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Lo de Marcos • El Monteón • Punta Raza • Los Ayala • Rincón de Guayabitos • La Peñita • Boca de Naranjo • Chacala • Playa Las Tortugas • Platanitos
Los Ayala is the smallest and southern-most town in Jaltemba Bay and is located just a stone’s throw from Guayabitos. It is a quiet beach community with an idyllic swimming beach that is popular on weekends and during Mexican holidays. There are several small hotels, numerous family-style bungalows and a couple of trailer parks. Tourist services include a few small mercados, gift shops specializing in beach paraphernalia, and the many taco stands and palapa restaurants where you can get a bite to eat and a cold drink.
Playa Los Ayala is referred to by locals as Pacific Mexico’s best swimming beach. The palm lined, sandy beach offers a gradually sloping shore, and calm, crystal clear blue-green waters that are perfect for swimming and measures in at .67 miles (1.08 km). Both locals and vacationers enjoy spending the day swimming, picnicking or just hanging out at the beach here. To learn about the neighboring beaches of Playas Freideras and Playa Freideritas, read below under "What to Do."
There are two small islands off the coast which undeniably provide an anchor for the entire bay. The name of the larger island is either Isla La Peña or Isla Coral (Rock or Coral Island), depending on who you ask. The smaller island is called Isla Cangrejo (Crab Island).
The population of Los Ayala is 630 permanent residents*.
Location & Map
Los Ayala is situated in the Bay of Jaltemba in the state of Nayarit on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Los Ayala is a 5-15 minute drive from Rincón de Guayabitos and La Peñita (read more about Getting Around Town). The nearest major cities are Puerto Vallarta (40 miles/72 km or 1.5 hours south) and Guadalajara (185 miles/299 km or 4.5 hours east), both of which are located in the state of Jalisco.
Our interactive Map of Los Ayala includes hotels, rental homes, restaurants, businesses, public facilities, beaches and attractions.
Most people come to Los Ayala via Puerto Vallarta or Guadalajara. For detailed directions on how to get here by air or by land, read Getting Here: Directions and Transportation to Guayabitos, La Peñita and Los Ayala. This section includes detailed directions from Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR), plus a complete list of airlines, taxis, car rentals and bus lines that serve our area.
If you are driving, you may also want to read our Travel Tips Guide to Jaltemba Bay, which includes: what to do before you go, what to bring, what to wear, required entry and exit documents, custom regulations, medical and travel insurance, bringing a vehicle into Mexico and auto insurance.
Weather & Rainfall
Los Ayala enjoys over 320 days of sunshine per year, with temperatures averaging 28°C (82°F). To view up-to-the-minute temperature, humidity, heat index, wind speed, rainfall and monthly averages, visit the Official Jaltemba Bay Weather Station.
Rincón de Guayabitos, La Peñita and Los Ayala are on Mountain Time. Keep in mind that the towns just south of us (Lo de Marcos, San Pancho, Sayulita, Bucerias, and Puerto Vallarta) are on Central Time. (Note: As of April 2010, the time zone changed and no longer occurs at the state line. See our Pactific Coast Map for the exact location.)
Where to Stay
No matter whether you’re looking for an upscale resort, all-inclusive hotel, beachfront rental home, quaint Bed & Breakfast or RV park for your rig – there’s something for everyone and every budget. To view the accommodation options in Los Ayala, click the "Where to Stay" tab above or view our Hotel & Vacation Rental Directory.
What to Do
There is so much to do while vacationing in Los Ayala... fishing, kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, whale and bird watching or even a relaxing massage by the beach. And for the adventurous, several local tour companies offer day trips easily accessed from Los Ayala which include swimming with dolphins, surfing, snorkeling, mountain biking, jungle boat rides, zip lining and off-road jeep safaris in the back country, shopping trips and tours to the town of Tequila. You can learn more about tours and activities, exploring the neighboring towns and beaches, shopping and sports and fitness by clicking these links... and don't miss our Top 10 Things To Do.
There is a walking path at the very south end of the beach in Los Ayala that goes up and over the steep hill towards Playa Freideras. This tiny protected bay is only accessible on foot or by boat. The one small rustic restaurant here is usually open everyday and offers a simple menu featuring traditional Mexican dishes. (Note: Playa Freideras is commonly referred to as Playa del Beso or "Kissing Beach" by locals even though that is not its official name.) If you are feeling adventurous, at low tide you can access Playa Freideritas, a lovely little uninhabited beach, by walking over the rocks at the south end of Playa Freideras (or, if you can find it, you can continue walking on the rugged narrow walking trail that is most often hidden by jungle foliage). If you want to do a little more exploring, there are two semi-organized Los Ayala hikes that lead you to Punta Raza and back.
And while vacationing in Los Ayala, you'll want to set aside at least one Thursday morning so you can attend the Tianguis (open-air market) in La Peñita. You can find information, hours and the location for the Tianguis in La Peñita here.
Where to Eat
There are plenty of wonderful beachfront palapa restaurants in Los Ayala that serve authentic Mexican food. You will find fresh homemade salsas and guacamole, ceviche, fish and shrimp tacos, jumbo shrimp, seafood soup, whole blackened fish, mahi mahi, tuna and BBQ prawns served on a stick. The food is always fresh and made to order – which may mean you have to wait a few extra minutes to get your meal – and the fact that you can dine on the beach and run your toes through the sand while eating, somehow makes it even better. Click here to view the Jaltemba Bay Dining Guide.
Events & Activities
The quaint Mexican beach town of Los Ayala boasts a strong community spirit. Popular community events include traditional Mexican Fiestas and an Annual Dessert Buffet and Dance. Residents and vacationers work together to enhance the quality of life for all. This little community is pro-active and known as the small town with a BIG heart.
To view a complete list of holidays, festivals, cultural events, fundraising events, music, classes and activities for Los Ayala and the surrounding towns, view our Community Event Calendar.
If you have questions or need additional information, please feel free to ask questions, provide answers and share information on Jaltemba Bay Folk, our community forum.
*Note: The population numbers listed are from a May 31, 2010 census. At that time, there were 13,860 full-time residents in the Jaltemba Bay area. These numbers do not reflect the influx of part-time residents or visitors to the area during the winter months.
We want to thank Christina Stobbs from Los Ayala for allowing us to use the beautiful photo of Los Ayala Bay featured on this page, as well as photos #4-9.