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.
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.
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.
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 Island, Nayarit, Mexico
A very popular and famous scuba diving site, La Corbeteña Island is located about 40 miles from the mainland, in the Pacific Ocean. Only recommended for divers with more than 200 logged dives. The locals call it La Piedra (The Rock).
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 sailfish.
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 for both fishing and diving. Over the water it’s a series of rock pinnacles, underwater you’ll find incredible rock formations, caverns, and swim-throughs.
Scuba diving at El Morro Nayarit
A world-class dive site that combines drop-offs, caves and arches, a great place for advanced divers.
Scuba at El Morro Nayarit
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 much more.
It’s a long beach framed by rock outcroppings 30 minutes NW of Puerto Vallarta. It offers huge and thunderous waves that allow the practicing of surfing all year-round.
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 de Burro and its beach are a quiet location, with a great view of the bay and the surrounding nature.
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.
Heading west on the road to Punta de Mita is the Destiladeras Beach, look for the signs sending you to Destiladeras Beach, it is now easier and faster to take the new highway to Punta Mita, there’s a closed parking lot, they do not charge for parking, you just pay a tip, you now just walk down a few steps and you are on the beach, much easier than when it was close to the Nahui development.
Playa Destiladeras, Nayarit, México
The sand is white, soft, the waves break at a good distance, the beach’s slope is soft and you can walk into the sea for quite a distance before the water gets over your hip. It’s a perfect place to spend a day of relaxation and sunbathing.
It’s a good place for boogie boards and such. Destiladeras is great for families and the waves are mostly small. A very popular beach for a good reason.
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.
The many US and Canadian citizens have made La Cruz their home too. You can find a Huichol Indian Art Gallery, cafés, a gourmet German restaurant, bars and other smaller local restaurants.
The beach, which is called “La Manzanilla” is beautiful with calm waters and great food offered at the beach palapa restaurants and you are very close to other nice beaches such as Destiladeras and Punta de Mita.
Bucerias is a quiet, coastal town located on the edge of Banderas Bay. This quaint town runs parallel along the beachfront for some miles north and south of the town’s center spot.
The ocean’s warm waters and lapping surf are only a few blocks away at any point within this small town.
Bucerias has one of the most private, prettiest, soft sand beaches in the area. The beach runs along the cobblestone and bougainvillea-lined streets and is perfect for a day of relaxing or napping in the sun.
The town features several fine restaurants that offer a wide array of excellent menus. Bucerias is a ten-minute drive from 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.