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Quimixto is one of the few places where you can really get off the beaten path in Puerto Vallarta.
When Dan and I went we had almost the entire beach and waterfall completely to ourselves, which was a welcome change from the crowds and non-stop vendors on pretty much all of the other beaches in Puerto Vallarta.
If you’re looking for a low-key adventure (like, an adventure but without too much effort, ya know?) a day trip to Quimixto and hike to the Quimixto waterfall is absolutely perfect. This guide will get you there!
Our first view of Quimixto beach from the boat dock did not disappoint
Keep reading to discover:
- How to get to Quimixto from Puerto Vallarta (without a tour)
- What to do in Quimixto
- How to hike to the Quimixto Waterfall
- What to pack for a day trip to Quimixto
- How much does it cost to visit Quimixto?
- Can you spend the night in Quimixto?
- And so much more!
The pristine beaches and rushing waterfall on this private beach await – let’s go to Quimixto!
If you’re sick of the crowds and venders in Puerto Vallarta, Quimixto beach is the perfect escape
How to Get to Quimixto from Puerto Vallarta Without a Tour
I’m not really a tour person and doing activities on my own, not only because it saves us a ton of money but also because I can do everything on my own schedule without being rushed to the next destination.
Quimixto is no different.
Although tons of people will try to sell you expensive tours to Quimixto in Puerto Vallarta, getting there is super easy (and way cheaper) on your own. This is how to do it!
To get to Quimixto from Puerto Vallarta, follow these steps.
Walking through the tiny lil’ town on our way to the Quimixto waterfall
1. Take the bus from Puerto Vallarta to Boca de Tomatlan.
The buses leave every ten or so minutes from the Oxxo on the corner of Calle Constitucion and Basilo Badillo in the Zona Romantica neighborhood.
The ride costs 10 mxn / .50 usd per person and the trip takes about an hour.
2. Take the water taxi from Boca de Tomatlan to Quimixto Beach
Walk down the hill to the road running through Boca and turn right – this will lead you to the Boca pier. A man will be there selling spots on a water taxi that stops at every beach down the coast, including Quimixto.
The taxi leaves every hour on the hour and costs 90 mxn / 5 usd for a one-way ticket.
They have a kind of high-pressure sales tactic which I find annoying but they also seem to have a monopoly on the trip out and I couldn’t find any other options.
They will try to sell you the round-trip, which you can buy for 90 more pesos – they’ll come to pick you up around 5 pm, ask the boat captain for the exact time when he drops you off – or you can get a taxi back from Quimixto on your own.
Getting a boat back on your own is cheaper (should cost around 60 mxn instead of 90) but I can’t speak for how easy it is to catch one or how often they run because we opted for the round trip. We’ve done it twice with the company and they’ve picked us up on time both times, so you shouldn’t have any problems.
A la cascada!
How long is the trip from Puerto Vallarta to Quimixto?
The trip from Puerto Vallarta to Quimixto takes around 1.5 to two hours depending on how you time the water taxi.
The bus to Boca takes about 45 minutes to an hour and then the water taxi takes only 15 minutes more. But, if you arrive at 10 or 15 past the hour, you’ll be stuck waiting quite a while for the next one.
I’ve drank worse beer in worse places
What are the best things to do in Quimixto?
This tiny town has more than enough to fill your day. The three best things to do in Quimixto are:
- Hiking or riding a horse to the waterfall
- Eating and drinking on the water
- Relaxing at the beach
Start your day with a hike to the Quimixto waterfall (see the step-by-step guide for that below) or by renting a horse to ride to the falls for 250 mxn / 13 usd.
Then, get lunch at one of the restaurants in town. There are a few on the main road and two on the water. Literally none of them are listed online, of course!
We ate at the first restaurant of the two that are in an attached building on the water and I can recommend the cheap and tasty ceviche tostadas for only 30 mxn / 1.50 usd each.
Finally, spend your afternoon relaxing on the beach. There is a long stretch of beautiful beach past the town that you’ll have almost to yourself.
We bought beer and ice at a small market in town but you can also walk all the way down to the Xinalani Boutique Hotel at the end, which has a small but lively beach bar as well.
If the hike sounds too tough for you, you can rent a horse to take you to the waterfall instead
How to Hike to the Quimixto Waterfall
The Quimixto waterfall hike is pretty easy. It takes about 30 minutes and is generally flat on a well-defined trail, with a little bit of uphill trekking here and there.
Because horses also walk the trail, just be prepared to pass a lot of buzzing piles of horse poop 🙁
Besides that, the walk is really pleasant and shaded almost the entire way.
The falls! A pretty sweet reward after a pretty short and simple hike.
To hike to the Quimixto waterfall:
- Walk through the main paved road into town and keep following it until you reach the horse rentals and bridge over a shallow river.
- Cross the bridge and follow the trail into the forest. You’ll cross a second river and keep walking. The trail seems to split a few times, but the paths always run parallel and meet back up so it doesn’t matter which one you take.
- Finally, you’ll come to a wide river with a staircase, red restaurant, and the falls on the other side.
- Cross the river, grab a seat at the restaurant, and jump in the freezing but refreshing natural pool!
Take a dip to cool down, then warm back up with a beer or two in the sun.
One thing you need to know before you go is that the restaurant is built completely around the waterfall and has mandatory consumption rules. Basically, you need to buy something if you want to sit by or swim in the falls.
Of course, the food and drinks were pretty overpriced (a ten dollar cocktail in Mexico is kind of insane) but they have beer for 35 mxn / 2.50 usd each so we were happy with that.
The hike to the Quimixto waterfall is about 30 minutes each way and we spent another hour drinking a beer and swimming at the falls. So, expect to spend about two hours total on the Quimixto waterfall excursion before getting lunch and hitting the beach.
Tasty ceviche tostadas on Quimixto beach
What to pack for a day trip to Quimixto
I honestly sometimes feel like I have to pack more for a simple trip to the beach than I do for an international trip. There’s just so much random stuff I need!
For our Quimixto day trip, I brought along the only day pack I’ll ever use and stuffed it full with:
- A large water bottle – make sure to get one on Amazon before you go to Mexico to avoid buying lots of plastic bottles and creating a lot of waste.
- Towel – these quick dry towels are on my wish list.
- Sunscreen and hand sanitizer
- Bug spray
- Snacks (duh)
- Cash for the bus, boat, and food in Quimixto
- iPhone (and a camera, if you have one, because Quimixto is insanely picturesque)
- Change of clothes to change out of my wet swimsuit at the end of the day (which I always bring and never use, but still feel like I should include here).
Heading back to the dock to catch our boat back home – Quimixto was a perfect day trip from Puerto Vallarta!
How much does it cost to visit Quimixto?
This depends on if you take a Quimixto tour or do it on your own.
Dan and I went on our own and spent:
- 40 pesos on the round trip bus from PV to Boca for two
- 360 pesos on round trip water taxi tickets for two
- 180 pesos on four beers at the Quimixto Waterfall restaurant
- 150 pesos on tostadas and nachos for two at a beachfront restaurant
- 160 pesos on six beers, some chips, and a small bag of ice for the beach at the market
In total, our day trip to Quimixto for two cost 890 mxn / 46 usd for all transport, food, and a day of activities. If you pack a lunch and cut out the alcohol, you can do it for even less.
The secluded Xinalani Boutique Hotel and beach bar at the end of Quimixto beach
Can you spend the night in Quimixto?
The Xinalani Boutique Hotel has bungalows, a wellness center, and a yoga retreat in a secluded corner of the secluded beach and there are six more cozy cabanas to rent on Airbnb in the tiny village as well.
Dan and I just went to Quimixto for the day and are staying in this spacious apartment – with a balcony and sea views – in Puerto Vallarta. If you haven’t booked your accommodation in Puerto Vallarta yet, I definitely recommend it.
Ready to go?
Explore unique stays on Airbnb – like this gorgeous open-air earth house with a private pool, a 66 ft. yacht, or a ranch in the mountains – and the top-rated hotels on Booking.com to plan the perfect night, weekend, or long-term stay in paradise.
Then, check out more food, nature, and cultural experiences in Puerto Vallarta to round out your itinerary (or book a multi-day Mexico tour with Intrepid to finish your travel planning in one click!).
This article is part of the Puerto Vallarta Hiking Guide. Read the rest below:
Or, plan the rest of your trip with the Mexico Series for 50+ more articles on what to see, do, eat, drink, and discover in the country.
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