Wondering how exactly 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.
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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 are talking and that was a bit distracting, but overall it was a great location.
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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 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 set up 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!)
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 like this one 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 head rest 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 in to 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.
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.
I hope that helps answer some questions about what it was like to get a beach massage in Puerto Vallarta. I’m sure it’s similar in other parts of Mexico as well, but not having been there, I’m keeping it specific to my experience in PV.
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 that 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. If learning how to travel more for less money and start taking free vacations is something you’re interested in (who isn’t?) be sure to follow us on social media and also sign up for our newsletter so we can share exactly how we do it!
Let me know if you have other questions. If you’ve ever had a beach massage, let me know what you thought about it!
Hearts & Hugs,
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11 thoughts on “How to get a Beach Massage in Puerto Vallarta”
I remember having a beachfront massage in Thailand and the lady on the table next to keep kept screaming, “Stop! Stop! I’m an old woman! I am not young like the other girl!” I appreciated that she thought I was young, but after that I booked my Thai massages in more private venues!
Oh no! That would definitely take the fun out of it! 😂 You do have to go in with a sense of adventure, don’t you?
I’ve had lots of massages in my life but never had a beach massage so definitely would love to get one.
I loved the hearing sound of the waves and the ocean breeze and think it’s definitely worth the experience! I hope you get to try it some day!
Loved reading this, as it’s something I’ve always wondered about. I especially liked reading your insight on what to expect. I think I will give it a try next time!
Thank you! I really like knowing ahead of time what to expect, so I’m happy to share my experience with others. It’s different, but worth trying!
I must say, I have been offered many a beach massage, but I think I have only ever accepted one, and I was a little disappointed. So, I think that your guide is a very nice peice that we can all learn from! Massage on the beach is great, but a good massage on the beach is even better! XD
Yes, a bad massage is disappointing no matter where it is! Once, I had a massage on a cruise ship and the room was right next to where they were having an aerobics class. The music was so loud I had to listen to the loud booming of the bass the entire massage. Such a bummer!
Hi Karee~We booked a week trip to PV and I am wondering if you can tell me what beach/hotel offers the horseback riding on the beach and the beach massages like the tents on the beach like you stated in your post. Thank you!!! We plan to go there😄
Hi Kathy, we stayed at the Riu Palace Pacifico and that is where the beach massages, horseback riding and things like that were that you saw in my post. The resort doesn’t run them, but they are on the beach just in front of their property, so you don’t have to stay there to book them. I’m excited for you to get to go! Enjoy your trip!