In open water close to Banderas Bay there is an archipelago formed by two islands and islets that is home to an incredible array of marine species, birds, and lots more; the famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau discovered it in the '60s with his research. I'm talking about the Marieta Islands, an amazing attraction that you can discover when you travel to Puerto Vallarta or the Riviera Nayarit.
The unique network of caverns and beaches found on the islands has its origin in the time of the pirates, who used it as a hiding place for their treasure; they made openings in the rocks with cannonballs, creating the spectacular caves that now provide refuge for numerous species of birds, crustaceans, and fish. Here you can also see whales, wild dolphins, turtles, manta rays, and octopuses cohabiting in a natural setting, where only specialized tour companies are authorized to go by the federal government.
Tourist access is restricted to a couple of beaches like Playa Secreta or Playa Escondida, as it is through one cavern that can be accessed either by climbing, or snorkeling from open water. Near the islands you can also snorkel, scuba dive, and enjoy a boat tour uniquely with companies authorized by the SEMARNAT (the Mexican Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources), which has declared the area as a Natural Protected Area.
When you make your reservation in any of the hotels in the Riviera Nayarit, or in any of the hotels in Puerto Vallarta, don't pass up the chance to take an authorized tour to discover the Marietas Islands and enjoy a truly unforgettable adventure!
Written by Luis de la Garza