Playa Las Ánimas de Quimixto (Las Animas de Quimixto Beach), more known as just "Las Animas", is a beautiful beach in the southern zone of Puerto Vallarta. It is the first stop water taxis make (locally called "pangas") on the way West in the southern section of the Banderas Bay.
Boca de Tomatlán, is your best starting point to Las Animas, it is the last bay and town by the edge of the ocean that the Highway goes through on its way south to El Tuito, then to Barra de Navidad and Manzanillo.
The trip by land from Vallarta to Boca is 11 miles (from PV's main square), some 20 minutes by land unless you are pinned behind a truck or a bus, then it could take longer, but the scenic ride between the jungle and hills on the left and the emerald colored waters of the sea to your right makes it all worthwhile and enjoyable.
You'll first go by Los Arcos (there's space to stop for a photo session, never enough photos of those rocky islands!), then you'll drive by Mismaloya (you'll know when you see the Barceló hotel on your right) and then 3 miles ahead you, you'll follow a curve that goes left and you'll see Boca from above you'll see the beach and bay, you are now in Boca.
Turn right at the village and go to the Malecon, bordering the edge of the river you'll find parking spaces, if you took a local bus, then it's just a matter of walking a 100 yards to the Malecon.
Here pangas disembark and embark passengers and take them back and forth between the beaches and small towns down the coast: Las Ánimas, Quimixto, Majahuitas, Yelapa and some go even further south to Pizota, El Chimo, Cabo Corrientes, Tehuamixtle or Mayto.
Las Animas beach is a day tour favorite, there are many tour operators and cruise trips in the bay that arrive here during the day. It's the first beach 2 miles (3 km) from Boca (some 5-10 minutes away), right after Caballo Beach, the ride in the water taxi should be around 3 to 4 dollars per person per stretch.
The pier makes it much easier to get on and off the boats, and the beach is also a tourist beach-lover top choice. The sand is clear and fine, the waters clean, the waves soft and the surrounding nature astounding.
There is an assortment of small restaurants and vendors providing food and drink, some fortunate people also have permission to live in the area, that just as Las Caletas is also an Indian Ejido, administered by indian communities in Chacala, a village in the mountains close to El Tuito, or at least it was known as one, it might have changed in the most recent decades, but we have not been informed.
The late William (Bill) Reed, author married to Sylvia Rosa Garcés Marroquí, lived here many years in a house called "Casa Guillermo" (or was it Casa Mario...?) and got to know all the pros and cons of dealing with the ejido administration and the local indian attitudes and some ugly suprises too which you can read that in "Escape to Paradise, A Mexican Odyssey" by the author.
Take a jumpy tour in the sea on a banana boat, or soar above the sea behind a motor boat in a parasail enjoying the impressive view from above, walk up and down the beach, or just lay down under one of the many parasols and relax with a beer or a margarita.
Las Animas beach is for relaxing, but if you want to have some action, then you should maybe try the Las Animas Beach Adventure Park where you'll find a canopy tour, hanging bridges, rock climbing and other fun activities, including a Tequila Tour.
Check out the water taxi schedule.
Las Animas beach is located in the Cabo Corrientes Municipality, an area known for its natural beauty, you'll find that fruit is abundant here, that's because mango, papaya, coconuts and bananas are cultivated in the area too.
And don't forget to enjoy the local delicacies too, both from the land and from the sea, including the local shellfish, "ostiones", oysters... yummy!
I can also recommend you take a walk up the beach to Casas Maraika and Caballo Beach, the path is easy and the views impressive. Playa Caballo is very nice, not as crowded and the sea just as nice, just take care if the waves are strong, safety first, as always. Casas Maraika have a nice bar where you can get some lemonade, a cold beer or something stronger if you so desire, plus a snack or sandwich.