Mismaloya Mexico is located south of popular Puerto Vallarta within an area rife with views of the Sierra Madre mountain range and Los Arcos Maritime Nature Reserve. Also a well-known location for movie shoots, the surrounding area is a tropical paradise, lush with verdant green canopies and hundreds of plant and animal species. Getting there is simple. Visitors can hop on a plane to Puerto Vallarta and proceed to Mismaloya via public or private bus, taxi, or rental car on a swift five-mile journey.
Mismaloya Beach Image: Lisa Andres (flickr)
Playa Mismaloya is at Puerto Vallart’s most southerly point, a cove setting at the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains and backing its own aquamarine bay. It’s here that John Huston filmed Tennessee Williams’ famous The Night of the Iguana and where the iconic film Predator was shot. The name translates to “place where they catch fish with their hands,” and with such a rich seaside setting, it’s no wonder fish frequent the waters where the ocean meets Mismaloya Creek.
The village is Mexico’s Jalisco state with many activities including sailing, water-skiing, seasonal whale watching, bungee jumping in the jungle, and diving. The Los Arcos ocean rocks are a prime spot to dive and snorkel. A variety of restaurants are located along the beach as well, an ideal setting for sunset dinners. The local zoo is also a big local attraction. Visitors can reach Mismaloya in less than a half-hour from Puerto Vallarta by bus or car. The area near the Mismaloya suspension bridge is the place to charter deep sea fishing and diving adventures.
There are four major hotels in the immediate vicinity of Mismaloya. Three are larger resorts while one is a smaller hotel. Of the four lodging options, two are staggered apart from each other closest to the ocean while the other two are set back farther and quite close to each other. Hotel Barcelo is the one hotel consistently top-rated on Playa Mismaloya. The four-Diamond AAA rating has been earned by the Mexican-style property which offers all-inclusive vacations. Popular for weddings in Mexico and family vacations, Hotel Barcelo also offers a great layout with four large swimming pools to choose from. To the southwest is the Vallarta Zoo. Separated by only five miles, Puerto Vallarta hotels area also an option for those wishing to visit Mismaloya but not stay directly in the village.
Mismaloya restaurants are plentiful and varied with both fine and casual dining available. Due to the village’s small size, don’t expect a wide array of options in fine dining. Hotel restaurants are generally open to all diners and can be a great option for a nice dinner. Along the beach there are more restaurants offering magnificent views, especially at sunset. Fresh seafood is usually always on offer, with choices including giant prawns, shrimp, mahi mahi, and lobster. Al fresco dining is widely available in many price ranges both by local hotels and solo restaurants. Margaritas and Coronas are widely available as authentic Mexican cuisine. There are several local restaurants considered “hidden gems,” All it takes to find out where they are is to ask around for dining recommendations. Most vacationers staying in Mismaloya have either heard about or stumbled upon one of these local favorites. Restaurant service tends to be rated highly in this area as well, with plenty of friendly staff offering efficient service.