The North End beaches are Puerto Vallarta’s cleanest, least-crowded in-town beaches, despite the many hotels that line them. Beginning at the Hotel Rosita at the north end of the Malecón, Playas Camarones, Las Glorias, Los Tules, and de Oro form a continuous three-mile strand to the marina. Stubby rock jetties about every quarter-mile have succeeded in retaining a 50-yard-wide strip of golden sand most of the way.
The sand is grainy, midway between coarse and fine. The waves are usually gentle, breaking right at the water’s edge, and the ocean past the breakers is fairly clear (10- or 20-ft. visibility) and blue. Stormy weather occasionally dredges up clam, cockle, limpet, oyster, and other shells from the offshore depths.
Fishing by pole, net, or simply line is common along here. Surfing, bodysurfing, and boogie boarding, however, are not. All other beach sports, especially the high-powered variety, are available at nearly every hotel along the strand.
Farther north, along the shore past the Terminal Maritima–Marina Harbor entrance, the beach narrows to a seasonally rocky strip at the oceanfront of a row of big resort hotels.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition