Wondering exactly how to get a beach massage in Puerto Vallarta? I wondered that, too! Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
I had heard people talk about how amazing the beach massages are, but I’ve only ever had a massage in a spa or my therapist’s office. How exactly does it work to get a massage on the beach?
I did a bit of online research on Tripadviser and different Puerto Vallarta forums looking for reviews. I didn’t find anything very reassuring, or that answered my question. Was it done discreetly, or was I going to be hanging out for all the world to see right there in the open?
I needed to know, step by step, exactly how this goes down. Fortunately for me, there were massage therapists right on the beach, literally just outside our resort. That made it super easy to see ahead of time what to expect, and I was able to ask questions before making a decision.
What to Expect When Getting a Beach Massage in Puerto Vallarta
When you first walk down to the beach, you’ll be approached by people selling souvenirs of all sorts, people offering to do hair braids, etc. This is where you can pay to ride a horse up and down the beach, go parasailing, and the like. You don’t have to go looking for them. They’ll come to you.
Same with the massage therapists. They have a lead “sales” person who does the approaching and strikes up a conversation with you. This is when you can ask questions about how much they charge, what kind of massages they offer, what experience they have, and anything else you need to know.
I think it’s important to remember these are real people. At times, they may seem a bit pushy, but no one is going to make you do anything you don’t want to do. If you’re not satisfied with the deal or aren’t comfortable, simply walk away. They’re just trying to make a living, so if you don’t want it, just say so.
What Types of Massage Can You Expect?
I’m sure it depends on the level of experience the massage therapist you end up with has. Each time I went, I was asked if I wanted a deep tissue massage, a Swedish massage, or a Relaxation massage.
One gal claimed she was a chiropractor and would do adjustments, which honestly freaked me out a bit. She was the lead salesperson that day, and I think it was just her sales tactic. It didn’t matter, though, because I was able to tell the therapist who worked on me what I preferred.
Where Do You Get a Massage on the Beach in Puerto Vallarta
At the location next to the hotel we stayed at, there were four or five brightly colored tents. Each tent had the sides down, but the front and back were left open, letting the ocean breeze blow through. They each had six to eight massage tables in them.
It’s literally right on the beach, and you lay there listening to the sound of the ocean and can feel the breeze blowing. At times, other people were talking, and that was a bit distracting, but overall it was a great location.
How Much Does a Beach Massage in Puerto Vallarta Cost?
The first time we walked down to the beach and met Dave (he was the lead salesperson that day), he told us $15/hour. That was later in the afternoon on a Thursday, and since we had just arrived and were still in our travel clothes, we didn’t take him up on it. I wanted to wait until the next day, but he still took the time to show us the setup and answer questions about what to wear.
I came back the next day, and even though they were already getting busy, he got me set up with a massage therapist, and she still only charged me $15 and actually went about 15 minutes overtime.
I’m here to tell you, it was an hour and fifteen minutes of heaven on earth!
I loved it so much I went back the next day. And the next. And the next.
They charged $20/hour for those appointments, but honestly, who cares? That’s so ridiculously cheap compared to what a massage in the States costs, I was happy to pay it! (Don’t forget to tip your massage therapist!)
Dave answered all our questions about getting a massage on the beach so we would know what to expect when we were ready.
What to Wear When Getting a Beach Massage
This was probably my biggest concern, and I really needed to understand how this works. I wasn’t so sure I was going to be comfortable there on a table in a tent with half a dozen other people next to me. Exactly what do I wear to a beach massage appointment?
Dave answered that question for me when we first talked to him, which I really appreciated. The easiest thing to do is to wear loose-fitting, stretchy shorts and a swim top. That’s exactly what I did, and it worked fine. If you’re comfortable in a bikini, that would have been great, too. You can always wear a cute swimsuit cover-up until you get there.
When you first arrive, you’ll sit on the table, and they’ll clean the sand off your feet. Then, you’ll lie face down on the table with your arms over your head, Superman style. Your therapist will wiggle your swim top over your head while keeping you covered with a towel. A bikini top that ties in the back would have been even easier.
They’ll give you a plastic bucket so you can put anything you brought with you in it, and they’ll set it under the table, directly below your head. That way, when you’re on your stomach, you can actually look down through the headrest and see it within view of you. I was a little worried about keeping my phone and money safe while my eyes were closed for an hour, but there was really nothing to worry about.
When you’re done, you’ll be face up, and she’ll help you wiggle back into your top while keeping you covered with the towel. It sounds more awkward than it actually was. Trust me, it’s worth a little wiggling.
Getting ready for my first massage on the beach!
Is It Worth Getting a Beach Massage?
I’ve had hundreds of massages in my life. I’m “blessed” with back issues, so it’s been one of the best things that has helped relieve pain. I make it a point to get a massage often. Since we were there to do nothing but relax and we never left our resort, spending $20 (plus tip) and an hour a day getting a massage was absolutely worth it to me!
Some of the massage therapists were better than others, but all of them clearly knew what they were doing. They were professional at all times, and I was able to relax and really enjoy it. Since almost all the reviews I found online were very limited, I’m happy to report it all worked out well!
Most Puerto Vallarta resorts offer massage therapy, too. The beautiful resort we stayed at had a lovely cabana by the pool. It was still outside but more private than the tents on the beach. If I hadn’t been comfortable with the $20 beach massages, I would definitely have been comfortable here, and it was still less than I normally pay back home.
The massage cabana at the Riu Palace Pacifico was outside, yet still private.
How We Stayed for Free at a Resort in Puerto Vallarta
By the way, we stayed at the all-inclusive Riu Palace Pacifico resort and loved it! It’s one of the best Puerto Vallarta beach resorts you can find when searching for a view hotel. We used points to pay for our room which had a jetted tub inside and a jacuzzi tub out on the private balcony overlooking the ocean. It was amazing and cost us absolutely nothing to stay there! We also used miles, so we had free airline tickets, too.
Puerto Vallarta Airport Uber: What You Need to Know Before You Go
There are a few things you need to know before you go to Puerto Vallarta, and knowing how to get an Uber at the airport is one of them. To be sure, there is no shortage of taxi drivers and shuttles available, but you’ll pay much more than you need to.
Getting an Uber from the Puerto Vallarta airport is actually super easy, but you’ll need to be prepared before you get there. Uber drivers aren’t allowed to pick passengers up directly in front of the airport. No worries, though. I’ll walk you through what you need to know before you go.
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Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.