Playa del Amor Beach is Open Again! / El Regreso de la Playa del Amor

Playa del Amor, located in the Marietas Island National Park in Banderas Bay, will receive tourists once again starting on August 31st, 2016. This unique hidden beach was closed last May because of a coral restoration program to reduce the environmental impact suffered because of the large number of visitors the area used to receive on a daily basis after it became hugely popular.

The National Commission for Protected Natural Areas (CONANP, by its acronym in Spanish) designed a program for sustainable visits including a special agreement with tour operators that offers trips to the island for locals and tourists. This new program includes a maximum of 116 visitors per day, maximum 15 people per boat and no more than 15 people can be on the beach at the same time with a maximum of 30 minutes to enjoy the area.

There is also a list of objects forbidden to have in the beach. All these measures are intended to protect the area and preserve all the beauty we have seen in the thousands of photographs and videos that have made it popular around the world. A beach that went unnoticed for centuries and whose origin of this very particular natural architecture has been the subject of several theories, including the legend that it was a sacrifice space for indigenous and devil worshiping.

La Playa del Amor, ubicada en el Parque Nacional Islas Marietas en Bahía de Banderas, comenzará a recibir turistas una vez más a partir del 31 de Agosto de este año en curso. Este playa escondida, única de su tipo, fue cerrada el pasado mes de Mayo debido a un programa de restauración de coral para reducir el impacto ambiental que estaba sufriendo el área por el gran número de visitantes que la zona recibía diariamente.

La Comisión Nacional para Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP) diseñó un programa de visitas sustentable que incluye un acuerdo especial con los operadores de tour que ofrecen excursiones a la isla para locales y turistas. Este nuevo programa incluye un máximo de visitantes por día de 116 personas, máximo 15 personas por embarcación y no más de 15 personas pueden estar en la playa al mismo tiempo con un tiempo máximo de 30 minutos para disfrutar del área.

También hay una lista de aditamentos y objetos que está prohibido introducir a la Playa del Amor. Todas estas medidas tienen el fin de proteger el área y siga permaneciendo tan bella como la hemos observado en las miles de fotografías y videos que la han hecho popular alrededor del mundo. Una playa que pasó desapercibida durante siglos y cuyo origen de tan particular arquitectura natural ha sido objeto de varias teorías, entre ellas, la leyenda de que era un espacio para sacrificar indígenas y de adoración al diablo.

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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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