Just 15 minutes south of the city proper along the scenic Highway 200 lies the quaint little fishing village of Boca de Tomatlan, or “Boca” to the locals. Despite its location, the small town offers a surprising amount of diversity in local scenery as well as a range of activities for daring travelers to enjoy during their time in the area. Read on to find out why the once anonymous fishing village has become a name on the lips of visitors from around the world.
Although the area has been developed considerably in the tourism explosion that put Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding area on the global destination map, the area still retains much of its humble character. Simple Mexican-style homes intermingle with deluxe hillside accommodations that offer amazing views of the Banderas Bay as well as the Sierra Madre mountain range that ensconces the area, making it one of the most compelling communities in Greater Puerto Vallarta.
Boca de Tomatlan can be accessed by taxi or by the special bus line that departs from the corner of Calles Constitucion and Basilio Badillo. Taxi rides from the airport can cost from 150 to 400 pesos depending on whether you choose to hire a standard city cab or dedicated airport transport for your ride. Vehicles on the bus route to Boca de Tomatlan are distinctively marked with orange trim, and fares for the ride are 8.5 pesos, or approximately 50 cents USD as of December 2016.
Travelers who make their homes in Boca de Tomatlan have a broad range of activities within reach. Along with the endless entertainment options just a few miles north in Puerto Vallarta, the locale also lays claim to the physical location of the Vallarta Zoo, a wildlife preserve built directly into the untamed jungle environment south of the city.
Residents of the area are also in a privileged position to discover the secluded and beautiful beaches of Yelapa via water taxis departing from the pier at Boca de Tomatlan, as the village is practically inaccessible by road. Indeed, Boca de Tomatlan is arguably the most active water taxi station in the local route system, with departures scheduled every half hour or more throughout the daylight hours.
Another attractive feature of life in Boca de Tomatlan is the exceptionally calm surf that is ideal for ocean swimming. Combined with the spectacular snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities in the area, this small town doubles as one of the Banderas Bay’s foremost aquatic playgrounds. There are also an array of restaurants in the beach area offering fresh seafood and cold drinks when your day in the water is over.
Boca de Tomatlan is bound to appeal to active visitors. Not only does it offer a nearly unmatched ocean atmosphere, the area is also home to a selection of popular hiking trails. The town is also a good choice for those who love the festive atmosphere that defines daily life in Puerto Vallarta, but would also enjoy the chance to escape to a quiet night on the Pacific Coast at their leisure.
Lovers of nature not only get the naturally occurring splendor that inspires countless visitors to come back to the area year after year, it also benefits from several coordinated efforts to maximize the experience for visitors, boasting the largest standing horticultural conservatory in the country, the Vallarta Botanical Gardens, along with its world-famous zoo.
Boca de Tomatlan is easy to overlook for newcomers to the area, but continually draws savvy travelers in with its natural beauty and laid back overall atmosphere. Those who find the prospect of a life off the beaten path would be well served to consider this unique fishing town just south of Puerto Vallarta as a worthwhile place for their lives of adventure and relaxation to unfold.