Boca de Tomates
Author: Robert Nelson
At the northern end of Puerto Vallarta lies Boca de Tomates, one of the most important wildlife refuges in the area. The expansive virgin beach, devoid of high rises and hotels, is a well known “locals” get-away, but relatively unknown to tourists.
Along the beach numerous humble palapa restaurants serve fish, seafood and drinks. The setting is wild, natural. Only a few adventurous tourists are usually in sight.
Years of soil deposits from the Ameca River estuary formed the long, shallow waterline that produces consistent waves popular with beginning surfers. A prevailing ocean breeze makes it perfect for windsurfers, too. The river, which swells in the summer rainy season, is the border between the states of Jalisco and Nayarit.
Sea turtles visit June through October. And, during the ride in on a winding, rutted road through the swampy jungle, exotic birds and crocodiles can be seen. Bus drivers often point out the lair of crocodiles enclosed by a sagging chain link fence. A shiver down the spine and it’s like stepping back in time to the Mexico of old. Having a drink at one of the palapas completes the feeling that this was Mexico 50 years ago.
The road to Boca de Tomates is a little difficult to find and the going is slow, and may be one reason it is still so pristine. At the northern end of Vallarta, just south of the Ameca River bridge, at the point where the divided highway merges, is a small strip mall on the west side of the road. Directly behind the line of stores is the dirt road that leads to Boca. City busses make the trip occasionally or a taxi can be hired.
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