Jaltemba Bay: Venture off the beaten path of Mexico’s Pacific Coast

Jaltemba Bay is made up of three small and colorful towns – Rincón de Guayabitos, La Peñita and Los Ayala. It is located 40 miles north of Puerto Vallarta in the heart of the beautiful Riviera Nayarit, which stretches nearly 200 miles along Mexico’s spectacular Pacific coast and includes Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerias, La Cruz, Punta Mita, Sayulita and many other small towns worth exploring.

Jaltemba Bay is the perfect place for those who want to experience the “real” Mexico – little towns with friendly people, dusty narrow cobblestone streets and cement block houses in various states of repair. The people who live here are kind, hard-working, generous and proud, and their lives are filled with long-standing traditions and strong family values.

Rincón de Guayabitos, La Peñita and Los Ayala offer just about everything a traveler could need or want. They are close enough to the bustle of the big cities of Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara for convenience, yet still far enough away so you can escape and experience the relaxed way of life. Jaltemba Bay boasts nine beautiful beaches, hosts a wide variety of flora and fauna, and the fact that we enjoy over 320 days of glorious sunshine per year makes it even more appealing.

As I often say… “come, before the rest of the world finds out!” 

The Towns and Beaches

Rincón de Guayabitos
Rincón de Guayabitos is a small resort and fishing village nestled between the rugged Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains and the gentle Bay of Jaltemba. It is widely known as a safe, friendly and family-oriented beach town, and it is quickly gaining popularity as a vacation and second home destination for Americans, Canadians and Europeans.

Post image for Semana Santa 2013 in Jaltemba Bay (Last Day)

The Hotel and Commercial Zone is jam-packed with hotels, bungalows, condos and trailer parks that draw Americans and Canadians during the winter months, and vacationing Mexicans over the summer, Christmas and Semana Santa (Easter) holidays. The main street is lined with grocery and liquor stores, pharmacies, gift shops, jewelry and clothing stores, discos, and restaurants and stands featuring authentic Mexican cuisine. The atmosphere here is casual, relaxed and “beachy.”


In contrast, the Residential Zone consists of vacation homes large and small with beautifully maintained pools and gardens situated on winding cobblestone streets lined with manicured shrubs. There are several rental homes, a handful of hotels, bungalows and quaint B&Bs, as well as community tennis, pickle ball and bocce ball courts.

The 1½ mile beach is lined with palm trees, palapa-covered restaurants and beach vendors with colorful canopied carts selling everything from coconut drinks and coconut macaroons, to grilled fish and shrimp on a stick. The ocean water is typically warm and calm making it safe for swimming, boogie boarding and other water sports.

  Post image for Sunset Before The Storm
Left photo by Paraiso del Pescador Bungalows

There are two small islands off the coast, Coral and Crab Island, which undeniably provide a physical and visual anchor for the entire bay. You can kayak to the large island, dock and swim in the shallow water – or paddle along the coast and enjoy the spectacular views of the shoreline and the Sierra Madre mountains beyond.
La Peñita de Jaltemba
La Peñita de Jaltemba is the largest of the three towns and provides the commercial and public services including a new private hospital, ATMs, post office, bus stations, as well as several small hotels and bungalows, a few trailer parks, B&Bs, rental homes, condos and apartments. The beach in La Peñita is great for shelling and quiet long morning walks. A new malecón is being constructed near the center of town and should be completed by the end of this summer.


This charming fishing village is quiet, friendly and the epitome of “real” Mexico. Locals congregate along La Avenida (main street) and in the plaza, which sits at the center of town adjacent to the newly renovated church. The bullring, located a few blocks away, is a popular gathering place for rodeos, roping, riding practice and musical events. If you venture across the highway and over the hill to the back side of La Peñita, you’ll discover a whole other world with cowboys on horseback, goat and cattle ranches, bird refuges and fields planted with sugarcane, pineapples, yaka, mangoes and other agricultural crops.

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