Ecotourism and adventure tourism are ideal for people who enjoy outdoor activities and nature. They are gaining in popularity worldwide and Puerto Vallarta is no exception. Because of its location and subtropical climate, Puerto Vallarta is a great place to discover a wide variety of plant and animal species. Here you can enjoy everything from whale watching and swimming with dolphins to expeditions to the Sierra Madre, amidst mountains, rivers, waterfalls, jungle and the sea.
Banderas Bay is a sanctuary with an abundance of marine life where you can admire close-up views of the majestic humpback whales that arrive each year and stay in the bay from December through April to mate and birth their young. There are various whale watching tours that are controlled, respectful and adhere to strict safety standards so that you can approach the whales without the fear of hurting them or being hurt. It’s also possible to swim with dolphins and feed them, which is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay offer countless opportunities for ecotourism, always with respect for the environment. In the marine park known as “Los Arcos,” a natural protected area, you can go kayaking, snorkeling and diving. It features impressive rock formations at depths ranging from 10 to 63 feet, which are recommended for novice divers, while more experienced divers can explore the famous El Canyon (The Canyon) and La Quijada del Diablo (The Devil’s Jaw), with an underwater wall extending more than 1,600 ft. into a true abyss.
Located north of Banderas Bay, the Islas Marietas are a group of protected islands with amazing caves, canyons and cliffs. The Islas Marietas Marine Reserve is one of the most popular destinations for beginners diving and certified diving. It is home to a variety of tropical fish, manta rays, sea turtles, dolphins and whales, depending on the season.
If you prefer to stay on land, there are also numerous opportunities for hiking in the Sierra Madre Mountains, where you can admire a variety of plants, trees and birds. There are also mountain biking tours to visit nearby towns and villages, such as Yelapa, San Sebastian, Emiliano Zapata, Las Juntas and Los Veranos. These tours offer varying levels of difficulty, ranging from a leisurely pace to climbing up and down steep slopes.
Canopy tours are another exciting activity that offers the opportunity to glide from tree to tree along ziplines that traverse the rainforest canopy of Puerto Vallarta, making it possible to admire all the plant and animal life from above.
Time is all that’s holding you back from experiencing everything Puerto Vallarta has to offer in terms of ecotourism and adventure tourism. With a low environmental impact, this type of tourism helps to foster the active participation of local populations and allows visitors to enjoy the natural surroundings in a fun and responsible way with respect for nature, thus safeguarding this rich heritage for future generations.
Ecotourism and Adventure Tourism in Puerto Vallarta
- Janine Dávila Madrid