Generations ago, when Puerto Vallarta  was a small, isolated town, there was only one beach, Playa los Muertos, the strand of yellow sand that stretches for a mile south of the Río Cuale. Old-timers still remember the Sundays and holidays when it seemed as if half the families in Puerto Vallarta would come here to play in the surf and sand.
This is still largely true, although now droves of winter-season North American vacationers and residents have joined them. Fortunately, Playa los Muertos is now much cleaner than during the polluted 1980s. The fish are coming back, as evidenced by the flocks of diving pelicans and the crowd of folks who drop lines every day from the New Pier (foot of Francisca Rodriguez).
Fishing is even better off the rocks on the south end of the beach. Lisa (mullet), sierra (mackerel), pargo (snapper), and torito are commonly caught anywhere along close-in beaches. On certain unpredictable occasions, fish (and one memorable time, even giant 30-pound squids) swarm offshore in such abundance that anyone can pick them out of the water barehanded.
Gentle waves and lack of undertow make Playa los Muertos generally safe for wading and good for swimming beyond the close-in breakers. The same breakers, however, eliminate Los Muertos for bodysurfing, boogie boarding, or surfing (except occasionally at the far south end).