Do you want to get some more exercise and get to know the surrounding area a bit better? This article is about a few area hikes, one south and one north of Jaltemba Bay. One is fairly easy and the other fairly strenuous, but both will take you into some fantastic scenery and through some other views of Mexican life.
This is the first in a two-part series. You can read Part 2: Hike to El Cora Cascades here.
Let’s start with the Boca de Tomatlan to Las Animas hike. Boca de Tomatlan is about 30 minutes south of Puerto Vallarta, along Highway 200. This route follows past some luxurious condos and homes and some remote coastline with great views of Bandaras Bay. You can drive yourself or take a local bus from Puerto Vallarta. The stretch of Highway 200 is quite rough for the last part of the trip, so the drive entails dodging potholes along with the rest of the traffic. Parking is available along the river estuary in the scenic small town of Boca de Tomatlan. Look for a concrete foot bridge crossing the river.
Along the opposite shore, the stone and concrete path literally goes past many local door steps and patios, to eventually lead to a stone and rough trail skirting along the rocks just above the surf. There are many great views back to Puerto Vallarta and out into Bandaras Bay. Roughly half way to Las Animas, the trail alternates between beach walks and forest trail.
Nearing Las Animas, the trail goes back to concrete and you walk past a few very luxurious hotels to Las Animas Beach. There are a few restaurants and hotels here, as well as a pier, should you wish to take a boat ride back to Boca. One way, the trail is roughly 1-1.25 hours, depending on how fast you walk and how long you want to swim or stay at the remote beaches along the trail. Sandals are fine (our Mexican friend simply wore her beach flip-flops).
After Las Animas Beach, the trail continues along the forest/beach trail toward Yelapa, though I have not yet done that stretch. That is for a future trip!
by Rob Erickson
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