This Map of Banderas Bay, shows some of the small towns outside of the bay. The laid back, small village atmosphere, still exists in these areas around Puerto Vallarta. As you will see by this map, up in the Sierra Madre Mountains behind Puerto Vallarta are some villages and small towns that are still living the old way. Some have not changed much in the last 100 years. Quiet, uncomplicated and friendly, they are not too easy to reach and that’s why they have not changed much today.
The main reason for this is that most are high in the Sierras, up to 6,000 feet, the second reason is that some of the roads aren’t even 2nd class. In some cases, to reach these places by bus you will have to stay overnight, since the return bus will leave very soon after you arrive.
Most were established in the 16th Century by the Spanish, in many cases because of the gold and silver to be mined there. Few of the mines remain today and agriculture is now the main business . Most have one or two hotels and surprisingly pleasant Haciendas are available for accommodation at other places, while at others there are many hotels to accommodate the pilgrims visiting religious centers, like Talpa de Allende.
Beyond Yelapa. Apart from Pizota, the only place of any interest still inside Banderas Bay is El Chimo, a small fishing village with some wonderful beaches to the east of it. Beyond the bay to the south is a long, long, beach at Mayto and fishing village at Tehuamixtle.
To the north, outside of the bay, Sayulita is known for surfing and boasts a female surfing school. Beyond several small towns with beaches that are far less commercialized than Puerto Vallarta. Except on Mexican national holidays when they will be very busy. The two weeks of Semana Santa and also at Christmas these beaches will be packed.
This is an interactive Map, Click on the BLUE towns for more information