Road to Mismaloya – The Panoramic Route

By Jesús de Avila – December 2008

During the past two months, I have had to do the Puerto Vallarta – Boca de Tomatlán – Puerto Vallarta route twice a week, experiencing feelings 

Road to Mismaloyathat inspired me into writing and sharing this brief review, with the main purpose of luring you into programming some specific time to undertake, be it by rented car, taxi or bus, this beautiful and enchanting tour, stopping at places that, under my scope, are ideal to let yourself fall in love with the sights and take some awesome pictures. 

A great part of Puerto Vallarta’s world prestige is based on the spectacular, dramatic panoramic sights of this exuberant paradise, many of which can surely be seen along the panoramic route 200 to Mismaloya, they are definitely the most impressing, representative views of our destination.

The route’s greenery seems to embrace the road throughout the journey; natural windows open into fascinating natural postcards, mainly showing us how the western Sierra Madre —in its challenging encounter with the ocean— tirelessly receiving the strength of the sea’s roaring waves or delicately caressing tides that seem to try to claim a land that, only thanks to the wisdom of natural laws set forth in the origins of the world, never dare to trespass.

There is a great number of sites where one can enjoy captivating views, here is a list I will share with you, they are some of the most accessible among my favorites:
• Playa del Sol Costa Sur Condominiums
Located on Km 4.5 on the road to Mismaloya, between the sea and a rocky wall. Here there are two large Condominium buildings between which ―binding them at the road level, approximately 60 feet above the surf―, there is a bridge-like promenade from where one can appreciate the greatness of the bay in front, while underneath, a very appetizing ocean pool was created by a line of large rocks placed as a sheltering barrier.

Aiming one’s sight towards the left side, from here, like sketched in the horizon, the large rocks known as The Arches are partially distinguishable.

• Presidente Intercontinental Hotel
Located further down the road on Km 8.5; from its lobby, about 60 feet above a beautiful and fine golden beach, this spot offers an impressive view of the bay’s immensity, making us envious of those working at the hotel’s front desk, who daily enjoy one of the bay’s most spectacular panoramics. From all the hotels in Puerto Vallarta, this is the one with the best ocean view from its lobby.

I recommend that upon your arrival, you tell the bell-boy you are visiting the place to enjoy the magnificent view. I am sure that the personnel will be happy to greet you, there is always the possibility of, once being there, you may want to stay for breakfast, lunch or dinner at one of their gourmet restaurants, and why not? Already delighted by the view, you may venture into staying overnight or longer.

Road to Mismaloya• Pacific Bungee
Located on Km. 9.2; this place decorated with large bougainvillea branches is an excellent spot to observe, on one side, on the horizon, the whole north side of the bay and even the figure of the sleeping woman over Punta Mita; and on the other, the great variety of hues of green and blue of the sea. The diving structure adds a dramatic touch to the site.

Before 11:00 a.m., this is an ideal spot to capture shots of the different vessels passing through en route to The Arches and the other attractive sites beyond that can only be visited by boat.

For better reference, this place is just over a mile away from the Presidente Intercontinental Hotel, ahead of a curve, to your right, you cannot miss the large Bungee structure. There is plenty of room to park at this site.

• Los Arcos Lookout Point
Located on Km. 10, this is the spot most visited by tourists brought here in groups to take pictures of Los Arcos, a natural protected area and world-wide renowned natural symbol of Puerto Vallarta. Here you just cannot refrain from taking your picture with The Arches in the background.

Right after 10:30 a.m., boats start to arrive to the area, making it the perfect moment to take very colorful pictures.

Road to Mismaloya• La Joya de Mismaloya Condominiums
Located on Km. 11, from its lobby terrace or the lookout point —with plenty of room to park— to me this is the place that offers the most typical and charming view in the south of Puerto Vallarta. Mismaloya beach is considered by many the most beautiful and significant site of our port. This lookout point is aimed at the beach and the location where the movie “The Night of the Iguana” was filmed. This space is a sort of window opening into a typical scene of Puerto Vallarta twenty years ago.

The personnel at this place are very kind, when you get there, go to the front desk and ask them to allow you to visit the lobby terrace just a few steps away [ask for Dolores, she is just great!], and while moving in that direction… be ready! What you are about to see will simply make you go wow! I could try to describe the colorfulness of what you will discover, but you better find out for yourself and enjoy it!

• Le Kliff
Road to MismaloyaLocated on Km. 17.5; this is a magnificent site to have a special encounter with the ocean, the vegetation, the fauna and the wind. Standing at the edge of a huge boulder, while caressed by the constant fresh ocean breeze on one’s face, the experience creates the sensation of flying. Here the magnificence of the sea and the mountains is clearly perceived and appreciated.  

This is where the Gourmet Restaurant Le Kliff is located, standing out as the place with the largest demand for weddings and with its great palapa (palapa stands for a thatched roof, this one is possibly the largest in Mexico), it is recognized as the most romantic and spectacular restaurant in the continent. From November to March there are great chances to shoot pictures of whales from this spot.

There are more places from where the views of the bay and the mountains are fascinating, however, believe me when I tell you to visit the places mentioned, this will be enough to light up a genuine interest to return and continue to discover more.

Remember that all these spots are accessible by car, be it a rented car or by taxi (quite comfortable, though more expensive), or by a bus you can board at the bus stop for the Mismaloya or Boca de Tomatlán routes; it is located on the corner of Basilio Badillo and  Constitución streets, [see map]. If you decide on this very economic means of transportation, tell the driver upon boarding the place where you want to get off. Buses leave every half-hour, therefore you will have enough time to enjoy and take pictures at every place, knowing that you can take the next bus anytime to continue your journey south or return to town.

Road to MismaloyaPlease take into consideration that this review is based on my morning journey, before 11:00 a.m., it will be your turn to discover the sensations of visiting the same places in the afternoon or evening… I promise this will be an overtaking and unforgettable experience that I take pleasure in inviting our tens of thousands of loyal readers to share.

And also… while you visit each one of these spots, do not forget to pay attention to the details, the shapes, textures, aromas, colors of the flora and fauna you find along the way, it is in those little details where you will find the great difference in your expedition! Email to a friend

Some tips:

Merry Christmas… and a magnificent New Year, full of great and panoramic blessings!

Jesús de Avila