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La Cruz

North Zone Attractions Puerto Vallarta

Marieta Islands | El Morro | La Corbeteña | Sayulita | Punta de Mita | Punta de Burros | Destiladeras Beach | La Cruz de Huanacaxtle | Bucerías

A collection of small towns surround Banderas Bay, each with its own unique way of transporting you to another place and time and another way of life.

To the North of Banderas Bay you will find the Marieta Islands, diver's paradise and Punta de Mita for the surfers and golfers, there are typical fishing villages of San Francisco, Sayulita and La Cruz de Huanacaxtle - for a look at what P. Vallarta was like years ago - as well as charming Bucerías, with its wide soft-sand beaches, and locally famous fresh oysters.


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Marieta Islands

The Marieta Islands, a place you must include on your to-do list while in Vallarta. A small group of uninhabited islands a few miles off the North coast of the Bay, with two main volcanic islets dating from 60,000 years ago.

Marietas Islands

Home to several endangered bird species such as the Blue- Footed Boobie which can only be found on the Islands of the Sea of Cortez and the Galapagos Islands.

Islas Marietas Blue Footed Booby

The Marieta Islands are important nesting, refuge, reproduction and migration area for at least 92 species of aquatic and sub-aquatic birds, native and migratory.

More photos and videos on the Marieta Islands.

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La Corbeteña

Surrounded by the blue waters of the Pacific this barnacle covered rock attracts all manner of sea life. A profusion of manta rays, turtles, sharks and dolphins are native to these waters, and huge schools of Jack tuna circle this tiny island in search of food. This is a great dive site with caves, arches and steep walls to explore.

La Corbeteña

A very popular and famous dive site, La Corbeteña Island is located about 40 miles from mainland in the Pacific. Only recommended for divers with more than 200 logged dives. The locals call it La Piedra (The Rock).


La Corbeteña Scuba

Best to dive there during the summer months (June-August) and visibility is up to 120 feet. During the summer and autumn you'll find many mantas in the area. Common sea life in the area: sea turtles, jack tuna, bath rays, reef sharks, whale sharks, mantas, dolphins, wahoo, marlin and sail fish.

More on Vallarta scuba diving sites.

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El Morro

El Morro is on the way to La Corbeteña, six miles west of the Marietas Islands, on the very edge of the Banderas Bay. It's a great place to both fish and dive. Over the water it's a series of rock pinnacles, underwater you'll find incredible rock formations, caverns and swim-throughs.

El Morro

A world-class dive site that combines drop-offs, caves and arches, a great place for advanced divers. The clear waters offer an impressive variety of sea life, including reef sharks, dolphins, sea turtles, octopus and even sea horses. In the reefs themselves you'll find morays, giant mantas, yellowtails, moorish idols, goldeneye grunts and many more.


El Morro Scuba

More on Vallarta scuba diving sites.

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Sayulita

This rustic palm-shaded fishing village about 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta offers secluded beaches, it's just around the bend from Punta de Mita.

Sayulita Beach

It's off the beaten path, offers cobblestone streets and a real Mexican rural ambiance, sort of what you imagine Vallarta was like 40 or 50 years ago.

Sayulita panorama

Surfing is good here, the surfers love Sayulita for the high quality point surf and reef breakers, plus the very affordable accommodations.

Read an article on Sayulita.

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Punta de Mita

An impressive and beautiful peninsula, 25 miles north of Vallarta's International Airport, offers fabulous beaches and an impressive view of the Banderas Bay.

El Anclote Beach Panorama

Many locals from Vallarta come here on the weekends. There is a Jack Nicklaus designed golf course at the Four Seasons Resort.

Punta de Mita

For a day off, visit El Anclote Beach and eat at some of the great little restaurants that have appeared since Punta de Mita started to attract jetsetters and golfers from around the world.

El Anclote Beach

Even though El Anclote has always been a fisherman town, now it's a little more "sophisticated". You can also enjoy the beach, surf and the view of the Marieta Islands, just off the coast.

El Anclote Street side Panorama

Take a sightseeing trip on the local boats, you can also rent a kayak or hire a local guide for a whalewatching trip in a panga, during the season that goes from December to March.

More on Punta de Mita, Nayarit.

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Punta de Burros

It's a long beach framed by rock outcroppings 30 minutes NW of Puerto Vallarta. Offers huge and thunderous waves that allow the practicing of surfing all year-round.

Punta del Burro

The strong waves make it a popular surfer beach at any time of the year and the beach itself is a small gold sand beach between the rocks.

Punta Burros beach

Punta de Burro and its beach are a quiet location, with a great view of the bay and the surrounding nature.

Punta de Burros Sea

The delightful Marietas Islands can clearly be seen from this location. Found between Cruz de Huanacaxtle and Punta Mita and you'll access this beach by following Roadway 200 going in towards Grand Palladium and turning off on the dirt street that leads to the jungle path, you can only get to the beach hiking through the jungle.

Punta de Burros Beach

A video from Punta de Burros

More on Puerto Vallarta Beaches.

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Destiladeras Beach

Heading west on the road to Punta de Mita is the Destiladeras Beach, look for the signs of Nahui, there's a big parking lot and you can go down some stairs to get to the beach itself.

Destiladeras Beach

The sand is white and comfortable, making it a perfect spot to spend a day of relaxation and sunning.

Panorama Destiladeras Beach

Some surf for boogie boards and such. The beach is great for families and the waves are mostly small. A very popular beach.

More on Puerto Vallarta Beaches.

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La Cruz de Huanacaxle

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, a quaint fishing village, has a cooler beach climate all year round. A great place to relax, and a popular destination for boaters from around the world thanks to the top-notch Marina Riviera Nayarit that's been installed there.

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

Many US and Canadian citizens have made La Cruz their home.You can find a Huichol Indian Art Gallery, cafés, a gourmet German restaurant, bars and other smaller local restaurants.

Panorama La Cruz Marina

The beach, which is called "La Manzanilla" is beautiful with calm waters and great food offered under the beach palapa restaurants and you are very close to other nice beaches such as Destiladeras and Punta de Mita.

More on Puerto Vallarta Beaches.

Marina Riviera Nayarit

Read more on La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

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Bucerias

Bucerias is a quiet, coastal town located on the edge of Banderas Bay. This quaint town runs parallel along the beachfront for a some miles north and south of the town's center spot.

Bucerias beach panorama

The ocean’s warm waters and lapping surf are only a few blocks away at any point within this small town.

Bucerias

Bucerias has one of the most private, prettiest, soft sand beaches in the area. The beach runs along cobblestone and bougainvillea lined streets, and is perfect for a day of relaxing or napping in the sun.

Bucerias Church

The town features several fine restaurants that offer a wide array of excellent menus. Bucerias is a ten-minute drive from the Puerto Vallarta's airport, and twenty minutes from downtown Vallarta. However you may never want to leave this charming town with its warm hospitality and soothing, beachside atmosphere.

Some people mention that it's like Puerto Vallarta was before it became a tourist attraction. So visiting it may be like a trip back in time.

More on Puerto Vallarta Beaches.


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