Mexico is rapidly growing into one of the world’s favorite tourist destinations. The Central American nation has always been a highly popular place to visit, but visitor numbers are surging in recent years as more and more people realize just how gorgeous the Mexican landscapes and beaches really are. Not only is Mexico home to many centuries of history and remarkable ancient sites, it’s also a lively, vibrant country with delicious cuisine, exciting live entertainment, good-natured people, and some of the finest beaches in all of the Americas.

More ideas: Best Weekend Getaways, Best Day Trips

There are lots of idyllic beach resort destinations around Mexico, with Puerto Vallarta being a prime example. This stunning seaside location is situated on the Bahía de Banderas on Mexico's western coast, looking out onto the Pacific Ocean. Over 200,000 people reside in Puerto Vallarta, with the area attracting huge numbers of visitors each and every year due to its supreme natural and man-made beauty and warm weather. The city is a popular stopping point for cruise ships and is well-known as being one of the friendliest tourist hotspots in all of Mexico.

Best Beaches in Puerto Vallarta

The beaches in Puerto Vallarta are absolutely breathtaking, perfect for families, couples, groups of friends, or even solo travelers. Whether you're looking to swim, surf, sunbathe, or enjoy some other kind of activity in Banderas Bay, you'll find a lot of great options here. Puerto Vallarta beaches are also a good option for anyone looking for some water sports in Mexico, but it can be quite overwhelming trying to choose between all these beautiful beaches. To help out, we've put together a simple guide of Puerto Vallarta beaches, offering brief overviews and descriptions of each beach.

- Playa Los Muertos

Despite the eerie name (Los Muertos translates to 'The Dead' in English), this beach is one of the best in Puerto Vallarta, and it's also one of the most convenient. It's very close to the downtown districts, offering easy access to lots of local stores, eateries, hotels, and more. The name of this beach came from the fact that the local area was once used for burials, but you don't have to worry about stumbling across any skeletons on these stunning sands. Offering breathtaking views of the cityscape and bay area, Playa Los Muertos is a must-see stop on your Puerto Vallarta vacation.

- Playa Las Animas

A gorgeous beach with a lot to offer, Playa Las Animas is found at the southern end of Puerto Vallarta. Unlike some of the more built-up, touristic beaches in the region, Playa Las Animas is relatively quiet and peaceful. The water here echoes that tranquility, with very small waves that are just right for wading and swimming with friends or family. Snorkeling is popular here too and kids can have a lot of fun at this Puerto Vallarta beach. After a full day of fun, be sure to check out one of the local eateries to replenish your energy.

- Playa Conchas Chinas

The thing that really helps Playa Conchas Chinas stand out when compared to other Puerto Vallarta beaches is its unique geology. There are some very special rock formations on this particular beach that are great to explore and snap pictures of. Lots of little natural warm water pools can also be spotted along the beach and are a lot of fun to dip your feet into. This is one of the best Puerto Vallarta beaches for couples due to the romantic scenery and peaceful atmosphere, and the beach is actually located right near the perfectly-named Zona Romantica (Romantic Zone) of Puerto Vallarta. So if you happen to be on a honeymoon or visiting the area with someone special, this is certainly a great beach to visit.

- Playa Camarones

Situated very conveniently right by many of Puerto Vallarta's most popular hotels, Playa Camarones is quite a secluded little stretch of sand looking out onto the bay. Water sports are very popular at this beach, with activities like banana boat tours and parasailing expeditions being organized here each and every day. There are several local spots where you can reserve these tours, or you can simply rent some equipment like a paddleboard or kayak and head on the waves with your friends or family. Playa Camarones is also a super spot to watch the sun go down in the evenings.

- Las Caletas

For all kinds of water-based activities like kayaking and snorkeling, Las Caletas is one of the very best beaches in the Puerto Vallarta area. However, the only real problem with this beach is that it's quite hard to access. The only way to get there is by boat, so you'll need to reserve passage with one of the local tour companies. Lots of scenic hiking trails can be found around Las Caletas and the scenery here provides the perfect backdrop for a long, lazy day of sunbathing in a comfortable lounger.

- Playa Las Gemelas

Just a short drive away from downtown Puerto Vallarta, Playa Las Gemelas is a jaw-dropping beautiful beach with some of the prettiest turquoise waters you could ever hope to see. It's a real haven for beach-goers, with just the right sands and just the right water conditions for sunbathing, swimming, and more. Lots of Puerto Vallarta hotels and resorts run day trips to this beach for small fees, so it's quite easy to access and definitely worth a visit.