Getting Here and Around
If you want to head directly to San Blas from outside Mexico, fly to Mexico City and on to Tepic (69 km [43 miles] from San Blas), capital of the state of Nayarit, on Aeromar (affiliated with Mexicana de Aviación). To get to San Blas by road from Tepic, head north on Highway 15D, then west on Highway 11. Most visitors, however, make San Blas a road trip from PV.
The Puerto Vallarta bus station is less than 5 km (3 miles) north of the PV airport; there are usually four daily departures for San Blas ($10; three hours). These buses generally don't stop, and most don't have bathrooms. Departure times vary throughout the year, but at this writing, there were no departures after 4:30 pm. To get to Platanitos Beach, about an hour south of San Blas, take the Puerto Vallarta bus. Always check the return schedule with the driver when taking an out-of-town bus. A taxi from Puerto Vallarta or from the airport costs about $100.
A car is handy for more extensive explorations of the coast between PV and around San Blas. Within San Blas, the streets are wide, traffic is almost nonexistent, and, with the exception of the streets immediately surrounding the main plaza, parking is easy. From Puerto Vallarta, abandon Highway 200 just past Las Varas in favor of the coast road. (Follow the sign toward Zacualpan, where you must go around the main plaza to continue on the unsigned road. Ask locals "San Blas?" and they'll point you in the right direction.) The distance of about 160 km (100 miles) takes 3 to 3½ hours.
From Guadalajara, you can take 15D (the toll road, about $40) to the Miramar turnoff to San Blas. It's actually much faster and less congested, however, to take Highway 15 at Tequepexpan and head west through Compostela on Highway 68 (toll about $5); merge with Highway 200 until Las Varas, and then head north on the coastal route (Highway 66) to San Blas.
To really go native, rent a bike from Wala Restaurant, a half block up from the plaza on Avenida Benito Juárez, and cruise to your heart's content. To get to the beaches south of town, to Matanchén Bay, and to the village of Santa Cruz, take a bus (they usually leave on the hour) from the bus station across the street from the church on the main plaza. To come back, just stand by the side of the road and flag down a passing bus.