If Sayulita’s town beach starts to feel a little…busy, and you’re looking to do a little exploring, maybe take the kids on a slightly untouristy adventure, there are plenty of safe and sane options in the neighborhood, ranging from busy little towns like San Pancho to the north and Anclote to the south, to less trafficked beaches like, well, this one: Punta Negra.
Punta Negra is, casually speaking, the backside of Punta Mita. Punta Mita forms the northwesternmost tip of Bahia Banderas, and if you swing around that tip, the first long beach you run in to is this one, Punta Negra. The access from the ocean is obvious—you get in a boat at Anclote or Sayulita, and when you find yourself on the backside of Punta Mita, the beach you find first is this one. From the Sayulita/Punta Mita Road, it’s a little trickier, but not much. Coming from Sayulita, at the very end of the “groomed” portion of the highway that runs along the Litibu/Haixa development, and the massive new Iberostar Hotel, hang a right onto the first dirt road. Follow it to the end. After it runs down towards the water and swings left, where it dead ends, you’ll find a right turn into a parking lot with a guy who wants money to let you park. Park on the road or pay him to let you into the lot and “guard” your car. Either way, there you are, at Punta Negra. Black Point.
This long, quiet beach stretches south along the northern edge of the posh terrain of Punta Mita—thus the little wooden guard hut, to make sure people stay on the “public” part of the beach and don’t trespass on the hallowed grounds belonging to the Punta Mita Development Corporation—and north towards Litibu and the mixed funkiness, overbuildiness—La Tranquila’s hulking eternally unfinished condo towers beings the primary offenders–and other stuff that goes on up that way. What’s nice about this beach is there are few people, and few vendors, and no umbrellas for rent.
Even better, if you don snorkeling gear and head south, working your way towards Punta Mita, swimming offshore, soon you’ll find yourself floating over actual coral reefs! You don’t see this just a few miles north, in Sayulita; and it is by no means spectacular, multi-hued coral, but coral it is, with plenty of little brightly hued fish darting about to further enhance the tropical diving experience.
Bring your own drinks and food, bring your own shade or walk south along the beach and park under the trees, and bring snorkeling gear. This is a good place to hit the water and have a look at what’s up beneath the surface. And for all you surfers—when the swell is large and on, there’s a rumor of an epic left hander out there.
You’ll need a car, or a taxi: from the paved road, it’s a hot, dusty mile or so—nothing you’d want to walk into and even less to walk out of. But adventurers with cars should have a look, it’s a lovely spot.