The Marieta Islands near Puerto Vallarta was a wonderful way for us to spend time both on and in the ocean. These islands are protected as a National Park with regulation and permits required to visit and a UNESCO recognized as a Biosphere Reserve area. I always seek out UNESCO sites to explore for their unique and interesting experiences.
We chose Dressel Divers to explore the area with because Kat & Kevin are very knowledgeable and passionate about the islands, preserving it’s natural wonders. They also gave us great insights in advance on why a smaller boat is best.
On our 30-minute boat ride from Punta Mita, we were lucky to spot Humpback whales. They just arrived for the season! We also learned about the islands’ history. Upon arrival, we saw the unique birds like the blue footed boobies which are also found in the Galapagos. I love their bright aqua webbed feet! Other colorful and interesting birds also call these islands home. We dropped anchor and snorkeled near the rocky shore. We “found Nemo” along with Angel fish and other colorful sea life.
The Marieta Islands have become famous for their beautiful hidden beaches and arched rock caves. Amor beach, also commonly called Hidden Beach, is featured in many travel photos. This beach is one for the brave as you need perfect timing of the tides and protective footwear to avoid cuts from the rocks. The reward is a sandy small perfectly circled beach to take an awesome selfie in. This beach gets all the social media love, but I actually preferred the more remote cave beach on the far side. We were able to get into the entrance while staying safely on our boat. I was thankful that we choose a small boat with an experienced guide like Kevin to be able to do this. Another larger “party boat” had joined us initially on the one side of the islands but did not explore the areas we did because of its size and large crowd onboard. As we are continually learning, smaller is sometimes better!
Here are a few tips to always ask before booking activities:
Asking these questions allows you to decide if it’s worth your time and costs. You will also learn the details of the experience and decide if it’s for you. We always recommend booking with reputable tour companies and booking with the operator in you lobby or water center at the resort is safer than someone on the street or a wandering beach vendor.
Photo permission & credit from Dressel Divers Punta Mita.