Head left, downhill, at the highway’s end toward Playa Anclote (Anchor Beach), which gets its name from the galleon anchor displayed at one of the beachside palapa restaurants. The beach itself is a broad, half-mile-long curving strand of soft, very fine coral sand. The water is shallow for a long distance out, and the waves are gentle and long-breaking, good for beginning surfing, boogie boarding, and bodysurfing.
A few hundred yards downhill from the highway, a block left of the road T at the bottom, stands the Caseta Cooperativa Corral de Riscos Servicios Turísticos (Av. Anclote 17, tel./fax 329/291-6298, cooperativapuntamita [at] prodigy [dot] net [dot] mx). This former fishing cooperative, now tourism provider, offers a number of services, such as sightseeing and snorkel tours at the Islas Marietas, an hour offshore; fishing for good-eating dorado and tuna ($40/hr); whale-watching (Dec.–Mar.); and surf instruction.
One of the guiding lights of the Cooperativa whom you might ask for at the office is personable Austrian-English-German-Spanish guide Rudi Hofer, who among other things leads visitors on sea-mammal, bird-watching, snorkel, and fishing excursions ($100 for 2–8 people), especially during the wildlife-rich winter months.
Alternatively, look up the veteran surf instructor and guide Eduardo del Valle Ochoa (Langostina 3, Cruz de Huanacaxtle, tel. 329/295-5087 or in Punta Mita 329/291-6633, www.acciontropical.com.mx), who welcomes visitors daily across the street west of the cooperativa office.
Besides offering surfing lessons, Eduardo arranges sportfishing launches (Dec.–May, 3 hrs. about $110, including fishing tackle and bait) and snorkeling, wildlife-watching, and photography boat tours to the pristine offshore wildlife sanctuaries of Islas Marietas. During a typical half-day trip, visitors may glimpse dolphins, sea turtles, and often whales, as well as visit breeding grounds for brown and blue-footed boobies, Heermann’s gulls, and other birds.
Another surf lessons option is to go with veteran surf instructor Oscar, whose surf equipment rental shop, Oscar’s Rentals, is next door to the Caseta Cooperativa Corral de Riscos.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition