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Fodor's Puerto Vallarta, 5th Edition
Playa de San Pancho
Playa de San Pancho Review
Ten minutes north of Sayulita is the town of San Francisco, known to most people by its nickname, San Pancho. Its beach stretches between headlands to the north and south and is accessed at the end of the town's main road, Avenida Tercer Mundo. At the end of this road, on the beach, a couple of casual restaurants have shaded café tables on the sand where locals and visitors congregate. You'll sometimes see men fishing from shore with nets as you walk the 1½-km-long (1-mi-long) stretch of coarse beige sand. There's an undertow that should discourage less-experienced swimmers. A small reef break sometimes generates miniature waves for surfing (especially in September), but this isn't a surf spot. In fact the undertow and the waves, which are too big for family splashing and too small for surfing, have probably helped maintain the town's innocence—until now. Popular with a hip crowd, San Pancho has just a few hotels but a growing number of good restaurants. Facilities: Food concessions, showers, toilets.
- Address: Puerto Vallarta
- Location: North of Banderas Bay
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