The Marietas Islands and the hidden beach on Nayarit, Banderas Bay
The Marietas Islands are a group of four uninhabited islands a few miles from the east coast of Nayarit in Banderas Bay.
An authentic natural paradise well worth a visit during your holidays in Puerto Vallarta.
Volcanic activity formed these rocky islands thousands of years ago and they have never been inhabited. At the beginning of the 20th century they were used for military testing, which changed the landscape creating new caves and grottos. It wasn’t until the famous researcher and explorer Jacques Cousteau began a conservation campaign in the 60s that the practice stopped and the islands were converted into a natural park.
Today the Marietas Islands form part of a greater area protected by UNESCO and are rich in fauna and flora. On the Marietas Islands many different animal species, birds seek refuge on the rocky shores, turtles, dolphins, humpback whales and thousands of tropical fish swim in the warm waters surrounding the islands. Diving, snorkelling and underwater photography are popular activities around the islands.
Another of the hidden treasures of the Marietas Islands is the “hidden beach”, a beach hidden among the rocks in the middle of a cave, straight out of the pages of an adventure novel or a James Bond movie. Access to the hidden beach of the Marietas Islands is vey difficult and to guarantee its conservation along with the rest of the archipelago special permission is required from the Mexican government. There are a few businesses that have this permission and organise tours to the islands so you are still able to discover the beauty and sunbathe on the hidden beach.
Getting to the Marietas Islands in Nayarit.
The islands are approximately one hour by boat from Puerto Vallarta. Organised tours leave from the municipalities of Punta Mita and Banderas Bay. These are just some of the tourist operators who visit the islands.