We highly recommend experiencing Puerto Vallarta from the water
The Bay of Banderas is one of the largest in the world and astonishingly beautiful.
You cannot appreciate the landscape and topography of the area until you see it from the water: jungle covered mountains of the Sierra Madre meet the Pacific Ocean and are rimmed by white sand beaches that you can only get to by boat.
The highway south from Puerto Vallarta goes all the way to Acapulco, but does not follow the southern arm of the bay to Cabo Corrientes
The cape also serves as a natural barrier that protects Puerto Vallarta from Eastern Pacific hurricanes.
When traveling south, the last cove accessible by car is Boca de Tomatlan, about 30 minutes south of Puerto Vallarta. The highway continues due south from there.
To reach the other pristine beaches on the southern Cape, you must go by boat.
It is an amazing experience.
There are various types of charters:
Power Boat – The smaller, faster open air launches called “pangas” can get you all the way to Yelapa on a half day tour, with stops for snorkeling on the way and relax time+lunch at Yelapa.
Sailing – The catamarans sail to Los Arcos for snorkeling and swimming afterwards at Los Colomitos Beach near Boca de Tomatlan. There is a popular restaurant at Los Colomitos; reservations required.
Sunset Cruise – Whether by power yacht or catamaran, watching the sun set into the Pacific Ocean is a daily celebration in Puerto Vallarta, even more so from the water. The excursions leave Marina Vallarta at 3:30 pm and return to shore at 7:30pm. Snorkeling and swimming included if desired. The luxury yachts provide food and drink.
Whale Watching (Dec-Mar) – Requires a small fast boat that can follow (and get away from!) the humpback whales. Another amazing sight for your bucket list – to see the whales breach. They also communicate with each other by flapping the water with their tails and fins. The whales migrate with their families to the protected waters of the Bay of Banderas after giving birth in the Sea of Cortez. Because of all the dolphins inside the Bay of Banderas, there are virtually no sharks.
Fishing – Dorado, Tuna and Sail Fish are found in these waters. Apr-Dec is prime time. The annual International Sail Fishing tournament is held every Nov. Book a smaller boat for fishing inside the bay or one of the big sport fishing boats for trophy marlin and tuna outside the bay.
It would not be redundant to book more than one boat charter during your trip. Each offers a different experience. You could never get bored with the view of the bay from the water.
For more details, please talk to your rental about the various options available in this coastal resort town where the water is such an important part of life.