Bay of Banderas

Bay of Banderas featuring tropical scenes, a coastal town and a beach

Bay of Banderas

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This stretch of Mexican coastline has sandy beaches, quaint fishing villages and ideal spots to swim, surf or snorkel.

The Bay of Banderas (Bahía de Banderas) is a 62-mile (100-kilometer) stretch of beach on the west coast of Mexico. The bay region includes beaches, quaint cities and villages, and wildlife protection areas.

Rent scuba diving equipment, snorkeling gear or a kayak from Puerto Vallarta and head out into the water. Many types of sea life make the bay their home, including manta rays, sea bass and dolphins. Humpbacks and orcas give birth in the bay and can be spotted from the shore. Take a whale-watching trip with one of the many tour boats; try to join a tour that has a boat with devices that let you listen to whale sounds.

Los Muertos, in Puerto Vallarta, is the bay’s most popular beach. Swim around El Púlpito and Las Pilitas, two iconic rock formations at the south end of the beach. Surfers will enjoy a trip to Playa Olas Altas, a beach just north of Los Muertos that generally gets bigger swells. Playa Conchas Chinas, “Chinese Shells Beach,” is considered the city’s most secluded beach. Try Playa las Gemelas, too, for a quieter spot.

Walk through the historic old town of Puerto Vallarta. The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, built over the course of 50 years starting in 1903, is the city’s central landmark. The church spire is topped by an elaborate green crown, which is believed to be modeled on the crown worn by Carlota, wife of the Emperor Maximilian. The church is open daily and has services in English on weekends.

Stroll through the Romantic Zone of the old town and try an authentic Mexican meal. Visit the Los Arcos Marine Natural Area, to the south of Puerto Vallarta. This protected zone is popular for snorkeling and bird watching. Swim just off the shore to find coral beds, manta rays and various types of fish.

The Bay of Banderas runs north from Puerto Vallarta to the headland at Punto de Mita and south to the headland at Cape Corrientes. The bay is serviced by local buses, which are cheap and come frequently.

Top Hotels Close to Bay of Banderas

Hotel Mio Vallarta - Adults Only
Hotel Mio Vallarta - Adults Only
3.5 out of 5
BLVD FRANCISCO MEDINA ASCENCIO 2179, Puerto Vallarta, JAL, 48333
The price is $66 per night from Jun 2 to Jun 3
Stay at this 3.5-star business-friendly hotel in Puerto Vallarta. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (675 reviews)
"Good"

Reviewed on May 14, 2022

Hotel Mio Vallarta - Adults Only
Crown Paradise Golden Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive
Crown Paradise Golden Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive
4 out of 5
Av. de las Garzas, Puerto Vallarta, JAL, 48333
The price is $207 per night from May 30 to May 31
Stay at this 4-star beach property in Puerto Vallarta. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 4 restaurants. Our guests praise the pool and the bar in our reviews. ...
3.8/5 Good! (1,086 reviews)
"Great place to stay. Property needs more staff on weekend to accommodate for the amount of locals that stay."

Reviewed on May 14, 2022

Crown Paradise Golden Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive
Villa del Palmar Beach Resort and Spa, Puerto Vallarta
Villa del Palmar Beach Resort and Spa, Puerto Vallarta
3.5 out of 5
Blvd Francisco Medina Ascencio Km 2.5, Zona Hotelera Norte, Puerto Vallarta, 48333
Fully refundable
The price is $107 per night from Jun 22 to Jun 23
Stay at this 3.5-star beach resort in Puerto Vallarta. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 outdoor pools. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff in ...
4/5 Very Good! (935 reviews)
"Great service"

Reviewed on May 13, 2022

Villa del Palmar Beach Resort and Spa, Puerto Vallarta
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Plan a trip to see Bay of Banderas

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Best Lodging Options Near Bay of Banderas

Hotel Mio Vallarta - Adults Only
Hotel Mio Vallarta - Adults Only
3.5 out of 5
BLVD FRANCISCO MEDINA ASCENCIO 2179, Puerto Vallarta, JAL, 48333
The price is $66 per night from Jun 2 to Jun 3
Hotel Mio Vallarta - Adults Only
Crown Paradise Golden Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive
Crown Paradise Golden Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive
4 out of 5
Av. de las Garzas, Puerto Vallarta, JAL, 48333
The price is $207 per night from May 30 to May 31
Crown Paradise Golden Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive
Villa del Palmar Beach Resort and Spa, Puerto Vallarta
Villa del Palmar Beach Resort and Spa, Puerto Vallarta
3.5 out of 5
Blvd Francisco Medina Ascencio Km 2.5, Zona Hotelera Norte, Puerto Vallarta, 48333
The price is $107 per night from Jun 22 to Jun 23
Villa del Palmar Beach Resort and Spa, Puerto Vallarta
Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort - All inclusive
Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort - All inclusive
4.5 out of 5
Avenue De Las Garzas S/n Zona Norte, Puerto Vallarta, JAL, 48333
The price is $301 per night from May 31 to Jun 1
Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort - All inclusive
Club Regina Puerto Vallarta
Club Regina Puerto Vallarta
3.5 out of 5
Paseo De La Marina Sur 205, Frac. Mar. Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, JAL, 48335
The price is $134 per night from May 24 to May 25
Club Regina Puerto Vallarta
Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa
Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa
4.5 out of 5
Avenida Paseo De La Marina 435, Fracc. Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, 48354
The price is $188 per night from Jun 22 to Jun 23
Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa
Velas Vallarta Suites Resort All Inclusive
Velas Vallarta Suites Resort All Inclusive
4.5 out of 5
Paseo de la Marina Norte 585, Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, JAL, 48354
The price is $404 per night from May 23 to May 24
Velas Vallarta Suites Resort All Inclusive
Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive & Spa
Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive & Spa
4 out of 5
Av. Francisco Medina Ascencio km 2.5, Puerto Vallarta, JAL, 48333
The price is $241 per night from May 30 to May 31
Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive & Spa
The Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta
The Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta
4 out of 5
Paseo De La Marina Sur 205, Puerto Vallarta, 48354
The price is $135 per night from Jun 22 to Jun 23
The Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.