The last outpost on the Puerto Vallarta  tour-bus circuit is Chino’s Paradise, 13 miles (22 km, at Km 192, tel. 322/223-6005 or 322/223-6006, 9 a.m.–7 p.m. daily) from the south edge of Puerto Vallarta in the lush jungle country. Here, the clear, cool Río Tuito cascades over a collection of smooth, friendly granite boulders.
Chino’s restaurant is a big multilevel palapa that overlooks the entire beautiful scene—deep green pools for swimming, flat warm rocks for sunning, and gurgling gentle waterfalls for splashing. Although a few homesteads dot the streamside nearby, the original Chino’s still dominates, although its reputation rests mainly on the beauty of the setting rather than the quality of its menu.
The forest-perfumed breezes, the gurgling, crystal stream, and the friendly, relaxed ambience are perfect for shedding the cares of the world. Although as yet there are no formal lodgings, a number of potential camping spots border the river, both up- and downstream. Stores at either the nearby upstream Las Juntas y Los Veranos village or Boca de Tomatlán, three miles downhill, can provide supplies.
Adventurers can hire local guides (ask at Chino’s restaurant) for horseback rides along the river and overnight treks into the green, jungly Sierra Lagunillas that rises on both sides of the river. If you’re quiet and aware, you may be rewarded with views of chattering parrots, dozing iguanas, feisty javelinas (wild pigs), clownish tejones (coatimundis), and wary gatos de montaña (wildcats).
Alternatively, try a jungle canopy tour at Canopy Tour Los Veranos (tel. 322/223-6060, www.canopytours-vallarta.com , $79). For the fearless and fit only, these trips allow you to ride at treetop heights like a bird through the tropical forest.
Get there by car or bus, via Highway 200 south, about a mile uphill past Chino’s Paradise. At Las Juntas y Los Veranos village, turn right onto the dirt side road. Continue about a mile to Canopy Tour Los Veranos at the end of the road.