Mismaloya, Mexico
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Star of the 1963 movie Night of the Iguana, Mismaloya beach is the jewel in the crown of this small coastal village south of Puerto Vallarta. Mismaloya's soft white sands and clear blue waters make it an ideal spot for a relaxing beachside vacation. The area is packed with luxurious resorts, beachside bars, and excellent restaurants. Opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife of the area abound, from snorkeling in the bay to horseback riding in the surrounding hills.

Hotels in Mismaloya

With a selection of hotels, resorts, and villas clustered around the oceanfront, the beach is the focal point for accommodation in Mismaloya. Offering a range of 3-star to 5-star accommodation and a large variation in prices, the area offers a beachside option to suit most travelers. Enjoy the comfort of a Mismaloya villa at Villa Lala, complete with marina, kayaking, snorkeling, and luxurious touches such as Egyptian cotton sheets. For complete indulgence, check into Garza Blanca Preserve Resort and Spa, a 5-star Mismaloya resort, and unwind with a dip in the infinity pool before retiring to your hammock on the balcony to watch the sun slip below the horizon.

Things to see in Mismaloya

Whether it’s lounging in the sun, strolling on soft white sands, or swimming in clear blue waters, the top attraction in Mismaloya really is its beach. Choose between snorkeling and scuba diving, or rent a boat and discover wildlife in the waters around Los Arcos sea rocks, an impressive rock formation in the village's sheltered cove. If you'd like to explore inland, make for the nearby Rancho Lopez and experience a unique guided adventure on horseback that takes you through the lush green hills surrounding the village. Vallarta Zoo is a great location for a day trip. Unusually, visitors are allowed to pet and touch many of the animals, and kids will love feeding them from the food bags provided. Finally, unwind with some delicious local seafood at an authentic Mexican restaurant such as El Jacalito, right in the center of the village.

Good for couples and families

With its relaxing atmosphere, beautiful sandy beach, and numerous luxury resorts, Mismaloya is an ideal spot for an exotic vacation for 2. Enjoy a spa treatment or take a swim in the bay à deux, pause at a beachside bar for a tequila tasting, and head to the hills for a romantic trip on horseback. Families will also love the village, with plenty of beach activities from kayaking to snorkeling to keep the younger ones entertained. Feeding the animals in Vallarta Zoo will go down a treat with young travelers too, and there are plenty of affordable, family-friendly eateries in the area to sate even the heartiest of appetites.

How to get to Mismaloya

The nearest airport to Mismaloya is Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport, about a 45-minute drive from most hotels in Mismaloya. To save on transport, you can take the public bus that departs from outside the terminal (marked Downtown Vallarta), and then an onward bus in Puerto Vallarta that departs from the corner of Basilio Badillo and Constitución (marked Mismaloya/Boca). If traveling from Puerto Vallarta, the drive south of the city along coastal Highway 200 is a little shorter at about 40 minutes. Once in the neighborhood, the easiest way to get around is on foot or by car.

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