Punta De Mita is a popular little beach town in Mexico that’s seen a boom in growth over the last 5 years. In 2014, Bill Gates purchased 48 acres of undeveloped land and the Four Seasons Resort, creating a surge of interest.
Punta De Mita
The town is about 45 minutes north of Puerta Vallarta and maintains a small town charm. My family just returned from an 8 day vacation over the Holidays.
In this post, I will cover the pros and cons about this area based on our visit.
My “Get-to-the Point” Takeaway About This Destination
It’s a great place to surf, eat, drink and relax for 5 nights. It’s too small of an area to keep your interest for much longer (in my opinion). But if you don’t want to do much but relax in a lovely beach setting, an extended stay at this location might be for you.
Pros and Cons
- Good surfing, paddle boarding (go to Accion for rentals).
- Great food and service, friendly people, most people speak English.
- Beautiful weather (mid 80s during winter break).
- Easy access to town from airport (1 hr drive, $60-$80).
- Direct flight from many major airports (California LAX to Puerta Vallarta-3 hrs).
- Safe, small town feel. Grocery, beach, restaurants and transportation all easy to access.
- Condos can be rented for good value – we rented a 3 BR plus den and 3 bath, 2000 square ft apt with ocean front views for $250-400/night depending on season (see below).
- Good dining options with different price points.
- Excusions overpriced: Scuba $189 two dives, snorkeling $130, zip line $85. The tour to the highly marketed Marietas Islands (in my opinion) is not worth the trip.
- Scuba during winter not great (poor visibility).
- Best surf spots are accessible usually only by boat (can get pricey).
- Exchange rate used by locals is 15% lower than if you get money in the US (Very hard to get pesos/cash at atms as they were usually out of money).
- Beaches short (sand portion) and very rocky where we stayed – bring water booties!
- Pacific Ocean less tropical than the Caribbean.
Where to Stay
- High End resorts like the St Regis and Four Seasons have beautiful, sprawling, gated communities for resort lovers who like to be pampered and don’t mind the price tag.
- There is an all inclusive hotel about 15 minutes north of town – Iberostar with a more “stay within the compound” feel.
- There are condominium rentals near town. High end condos such as Hacienda De Mita and Las Terrazas have gated access with their own beach clubs, golf courses/carts and many acres of property.
- We chose to rent a mid-priced condo right in town (by the beach and restaurants) in order to get more of the local feel (See below for more info on our condo).
If you have another family you want to travel with or are planning a family reunion, girls’ trip, or special occasion group trip, rent a condo at Hacienda De Mita (closer to town but rocky beach) or Las Terrazas (mention “ozofsalt” to owner and get 15% off)! at white sand Kupuri Beach which has one of the best diving/snorkeling locations in Punta De Mita.
We visited our friends for dinner during their stay at Hacienda De Mita and it was 5 star. The condo was about 3000 sq feet and looked over a semi-private pool right along the ocean. And I like how these condos come with golf carts to get around town. Bonus: At these “behind the gates” condos, you can hire their on site cooks to make delicious meals for the whole group.
I found our condo on Air B&B – listing here. Mention “Ounce of Salt” when you contact owner, Lolita, to get 10% off! Email her directly at LolitaMatsui@gmail.com for discount before booking.
The bathrooms in the condo could use an upgrade and so can the cushions on their furniture. But overall, we enjoyed it for its central location and gorgeous ocean views. The beds were comfortable, which is important! Our kids could run out to the grocery store and other places in town, as we were in the center of everything. I have to admit though, I was envious of the golf carts and beach clubs we didn’t have access to.
The grocery store was just across from our condo. They have enough of a selection for you to cook at home.
We tried most of the restaurants in town on El Avenue Anclote. The following are my ratings from 1-10 (10 being the best).
- Tuna Blanca 8.5
- Si Senor 8.5
- Tacos and Papas 8
- Rosa Mexicana 8
- El Coral 6.5
- Rest Bar Rocio 6
- La Cabana 5
- The Original Anclote 4
Surf and Paddle Boarding
For surf and paddle boarding we went to Accion, recommended to us by a close friend who frequents Punta De Mita for surfing trips.
We were happy with their services. They knew which areas were best for surfing each day, and took our boys by boat for 2 hours of surf almost every morning. Lalo is the owner, and Fox is one of the super cool guides. Let them know I referred you, as I promised I’d let my friends know!
Diving and Snorkeling
Punta Mita Expeditions
This company was great. They are the largest excursion co in Punta De Mita and were very efficient and professional during our diving/snorkeling/paddle boarding excursion to the Kupuri Beach area. They took GoPro pictures and made them available on their Facebook Page which we appreciated.
The government protected Marietas Islands are known for their “Hidden Beach”, Blue Footed Boobies and marine wildlife. The Hidden Beach is limited to 116 visitors a day, so we did not get to visit the beach. Diving conditions on the day we went out were not good. Overall, we had expected more from visiting the Marietas islands. The diving company seemed less established than Punta Mita Expeditions (smaller boat, no snacks, no pictures, same price).
Conclusion on Punta De Mita
Great place for a long weekend getaway. Good for surfers. There are better places for winter diving (visit my post on Roatan). We came back refreshed and relaxed.
Do you want to visit Punta De Mita, Mexico after reading this review? I hope it helps you with planning a trip there!