Going off the tourist trail can be one of the most exciting and invigorating things you can do when you travel, especially when visiting a more touristy destination. When I was in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico this past February I wasn’t there to sit at a resort, I was there to explore some of the beauty this area has to offer.
My Mom has visited Puerto Vallarta for about 20 years now so she has a pretty good grasp of all the things there are to do in and around the area. However, despite returning every winter she still manages to find new areas to visit and new things to do. Casitas Maraika Beach Club was on her list of places to spend a day on her recent trip to Mexico, so we decided to make a day of it while I was there.
Casitas Maraika is located at Las Animas Beach and is a beautiful oasis that offers spa treatments, yoga, retreats, and a relaxing places to stay that is off-the-beaten-path. You can choose to stay the night(s) there but you also have the ability to visit for a day if you spend 500 pesos (per person) on drinks, food and their services. With this, you are provided with a towel and access to their facilities. We set up shop at a nice table that overlooked the incredible bay and there is a beach area for those looking to lounge or swim.
To get to Casitas Maraika you’ll need to go on a little adventure. From Puerto Vallarta you’ll take a taxi to Boca which will cost around 220 pesos. Alternatively you can take a local bus headed to Boca for 8.5 pesos if you’re looking to save money and don’t mind riding public transit. Once you arrive in Boca, you’ll flag a water taxi from the pier that will take you to Las Animas Beach for 50 pesos each.
When you arrive at Las Animas, you’ll then turn left at the end of the pier and walk all the way to the end of the beach. You can choose to stay at Las Animas Beach but this beach is much more touristy. As you walk to the end of that beach you’ll see a path that you can follow all the way to Casitas Maraika. On route, you’ll hit another gorgeous beach which is basically untouched. If you decide to visit this area but don’t want to pay to go to Casitas Maraika, I’d recommend staying on this pristine beach over the one that the water taxi takes you too. You can always walk back to Las Animas for food and facilities. Anyway, Walk all the way to the far end of this beach and continue the trail to Casitas Maraika. You’ll then hit an area with tables and a restaurant. You’re here!
Note: If you are looking for some exercise and adventure, you can hike from Boca right to Casitas Maraika which is around two hours depending on your fitness level. You can read about the hike here.
When you arrive and find a spot to lounge for the day, you’ll instantly be overwhelmed at how beautiful and peaceful this area is. You may be wondering why you should leave the beach at your hotel for just another beach but this one is gorgeous and very different from the waters and shoreline you’ll see from your hotel in Puerto Vallarta.
You can choose to pre-book a yoga class or join one that is already running while visiting Casitas Maraika, however, we decided to just lounge for the day and take in the scenery, drink some drinks and relax. The food was fresh and delicious that was served at the restaurant! We had the shrimp burrito, calamari and guacamole. The drinks were also great and moderately priced.
Casitas Maraika and the Las Animas area is just a small, hidden gem. Many people can visit this area multiple times and never really know it exists. Even if you’re not looking to spend the day at the beach club, I’d highly recommend you take the adventure to at least visit the pristine and less touristy beaches in this area.