Boca de Tomatlan
Boca de Tomatlán lies at the mouth of the Horcones River. Boca, as it’s often called locally and which means “mouth” in Spanish, is a Puerto Vallarta attraction with a truly amazing topography. Set in a deep lush green mountainous valley with a picturesque green river running through it, Boca de Tomatlán is about as tropical a place as one can find on earth.
There are no fancy hotels like in nearby Mismaloya. The area has the decided feel of a humble Mexican village, yet the beach is wide and relatively un-trafficked by tourists, even on a Saturday in January. It’s a great place to be for some peace and quiet and a taste of real Mexico. The area has beach tables, drinks, and seafood on offer as well as a couple of comida corrida restaurants and a few trinket shops.
Boca de Tomatlán is the place to get a boat (panga) to Las Animas and other beaches to the south that can only be reached by water. They can also take you out for a close up look at Los Arcos or even to do a bit of fishing or snorkeling. During low tide it’s possible, though not recommended, to walk to Las Animas - if the tide comes in, you’ll be out there alone with only the jagged rocks to keep you company.
This is beautiful, little rustic get away perfect for sitting on the beach and drinking the afternoon away. If you’re an off-the-beaten track sort, you’ll like it.
How to get to Boca de Tomatlan
Located 3 kilometers south of Mismaloya (or about 17 km south of Vallarta), Boca de Tomatlan is south of Vallarta off Highway 200. The drive takes about 20 to 25 minutes from downtown Vallarta.
You can get a bus (the cost is about 50 cents) near the corner of Badillo and Constitución in the "Romantic Zone" area just south of the bridge over Rio Cuale that divides the Malecón. Here's a map pinpointing the location of where to catch the bus. To get back, just get on the same bus at the same spot it dropped you off. They run every 15 to 20 minutes or so. The bus will typically say "Mismaloya Boca" and not Boca de Tomatlan.