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Amateur PV Hiking

Hiking to Palo Maria Waterfall

By César Medina

July 14, 2023

When a trail holds rewards for everyone who explores it, it becomes a path of experiences that many like to save in the form of images on their cell phones. If, in addition, the trail is simple and appropriate for anyone able to walk and for any age, then it becomes popular and can be visited by large groups.

Woman hiking to Palo Maria Puerto Vallarta

This is the case of the trail to the Palo María Waterfall. An adventure that is practically within the urban limits of the exit to Mismaloya, approximately 8 kilometers from downtown Puerto Vallarta. This is, just before the Garza Blanca Hotel, where you should look for parking either on the road shoulder or in some space next to the few existing sidewalks.

Landscape of the hike to Palo Maria trail

Right at this point, we will find that the road crosses a small bridge over a discreet river. Bridge that bears the name Palo María, precisely. Here we begin our route upriver, crossing the shallow stream several times depending on whether the trail meets the mountain or the huge rocks. Rocks there are many.

Landscape of the hike to Palo Maria trail Puerto Vallarta

They do not impede the pass, but sometimes you have to make a small effort that could not exhaust anyone. So now you know, you will get your feet wet several times and the humidity will accompany you all the way. But do not worry. I´ll explain now.

Waterfall at the end of the hike to Palo MAria trail in Puerto Vallarta

After some 2 kilometers of hiking, we will find a waterfall about 8 meters tall that creates a turquoise pool, deep enough to climb the slopes of the small canyon and plunge into it with a reckless jump. This is a good idea if you really want to dive in because, with the cold water temperature, walking into the water can be very unappealing.

Two women swimming in the pool formed by the Palo maria waterfall in Puerto Vallarta

Surely you already noticed. You will have to bring a bathing suit and a towel, and a change of clothes, because it is not a good idea to walk back in wet clothes.

Speaking of the mountain walls. On the north wall of the small canyon formed by the waterfall, the trail climbs towards the top of the waterfall, and can take you even further upstream. This slope is not easy, and you have to hold on well and be a bit brave, not to mention that the phobia of heights would be superfluous. It is suitable only for those who do not need help to climb.

Cesar Medina and wife Zindy Carrasco in Palo Maria waterfall in Puerto Vallarta


While the other visitors, adults and children, have fun, we can recover by having a snack and recharging energy from the good vibes that the joy of nature brings to everyone present.

It is always important to remember that in the rainy season, rivers and streams can present unexpected floods, even if it is not cloudy, since it could be raining upstream. Do not forget that we have a season without rain for more than half a year. Schedule your walks well and take care of your loved ones.





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