Las Glorias Beach—Playa Las Glorias in Spanish—is a general name for the long stretch of beautiful golden sand from Playa Pelicanos (which is just north of Los Muertos Beach) all the way to the canal that divides Marina Vallarta from the Marine Terminal where ships on Pacific cruises dock. There are numerous hotels on Playa Las Glorias as this area of the downtown area (El Centro) is in the center of what is called the Hotel Zone. It is, consequently, quite crowded during the peak winter season. It is easy enough to get away from the crowds by just walking south a bit to Playa Pelicanos, which often has fewer people.
Las Glorias Beach
The boundary between Pelicanos Beach and Las Glorias Beach is a bit fuzzy, and some locals claim one or the other is longer than it actually is. The southernmost of the hotels on Playa Las Glorias probably also marks the real boundary between the two, the Plaza Pelicanos Grand Beach Resort. Like many of the properties in the Hotel Zone, it is one of the area’s all inclusive beach hotels, which appeal both to families with children and young people who come here to celebrate spring break and enjoy the city’s famous nightlife.
Next in line as you move north on Playa Las Glorias is the Las Palmas Beach Resort, also popular with families because of its supervised children’s programs offered throughout the day. A bit further north is the Fiesta Americana, and the beach property closest to the marina is the Ambassador Suites at Los Tules. There are many other beach resorts in between these. What most of these Playa Las Glorias hotels have in common, other than the fact that most are all inclusive resorts, are the kinds of services and facilities they offer. Generally you will find two or more dining spots, several bars and lounges, two or more swimming pools, a fitness room or gym, tennis courts, and a shopping area. All of these properties have beach equipment, umbrellas, and sun beds available.
Staying at one of the hotels on Playa Las Glorias means your Las Glorias vacation places the beach literally right outside your back door as well as provides everything you need for a complete experience. If you don’t care if your room doesn’t have an ocean view, you can get accommodation at these properties for better prices. Additionally, set back from the beach a bit and across the busy road, you will also find less expensive hotels.
Las Glorias Beach is an excellent swimming beach, and there are lifeguards during the high season period. If you are not a strong swimmer, always be sure to ask before venturing too far out as there are occasional strong currents. There are places for volleyball on the beach, and locals are apt to start spontaneous soccer matches. This beach is also a popular parasailing spot. There are very few beach bars and snack shacks along this beach as there are further south along the Malecon, because of the proximity of all the hotels with their restaurants and bars. However, there are strolling vendors offering snacks as well as souvenirs.