra del Mar.
If you plan to go to Palo María, bring some tennis shoes (sneakers) that can get wet and can take a beating, this will help you a lot along the way. You can walk along the shore of the beach to the north a short stretch, to the south, the beach ends in a very rocky area and then a difficult rocky area where Casa Bonita is located.
Common recommendations, bring sunscreen, sunglasses, camera, extra clothes and if you want to avoid paying, food and drink because apart from the hotel, there is no one offering food or beverages.