Kayaking in Puerto Vallarta

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Kayaking

Except on calm, glassy days, the open ocean is really too rough for enjoyable kayaking, and the few kayaking outfitters there are mainly offer this activity in combination with snorkeling, dolphin-watching, or boating excursions to area beaches. The best places for kayaking-and-birding combos are the mangroves, estuaries, large bays, and islands of the Costalegre, south of Puerto Vallarta.

Logistics

Many of the larger beachfront hotels rent or loan sea kayaks to their guests. Double kayaks are easier on the arms than single kayaks. Since the wind usually picks up in the afternoon, morning is generally the best time to paddle. Stick to coves if you want to avoid energy-draining chop and big waves. Kayaks range from $10 to $15 an hour or $27 to $35 per day. All-inclusives like Dreams, just south of Puerto Vallarta, usually don't charge their guests for kayaks.

Ecotours. Ecotours, in downtown Vallarta, has kayaking tours from Boca de Tomatlán ($75). After paddling around a rocky point you end at tiny Playa Colomitos, where there's time for snorkeling and then a snack. You'll spend 1½ to 2 hours kayaking, and, though it's fun being on the water, the scenery isn't exactly breathtaking. Ignacio L. Vallarta 243, Col. E. Zapata, Puerto Vallarta, 48380. 322/223–3130 or 322/222–6606. www.ecotoursvallarta.com..

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