Three miles south of Mismaloya  is Boca de Tomatlán, a tranquil country village overlooking a broad strip of yellow sand bordering a petite blue bay. Palapa restaurants supply enough food and shade for days of easy relaxation.
If you decide to linger, contact Agustín Bas, a personable English-speaking Argentinian expatriate. He and his partner, Marjorie Torrance, offer lodging in their gorgeous two-bedroom, three-bath jungle bayfront Casa Tango (tel. 322/224-7398, U.S. tel. 310/494-9970, www.casatango.com ). Low-season (May–Sept.) tariffs run about $80 per day, $550 weekly ($120 and $790 high season Oct.–Apr.) for up to six, including airport pickup. (Agustín and Marjorie also offer many other vacation rentals and personalized guided snorkeling, fishing, horseback, and other tours, specializing in the verdant Bay of Banderas  southern shoreline; for more info visit www.tangorentals.com .)
You can continue by colectivo water taxi (about $4 per person) to the pristine paradises of Las Ánimas, Quimixto, and Yelapa farther south. Las Ánimas has seafood, palapas, an idyllic beach, and snorkeling; the same is true for Quimixto, which also has a waterfall nearby for splashing.
Yelapa, a settlement nestled below lush palm-crowned hills beside an aquamarine cove, is home to perhaps a hundred local families and a small colony of expatriates. For visitors, it offers a glimpse of South Seas life as it was before the automobile.
Since Yelapa is accessible only by sea, residents get around on foot or horseback. A waterfall cascades through the tropical forest above the village, and a string of palapa restaurants lines the beach. Lodging is available in the palapa-roofed cabañas of the rustic Hotel Lagunita (tel. 322/209-5055 or 322/209-5056, www.hotel-lagunita.com , $70 d low season, $95 high). Reservations are especially recommended during the winter high season.
Puerto Vallarta  visitors can also reach the little southern beaches of Quimixto, Las Ánimas, and Yelapa from Puerto Vallarta itself. You have two options: fast water taxis or one of several all-day tourist cruises.
The water taxis (about $20 round-trip), which allow you more time at your destination, customarily leave the Playa los Muertos  New Pier three times in the morning, at about 10:30, 11 and 11:30 a.m. high season (11 and 11:30 low season). In the afternoon, they return twice, at around 4 and 4:30 p.m. high season (but once only, at around 4 p.m., low season).
The morning departures allow about three hours for lunch and swimming at either the Quimixto or Yelapa waterfalls. For more information and tickets call the New Pier water taxi office (tel. 322/222-0680) or email water taxi manager Lucas Donahue at businessyelapa [at] hotmail [dot] com.
The more leisurely tourist cruises leave around 9 a.m. (returning by mid- to late afternoon) from the Terminal Maritima (cruise ship dock) on the north-side marina harbor complex.