Accessible only by boat, Las Caletas is a secluded family-friendly beach getaway tucked quietly away in the jungles of the Sierra Madres, Mexico.
This private beach (long an in-the-know secret of sorts) was formerly owned by the famous film director John Huston. Today, this under-the-radar paradise is the perfect place to have a family adventure and reconnect with nature.
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In this tropical sanctuary, warm Mexican waves lap against isolated shores and adventure opportunities are available for all. Whether you aspire to paddleboard the azure waters, search for the jungle’s quirky monkeys, zipline through the adventure cove, participate in a cooking class, or simply kick it beachside: the choice is yours.
The best part about this unique adventure is that there is something for everyone in the family, and you can customize it with animal adventure, spa or scuba add-ons if you’re seeking additional fun! From thrilling adventures to pure relaxation, this family-friendly retreat is a must for anyone visiting Puerto Vallarta.
Scroll down to find out why the Las Caletas Beach Hideaway is the perfect Puerto Vallarta day-trip destination for BOTH kids and adults!
Note: Las Caletas is not suitable for strollers and is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible.
Why Kids Will Love Las Caletas
The Kid’s Adventure Cove
Designed for the younger crowd (ages 4-11), the adventure cove packs a powerful punch. Whether your kids prefer quiet art-projects or more rambunctious pursuits, there is something to suit every youngster’s interests. Complete with two ziplines, a rock climbing wall, a donkey ride, a monkey encounter, whimsical face painting, and clay modeling classes, there is plenty to keep the kids entertained before or after hitting the beach. Prepare yourself for smiles, screams of joy, (and, selfishly, a quiet boat ride home).
The Teen Adventure Park
Teens have a lot of energy, and they demand more! For teens seeking a heightened level of adventure, the teen adventure park (Mom, get-out!) offers a challenging obstacle course and waterslide extravaganza that launches sliders right into the big blue ocean. Teens can zipline over the ocean, enjoy belly-dropping water slide bliss, channel their inner Indiana Jones on the step-up challenge, or catapult through the air from The Blob. They’ll have some bragging rights when they return home from vacation. Parents, we wouldn’t blame you if you snuck in and took a turn on the waterslide (it’s pretty boss).
Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Wildlife on a Guided Nature Walk
This tropical retreat is home to colorful parrots, daredevil Capuchin monkeys, iguanas, and an incredible orchid garden. The guided nature walk is the perfect short activity if you have any little, little ones or animal lovers in your party. Toddlers can play eye-spy in the canopy or play a game of Polly-want-a-cracker in the interactive parrot center, while adults will appreciate seeing the native orchid garden, Mayan pyramid, and amphitheater.
Kayak, Paddle, and Kick it Beachside
Let’s be honest, the real reason you came to a secluded beach was to soak up some sun and luxuriate in the waves. Las Caletas Beach Hideaway boasts a number of small separate beaches, each complete with a different theme. There is one beach with shaded hammocks for napping and reading, another beach complete with snorkel gear, kayaks, and paddle boards (this one is perfect for the kids who can also swim out and play on the rafts), and a third adults only beach. Spend a family-friendly morning snorkeling amid a thriving reef or paddling out into the deep blue. Don’t act surprised when your kids don’t want to leave.
Order the Best Lemonade Mocktail You’ll Ever Have
Tropical drinks aren’t just for the adults. In fact, some of the best lemonade we’ve ever had was at Las Caletas. Order a kiddie cocktail, virgin daiquiri, lemonade, or a big glass of chocolate milk. Nothing is better than a refreshing drink after a long day at the beach.
Optional Extras for the Kids
If you are going to pick one extra adventure to tack on during your visit, make it this one! Designed to be both informative and interactive, this is the perfect addition for water and marine-mammal lovers. Warm up to the experience alongside trainers and then progress to swim, kiss, cuddle, and ride a friendly dolphin in the encounter pools. This joy-filled adventure is pure smiles (or flipper-flaps if you’re a dolphin). And it is a great way to start a conversation with your kids about protecting and conserving Earth’s beautiful creatures. This experience is for those 5 years and older.
Sea Lion and Stingray Encounter
For more flipper-friendly adventures, hop on a small group Sea Lion and Stingray encounter. This adventure is a bit more tame than the dolphin encounter. There is no swimming involved in this one, although you might get a little wet if a sea lion plops a big fishy kiss on you or splashes you with his flipper. Shake hands with a whiskery sea lion, learn about their feeding behavior and history, and discover the insider secrets side by side with a marine trainer. This short excursion is wonderful!
The extras above can be combined with the Las Caletas Beach Hideaway Day. If you are interested in full day additions, check out the Vallarta Adventures Scuba program (perfect for families and beginners).
Why Parents Will Love Las Caletas
Now that we have the kids taken care of, it’s time for some self-love. Planning a vacation with young ones in tow can be exhausting, but not here. Whether you want to sip a rum punch on the adults only beach, learn to cook a mean paella, treat yourself to a mini-massage, or join your teens for a waterslide cannonball in the adventure park, there are ample opportunities to relax and replenish your soul at Las Caletas. Moms and Dads deserve love too.
Grab an Adult Beverage at the Open Bar
Let’s take care of the most important thing first: there is an open bar. Enjoy the local specialty, rum punch, reward yourself with a mango margarita, or stick to lemonade while you cruise along Mexico’s tranquil Pacific Coast and unwind on the beach.
Take a Mexican Cooking Class
With staples like tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers, Mexican food has always been a tapestry of earthy flavors and rich textures. These small-group lessons will walk you through the essentials of Mexican cooking and provide you with a step-by-step guide for preparing an authentic Mexican dish. Caletas favorites include: ceviche, guacamole, salsa verde, seafood paella, and margaritas!
Enjoy a Meal in Paradise
Taste your way through tempting dishes on Las Caletas. Enjoy delicious seafood paella, pastas, refreshing salads, tacos, and more from the comfort of the restaurant or in a delightfully quiet semi-private hut. The talk of the town are the homemade tortillas, so make sure you get a few (or a hundred) of these while you are there. There are plenty of vegetarian options available. And if you need an energy boost, request a Cafe de Olla, a Mexican favorite prepared with ground coffee, cinnamon, and piloncillo.
Kayak the High Seas or Simply Soak up the Sun
Escape the hustle and bustle of it all and retreat to the ocean for some peace and quiet. Paddle above schools of colorful fish and feel the cool Pacific water wash over your toes. For a gentler option, float the day away in a donut-shaped inner tube near shore or head to the shaded hammock beach and crank through that page-turner.
If you’re looking to add a little warmth to your sandy sojourn, The Las Caletas Beach Hideaway offers a Mescal tasting, where adults can sample the sweet, smokey agave spirit, and learn about the difficult harvesting process and Mexican history. You’ll want a lime slice nearby!
Optional Adult Extras
Relax and unwind with a 1-hour massage or facial!
Do it, do it, do it! While the kids are occupied at the adventure park, luxuriate in the hideaway spa. Treat yourself to a 1-hour massage ($59), 15-minute foot massage ($15), or facial. You’ll come away glowing like the true island beauty you are.
Avoid the annual Christmas card struggle and chose the Las Caletas photo package. You’ll feel like a celebrity as the professional photographers snap shots of you and your family all day long. From shots of you crushing it on the paddleboard to the post-zipline high-five, you’ll be glad you did. The teen years go by fast. (And besides, you can’t always be the photographer).
Mom, I Don’t Want To Go Home!
When you are ready to end your day as a beach VIP, head back to the boat for a rock ‘n roll performance by the staff. Rumor has it, if your kids aren’t sleeping on the boat ride home, you didn’t do it right.
The Las Caletas Beach Hideaway offers a kid-friendly retreat in an unbeatable destination. Luxuriate in the crystal clear waters, master a new recipe, or race the kids down the waterslide. At this private, boat-only oasis you and your family will be treated like a family.
Thank you to Tripadvisor for hosting our day at Las Caletas. All opinions remain my own.