Within the tropical paradise of Puerto Vallarta are a wide variety of areas to explore. Not only is Puerto Vallarta one of the world’s most visited vacation destinations, it is also recognized for protected national marine parks and the scenic UNESCO site of The Marietas Islands.
The islands were once used as a military testing site as they were totally uninhabited and the topography was forever changed, creating caves and the popular “hidden beach” that now attracts thousands of visitors a year. There is an abundance of marine life and bird species that call Marietas home, including the fascinating blue footed boobie, recognized by their bright blue feet, attributed to their diet of fresh fish. In addition, the majestic humpback whale is found in this area, giving birth to their offspring from December through March.
The Bay of Banderas, which translates to “the Bay of Flags”, has many stunning beaches where you can walk for miles, enjoy live music or an endless array of fresh seafood and Mexican dishes. The south end of the Bay is an exciting area to discover with group catamaran’s setting sail to take you to multiple beaches that have their own special charm. Snorkel in Colomitas, swing in hammocks set right on the oceans edge, or take a guacamole and ceviche cooking class at Las Caletas, there is something for everyone.
Heading towards the north you will find Nuevo Vallarta in the state of Nayarit. The Bay is two independent states that are separated by a river. This area showcases many gorgeous resorts and miles of uninterrupted sandy shores. Nuevo Vallarta was designed with tourism in mind and is a convenient pick up area for all the wonderful organized tours the Bay offers, such as whale watching, ziplining and historical tours.
Punta de Mita is a growing hot spot that has gained a lot of attention. It sits on a peninsula at the North end stretch of the Bay. Here we find luxury resorts, trendy restaurants, first class golf and boutique shopping. The Marietas islands are only a 30 minute boat ride away from the La Cruz marina. Punta de Mita has a reputation for the Bay’s best surfing, a pristine inlet for paddleboarding or soak up the sun at a variety of beach front restaurants. The resorts and restaurants of this area are well known, sophisticated brands offering above and beyond service and experiences for groups and individual travelers alike.
For your next trip, keep this fascinating and diverse region of the Pacific coast in mind, and you’ll return year after year.