Plan A Relaxing Crowd-Free Beach Vacation At This Mexico Destination

Down a dusty road from Puerto Vallarta, the uber-remote Playa Mayto has been described as one of the best beaches in Mexico. Located on the Cabo Corrientes coastline, this Jaliso beach is an impressive 11 km (7 miles) long. It is also an important turtle habitat and a haven for nature lovers. Despite its secluded setting, there are still a handful of hotels to stay in and restaurants to eat in.

Not many tourists make it here, as it's along a rough road. However, those who do will enjoy having the sandy beach mainly to themselves as the crowds visit easier-to-reach locations such as Cabo or Cancún. The journey to Playa Mayto goes along the Puerto Vallarta coastline and passes through the Santuario de las Guacamayas nature reserve. Green hills line the track to Mayto from El Tuito, so there are beautiful vistas to enjoy before you even step foot on the beach.

How to get to Playa Mayto

Puerto Vallarta is the closest international airport to Playa Mayto. To get to Playa Mayto from the airport, you can get an airport transfer, taxi or shared taxi for the 2-hour journey. The route is along Highway 200 before turning off at the town of El Tuito, which is around halfway for the 38 km (23 mile) journey to Mayto. While it is possible to get a bus from Puerto Vallarta to El Tuito and then a taxi for the journey along the rougher road, it is better to organize this in advance. There may not be taxis available in El Tuito so your Mayto accommodation will be able to book a car to collect you at a certain time.

One bus per day travels from El Tuito to Mayto, but the up-to-date schedule must be checked at the Puerto Vallarta tourist office before you go. If this is too much hassle, it is possible to hire a car and drive there yourself. Residents of the U.S. and Canada can use their normal driver's license in Mexico, but visitors from other countries may need an international driver's license. Always shop around for prices to make sure that you get the best deal!

What to do in Playa Mayto

The number one thing to do in Playa Mayto is relax! However, there are outdoor activities such as horse riding, kayaking, snorkeling and camping under the stars to keep visitors entertained. Massage is also available at some of the lodgings for those who want to take it easy.

Animal lovers will rejoice, as there are mangroves to paddle through and whales can be seen passing the shore from December until March. Playa Mayto is also home to one of the state's biggest conservation projects, the Campamento de Protección a la Tortuga Marina (Marine Turtle Protection Camp). It aims to save the olive ridley, green, hawksbill and leatherback turtles that nest here. The biologists accept volunteers and school groups so it is possible to enquire about going to a learning event or watching a baby turtle release.

The inaugural Ayotl Beach Fest was held in 2022, a music festival held over 3 days and nights on Playa Mayto. The cheapest pass is $500 which includes transfers and a stay at the beach campsite. Organizers have made this an annual event and some of the profits go towards Cabo Corrientes School Foundation and Campamento Tortuguero Mayto.

If this sounds good to you, you may want to visit now — as there are plans for an airport and resort to be built immediately north of Playa Mayto. The planned developments may bring more tourists to this unspoilt gem.