Southshore Puerto Vallarta FAQ

I’ve been spending a lot of time on the Southshore lately, and I realize that there is so much to discover in this beautiful area of Puerto Vallarta. Our newest listing is Torre Punta Vallarta 7, a beautiful 2 bedroom, 3 bathroom condo that sits right on Punta Negra beach. I’ve been busy with showings and spending a lot of time in this absolutely gorgeous area. I thought I would share with you all a bit of information on PV’s famous Southshore.

Where is the PV Southshore?

Technically, the southshore starts as soon as you leave Old Town Vallarta and head south of the Basilio Badillo area on the 200 highway. The Southshore goes all the way  to Boca de Tomatlan, a small fishing village 15 km south of PV. Notable towns include:

  • Amapas
  • Conchas Chinas (Upper and Lower)
  • El Nogalito
  • Punta Negra
  • Garza Blanca
  • Las Gemelas
  • Mismaloya
  • Boca de Tomatlan

What’s so great about it?

Vallarta’s Southshore is famous first and foremost for its stunning natural beauty. There are many coves here with dramatic rock oucroppings that create private beaches and great snorkelling. There are larger beaches like Punta Negra, Las Gemelas, and Garza Blanca that attract crowds on the weekends. The jungle provides a dramtic backdrop to this area as there are no flatlands in this 10 mile stretch. Many homes are built vertically on the seaside cliffs. Home buyers are attracted to this area for the quiet, peaceful seclusion it provides. The bigger residential areas like Amapas and Conchas Chinas allow residents to be close to the action of the Romantic Zone, yet retreat to their mountainside or coastal quiet areas. The further south you go, the more peace you will encounter.

What to do?

The beautiful beaches are definitely a great way to enjoy the Southshore, but few know the other amazing options to explore in this area.

  • Palo Maria river and waterfalls (across from the Garza Blanca Hotel)
  • Waterfall hike down in El Nogalito
  • Temezcal (sweat lodge) and wellness center in El Nogalito
  • Zoo in Mismaloya
  • El Eden zipline and restaurant with waterfalls in Mismaloya
  • Full moon SUP trips leaving from Mismaloya beach with Paddle Zone
  • Snorkel and scuba dive at Los Arcos National Park
  • Go Horseback riding in Mismaloya
  • Epic 7 waterfall hike in the highlands of Mismaloya
  • Boca de Tomatlan to Las Animas Hike
  • Boca de Tomatlan is gateway to beaches further south that can only be reached by boat like Las Animas, Quimixto, and Yelapa.
  • Bungee Jump (just north of Mismaloya)

Things to consider…

Every area has its pros and cons. While the “cons” list is quite short, there are a few things to consider. Since this area is more secluded, things like going to the grocery store become a little more complicated the further south you live. Those in Amapas and Conchas Chinas are still walking distance to town and all the services of a big city. But the closer you get to Boca de Tomatlan means a car will come in most handy! Although Uber and public buses are definitely viable means of transport for many residents of the southshore. Highway 200 is a two lane coastal highway that is very beautiful, but can occasionally experience traffic if accidents occur. However, many parts of Vallarta have 2 lane highways and experience a similar issue.

I hope this brief FAQ has been helpful to you if you are considering living in this most amazing part of Mexico!

Would you like to live on Puerto Vallarta’s Southshore? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! -Christina

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Palo Maria Waterfall

After having lived in Puerto Vallarta for more than a decade, you still find yourself discovering new, ,amazing places. This was the case for me last Sunday when I finally got to check out the incredible Palo Maria river south of PV. This is a truly beautiful place with gigantic, ancient trees that provide a shady hiking experience throughout the day. There are waterfalls and beautiful small pools all along the way. Reason number 4,593 that I love living in this beautiful city!

How to get there

From Puerto Vallarta’s Romantic Zone, head south on Highway 200. You will drive past Amapas, Conchas Chinas, and Playa Punta Negra. Soon you will approach the Garza Blanca hotel zone. Park under the big trees on the side of the road. There is a little bridge which the river passes under. This is where you will begin your hike!

What to expect

This hike starts off mellow, but can be considered advanced/expert depending on how far you climb up river. The vast majority of visitors to Palo Maria finish their hike at the first waterfall. This section is flat, but does require scrambling over rocks as you walk through the river bed. You will also cross the river various times. Depending on the time of year, you will or won’t get your shoes wet. I went this last Sunday on July 5th and was able to reach the waterfall without getting my sneakers wet, meaning the river was not big at all!

Swimming and Waterfalls

There are great little pools right from the start of this hike. If you only wanted to walk a few minutes, you could pick one of the first pools to hang out at, and be very happy! However, for the more adventurous types, there is a series of waterfalls to be explored. The first waterfall is deep and great for cliff jumping. Many visitors are surprised to see black hoses hanging from the falls. These hoses are piping water to homes down river. To continue to the next waterfall, you must scale a very steep rock face. There are cables to hold on to, but it is definitely not for the faint of heart. Proceed with caution , this is definitely advanced/expert territory after the first waterfall. Also, please be warned that mornings are typically safer times to enjoy the rivers in Puerto Vallarta, especially in the Summer. Afternoon rainstorms can create flash floods. Be safe and have fun!!!

Have you ever been to Palo Maria? I would love to hear from you in the comments below! -Christina

Looking for your dream home in beautiful Puerto Vallarta? Visit my website to start your journey.

Southshore Beaches that You Must See

The Bay of Banderas is home to some beautiful natural scenery. One of my favorite areas of exceptional beauty has to be the southshore beaches. From Puerto Vallarta which is located in the middle of the bay, to the southern tip of the bay are some spectacular beaches! The southern part of the bay is known for it’s mountainous landscape. “Where the Jungle Meets the Sea” is the perfect tagline for these southshore beaches. Small coves with unique rock formations make for amazing snorkelling or photoshoots. So grab your suit and towel and check out one of these unique beaches on your next trip to PV.

Playa Las Gemelas

southshore beaches puerto vallarta playa las gemelas

I absoutely love this little beach! Located 15 minutes south of PV (by car). Playa Las Gemelas has clear, clean water perfect for swimming or snorkeling. Here you will see a variety of fish swimming about in the calm waters. There is an amazing old tree that gives shade all day. Pro Tip: get there early to get a spot in the shade, but be aware that the shade under the tree gets crowded. You will need to walk down (and up!) a set of fairly steep stairs to access this gem.

Punta Negra

southshore beaches punta negra

Punta Negra has been my family’s long time go to beach for Sundays. It is slightly closer that Playa Las Gemelas and access is easier. The beach is longer and fits more people. Depending on ocean conditions, swimming can be really nice here. There is a center section of the beach where the rocks create a breakwater where the waves are more mellow. They have built a really nice restuarant here as well which makes for a full service option. There are stand up paddle boards and kayaks for rent as well.

What are some of your favorite southshore beaches in Puerto Vallarta? I would love to hear from you in the comments below! -Christina

Looking for a beachfront property in PV? check out my website for complete listings in the Bay.