Bucerias is a Mexican town located on the Bahia de Banderas between La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and Nuevo Vallarta, about 20 minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta airport. Meaning “place of divers”, its name comes from the fact that when the town was incorporated in the early 1930s, the majority of its inhabitants made their living from diving.
Bucerias lays claim to 8 km (5 miles) of beautiful, sandy beach. Combined with those of its neighbors Nuevo Vallarta and Tizate, the beach continues for a total more than 18 miles, making it the longest uninterrupted beach in the Bandaras Bay. Unlike many resort areas, the beach here is uncrowded and peaceful. The gentle surf is safe for swimming and is thus a good choice for families with small children.
Life in Bucerias moves at a much slower pace than that of its neighbor to the south, yet the town has all the amenities a visitor could wish for. Home to some 17,000 residents, Bucerias is a typical Mexican town with cobblestone streets and an old world feel. Located near the beach, the Main Plaza, or zocalo, is a great place to relax and watch the passers-by. Next to the Plaza, you’ll find the Mercado de Artesanías, or Crafts Market, teeming with Mexican artifacts and souvenirs.
Activities include touring the crocodile sanctuary at nearby El Cora, playing a round of golf at the nearby Flamingos Golf Club, horseback riding on the beach, sportfishing, whale watching from November to March, or a boat trip to the nearby Marieta Islands, a protected sanctuary home to spectacular caves and hidden beaches.
Within the last decade, Bucerias has grown at a rapid rate. With the construction of the MegaComercial shopping center, as well as various malls featuring a Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and Chedraui in nearby Mezcales, big-box shopping has come to the area. It’s now possible for residents of the villages north of Bucerias to stock up on supplies without spending the entire day navigating through Puerto Vallarta traffic.
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