Thursday, February 25, 2010

Puerto Vallarta Hiking from Boca de Tomatlan to Las Animas

Coming from the great North West, I really do crave the outdoors and all the wonderful hiking trails that were right outside my back door. I mean there are books websites and many other recourses about hiking trailes in the Northwest. Well, here is Mexico it does not really work that way. Everything seems to be word of mouth. I like to think I'm adventurous and all but I like good website, maps and information and if there are photos thats icing on the cake! So when some friends of ours recently told us about a wonderful 2 hour hike along the south beach in Puerto Vallarta Mexico, I was all over it! I have timed it, taken photos, made notes of some key information in the hopes that someone will find this information useful and hopefully enjoy a piece of Puerto Vallarta that is experienced by few!

Getting There

The trail head begins in a small fishing village south of Puerto Vallarta named Boca de Tomatlan. It is approximatly 10 miles south from downtown Puerto Vallarta along the Mismaloya Hwy and accessible by both land an water. We took a city bus for 7 pesos (about .50) one way. Catch the bus on the corner of Basillo Badillo and Constitution You will want to board the city bus that says Boca or Boca de Tomatlon / Mysmaloya. The bus ride takes approxiamtly 25 minutes and is very scenic along the way.

Marion, Katie, Me and Edel on our way via city bus

The bus stop along the highway in Boca where you will get off

Make you way down the hill through the town towards the river. You can see the river from the bus stop.

Follow the road up river to the first bridge and cross over it to get to the trail head. The trail is clearly marked with some creative and colorful signs to lead the way to Las Animas.

We traveled along the beach for the 10-15 minutes of the hike and then the trail takes an incline and a few small switchbacks as you climb over the first hill. We saw some very beautiful homes and a few abandoned ones too. For the next 30 minutes you are hiking in the jungle surrounded by tropical foliage. We actually saw a donkey just hanging out on the other side of some barbwire. Sorry, no exotic jungle animals on this hike to talk about! ;-)

Once you start wishing you could see some ocean again you approach your first beach. First passing a villa tucked into the jungle. You are kind of walking through the back yard of the villa to get to the little bay below.

When you reach the bottom of the stairs that lead onto the beach look directly across the water and you will see that the trail continues on the other side. We had to time the waves for us to reach the stairs that continue on...take your shoes off. Take a swim here to cool off after the first leg of the hike.

The rest of the hike is pretty easy going onto Las Animas. Much more beach and less jungle. As you approach the second beach it is much bigger and there are some homes here that you walk in front of basically through terraces. The scenery from this beach is amazing. We stopped to take lots of pictures here! Stay close to the homes the rest of the way. The last bend before Las Animas seems like you have to stone hop to get there but there is a path between the homes above the beach. Look for signs to Las Animas because at this point you are only about 10 minutes away from beach umbrellas and cold beers!

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