On a recent trip to Puerto Vallarta I was introduced to this hike by my friend Steve. We started out in Old Town Vallarta and after a quick breakfast (Freddy Tucan Restaurant) we hopped on the bus headed to Mismaloya and Boca (picks up on the corner of Basillo Badillo and Constitucion).
A great Quick Escape…..If you find yourself in Puerto Vallarta.
I can’t recall the time on the bus as I was to busy gawking out the window at the incredible coastline resorts and rainforest as we drove the mountain cuts. Occasionally a musician would come aboard and play a few local tunes before accepting donations and hopping off. I’ll guess after 45 minutes or so we were at our destination of Boca de Tomatlan. After getting off the bus, head down the steep downhill road toward the water. Say hi to the school kids in the playground on the left and grab some water at the OXXO corner store just past the taxi stand.
After gaining your hydration of choice head toward the river and follow it upstream, the goal here is to find the concrete footbridge and cross it (look for the colourful signpost). You’re now on the trail to Las Animas.
The trail itself has a lot of narrow paths and elevation changes at the start, anyone trying the hike needs full mobility as it's not a beginner trail. Railings are sporadic and not to be trusted but with a good pair of running shoes (at minimum) you should stick to the trail throughout the 2 hour journey. In the rainy season bug spray is suggested but when we did the hike in January all was good.
As you do the hike be prepared to stop at the multiple beaches for a swim and the vistas for the views. Don’t be surprised if you pick up a dog along the way. They seem to enjoy the hike as much as we did. Before grabbing a tree for support, make sure to give it a quick inspection. Many trees have spines in the bark, and many rainforest creatures are excellent at hide and seek. On this hike you’ll meander through amazing beach houses, small communities, and tiny resorts before arriving in your final destination of Las Aminas.
Las Aminas is a tiny little beach village full of restaurants and bars. To gain use of the wifi, banos, showers etc, I suggest a bucket of beers or a margarita. There's great swimming just past the dock where the water taxis hang out. As usual in the area, just say “no Gracias” to the street sellers unless of course some trinket catches your eye and you want to haggle.
To get back to Boca I suggest a water taxi (around 100 pesos, 0r 800 peso to old town) then back up the hill to the bus stop.
For all you numbers folks out there:
Elevation gain is 100m
Elevation loss is 91m
lowest elevation was 4m (although if you dip your toes in, you're at 0m :))
Trail length (from Boca to the first place that sold beer by the bucket) 2.73km. This isn't a long hike as the crow flies but it does have climbs and decents!