Nuevo Vallarta, just north of the Río Ameca, is Nayarit ’s design for a grand resort, comparable to the Zona Hotelera 10 miles south. Development began in the mid-1990s and now Nuevo Vallarta has a green golf course, a marina, a flock of luxurious new homes, and several beachfront resort hotels.
However, development continues at some spots, with the associated construction noise competing with the swish of the waves on Nuevo Vallarta’s creamy beachfront.
Nevertheless, the Club de Playa Nuevo Vallarta, the core of the original development, finished for more than a decade, is indeed a pretty place—perfect for a relaxing beach afternoon.
Get there by turning left at Avenida Nuevo Vallarta, about five miles (8 km) north of the airport, about a mile north of the Río Ameca bridge. At the end of the 1.4-mile entrance drive you’ll come to the Club de Playa, where, past the parking lot (entrance fee about $15 per car), you’ll find the beach club with a public pool, snack bar, and seemingly endless beach, fine for a day’s relaxation.
The miles-long beach is the main attraction. The nearly level golden-white sand is perfect for beachcombing, and the water is excellent for surf fishing, swimming, bodysurfing, and boogie boarding. Beginning or intermediate surfing might be possible for those who bring their own boards.
Autotransportes Medina (1410 Brasil, tel. 322/212-4732 or 322/222-7279) buses complete a flood of daily round-trips between the shoreline communities northwest of Puerto Vallarta  and the Puerto Vallarta station, north of the Malecón .
In Puerto Vallarta, walk or hire a taxi to the terminal, or catch the bus as it heads north along the airport boulevard through the Zona Hotelera.