Playa de Oro (Gold Beach) Puerto Vallarta Hotel Zone
The northern Puerto Vallarta Hotel Zone has a beach that runs along its edge that’s called Playa de Oro (Gold Beach).
This Puerto Vallarta beach has three easy public access points along the 3470 ft (1060 m) long beach. It’s 15 minutes, 6km, approximately 4 miles from the main square in downtown Puerto Vallarta.
It is bounded on the north side by the harbor area and runs along the edge of various hotels and condos until Peninsula Condominiums and the Pitillal river, which is the southern end of Playa de Oro Beach.
The beach’s name derives from one of the first hotels built in this area of the city, called Hotel Playa de Oro. Playa de Oro Beach has soft golden sand (hence the name) that makes it an excellent option for those who enjoy a walk along the shore, followed by a dip in the crystal clear waters.
Playa de Oro Beach is a certified Blue Flag beach, so it has clean waters, plus clear sands, soft waves (most of the time), and follows a number of requirements that insure your well-being and enjoyment as well as protecting the environment, including land and sea life. It features emerald-green waters and inviting clear sands on a medium-width swath that extends south until the mouth of the Pitillal River.
What to do
Playa de Oro Beach looking south. Puerto Vallarta Hotel Zone
The activities in Playa de Oro Beach are very varied, and this is thanks to its ideal location, surrounded by hotels, clubs, and resorts of all kinds, so the activities include a wide variety of sports too. Swimming, kayaking, windsurfing, water skiing, jet-skiing, fishing, whale watching, parasailing, are just some of the many activities that take place in Playa de Oro, in addition to being an ideal area for beach sports.
An ideal place to spend a day with family or friends, although the beach at times can be quite crowded so if that’s the case and you are looking for a quiet and relaxing place, during high season (Dec.- April) you may probably need to consider other options.
There you’ll find sightseeing tours on the local pangas (water taxis), maybe a banana boat ride or an exciting parasailing ride in a parachute. The beach is quite wide, you can enjoy the sun and there’s plenty of space for beach sports too. You’ll see people practicing beach volleyball or a sandy bout of football (what you might call soccer). It’s not unusual to see people horseback riding in the area. Waves are soft and it’s a good place for swimming.
Now that there are more and more cruise ships arriving in Puerto Vallarta, you might even be treated to the show of one of these tourist-filled floating cities arriving at the PV API area.
How to get to Playa de Oro
This Puerto Vallarta beach has three easy public access points along the 3400 ft (1040 m) long beach (see them on the map). There’s easy public access through Av. Las Águilas, the one that goes along the north side of Hotel Krystal, with the big potato sculptures.
- The northern access point is a gate from the Puerto Vallarta harbor area (the API). You walk from Francisco Medina Ascencio to the west, toward the beach, you’ll find the gate between Crown Paradise Club (to the south) and the harbor area.
- Via Quetzal Street, you get off on the corner of De Las Aguilas street by the Hacienda hotel, you walk westward toward IconVallarta, you then continue to the right (northward) until the end of Icon then you turn to the left (westward) on Quetzal Steet, there’s an OXXO there too. Go toward the sea, turn right, and 40 yards to the left you’ll find the public access point. You’ll find a small picturesque arts and crafts market, with little souvenirs and things you might need at the beach, including sunblock and more.
- Souther access point: Along the northern edge of the Pitillal River entrance point by Plaza Península, you walk in on the south side of Peninsula Plaza (Mall), then along the edge of the mall, through the parking lot, then along the edge of the Pitillal River, until you get to the beach and the Pitillal River mouth (if it’s draining into the sea).
Playa de Oro Location and Access points
Where to stay by Playa de Oro Beach
Playa de Oro Beach looking north. Puerto Vallarta Hotel Zone
There are a number of well-known hotels & condos in this area that share this great Vallarta Beach, including, from north to south:
- Crown Paradise Club Puerto Vallarta
- Crown Paradise Golden Puerto Vallarta
- IconVallarta Condos
- Hotel Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort
- Hacienda Buenaventura Hotel & Mexican Charm
- Krystal Puerto Vallarta
- Peninsula Condos
Map of the Hotel Zone lodging options
A little bit of history
Posada Vallarta looking north (you can see the El Salado River mouth that later became the harbor)
The Hotel Posada Vallarta was a modern hotel that opened its doors in 1964. It was one of the first hotels to do so, and it has an interesting history as well – not just because Jean-Paul Belmondo filmed his movie El Magnífico here but also for giving Victor Iturbide “El Pirulí” (Vicente Riestra) his start on stage at this very location with an ambitious and highly successful singing career in his near future! Posada Vallarta’s location is now taken by a new hotel called Krystal.
“Also among those who made their way into the hospitality business through hard work and facing many obstacles was Jack Cawood, a tall, blond, good-looking man from the United States; he came to this place in the company of his wife Tere and her little children.
Jack, like many, had come in search of new horizons; he found a suitable field for it but nothing was done, you had to work hard to achieve it … and he did it! Remembering those golden years, Nelly Barquet told me that when she and her husband Guillermo Wulff had just arrived in Puerto Vallarta, while she was at the beach at the Hotel Rosita a young American man caught their attention, who, together with a laborer, were throwing stones into a canoe. When they asked him what they were doing he let them know that he was going to build some bungalows in a place that could only be reached either by boat or, failing that, crossing through pastures. When he left, they commented among themselves, “Crazy gringo!” It became one of the most beautiful hotels in Puerto Vallarta, the ‘Playa de Oro Hotel’.”
Yolanda Pita McCullough
The times I have visited this beach, it’s been calm, without many people. The location offers great sunsets, that most of the year actually ends with the sun falling into the ocean. You can see a fisherman or two throwing their circular nets into the sea, people are mostly relaxing, so it’s a nice beach to visit. Easy access makes it a great beach in Puerto Vallarta. After your day by the sea, you can jump into one of the many restaurants in the Peninsula Mall or walk south over the El Pitillal river bridge and enjoy the La Isla Mall and the many options there. In my opinion, a great beach, try it out and send me your comments.