Last month, we vacationed in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for a long weekend. Southwest Airlines just introduced flights from LAX to PVR and they were pretty reasonably priced. It was a great time to travel there because it was still considered off-peak season. We stayed in the Hotel Zone not far from the airport at the Hacienda Buenaventura Hotel. It was all-inclusive and was close to a bus stop, where we caught the bus into downtown. One of the places we wanted to venture to while in Puerto Vallarta was the hidden Colomitos Beach. It is only accessible by water taxi or by hiking through the jungle. Obviously, we chose the second option.
The public bus took us from outside our hotel to the downtown area (Centro/Malecon) and was less than 50 cents each person, each way. Once we got to the end of the line, we exited the bus and looked for the orange and white bus that was to take us to Boca de Tomatlán. I found a helpful website that explained the different bus routes around the area. We were lucky enough to get on this bus at the first stop because it quickly filled up to capacity (and beyond) by the time we reached Boca. The bus ride was scenic as it climbed up a winding road leaving town.
Once we arrived at Boca de Tomatlán, we got off the bus and walked down a hill. From there, we saw a beautiful bay with lots of panga boats. This area is a small fishing village with the Horcones River ending it’s trip down from the mountains. Compared to the ocean, the river water was much cooler but still felt refreshing after the hot bus ride.
We were greeted by many water taxi drivers asking if we wanted a ride. Instead, we asked them for directions on where to catch the trail to Colomitos. They advised us to walk towards the river and look for a bridge that crossed it. After that, they said to just follow along the other side of the land towards the ocean and look for a turn off to the left before reaching the end.
After crossing the river, we followed the trail towards the ocean. At times, it was a little difficult to follow because it went through or alongside what looked like people’s properties. Whenever we felt like we were off track, we saw an arrow on a rock or a small sign pointing us in the right direction. There was even a precarious looking suspension bridge we had to cross at one point.
On that day, it was particularly humid, which made the mile-long hike through the jungle feel tougher than usual. Luckily, we packed enough water to last. The only wildlife we spotted during our trek was an iguana, who quickly scurried up a tree when he saw us. The hike had a few switchbacks and hills but once we were towards the end, we rounded the corner and were rewarded with our first view of Colomitos beach. After that, it was all downhill to paradise.
For being such a secluded beach with limited access, there were quite a few people. There was also a guy selling beers and hailing water taxis. The water was warm and inviting. We even brought snorkeling equipment but unfortunately, the visibility was low that day. After enjoying Colomitos, we opted to take a water taxi back to Boca. They stopped by about every 5 minutes or so and were easy to flag down. After getting back to Boca, we got some ice cream and walked back up to the bus stop. We weren’t sure how late the bus ran but it came after waiting about 20 minutes. It was perfect timing because it had started to rain at that point. The ride back down the mountain was a little intense on a packed bus in the pouring rain.
Once we got back into town, the rain had not let up one bit and the streets were starting to flood. Lucky for us, the bus stop was a couple blocks away from Los Muertos Brewing. It was the perfect place to grab a slice of pizza and a pint while enjoying the rain.