Eight kilometers (5 miles) north of Nuevo Vallarta, the substantial town of Bucerías attracts flocks of snowbirds, and this has encouraged the establishment of rental apartments and good restaurants. The surf is usually gentle enough for swimming, and a small shore break is sometimes suitable for body surfing. Beginning surfers occasionally arrive with their longboards. It's Banderas Bay's chosen beach for kite surfing, and hosts the largest national tournament of this sport in May. Backed by a fringe of beautiful coconut palms, the long beach is wide enough that it remains viable even at high tide. There are beautiful views of the arms of blue Banderas Bay to the north and south. The town is divided by an arroyo (dry river bed). On the north side, small shops face the main street, Avenida del Pacífico, while restaurants face the beach; many have tables on the sand. As the bay curves north toward La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, these businesses soon give way to small hotels, condo complexes,
and single-family homes. If you have a car, parking is easiest south of the arroyo, where streets off the main beach access road, Avenida Lázaro Cárdenas, dead-end at the beach. From the south end of Bucerías you can walk all the way south to the Nayarit–Jalisco state line, created by the Ameca River. This walk of several hours takes you past the high-rise hotel developments at Flamingos and Nuevo Vallarta. Bucerías beach has been recently certificated by the federal government as a "Clean Beach." Facilities: Food concessions, restrooms, lifeguard, trash bins. Best for: walking; swimming; windsurfing.