A pair of good close-in beach hikes are possible. For either of them, don’t forget a sun hat, sunscreen, bug repellent, a shirt, and some light shoes. On the south side, walk from Playa los Muertos  about 1.5 miles along the little beaches and tidepools to Playa Conchas Chinas . Start at either end and take half a day to swim, snorkel, sun, and poke among the rocks.
The more ambitious can hike the entire three-mile beach strip from the northern end of the Malecón  to the marina. If you start by 9 a.m. you’ll enjoy the cool of the morning with the sun at your back.
Stop along the way at the showplace pools and beach restaurants of hotels such as the Sheraton, the Canto del Sol, the Fiesta Americana Vallarta, and NH Krystal. Walk back, or opt for a return by taxi or city bus.