In a world in which
communing with nature increasingly means a visit to
the "Discovery Channel," more and more travelers
want Ecological Adventures.
Puerto Vallarta has always
been, and will continue to be ideally suited to Eco-Adventurers.
Puerto Vallarta is a natural for
eco - tourists. Surrounded by lush tropical jungle,
riddled with sparkling rivers and gushing waterfalls
that flow to the foliage-covered shores and spill into
the island - dotted waters of Banderas Bay, Puerto Vallarta offers visitors paradise - like adventures both on land
and in the sea.
The brilliant greenery from the Sierra
Madre mountain foothills to the coast is home to an
exhuberant collection of wildlife including four-foot-long
iguanas, butterflies, and 366 bird species.
Visitors can choose
a wide variety of eco-tours from nature hikes and bird watching to wild rides for
"road warriors" who enjoy splashing through
hidden streams end jungle roads on bicycles, in open-air
ATV’s, canopy tours and dune buggies.
Many ranches offer horseback
rides, often with lunch and a chance for a dip. Jungle
Jeep Safaris use specially adapted all-wheel-drive Mercedes
trucks and travel in convoy through the jungle and beyond. Another way to view the densely
forested slopes is to soar above it all in a light plane.
An airplane expedition is an excellent way to take fantastic
photos of the mountains and get to a Huichol Indian Village and San Sebastián del Oeste, a mining town in the high Sierras.
await above and below the turquoise surface of Banderas
Bay. The warm, tranquil waters are perfect for ocean
kayaking. Kayakers should not be surprised to see dolphins,
turtles and giant mantas swimming close to shore; they
often appear to see what’s going on. Underneath,
the bay is like a natural aquarium brimming with colorful
Banderas Bay is also the birthplace of the Humpback
Whales. From December to April they thrill visitors
with their playful cavorting with one another, showing
their babies the ways of the world and breaching in
the sparkling bay. Puerto Vallarta residents are concerned
for the welfare of these gentle giants, so the local
tour operators are licensed by the National Environmental
agency to insure respectful whale watching.
From June to September, Puerto Vallarta is a breeding
ground for sea turtles and the hotels and government
sponsor conservation programs to protect their tiny
charges (Read about the Puerto Vallarta Sea Turtle Protection program). Vacationers can share in the wonder of life
from June to September by participating in the hotel
programs to protect the turtle hatchlings in their dash
to the sea. Under a starry sky, children and adults
release the baby turtles from buckets and applaud as
the hatchlings scurry across the sand and plunge into
Puerto Vallara’s lush coastline is dotted with
craggy islets and beautiful tropical islands, which
remind many vacationers of the South Pacific, and offer
just as bountiful scuba and snorkel adventures. The
Marieta Islands are home to dolphins and giant mantas
and the El Salado mangrove estuary is a fabulous exotic
Underwater caves and tunnels teem with sea life. Near Mismaloya Beach, at the southern end of the bay, the
three huge rock formations named Los Arcos will delight
divers with underwater tunnels and schools of damsel,
idol, chromis, and maybe even a stately mantaray in
the surrounding marine national park.