Busing Banderas Bay: Bucerias to Boca de Tomatlán

Destination: Bucerias to Boca de Tomatlan


  • Riding a bus into PV and thru Old Town
  • Beach, restaurants, vendors, panga rentals, water taxis
  • Hikes to Los Animas and other remote beaches
  • Local area tours available
  • No OXXO

Walking Distances: Highway to village; ten minutes, cobblestone hill part way

Travel Time:

  • Bucerias to Boca de Tomatlan; two hours fifteen minutes
  • Puerto Vallarta (Bus three); thirty minutes

Busses Required:

  • Bucerias to Boca de Tomatlan; three
  • PV to Boca de Tomatlan; one

Bus one: Bucerias to PV

On the lateral in Bucerias or the highway outside town, look for “PV or Vallarta” on the front window; can be “Compestela” or “ATM” bus

Disembark along the lateral anywhere past the PV Walmart

Bus two: PV to Old Town

Board a bus with “Centro” on the window (read fast, lots of destinations) and travel over the bridge into Old Town. Using the map of Old Town provided in the Vallarta Tribune, locate your next bus; corner of Basilio Banderas and Constitution

Bus three: PV to Boca de Tomatlan

Usually an Orange bus with Boca de Tomatlan / Boca on the window. Corner of Basilio Banderas and Constitution

Travel Expenses:

  • Bucerias to PV: Thirty four pesos return
  • PV to Old TownFifteen pesos return
  • PV to BocaEighteen pesos return
  • Total for 1: Sixty seven pesos return

The Experience:

Boca de Tomatlan, south of PV, provides a glimpse into Vallarta, plus an excursion to a village defined by the jungle and mountains on one side while nestled on the shores of the bay where water taxis rule.

We required three busses and two plus hours to reach our destination.

Bus One Bucerias: Board an “ATM” or “Compestela” bus to Vallarta. Disembark anywhere past the Walmart in Vallarta.

I noticed a passenger with what looked like a speaker. Silly me, not only a speaker, it played music and had a micro phone. He serenaded us with Spanish Rap music. My daughter and her husband enjoyed it and were able to capture and post the video. I took some photos and as soon as my role of film is finished I will send it away for processing.

Return trip, arrive at the Walmart and catch any bus for Sayulita or Punta Mita.

Bus Two: Board any bus that says “CENTRO”.

Enjoy the view passing the Malecon, and using your Vallarta Tribune map, disembark and find your way to Bus three.

Return trip board busses with “Walmart”, can be either a “Tunel” or “Centro” bus. Catch this bus around the corner from where you disembark from Boca.

On our return trip a women boarded the crowded bus and sang while playing her guitar, everyone providing her room, and many kindred souls rewarding her with “propinas”.

Bus Three: Corner Basilio Banderas / Constitution

Leaving Vallarta you embark on a winding narrow road into the Sierra Madre Mountains, with views of magnificent, luxurious hotels and properties overlooking the ocean.


The bus pulls into a small turnoff at Boca and you are at the end of the line. Hard to miss this arrival point as there is a shelter selling pop and necessities for your enjoyment.

Heading into town.

A cobblestoned hill down to the town and the departure points for the popular hiking tours to Los Animas (left) or to the beach and restaurants, water taxis and other tropical delights. You will encounter many “guides” willing to set you up with water taxis or you can walk to the beach and secure your own. It is supposed to be less expensive for a water taxi from here than in PV to the many isolated beaches.

My choice of activity was to secure shade at a beachfront restaurant and enjoy the scenery and camaraderie with family while observing the activities of animals and humans going about their daily routine. Oh, and a few cold beverages and some delicious seafood.

Time to head home.

Leaving the beach restaurant we meandered thru town, observing workers loading boats with flats of water and beverages to serve the islands and beaches only accessible by boats.

Time to pay the piper and climb the hill to the highway. It is not an extremely difficult hill but anyone with mobility issues needs to be aware of it.

Wait for the bus at the top, and buy your ticket on the bus. For best views of the bay on the way home sit on the left side of the bus.

Another excellent day showing off “my” Mexico, this time to my family as I thought it important they appreciate where their inheritance is going.

All accomplished using local transportation and no driving on my part.

Bruce Howells on Email
Bruce Howells
Bruce es un canadiense jubilado, que junto con su esposa Velma, tomó una "mulligan" en la vida y escapó del frío de Canadá y se instaló en Vallartazona. Cumpliendo un retirosueño de no conducir más, Bruce utilizará transportatio públicon para recorrer la bahía y contar sus historias aquí. Consejos e itinerarios bienvenidos. Correo electrónico: busbanderasbay