There's lots to do besides sunbathe at this beach and town 15 minutes south of Boca de Tomatlán. Framed in oak, coconut, and pink-flowering amapa trees, the brown-sand beach is named "The Souls" because pirate graves were reportedly located here many years ago. Along the 1-km-long (½-mi-long) beach are piles of smooth, strange rocks looking an awful lot like petrified elephant poo. Because of its very shallow waters, Las Animas is often referred to as la playa de los niños (children's beach), and it tends to fill up with families on weekends and holidays. They come by water taxi or as part of half- or full-day bay cruises. Five or six seafood eateries line the sand; a few will lend their clients volleyballs to use on sand courts out front. You can also rent Jet Skis, ride a banana boat, or soar up into the sky behind a speedboat while dangling from a colorful parachute. Facilities: Banana-boat rides, boating, Jet Skis, parasailing; food concessions. Best for: swimming; walking; sunset.
South of Puerto Vallarta, Mismaloya, Mexico