Fodor's Puerto Vallarta, 5th Edition
Playa Mismaloya Review
It was in this cove that The Night of the Iguana was made. Visitors from the '70s remember parking their vans on the sand and eating fish plucked from the sea for week after blissful week. Unfortunately, construction of the big, tan Hotel La Jolla de Mismaloya at the north end of the once-pristine bay has stolen its Shangri-La appeal, and to add insult to injury, in 2002, Hurricane Kenna stole much of the soft beige sand. Nonetheless, the place retains a certain cachet. It also has views of the famous cove from a couple of seafood restaurants on the south side of a wooden bridge over the mouth of the Río Mismaloya.
Sun-seekers kick back in wooden beach chairs, waiters serve up food and drink on the sand, massage techs offer their (so-so) services alfresco. Chico's Dive Shop sells dive packages and boat trips and rents snorkel gear, boogie boards ($10 for the day for either), and double sea kayaks ($20 per hour). Barceló La Jolla de Mismaloya has day passes for nonguests that are valid from 9 am to 6 pm: $60 gets you use of facilities (pool, gym, game room, an hour of kayaking), plus food and drink. In the afternoons locals hang out at this beach, the kids playing in the sand while the moms wait for their men to return from fishing expeditions and touring gigs. The beach is about 13 km (8 mi) south of PV. The bus drops you on the highway, and it's a 200-yard walk from there down a dirt road to the beach. The tiny village of Mismaloya is on the east side of Carretera 200. Facilities: Boating, diving, kayaking, snorkeling; food concessions, toilets (Port-o-Potties on road to beach).
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