Puerto Vallarta Icons – Islas Marietas (Marietas Islands)

Islas Marietas

Surely a natural icon of Banderas Bay, the Marietas Islands are one of the most important nesting sites of seabirds in Mexico and eastern tropical Pacific, also housing many other marine species.

Islas Marietas
Islas Marietas
Islas Marietas

Marieta Islands were caused by volcanic activity during the cretaceous era, getting fancy shapes, the two islands of this archipelago (Round Island and Long Island) have virtually the same shape, dominated on the surface and underneath with a variety of caves and cliffs.

After years of scientific research and an intensive effort to provide legal protection to the archipelago, was finally declared a “Marietas Islands National Park” in 2005, with almost 1,400 hectares of land to be an important nesting area, shelter, reproduction and transit of at least 92 species of waterfowl, underwater, resident and migratory.

It is estimated that in these islands is located the largest population of the iconic global brown bobo bird (Sula leucogaster) and with them you can see the beautiful blue-footed bobo bird, which also nests in the Galapagos Islands.

Islas Marietas Birds Islas Marietas Birds

That is why it is not allowed to “step on” the islands, and human routes should be limited to sightseeing, the beach and water activities like diving, kayaking and snorkeling.

If this was not enough, during winter you can hear the amazing songs of humpback whales, who use the islands as a natural shelter against predators and ocean currents.

Islas Marietas Islas Marietas Islas Marietas Islas Marietas
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Puerto Vallarta Icons – Los Arcos

Los Arcos

Located south of the city these imposing natural formations of the bay are considered since 1984 as a National Marine Park of the Arches or simply called “Los Arcos”; they have a totally virginal beauty where there are deep tunnels, caves, arches and breathtaking reefs. Besides being one of the sites protected by the Mexican government for the reproduction of different seabirds also fishing is banned around an area of 30 hectares.

Los ArcosLos ArcosLos ArcosLos Arcos
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There are five islets with heights between 5 and 50 meters above sea level. Three of them have to form a natural arch, the largest rock has a tunnel of 25 meters high, is the favorite place for snorkeling and diving. At any time of year you can see an endless number of colorful fish, turtles, stingrays, octopus, lobsters, eels, etc.

Access is very easy and the experience is amazing as to appreciate more of the facets of nature in one place. This is one of the many activities offered in Puerto Vallarta to enjoy with your family and can not miss on your next vacation.

Los ArcosLos ArcosLos ArcosLos Arcos
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Banderas Bay (Bahía de Banderas) Puerto Vallarta

Bahía de Banderas Puerto Vallarta

One of the most unique traits in which Puerto Vallarta is established is it’s Bay; Bahia de Banderas, running along 100 miles of coast line graciously surrounded by mountains and dozens of beaches.

Bandera’s Bay is politically divided by two states Jalisco and Nayarit; such division is marked by the Ameca River which ends at the Bay. Being the biggest and deepest of Mexico reaching about 3,000 meters of depth and it’s the second biggest of North America.

Dolphins swiming at Bahía de BanderasHumpback whale at Bahía de Banderas

The bright solar light and its clear blue waters makes the ideal conditions to enjoy an infinite of water activities such as parasailing, surf, water diving, snorkeling, sport fishing, water photography, and many more.

Mexico is one of the five countries with the most biological diversity in the world. This natural bay being so rich with sea life of which visitors can discover by taking the Eco-Tours that are offered, without doubt the one with the most impact is the humpback whale watching tour, among one of the most important is the turtle release program which is held a few meters from the beach at sundown.

Diving at Bahía de BanderasSea Turtle at Bahía de Banderas

Among the recreational activities are the trips in boats along the bay where you can enjoy the sunset with its variety of orange, pink, and violet colors while watching the dolphins very closely (permanent residents of Puerto Vallarta), discover the heavenly beaches such as Las Animas, Quimixto and Yelapa, you can also visit the Marietas Islands swim with the multicolor shoals at Los Arcos National Park Reserve or even enjoy of a wonderful pirate show on a boat.

The charm of Bandera’s Bay and the similar Hawaiian weather has led to the evolution of Puerto Vallarta and comply satisfactorily with the expectations of today’s modern tourist.

Bahía de Banderas Puerto Vallarta