Marietas Islands & Hidden Beach Tour From Puerto Vallarta
By: Author Lora Pope
Posted on Published: July 13, 2021 - Last updated: June 13, 2023
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If you’re a nature lover, one day trip you cannot miss is the Marietas Islands tour from Puerto Vallarta.
All excursions to the islands, including the hidden beach tour, must be arranged with a tour company, so plan ahead if you want to check out the amazing eco-adventures Marietas Islands have to offer.
This post will explain everything you can do on the islands and how to book a tour here!
Table of Contents
Why Visit Marietas Islands?
Designated as a National Marine Park and UNESCO biosphere reserve , the Marietas Islands are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Puerto Vallarta , including Hidden Beach, which is among the most famous in Mexico.
Aside from the beaches, the Islas Marietas are one of the best places to see wildlife around Puerto Vallarta.
They are home to over 90 species of birds and marine animals like dolphins, whales, and sea turtles.
What to expect on a Marietas Islands Tour
We booked this all-day tour to Islas Marietas from Puerto Vallarta for my friend Courtney’s birthday in May 2021, which was so much fun. It’s one of my favorite Puerto Vallarta day trips!
We met the tour guides at the cruise port in Puerto Vallarta and set off for the islands around 9 am.
They leave on time, so give yourself lots of time as the port is big and confusing. You also have to pay your port fee and fee to enter the islands at the marina (140 pesos total).
The islands are 22 miles (36km) west of Puerto Vallarta, so it takes about two hours to get there.
The time went by quickly, eating breakfast and enjoying the views. Continental breakfast is included, which is buffet-style
The views are gorgeous along the way – keep your eyes peeled as we saw dolphins jumping out of the water!
Species of dolphins you can see here include the Pacific Bottlenose dolphins, spotted dolphins, and spinner dolphins.
During the winter months, it is also common to see humpback whales in the bay since this is a centuries-old breeding ground for them.
Before arriving at the islands, the guides will ask you if you want to do the extra eco-tour at the islands (see more on that below) or visit hidden beach in case they have permits available to sell.
Once you arrive at the islands, you’ll hop in a smaller boat to go on the eco-tour if you booked it.
After that, we hopped in the water for a guided snorkeling tour which was included in the tour. The water here is beautiful and much clearer than anywhere else I snorkeled around Puerto Vallarta.
While you’re snorkeling, the staff prepares a deli-style lunch ready to eat when you get back from the water.
If you feel like more adventures, paddleboards and kayaks are also available to take out to explore during that time.
After lunch, we then had some time to explore the beautiful beaches on the island, and those who had permits for Hidden Beach went there.
While Hidden Beach is undoubtedly one of the most unique sights in Puerto Vallarta , the other beaches on the islands are also incredibly beautiful to see. So don’t be disappointed if you don’t get a permit – the islands are still worth visiting!
Around 2 pm, we headed back to Puerto Vallarta for the journey home. This went much faster than the way there, as they give you unlimited alcohol on the way back.
It was my friend’s birthday, and the staff went out of their way to show us a good time.
We played drinking games and by the last hour, the boat had became a massive dance party . It was such a memorable experience!
If you are want to see Marietas islands and all they have to offer, this tour of Las Islas Marietas is a great choice.
Snorkeling and diving at Islas Marietas
The snorkeling at Islas Marietas is easily the best in Puerto Vallarta. The water is crystal-clear, and seeing the rock formations underneath gives you a whole new appreciation for how special these islands are.
I’ve heard that it’s common to see giant rays and sea turtles here, although I wasn’t lucky enough to see them. I only saw colorful schools of fish, but still really enjoyed the snorkeling because of the unique underwater landscapes.
You can also go diving at Marietas Islands but you have to book it as a separate trip.
Marietas Islands Eco-tour
At the islands, you have the option to do an eco-tour around the islands for an additional 200 pesos (10 USD). It’s absolutely worth it.
They will take you on a smaller boat around the islands to see the birds closer, and a collapsed sea cave.
On the rocks, you can spot the blue-footed booby and some 90 other bird species. It actually made me feel although I’d been transported back to the Galapagos Islands!
Hidden Beach Tour Puerto Vallarta
The Marietas Islands are home to one of the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta – Playa Del Amor. It’s also commonly called Hidden Beach or Secret Beach.
Playa Del Amor is an incredible underground crater beach. Someone posted a photo of it a few years ago that went viral on Instagram and as a result, hundreds of people started visiting the beach every day.
This caused adverse environmental impacts, and the government imposed limits on the number of people that could visit each day in an effort to protect it.
Now, only 116 people are allowed to visit the beach each day, and a limited amount of permits are given to each tour company.
If your heart is set on going, you should do that with the tour company in advance as they do sell out. This company says they have more permits than any other.
On our Marietas Islands tour, the captain told us that two permits were available for an additional 50 USD on the way to the islands.
I didn’t go as it was my roommate’s birthday and she wanted to go with her friend that was visiting. But they loved it and said it was worth the extra money!
Don’t be disappointed if you can’t get a permit to go to the beach – the islands are still worth visiting on their own. There are other beaches on Marietas Islands which are just as stunning!
What to bring on a tour to Marietas Islands
- Biodegradable Sunscreen
- Light sweater
- Waterproof case for your phone or GoPro
- Extra cash for dock fees and photos (they have a photographer there). On top of your ticket, there is an additional 40 pesos fee to enter the marina and 100 pesos to access the islands (government fee).
When planning your itinerary to Puerto Vallarta, be sure to leave a day for a tour to Islas Marietas! These stunning islands are one of the most picturesque places to visit in the Bay of Banderas.
BOOK YOUR TOUR TO MARIETAS ISLANDS
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Lora Pope is a travel content creator who’s been wandering solo for over a decade. In 2021, she moved to Puerto Vallarta and fell in love at first sight. After visiting 70+ countries, she decided to make it her base and now helps travelers like you make the most of your time in PV.
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Marietas Islands National Park & Hidden Beach: Tour Packages with Pricing
Designated a world heritage site in 2004, the Islas Marietas National Park tour is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta . These islands are also known as the “Mexican Galapagos”. Below we’ll cover some important information about this national park, some great Marietas Islands tours, vacation packages, & pricing.
Marietas Islands Private Tour
About islas marietas national park.
If you have the opportunity to visit the Marietas Islands in Bahía de Banderas, you’ll get to experience one of the most beautiful natural conservation parks in the world. Its beautiful hidden beach, Playa del Amor, is incredibly unique, and the surrounding area is magnificent.
Other than Playa del Amor, there are tons of other hidden beaches, ocean caves, rock formations, and tunnels. The Marietas Islands got their shape and impressive geography due to volcanic activity many centuries ago. To add to that, it was a bomb test site for the Mexican military back in the 1900s. The large explosions caused many of the caves and rock formations to be created. In the 1960s, the government decided to declare the islands a national park .
Best Islas Marietas Tours
To get to the Marietas Islands it is a 1-hour long boat ride from Puerto Vallarta or a 20-minute boat ride from Punta Mita. On the way, you’ll be able to see dolphins, the famous blue-footed booby bird, and probably some humpback whales (early December to the end of March). If you plan on going on a Martietas Islands tour, we recommend the following:
- Plan in advance as tickets can sell out fast and access is not permitted on Mondays and Tuesdays.
- If you’re prone to seasickness, you may wish to take a dramamine before heading out.
- Remember to take towels, your swimsuit, and reef-friendly sunblock.
- Some companies charge a conservation fee of $50 pesos for the to CNANP (National Committee of Protected Natural Areas) and $50 pesos to Bahia Unida .
Below are the Islas Marietas National Park tours that we most recommend (in order):
Islas Marietas Snorkeling Cruise
Explore the magnificent marine life around the Islas Marietas National Park on an exciting full-day tour. Once you arrive at the national park, select from kayaking, snorkeling, and stand-up paddleboarding. Keep a lookout for dolphins, humpback whales, giant manta rays, and sea turtles on this eco-adventure. This tour includes:
- 7 hour snorkel cruise from Puerto Vallarta
- Use of snorkel and kayak equipment
- Stand-up Paddle Boarding
- Lunch and open bar are INCLUDED
At $89 USD per person, everything is included except for the natural reserve federal tax of $100 pesos, the port fee of $28 pesos, and any tips you would like to leave the crew.
Islas Marietas Hidden Beach Tour
Playa Escondida, or the Marietas Island Hidden Beach tour, is only open from Wednesday to Sunday and has very limited access. The government only allows up to 115 people each day. Approximately 2000 people visit the islands every day, so you can imagine how coveted these Islas Marietas Hidden Beach tours are. You should also do this well ahead of time to ensure there are available tickets.
In order to reach Islas Marietas Hidden Beach, you’ll have to swim about 200 ft (~ 60 m). You will be provided with life vests and snorkel maks to enjoy the underwater view along the way. Groups are also kept small to maximize your experience. Discover great beaches and beautiful scenery amongst blue-footed boobies, dolphins, and other wildlife.
- Approximately 5 hour tour inside a marine wildlife sanctuary
- A boxed lunch & drinking water
- A professional biologist as your guide
- Snorkeling gear & lifejackets
On a private Isla Marietas tour, you will be able to explore the hidden beach, coral reefs, and other nearby islands such as Isla Nopalera which is great to hang out and relax on. With a private tour vacation package, not only are you avoiding the large crowds, but you can schedule your tour to leave slightly earlier than all the other big tour companies to arrive to the islands before everyone else!
Most of these private tours go out on traditional panga boats, which adds even more to the experience. The great thing about pangas is that they have hop-on & hop-off beach capability and they are faster than the larger boats. They also have retractable rooftops, which makes them perfect for exploring Banderas Bay.
Marietas Islands Packages
Most Isla Marietas tours start from Puerto Vallarta, Punta Mita, or Sayulita. They always start bright & early so that you can take advantage of your vacation package at the National Park
Once you arrive, you can choose what activity you’d like to do first: snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, or tubing. I’d highly snorkeling through the magnificent waters to discover some of the colorful sea life and tropical fish.
Make sure to read the specifics for each package, but most Islas Marietas tours include:
- Boat ride to the Marietas Islands
- Continental breakfast
- Snacks such as guacamole, fruit, & veggies.
- Lunch (Vegetarian options are usually available)
- Complimentary open bar with water, coffee, sodas, juices, and cocktails such as piña coladas, margaritas, & beer.
- Ocean activities such as snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and sometimes even fishing!
Prices & Reviews
Beach Please independently selects & reviews the businesses, restaurants, tours, and expeditions we recommend on our website. If you purchase through affiliate links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Best bucerias restaurants & bars you shouldn’t miss, 15 fun & free things to do in bucerias, mexico, 20 best things to do in nuevo vallarta.
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Marietas Eco Discovery
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On this tour, our guides give you the opportunity to enjoy the natural majesty of the Las Islas Marietas at your own pace. Explore the serene seawater while snorkeling, kayaking, or paddle boarding. No matter what type of natural wonder you’re looking for, our tour of Islas Marietas, Puerto Vallarta, will help you find it.
Also included in our Islas Marietas Eco Discovery Tour is a full lunch, as well as a visit by boat to our exclusive Majahuitas Beach Club, which is located at one of the most secluded and beautiful beaches on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Immerse yourself in its pristine tropical beauty and enjoy an oasis of white sand beaches and turquoise waters by booking Islas Marietas Eco Discovery today!
If you are looking for a breathtaking, cost-effective way to see the Las Islas Marietas in all their natural glory, there is no better choice than our tour of Las Islas Marietas here at Vallarta Adventures. Led by friendly and knowledgeable local tour guides, this comprehensive tour brings you up close and personal with the many natural wonders of the Marieta Islands. Deli-style lunch and open bar are provided, as are snorkeling equipment, paddleboards, and kayaks to help you enjoy the warm waters surrounding the Marieta Islands. To help benefit and preserve this beautiful natural area, we give a portion of the proceeds from our tours to the Islas Marietas National Park in order to fund education and preservation efforts.
Child prices apply to children ages 4 to 11 Children ages 12 and up are considered an adult Due to federal regulations, and in an effort to protect the flight path of endemic birds, drones are prohibited in this tour. .
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Marietas + Hidden beach
On this tour, our guides give you the opportunity to enjoy the natural majesty of the Las Islas Marietas at your own pace. Explore the serene seawater while snorkeling, kayaking, or paddle boarding. No matter what type of natural wonder you’re looking for, our tour of Islas Marietas, Puerto Vallarta…
Marietas and surroundings
Located to the north of Puerto Vallarta, the Islas Marietas National Park is an ecological refuge that has become a must-see tourist attraction due to its spectacular landscapes, reefs and clear waters. The two islands that make up this archipelago are home to a great diversity of birds and marine species…
Price: $ 90.00
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Exploring the Marietas Islands on the Eco Discovery Tour From Puerto Vallarta
By: Author Carrie Ann Karstunen
Posted on Published: September 17, 2021 - Last updated: March 15, 2023
Planning a cruise that stops in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico? A shore excursion to the Marietas Islands is a wonderful way to spend the day.
I recently had the pleasure of touring the beautiful Marietas Islands with Mr. SBC on our Carnival Panorama cruise along the Mexican Riviera, on the Eco Discovery Tour with Vallarta Adventures.
In addition to snorkeling the islands’ protected reefs, our seven-hour tour also included other water sports, a birdwatching tour, a buffet lunch, and entertainment. Here’s everything you need to know about this fun day trip from Puerto Vallarta .
Where are the Marietas Islands located?
The Marietas Islands ( Islas Marietas in Spanish) are a pair of uninhabited islands in the Bahía de Banderas, northwest of Puerto Vallarta , Mexico.
By catamaran, the islands are about an hour away from Puerto Mágico , the cruise port in Vallarta. They’re also just a 15-minute boat ride from Punta Mita (near Sayulita), another popular vacation spot in this part of Mexico.
Check the price and buy tickets for a similar Marietas Islands excursion from Sayulita
What are the Marietas Islands famous for?
The Marietas Islands are a Mexican national park that was once a military testing ground. During the early 20th century, the Mexican government tested bombs and explosives on the islands, creating caves and craters. But by the 1960s, a massive campaign started by Jacques Cousteau forced the government to stop bombing and declare the island a national park.
The Marietas, sometimes referred to as “ Mexico’s Galápagos “, are home to 44 species of wildlife and plants. Many seabirds, including red-billed tropicbirds and rare blue-footed boobies, use the islands as a feeding and breeding ground.
This UNESCO biosphere reserve and Ramsar site hosts many varieties of coral, around which schools of tropical reef fish, eels, and sea turtles live. Dolphins and manta rays also live in the waters surrounding the islands, joined by humpback whales in the winter months.
In recent years, the islands have become even more famous as the home of the Hidden Beach , also called Playa del Amor. This gorgeous beach inside a crater can only be reached by swimming through a cave!
Park authorities only allow a small number of visitors to Hidden Beach each day, and it wasn’t a part of our tour. But I’ll include a stock photo so you can see just why this unusual beach has made the Marietas so famous!
Getting to the Marietas Islands Eco Discovery Tour in Puerto Vallarta
If you’re cruising to Puerto Vallarta, you’re in luck because the catamaran docks right at the cruise port! As you can see from my photo below, the tour boat was moored just steps from our ship.
If you’re not visiting Puerto Vallarta on a cruise, the port isn’t too far by taxi from the Zona Romantica or Centro (downtown Vallarta) where many popular hotels are located.
Just be sure to confirm your taxi fare before heading off to the port, and it’s more than OK to haggle over the price!
Amenities on the Vallarta Adventures catamaran
Our catamaran was clean and spacious, with plenty of room for our group of about 40 adventurers to spread out and relax on the hour-long ride to the islands and back.
Padded bench seating lines the perimeter of the boat, and there’s a large shaded area as well as uncovered seating at the bow for those who want to get some sun. Plastic deck chairs line the center of the boat to provide additional places to sit.
The catamaran features a large central bar with water and soft drink dispensers for self-service beverages, but the crew does walk around regularly with trays of drinks throughout the tour.
Open bar is included on this tour, but for obvious safety reasons the alcohol doesn’t flow until after everyone’s done with the water sports!
The boat also has two restrooms at the aft, behind the bar. They weren’t the cleanest toilets I’ve ever seen, but it was nice to have them available on such a long tour—especially to change into dry clothes after swimming.
Water sports on the Marietas Islands Eco Discovery tour
The opportunity to snorkel, SUP, and kayak in this beautiful location is the main reason most people book the Eco Discovery Tour shore excursion, and it’s a perfect spot for all of these water sports!
If you don’t have your own snorkel gear , the crew provides masks, snorkels, and flippers in various sizes. For those who don’t want to use a snorkel that’s been used before (they do clean them), you can purchase a fresh snorkel on board for a small fee.
Read more: Why You Need a Full Face Snorkel Mask for Your Next Cruise
As an avid snorkeler, I was so excited to explore the protected reefs around the Marietas. Mr. SBC also enjoys snorkeling but doesn’t feel as comfortable swimming right from a boat instead of from the beach. So he brought his inflatable snorkel vest for an added measure of safety and visibility.
However, we didn’t realize that because of state park regulations , all water sports participants need to wear an approved life jacket at all times. I get it—with larger groups of snorkelers it’s close to impossible for the crew to keep a close eye on everyone, and strict rules ensure that everyone’s safe.
But if having to wear a lifejacket while snorkeling is a dealbreaker for you, know that this is a strict rule with no exceptions. I normally would never knowingly book a tour where I had to wear one (snorkel vests at least don’t ride up and threaten to strangle you). But, access to the Marietas is very limited and it’s your only option if you want to snorkel there.
Access to the water for snorkeling is via a swim ladder—or you can just jump right in! I was one of the last in the water after dealing with some major adjustments to our life jacket straps, so the water was a little murky after so many swimmers were splashing around.
Everyone headed toward the island, where most of the coral reef is visible not too far beneath the ocean’s surface. But I swam for a bit in the area between the boat and the roped-off area for snorkelers. I was surprised to see so many colorful fish swimming in schools so close to the boat!
And these weren’t just tiny fishies—many were the size of my hand. Giant damselfish, surgeonfish, and plenty of fish I couldn’t even identify were happily going about their business just inches below me. I even spotted one of my favorite fish to see when snorkeling—the needlefish. Although they aren’t very colorful, long, slender needlefish look like they’re smiling and often jump right out of the water when hunting.
Once inside the roped-off snorkeling area , the fish were even more plentiful amongst the reefs. Don’t expect to see an abundance of colorful live corals—this is a heavy-traffic area, so it’s more like gray, craggy rock.
We didn’t kayak during the tour (I chose to spend more time snorkeling), but many guests used the two-person sea kayaks to explore the waters right near the boat.
There are a limited number of kayaks, so you can’t take them out for a long period of time, or try to go on an extended paddle around the islands.
The spot where our catamaran moored wasn’t close to a beach (and access to the island is restricted), so you also can’t take a kayak to shore and explore the terrain. Any adventurous rule-breakers would be quickly stopped by the eagle-eyed park authorities who patrol the area by boat.
Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP)
Something I had never tried before was stand-up paddle boarding , or SUP. The boat only has a few boards for all of the guests, so I had to wait a while for a board to become available.
If you’ve never tried SUP before, the crew is great with helping newbies. Most of the guests on our tour also fell into this category, so I didn’t feel uncomfortable being a first-timer.
SUP is way harder than it looks! Just balancing on the board while kneeling (and trying not to crash into anything) was quite a workout for my core. I’ll admit I didn’t feel confident enough to try to actually stand up (maybe next time!) but it was a nice intro to SUP in a beautiful location.
Lunch on the Marietas Islands Eco Discovery tour
I’ve been on hundreds of group tours and shore excursions around the world, and I’ve seriously considered no longer booking any tours that include lunch. Why? I’ve noticed that these tours are generally much more expensive, and the lunch (usually) isn’t that great.
But the Marietas Islands Eco Discovery tour was very reasonably priced. Having no other option to purchase the lunch of my choice while out at an uninhabited island miles from shore, I decided to ignore my misgivings about food options and just book the tour. If the lunch was terrible (or the serving sizes would barely satisfy a toddler) we could always find something to eat when we returned to Vallarta or back on the ship.
The tour literature only said that we’d have a “deli-style” lunch included with the cost of the shore excursion. I pictured slimy pre-made sandwiches on soggy bread and a bag of chips.
But as soon as I returned to the catamaran from the water and smelled delicious fresh roasted peppers, I knew we wouldn’t have a problem with lunch.
Was it the fanciest gourmet lunch I’ve ever had? No. But it far exceeded my expectations in the quality, selection, and variety of food we could choose from on this small tour boat.
Our serve-yourself deli buffet at the bar started with freshly-baked flat sandwich rolls, mixed greens, a selection of sliced cheeses, cold cuts, and sliced tomatoes to create a sandwich to your liking.
Then turn the corner to find those roasted peppers (and onions!) yummy potato salad, pasta salad, and a giant tub of sliced fresh fruit including watermelon, mango, and pineapple.
Bird spotting around Las Islas Marietas
The Marietas Islands are famous for their abundance of native seabird species , and I was excited for the opportunity to spot the rare blue-footed booby bird. Although most of the world’s population of this funny-named creature resides in the Galápagos Islands, our tour guide told us that the second-biggest population is in the Islas Marietas.
Be sure to bring binoculars, because you won’t get close enough for a good look at their Smurf-blue feet with the naked eye!
But you can check out what these cool birds look like and observe their fantastic mating dance in this short NatGeo video :
Another interesting species we spotted was the magnificent frigatebird , a large, mainly black-feathered bird. The males have a bright red pouch just below their beaks that they blow up like a balloon to attract females.
You can see the red pouch on a male magnificent frigatebird in the center of the photo below—and that’s not blown up!
Heading back towards Puerto Vallarta, we passed a sheer cliff face extending straight into the water. Our guide told us that this was the filming location for an exciting scene in the 2011 film Limitless . If you’ve seen the movie, you might remember Eddie (played by Bradley Cooper) spontaneously high-diving from this cliff.
Entertainment on the Vallarta Adventures Eco Discovery Tour
Once the open bar was flowing and we were on our way back to the port, the crew had a surprise up their sleeves for us! After serving up drinks (unlimited rum punch, margaritas, and bottled beer ), our guide turned the music up and the crew members appeared dressed in hilarious 80s rocker costumes. We were then treated to a fifteen minute long lip-synch show featuring air guitars and dancing.
I didn’t expect any entertainment on the boat, but it made our trip back to the port so much more enjoyable.
What to take with you on the Marietas Islands Eco Discovery Tour
You don’t have to take much with you on this shore excursion, but I’ve put together a small list of items that will make the Eco Discovery Tour more enjoyable.
- Full-face snorkel mask
- Light sweater or sweatshirt
- GoPro or waterproof camera
- Lightweight binoculars for bird watching
- Travel safe
- Non-drowsy seasickness medication
- Cash (to purchase personal snorkel and/or photos)
If you’d rather leave the expensive camera gear behind, the crew does have a photographer on board who spent the entire time getting action shots of everyone, including underwater!
He also took lots of landscape and bird pics. Near the end of the tour, the photographer put together a personalized photo package for each group of guests, which was available on a USB for $80 USD.
What NOT to take with you on the Marietas Islands Eco Discovery Tour
There are a few items that you absolutely shouldn’t take with you on the Marietas Islands Eco Discovery Tour . The first is drones—these are not allowed in Las Islas Marietas State Park.
The second is vape pens or e-cigarettes. I don’t vape (but I meet a lot of people in my travels who do) so this restriction intrigued me. In February 2020, the Mexican government banned the importation of all vaping products as part of its crackdown on drugs. Even if you just vape nicotine or one of those non-nicotine flavored liquids, it’s not allowed on the boat or at the marine park.
Although smoking cigarettes was allowed in a specific area at the back of the boat (when there are no full SCUBA tanks there), it’s safer to leave any vaping devices behind on this tour.
The third banned item is sunscreen! Although there was nothing mentioned in the tour listing provided by Carnival, our tour guide told us that the state park has banned the use of all sunscreens—even biodegradable ones which he claimed are “a hoax”!
As a very pale person with a deadly family history of melanoma, I of course had already applied my reef-safe MyCHELLE Dermaceuticals waterproof sunscreen before leaving on the tour. This sunscreen adheres to the reef-safe guidelines from savethereef.org , so I wasn’t worried.
Would I recommend the Marietas Islands Eco Discovery Tour by Vallarta Adventures?
As a reminder, this is not a sponsored post. We paid for this shore excursion out-of-pocket and booked it through Carnival Cruise Line for our Mexican Riviera cruise. I didn’t even know what company was running the tour until we showed up at the port! Of course, like with any of my reviews, my opinions are all my own.
Who shouldn’t take this tour
I’ll start with the negatives. If you have any issues with motion sickness or seasickness, don’t book this shore excursion unless you’re sure that you have meds that work well for you (and don’t knock you out).
If you tend to get seasick, be sure to read my How to Avoid Getting Seasick on a Cruise
We took this tour on a clear day without any choppy waves to speak of or stormy weather at all. Despite the perfect conditions, there were two members of our smallish group who were seriously seasick for most, if not all, of the journey.
I also wouldn’t recommend this tour for people who don’t feel confident swimming in deep water, unless you’re fine either just kayaking or sitting on the boat. There’s no beach access, and you’ll be swimming in water that’s over your head without any shallower water to stop and rest.
Who will love this tour
If you don’t have seasickness issues and you’re a confident swimmer, the Eco Discovery tour is such a fun way to spend a day near Puerto Vallarta.
Our tour group consisted of cruisers of all ages, from tweens to mid-70s. There were no under-twelves on our shore excursion (this was the first tour out of Puerto Vallarta after the cruise shutdown, and was only for vaccinated passengers). But it would be a fun family day for school-aged kids who enjoy water sports.
Bird watchers will also enjoy this shore excursion, as it gives you the opportunity to spot various rare species in their native habitat.
You may also like: A Day Trip to the Charming Villages of the Sierra Madre from Mazatlán
How to book tickets for the Marietas Islands Eco Discovery Tour
We booked our Marietas Islands Eco Discovery Tour tickets directly through the cruise line. Carnival offered this tour on our Mexican Riviera cruise as a featured shore excursion. Of course, you can also book tickets independently.
Check the price and book tickets for the Marietas Islands Eco Discovery Tour
Have you visited the Marietas Islands on a trip to Puerto Vallarta? Or are you considering taking the Islas Marietas Eco Discovery tour? Let me know in the comments below!
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Monday 8th of November 2021
The Marietas islands look like a beautiful place to visit now. I'm putting it on my bucket list.
Hi Sharyn, they really are a bucket-list-worthy place to visit! Thanks for stopping by!
I had admittedly never heard of the Marietas Islands, but it sounds like a wonderful place to visit with a fascinating history. So glad to hear that the island was declared a national park and the explosives testing stopped. I would love to try some kayaking and SUP here - I still haven't been able to try SUP yet! My only concern is I did get a little sea sick on the deep sea fishing trip we did earlier this year but not too bad. I think I could take my chances on this excursion. Thanks for sharing all these details! Xx Sara
Hi Sara, the Marietas really are a wonderful place! If you go, I'd highly recommend taking seasickness meds (or wearing the patch). Mr. SBC and I chatted for a while back on the ship with one of the ladies who had been seasick, and she said she had zero history of it. Happy travels!
Sunday 7th of November 2021
Wow I didn't know this area was used for testing bombs. Thanks for sharing so much valuable information
Hi Elyse, I'm so happy they stopped the testing and protected the islands for the birds and marine life. Thanks so much for reading!
We missed this when we were in Puerto Vallarta and I was so disappointed! Looks incredible!
Hi Jenn, oh no!! I hope you're able to get back to PV and check out the islands - they really are incredible!
The Marietas Islands eco tour looks like so much fun! I'd absolutely love to go. Thank you for sharing!
Hi Alex, we really enjoyed our day visiting the Marietas! Hope you're able to see them for yourself :)
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Marietas Islands - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)
How to Take an Islas Marietas Tour + See the Hidden Beach
Are you headed to Puerto Vallarta and want to visit the Marietas Islands? While planning an Islas Marietas tour for myself, I realized that the internet is full of vague information about how to get to the islands and just what you can or can’t do there. Here’s what you need to know if you want to see the islands.
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Las Isla Marietas Tour
Visiting the Marietas Islands is a popular tour for travelers to Puerto Vallarta and la Riviera Nayarit . Located off the Pacific coast, the islands are made up of dozens of small underwater islands but the two biggest are the ones you can see – Round Island and Long Island.
Even if you aren’t familiar with the name of the islands themselves, you’ve probably seen photos of the secret, crater like Hidden Beach or Playa del Amor, floating around on the internet.
Booking an Islas Marietas tour gives you a chance to see the islands and hopefully some of the wildlife if you’re lucky. Fish, sea turtles, manta rays, dolphins and even whales that make their way into the Bay of Banderas to mate and give birth can be found around the islands.
The Marieta Islands are frequently referred to as Mexico’s Galapagos Islands since they are home to more than 44 species of plants and animals and over 100 species of birds, including the famous blue footed booby.
Booking an Islas Marietas Tour
Currently, the only way to see the islands legally is with a licensed tour operator. Even then, when planning and booking an Islas Marietas tour, confirm exactly what is included.
After looking at some tour operator’s websites, it’s unclear if their tours include Hidden Beach. It also appears they leave out the important information about Hidden Beach beach being closed on specific days.
To cut down on visitation, the islands are closed on Mondays and on Tuesdays, you can visit the islands but Hidden Beach is closed. Additionally, the days that Hidden Beach is open, instead of thousands being granted access, only 116 people are allowed to visit.
I recommend booking directly with only a highly rated tour operator or a very reputable third party. There are plenty of people on the malecón and around in Puerto Vallarta selling tour. Just be careful, it might not end in a good experience.
If you need help choosing a good tour operator for your Islas Marietas tour, Tripadvisor and Viator.com offer tours through local companies. You can read the reviews and check out what other people are saying.
You should also verify the cancellation policy before you book. All the tours below all have 5 star reviews. It’s also important to note that many tours have age restrictions.
My Experience on an Islas Marietas Tour
For my Islas Marietas tour, I used Vallarta by Boat . As luck would have it, the only day that I had available for a tour was a Tuesday. So that meant Hidden Beach was closed. However, I knew this in advance and I still had a great time. Here’s how a day on an Islas Marietas Tour goes.
Checking-In for the Tour
The tour was an all day tour that leaves from the cruise ship terminal (map) in Puerto Vallarta. The tour departs at 9am and returns around 5pm.
Even if you pre-paid, I recommend getting to the marina early since most tours leave from here. and it can get pretty hectic during high season or if there’s a cruise in port. Getting there early ensures you’ll have no problem finding your boat.
In addition to the tour ticket, there are a couple of other fees collected on behalf of the government. One of those fees is a park fee of approximately $6 USD for the government department of SEMARNAT – the agency that maintains the park.
Once you pay this fee, you’ll be given a wristband to wear for the duration of the tour that shows you paid. There’s also a federal port fee of about $2 USD for collected on behalf of the government for the use of the port.
Another reason to arrive early is for breakfast. Since it is an early departure some tours include breakfast. However, it’s probably a light breakfast. In Mexico, that’s typically yogurt, fruit, toast and juice or coffee.
If you want something more substantial, there are a few food stands in the port, where you can order a hardier breakfast. Nothing like a grilled cheese and a Pacifico coffee in the morning.
The Boat Ride to the Marieta Islands
Different tour companies use different types of boats but our boat was a one deck with chairs. Some of the chairs were under an awning in case you didn’t want to be in the sun. And if you are wondering – there’s also a bathroom on board the boat.
Once everyone is loaded onboard the boat for the Islas Marietas tour, the crew goes over all the safety and life jacket information in English and Spanish.
We were also asked to only apply sunscreen early in the tour. Since coral reefs are extremely sensitive to chemicals found in sunscreen, this gives the sunscreen time to soak into the skin instead of sliding off into the water and damaging the reefs.
Our tour also stopped in Nuevo Vallarta to pick up a few passengers that boarded from there. Once everyone is on the boat, the official tour is begins. The crew presented educational information about the area and the islands throughout the tour.
The trip to the islands takes about an hour and half from Puerto Vallarta. The boat travels at a nice slow pace, which is good because then you don’t have to worry as much about getting seasick. It also gives you the chance to relax and look for whales.
Things To Do on las Islas Marietas
Of course, the main attraction on an Islas Marietas tour is the Hidden Beach but there are other things to do. Just remember you won’t be pulling up to some pristine beach and everyone hopping out at one time.
All activities are from the boat from its anchor in the bay and understandably, it’s very controlled. Even with access to Hidden Beach, the time is limited
Once you arrive at the islands, the crew will bring out the kayaks, stand up paddle boards and the snorkeling gear. For everyone that’s participating in the water activities – the crew splits you up into groups.
While some people are kayaking, others – in small groups – are visiting a beach or checking out the caves on the side of the island. There was plenty of equipment and everyone that wanted to had a turn snorkeling or kayaking or both. Anyone that wants to stay onboard the boat can do so.
Personal flotation devices are mandatory and shoes, sunglasses, cameras and drones are not allowed.
Southerner Says: Obviously some tours allow cameras because I see photos of Hidden Beach all the time but on this tour it was not allowed but that have been because there was a photographer on board.
Swimming to the Hidden Beach
If your tour does indeed includes access to Hidden Beach, again, you don’t just pull up to the beach. You are required to swim to and then through a opening in the rock to get to the beach. To order to do this swim you need to be a strong swimmer and over twelve years of age.
The tide and the weather have to be just right to enter through the rocks – so fair warning, even if you book a tour that has Hidden Beach access – there’s always a chance you might not be able to enter to get to the beach.
Even if you paid for it. Your boat captain and crew cannot control the weather, water or tide. They will do their best to make it happen but if they decide that it’s too dangerous, they will cancel the swim to Hidden Beach.
Since the beach was closed on the Tuesday of my tour, when we left the area, the captain did at least move the boat closer to the opening in the rocks so that we could get a better look of how you enter Hidden Beach.
Once inside on the beach, you will have time to explore a little, swim and enjoy this gorgeous hidden wonder.
Lunch on the Marieta Islands Tour
After the water activities are complete and everyone is back on board, the crew opens the bar and serves lunch.
On my tour there was local beer, margaritas, and of course, water and juice were available the entire cruise. They wait to serve alcohol until everyone is finished with the water activities.
Our lunch consisted of ceviche with tortilla chips and two other kinds of salads. Ceviche is fresh fish that “cooks” in lime juice and is a specialty of Mexico. It was good but the other salads were just so so.
All in all, I felt like the lunch was a bit skimpy and not exactly what you want after exerting yourself swimming and kayaking. They did also have other snacks available for purchase but they were very expensive. My advice is to bring your own snacks.
Returning to Puerto Vallarta
The Vallarta by Boat tour is definitely not what I would consider a party tour at all but to keep it fun on the way back to Puerto Vallarta the crew played music and some games for guests that wanted to participate.
The music didn’t bother me but I’ve read reviews of people who didn’t like the afternoon activities. If this is something that concerns you, then book a small tour with less people.
Lastly, I want to acknowledge that Vallarta by Boat’s Google reviews aren’t great. But after reading some of the the complaints, many of the things that people don’t like are issues the tour operator has no control over.
Things like weather, too many waves and sea sickness. So when you are ready to book an Islas Marietas tour, don’t just look at the rating. Read the reviews carefully to see why people are actually leaving a review that’s not so great.
When is the Best Time Visit the Marieta Islands?
With the exception of hurricane season, the Pacific coast of Mexico generally experiences good weather all year long. So, tours to las Islas Marietas are possible year round.
Although, if you want to see whales – which is definitely an added bonus – then the best time to go is during the months of December to May.
My Islas Marietas tour was in February and whales were so plentiful, there was hardly a time when you looked around the bay, that you didn’t see at least one breaching or the movement of a tail. It was pretty incredible.
I’ve been whale watching in Cabo , La Paz and Costa Rica and this trip was where I’ve seen the most whales at one time.
What’s the History of las Islas Marietas?
Even though the islands are full of wildlife, sadly, the Mexican army used the islands for target practice in the early 1900’s. In fact, it’s thought that the bombing is what caused – or at least revealed – the Hidden Beach feature.
In the 1960’s, famous conservationist Jacque Cousteau campaigned for protection of the islands. Years went by before anything was done but finally in 2005, the islands were declared a national park. And in 2008 they were added the list of world UNESCO sites.
As the Marieta Islands and Hidden Beach gained popularity, visitation got out of hand. It doesn’t help that the islands are made of a volcanic rock that’s very susceptible to erosion.
With no real regulations or supervision, visitors caused a lot of damage and destruction to the islands themselves and the coral reefs that surround the islands.
So, in 2016, the islands were closed to the public. The government initiated a huge clean up and restoration of the entire area. The closure lasted several months while tons of garbage – diapers, tires and other household items and plastic – were pulled from around the islands.
Ultimately, when the government reopened the islands to tourists, there were stricter guidelines. In the past, almost anyone could tour the islands. Now, as part of the new regulations, only certified licensed tour operators have permission to go to the islands.
What to Pack For the Islas Marietas
Since access to the islands is limited, the tour is much more of a day out on the water tour than a lay on the beach tour.
If you plan on swimming, obviously, you’ll need a swimsuit. The morning air, especially in winter, and even in spring at times, can be chilly on the boat, so you might want to pack a light jacket or a long sleeve shirt .
Some other useful items you might want on your Islas Marietas tour are:
Final Thought About las Islas Marietas Tour
Along with day trips to Yelapa and Mismaloya , an Islas Marietas tour is a must when visiting Puerto Vallarta or Nayarit. Getting out on the water of the Bay of Banderas with this tour is a great way to see wildlife and Puerto Vallarta from a different perspective.
Scientists also think that the islands might not be around forever, so enjoy them while you can. If you do visit the islands, don’t forget to practice leave no trace principles and tip your guides.
See you on the road or in Mexico!
Author: Lori Blalock
A girl raised in the south, Lori is the founder of Southerner Says and has driven over 100k miles of solo road trips. A lover of public lands, sunsets and good BBQ, Lori spends her time in Georgia when she isn’t on the road or in Mexico.
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Islas Marietas National Park: The Complete Guide
Things to Do
Hikes and trails, how to visit hidden beach, whale watching, bird watching, where to stay nearby, how to get there, accessibility, tips for your visit, marietas islands.
Islas Marietas National Park is made up of a pair of small uninhabited islands—Isla Larga and Isla Redonda—along with a couple of islets. The islands are located 2,953 feet (900 meters) apart from one another in Banderas Bay, a few miles off the coast of the state of Nayarit. These islands shelter amazing biodiversity and are sometimes referred to as “the Galapagos of Mexico” since they’re home to the blue-footed boobie as well as many other seabird species. This park became a hugely popular day trip site starting around 2012 due to photos on social media showing the beautiful “Hidden Beach” located within a crater, and many travelers flock there to have their own Instagram moment.
The park hosts tremendous biodiversity: it’s an important feeding and nesting site for several species of seabirds and the islands are surrounded by a marine sanctuary, so underwater exploration will reveal a multitude of tropical fish, sea turtles, and giant manta rays in the crystal clear water. In the first half of the 1900s, the Mexican government conducted military testing on the islands, and the resulting explosions, along with erosion, created some interesting rock formations, including the famous beach. In the 1960s, Jacques Cousteau and other conservationists decried the military testing, and the islands were eventually protected as a National Park in 2005 and recognized by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve in 2008. Since that time, many steps have been taken to protect the delicate ecosystem on the islands and in the surrounding water.
Visiting Hidden Beach is a major attraction of this national park, although there are a number of challenges to accessing the beach, so many visitors are not able to get there, but there are plenty of other activities on offer. Wildlife observation can always be enjoyed, and even those who aren’t much into birdwatching will appreciate seeing a striking species like the blue-footed booby or a red-billed tropicbird. This is a great spot for snorkeling and scuba diving, but even from the boat, you may be able to see schools of dolphins or breeching whales (in season). Some people enjoy exploring around the islands on kayaks or stand-up-paddleboard. Because the park's natural life is protected, hunting and fishing are not permitted here.
It used to be prohibited to explore the islands on foot, but as a sustainable tourism option, Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), has opened an interpretive trail at the northwestern end of Isla Larga, starting at Playa La Nopalera, Walking this short but interesting 1,000-foot trail offers the opportunity to enjoy the interesting landscape from a different perspective, see nesting seabirds, various species of reptiles such as green iguanas and Mexican spiny-tailed iguanas, as well as a few different kinds of snakes, and some interesting endemic plant life.
This picturesque beach is located within a crater on the northern end of Isla Redonda, Photos of the sun shining through an open crater illuminating a sandy beach with clear blue water started making the rounds on social media beginning in 2012, and still inspire many folks to add the Islas Marietas to their bucket list. Sometimes referred to as Playa del Amor or Lovers Beach because of its secluded location, the beach’s origin is most unromantic, as it is the result of bombings that took place during military testing on the islands, combined with erosion over time.
Although many people wish to visit, access to the beach is strictly limited to 116 visitors per day and is also dependent on the tide, wind, and waves. To get to the beach, you have to jump off the boat and swim through a 50-foot tunnel through the rock. Sometimes the current is strong and this can be a tough swim. You’ll wear a life jacket and a helmet (to avoid hitting your head on the roof of the tunnel) but no fins, to avoid damaging the coral. The beach is only accessible when the tide is low, otherwise, the tunnel is underwater and it’s not possible to get through. Once you access the beach, your time there is restricted, as each tour company gets their turn.
Most of the tour companies offering boat tours to the Islas Marietas have a tour that includes a visit to Hidden Beach, and one that does not. If you’re hoping to visit the beach, reserve your tour with a reputable company such as Ecotours de Mexico or Vallarta Adventures well in advance. Even if you take a tour that specifically includes Hidden Beach, there’s no guarantee that you'll actually be able to visit it, as that will depend on the sea conditions on the day of your visit. If you’re unable to access Hidden Beach, you can still visit Playa La Nopalera, another picturesque beach located on the other island. Although it’s not within a crater, it’s surrounded by interesting rock formations and lots of the nopal cacti after which it is named.
Between November and March, humpback whales come to Banderas Bay during their yearly migration, so if you visit during this time of year, spotting whales may be an added bonus of your tour, so keep your eyes peeled and your camera ready if you’re hoping to capture the moment. Throughout the year you might also be able to observe orcas, stingrays, various species of sharks, as well as giant manta rays, sea turtles, and maybe even a dolphin pod.
The cliffs, recesses, and caves of the islands provide nesting areas to a great many species of birds that reside on the island. The island is in fact home to over 80 different bird species and you’re almost guaranteed a sighting of a blue-footed booby. If birding is your main interest, you may prefer a tour that is geared specifically to this activity, such as the one offered by Birding Mexico or Birding San Pancho, which also offers the opportunity for snorkeling.
This is possibly the best spot in western Mexico for scuba diving. Part of an underwater mountain range that peaks above the ocean's surface, the Islas Marietas mark the entrance to Banderas Bay from the Pacific. Below the surface, you can see volcanic formations with arches, spires, tunnels, and caves, as well as several different species of coral, and abundant sea life. Visibility is best between May and December where you may see up to 100 feet, and water temperatures around 80 degrees F (27 degrees C). Diving excursions are offered by Dressel Divers and Vallarta Adventures .
If you’re planning to visit the Islas Marietas, you can stay in Puerto Vallarta, or Riviera Nayarit, which are both popular beach resort destinations, so there are many options of places to stay. You’ll find some great options in these round-ups of resorts:
- Best All Inclusive Resorts in Puerto Vallarta
- Best Resorts in Riviera Nayarit
Islas Marietas National Park is an easy day trip from Puerto Vallarta or the Riviera Nayarit. It’s closest to Punta de Mita, from where the boat trip is only about 15 minutes. From Puerto Vallarta’s main pier, it can take an hour to an hour and a half depending on wind and sea conditions. Although you can rent a water taxi to take you there, you’ll only be able to see the islands from the water. If you would like to enjoy the park fully and possibly access Hidden Beach, your best bet is to go with an organized tour such as those offered by Vallarta Adventures , Islas Marietas Tours , or Eco Tours Vallarta .
The only way to reach the park is by boat. Tours to the Islas Marietas offered by local companies usually include the option of snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. In order to participate in these activities, you usually need to hop off the boat into the water and climb back in on a ladder. Most of these tours are not recommended for people with limited mobility and are not accessible to people in wheelchairs. In addition, some of the tour companies have minimum and maximum age limits and state that it is not advisable for pregnant women or people with heart conditions, or any neck, back, or knee issues to participate.
- Plan in advance to get a spot on a tour (access is not permitted to the islands on Mondays and Tuesdays).
- If you’re prone to seasickness, you may wish to take medication before heading out as the boat will go through the open ocean to reach the islands and the waves can be strong..
- If you go, take a towel, swimsuit, reef-friendly sunblock, and a camera (preferably a waterproof one). It’s also a good idea to bring a light sweater or jacket, as it can get breezy out on the open sea, especially if you’re wet on the way back.
- Many tour companies charge an extra 100 peso conservation fee (50 pesos goes to CONAMP and 50 pesos to Bahia Unida) which may not be included in the tour cost. Be prepared to pay in cash on arrival at the dock.
- Follow the guidelines to minimize damage to the environment such as not touching the coral reef, or the wildlife, and don’t leave anything behind on the island.
Anales del Instituto de Biología de la Universidad Autonoma de México, " Distribución, abundancia y conservación de la avifauna de las islas Marietas, Nayarit, México ." 2000
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Islas Marietas Tour
- Globe Region: Mexico
- Map Marker Location: Puerto Vallarta
- Hour Glass Duration: 7 hours
Enjoy the Best Maritime Tour of the Mexican Pacific Ocean!
Start this adventure by taking your place on the boat that will take you on this maritime tour of the Mexican Pacific Ocean. Enjoy beautiful landscapes as we head to the islands, like the sanctuary of migratory birds and a great diversity of marine life. Your guide will tell you about the history surrounding this sanctuary and share the most updated information of this site declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. Once on the perimeter of the islands, have the opportunity to learn more about their whimsical rock formations, and venture into these natural caves and caverns.
Continue exploring the area, diving and snorkeling with the greatest diversity of reef fish in the bay of flags. Have the opportunity to appreciate the more than 100 species of fish that inhabit this majestic and secluded place and tour the area on a paddleboard and kayak. An unforgettable experience! Enjoy the company of dolphins that sometimes accompany the boat and in season from December to March you may be lucky enough to see a majestic mammal, the humpback whale!
Notes: Wear comfortable shoes and clothes, biodegradable sunscreen, towel and sweater on winter days. Due to federal regulations, and in an effort to protect endemic bird flying areas, drones are prohibited on this tour. An additional $90-pesos conservation fee per person will be collected at check-in. A portion of the earnings goes toward local surveillance and conservation of the islands. Hidden beach is not included in this activity.
- Transportation in aquatic boat
- Bilingual guide
- Continental breakfast
- Snorkel and kayak equipment
What to Bring:
Don’t forget to bring your camera and sunscreen!
- Hour Glass 5 hours
- Map Marker Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta Party in Trimaran Tour
Enjoy a day full of water activities and an excellent party atmosphere aboard a trimaran that will take you to one of the most beautiful beaches of Puerto Vallarta.
Rhythms of the Night Savia
Sail along the beautiful coastline of Puerto Vallarta and get ready to experience a romantic night full of entertainment at Rhythms of the Night Savia.
- Tour de ballenas
Tour por las Islas Marietas !
Con aguas cristalinas y arenas blancas, nadie podía imaginar que las islas eran utilizadas por el Gobierno para prácticas militares.
Y ahora las Islas Marietas están protegidas por el gobierno mexicano. Las Marietas son un grupo de islas no habitadas a unas pocas millas al este de Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, México.
TOUR POR LAS ISLAS MARIETAS
¿QUÉ ESTÁ INCLUIDO?
Entrada a Playa Escondida
El acceso a la playa escondida es muy limitado, asegúrese de reservar con antelación.
Chaleco salvavidas, Kayak, equipo de snorkel (aletas, chaleco, snorkel)
El desayuno y el almuerzo están incluidos
Barra libre después de las actividades acuáticas.
La mejor animación y entretenimiento en el barco para divertirse!
+52 555 493 4026
El tour a las Islas Marietas incluye desayuno ligero, almuerzo, barra libre, entretenimiento y música, actividades acuáticas como snorkel, kayak.
Islas Marietas Playa Escondida
Estudio en los condominios Zoho Sky Puerto Vallarta. A pesar de estar en muy buena zona (Zona Hotelera Norte) es muy tranquilo, sin ruido.
El estudio tiene aire acondicionado, cocina equipada, Tv con internet, balcón, una cama muy cómoda Queen Size.
Marietas Islands in Nayarit. UNESCO declared the Marietas Islands a biosphere reserve.
10.00am – 6.00pm
10.00am – 2.00pm
✆ +52 555-493-4026
E-mail [email protected]
© Islas Marietas All Rights Reserved
Islas Marietas – Incredible Tour Catamaran From Puerto Vallarta
With its breathtaking beauty and stunning natural landscapes, the Islas Marietas is a destination that captivates the hearts of travelers from around the world.
And what better way to experience this hidden gem than through an incredible tour catamaran from Puerto Vallarta?
As the gentle waves carry you towards this paradise, you’ll be immersed in the wonders of the Marietas Islands, where hidden beaches, vibrant marine life, and awe-inspiring rock formations await.
But the journey doesn’t stop there. There’s so much more to discover and explore, making this tour an unforgettable experience.
So, get ready to embark on an adventure like no other, as the Islas Marietas unveil their secrets and leave you yearning for more.
Good To Know
- The catamaran tour to Islas Marietas offers a confirmation with important details such as the date, time, and meeting point.
- The tour is not recommended for individuals with certain health conditions, and comfortable attire is recommended for all participants.
- Travelers should bring a swimsuit, towels, and extra clothes for water activities.
- The cancellation policy allows for refunds if cancelled 24 hours in advance, but no changes are allowed within 24 hours of the start time.
It's also worth checking out some other tours and experiences nearby.
- Whale Watching Cruise In Puerto Vallarta & Nuevo Vallarta
- Taco Adventure Evening Food Tour With Vallarta Food Tours
- Puerto Vallarta Luxury Yacht and Snorkel Tour
- Yelapa and Bay of Banderas Day Cruise With Drinks and Lunch – Puerto Vallarta
Tour Confirmation and Recommendations
When booking the Islas Marietas Catamaran Tour from Puerto Vallarta, travelers will receive a confirmation with important information and recommendations.
This confirmation will provide details about the tour, such as the date and time of departure, as well as the meeting point. It will also include any additional requirements or restrictions that travelers should be aware of. For example, the tour isn’t recommended for those with back problems, heart problems, or serious medical conditions. Pregnant travelers are also advised against participating.
Plus, the confirmation will provide recommendations for what to wear and bring on the tour. Travelers should wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and bring a swimsuit, towels, and extra clothes. It’s also important to use biodegradable sunscreen and insect repellent to protect the environment.
Traveler Requirements and Additional Information
After receiving the confirmation and recommendations for the Islas Marietas Catamaran Tour from Puerto Vallarta, travelers should be aware of the specific requirements and additional information necessary for their participation in the tour. Here are some important details to keep in mind:
Most travelers can participate in the tour, but it isn’t wheelchair accessible, so individuals with mobility issues may face challenges.
It’s recommended to wear comfortable clothes and shoes, as there will be walking and climbing involved.
Travelers are advised to bring a swimsuit, towels, and extra clothes for the water activities.
Along With these requirements, it’s important to follow environmental guidelines for the preservation of the islands. This includes using biodegradable sunscreen and insect repellent to protect the delicate ecosystem.
Cancellation Policy and Guidelines
The cancellation policy for the Islas Marietas Catamaran Tour from Puerto Vallarta is designed to provide flexibility for travelers while ensuring the smooth operation of the tour.
Travelers have the option to cancel their booking up to 24 hours in advance and receive a full refund. However, if the cancellation is made less than 24 hours before the start time of the tour, no refund will be provided.
It’s important to note that no changes to the booking can be made within 24 hours of the start time. The cut-off times for cancellation and changes are based on the local time.
This policy allows travelers to make adjustments to their plans, while also allowing the tour operator to manage their resources effectively.
Reviews and Ratings
With the cancellation policy and guidelines understood, it’s time to explore the reviews and ratings of the Islas Marietas Catamaran Tour from Puerto Vallarta. The tour has received a rating of 4.0 out of 5 based on a total of 5 reviews from both Viator and Tripadvisor.
Here’s what some of the reviewers had to say:
5 stars: One reviewer described the tour as an amazing experience, highlighting the beautiful scenery and the knowledgeable and friendly staff.
4 stars: Another reviewer praised the tour for its well-organized itinerary and the opportunity to see a variety of marine life during the snorkeling session.
3 stars: One reviewer mentioned that while they enjoyed the tour overall, they felt that the duration of the snorkeling time could have been longer.
These reviews provide a glimpse into the positive aspects of the tour, such as the stunning scenery and friendly staff, as well as some areas where improvements could be made, such as the duration of the snorkeling session.
Contact Information and Support
To get in touch with the support team for the Islas Marietas Catamaran Tour from Puerto Vallarta, visitors can contact the Viator Help Center for any inquiries or assistance they may need. The Viator Help Center is available to provide support and answer questions about the tour. They can assist with booking, cancellations, and any other concerns that may arise. Visitors can reach out to the Viator Help Center through their website or by phone. The contact information for the Viator Help Center is as follows:
The support team at the Viator Help Center is dedicated to providing excellent customer service and ensuring that visitors have a memorable experience on the Islas Marietas Catamaran Tour.
Tour Details and Pricing
Visitors can now explore the exciting details and pricing options for the Islas Marietas Catamaran Tour from Puerto Vallarta. Here are some key points to consider:
- Confirmation received at time of booking
- Not recommended for travelers with back problems, heart problems, serious medical conditions, or pregnant travelers
- Near public transportation for convenience
Additional information and requirements include:
- Most travelers can participate, but it isn’t wheelchair accessible
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and bring a swimsuit, towels, and extra clothes
- Use biodegradable sunscreen and insect repellent for environmental preservation
The cancellation policy is as follows:
- Full refund if canceled up to 24 hours in advance
- No refund if canceled less than 24 hours before start time
- No changes accepted less than 24 hours before start time
The tour has received an overall rating of 4.0 based on 5 reviews from Viator and Tripadvisor.
For more information and to book the tour, visitors can contact Viator via their Help Center and provide the product code: 251754P11. The tour is likely to sell out, so it’s recommended to book in advance. Pricing starts at £73.69.
Directions to Islas Marietas
After exploring the tour details and pricing options for the Islas Marietas Catamaran Tour from Puerto Vallarta, it’s time to navigate towards the captivating destination by following these directions.
To begin your journey, head to the Puerto Vallarta Maritime Terminal, located in the city’s downtown area. From there, you’ll board a comfortable catamaran that will take you on a scenic ride across the sparkling waters of Banderas Bay.
As you sail towards Islas Marietas, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking views of the coastline, lush mountains, and vibrant marine life.
The experienced crew will guide you to the hidden beach, where you can swim, snorkel, and explore the stunning underwater world. Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit, towels, and extra clothes for a day of adventure and relaxation.
Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey to Islas Marietas!
Important Tips for the Tour
For a successful and enjoyable Islas Marietas Catamaran Tour, here are some important tips to keep in mind:
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes : Since this tour involves activities such as snorkeling and swimming, it’s essential to wear comfortable attire and footwear that allows for easy movement.
Bring swimsuit, towels, and extra clothes : Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit and towels for a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Marietas Islands. It’s also a good idea to bring extra clothes to change into after your swim.
Use biodegradable sunscreen and insect repellent : To protect the delicate marine ecosystem of the Marietas Islands, it’s recommended to use biodegradable sunscreen and insect repellent. This ensures that your skin stays protected while minimizing harm to the environment.
Following these tips will ensure that you have a fantastic time exploring the breathtaking beauty of the Islas Marietas on your catamaran tour.
Here's a few more nearby tours and experiences we think you'll like.
- Luxury Sailing
- Sierra Madre ATV Adventure From Puerto Vallarta
- Mega Yacht Whale Watching Sunset Tour [All-Inclusive]
- Signature Taco and Street Food Tour in Puerto Vallarta
- Puerto Vallarta Sunset Cruise and Candlelight Dinner With Show
- Whale and Dolphin Watching With a Biologist in Puerto Vallarta
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the duration of the tour to islas marietas.
The tour to Islas Marietas has a duration of approximately 7 hours. Travelers will have plenty of time to explore the beautiful islands, swim in the crystal-clear waters, and enjoy the stunning scenery.
Is Food and Drinks Included in the Tour?
Yes, food and drinks are included in the tour to Islas Marietas. Travelers can enjoy a delicious meal and refreshing beverages while exploring the stunning beauty of the islands on the incredible catamaran tour from Puerto Vallarta.
Are There Any Age Restrictions for the Tour?
There are no age restrictions for the tour. All travelers, regardless of age, can participate in the incredible tour catamaran to Islas Marietas from Puerto Vallarta. It’s a family-friendly experience for everyone to enjoy.
Are There Any Specific Items or Equipment Provided for Snorkeling?
Yes, snorkeling equipment is provided for the tour. Guests can expect to be equipped with all the necessary gear, including masks, snorkels, and fins, to fully enjoy the underwater experience.
Can I Bring My Own Snorkeling Gear for the Tour?
Yes, you can bring your own snorkeling gear for the tour. It is recommended to wear comfortable clothes and shoes and bring a swimsuit, towels, and extra clothes.
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To sum it up, the tour catamaran from Puerto Vallarta to the Islas Marietas offers an incredible experience for travelers.
With its convenient location, comfortable clothing, and necessary items, participants can enjoy a day filled with adventure and relaxation.
The cancellation policy ensures flexibility for participants, and the overall rating and reviews showcase the tour’s quality.
For any inquiries or support, Viator Help Center is readily available.
Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to explore the beautiful Islas Marietas.
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Reservaciones de Tour en Barco Pirata Vallarta
- BARCO PIRATA
- HOTELES EN YELAPA
- ISLAS MARIETAS
Islas Marietas 2023
Islas marietas tour a playa nopalera ó a playa escondida.
Tour Islas Marietas desde Puerto Vallarta y Punta Mita
CATAMARAN A ISLAS MARIETAS 2023
Islas marietas a playa nopalera, tour islas marietas desde puerto vallarta playa escondida, embarcaciones a islas marietas con todo incluido , bahía allegre / beach boy / gerónimo , -------------------------------------.
Este maravilloso tour comienza en la Terminal Marítima de Puerto Vallarta a las 9:00 a.m. regresando aproximadamente a las 5:30 pm; haciendo el recorrido hacia el lado norte de la Bahía de Banderas, una vez en las Islas Marietas, bajaremos a la playa de la nopalera, este hermoso lugar apto para nadar, esnorkel, pasear en kayak o paddle boards.
Incluye: Desayuno Continental, Comida en el barco, Barra libre nacional a bordo cuando estemos de regreso, Kayaks, tablas de paddle y equipo de snorkel.
Reserva en Linea con 35% de descuento
-Persona de 12 años en adelante:
De $1,845 pesos, paga solo $1,199 pesos por persona
-Niño entre 6 a 11 años:
De $922 pesos, Paga solo $599 pesos por persona
Niño entre 2 a 5 años:
Tarifa normal $200 pesos. (no aplica descuento) No incluye: - Ingreso por impuestos portuarios $32 pesos - apoyo a la conservación de Marietas $120 pesos -Bebidas en la playa
Tour Islas Marietas Playa Escondida
Disponemos de espacios en estas mismas embarcaciones 3 veces a la semana para entrar a Playa Escondida Requisitos: **Debes tener entre 10 a 60 años, Fuera de este rango de edad no puedes entrar **Debes de saber nadar bien Muy recomendable hacer reserva unas 3 semanas antes de la fecha en la que quieres hacer la actividad para garantizar espacios a entrar a la Playa Escondida. Salidas de miércoles a domingo Costo por persona de 10 a 60 años $2,400 pesos
- Ingreso por impuestos portuarios $32 pesos
- apoyo a la conservación de Marietas $120 pesos
-Bebidas en la playa
Preguntar por salidas y costos desde Punta Mita
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Best Things to Do Off the Resort in Puerto Vallarta
Posted: November 28, 2023 | Last updated: November 29, 2023
Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico’s greatest beach destinations. Except these days, it is so much more than just a great beach town.
What was once a sleepy fishing village has transformed into a world-class city by the sea. One of the rare combinations of coastal getaway and amenity-packed city, the energy in Puerto Vallarta is unlike anywhere else in Mexico.
Packed with restaurants, bars, beach clubs, and activities, there is never a shortage of activity in this Pacific Coast jewel. It also happens to have some of the best resorts in Mexico. But if travelers come to Puerto Vallarta and opt to never leave their hotel, they may be missing out on what makes Puerto Vallarta so special.
One of the safest cities in Mexico, the allure of Puerto Vallarta is what waits to be discovered along its cobblestone streets, up its mountain roadways, or down along the coastline. Get ready to discover the best of Puerto Vallarta with this roundup of the best things to do off the resort.
Puerto Vallarta’s Best Neighborhoods
Puerto Vallarta is a fairly large place these days, especially when you remember that it started as a small fishing village and beach town. If you’re venturing off of the resort, these are the neighborhoods that you may want to know.
The Marina: Home to several hotels and resorts, and the place where all the cruise ships come in, Puerto Vallarta’s Marina is well-stocked with restaurants, shops, and tour operators. It’s a very safe and walkable area, but because its primary focus is tourism you may be paying a lot more for food and activities in the marina.
Las Glorias and Versalles: These two neighborhoods are just a few minutes away from the Marina, but have a much more local vibe. Separated by the main road, Las Glorias is the neighborhood directly on the beach, while Versalles is a bit more residential. Las Glorias is essentially Puerto Vallarta’s Hotel Zone. Both, however, have been expanding their offerings at a rapid rate to include some of the best restaurants and bars in Puerto Vallarta that are outside the resort walls.
Cinco de Diciembre: This beachfront neighborhood is known for its cobblestone streets, toes-in-the-sand restaurants, and a mix of local and expat residents. “Cinco,” as it's known, is the beginning of the original Puerto Vallarta. It’s here you’ll find the start of the historic homes that climb up the mountainsides, funky restaurants, and lots of shopping.
Centro: Centro is where the world-famous Malecon begins. It’s also where you will find Puerto Vallarta’s main square and its most famous church, Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. The Malecon is lined with art sculptures and has some of the city’s most iconic views.
Zona Romantica: Finally, at the end of the malecon you will arrive at Zona Romantica, or the historic downtown of Puerto Vallarta. The oldest part of the city, and certainly its most beautiful, Zona Romantica has the iconic cobblestone streets, the iconic Los Muertos Pier, and the most famous beaches in Puerto Vallarta. It’s also the most popular neighborhood in Puerto Vallarta for dining and nightlife.
Best Activities in Puerto Vallarta
Being a full-fledged city on the sea means Puerto Vallarta has so many fantastic things to do. Of course, you’ll find lovely beaches but chances are your resort has one of those. If you want to venture off of the resort, these are the best activities in Puerto Vallarta.
One of Puerto Vallarta's most important attractions is the Malecon. The pedestrian-only walkway hugs the coastline from Centro all the way down to the Zona Romantica. Along the way, you'll have the best views of the Bay of Banderas, as well as the jungle-covered mountains, historic homes, and colorful street art. The Malecon is the buzzy heart of Puerto Vallarta and has something happening at all hours of the day (and night).
Bay of Banderas
Central to the identity of Puerto Vallarta is the massive Bay of Banderas. The entire essence of the city thrives on this gorgeous body of water. One of the best things to do off of the resort in Puerto Vallarta is to get out on the water, whether it's a water taxi from Los Muertos Pier down to the more isolated beaches, a sunset cruise, or an adventure visit to Islas Marietas, a group of protected islands.
If you're visiting between December and March, keep your eyes peeled for whale sightings.
Mirador Cerro de La Cruz
If you want a little bit of exercise that pays out in spectacular views, consider a hike to the Mirador Cerro de La Cruz. High above Centro, this bird's-eye perch has sweeping views of the city, bay, and across the bay to Punta Mita.
Puerto Vallarta has several Magical Towns that are within an easy driving distance for a day trip. If you don't want to drive yourself, plenty of local tour operators offer day trips. The most popular is San Sebastian del Oeste, an old mining town up in the mountains.
The temperature here is much cooler, the tops of the trees blanketed in fog, and a landscape of beautiful churches, ranches, and abandoned mines. Travelers can also explore Talpa de Allende, known for its famous church, and Mascota, a Sierra Madre village shrouded in pine and oak trees.
Another option is to head north to the neighboring state of Nayarit to visit the now world-famous Sayulita. This Magical Town has long been a favorite among surfers and backpackers, but in the past few years has exploded to have art galleries, restaurants, and bars. It can get crowded, especially on weekends, but it is one of the top attractions near Puerto Vallarta.
One of Puerto Vallarta's best beaches is one that can't be seen from town. You'll have to hop a water taxi and take a 45-minute boat trip south to the tiny village of Yelapa. This beachfront town is only accessible by boat and is home to rustic restaurants, guesthouses, and a crescent-shaped beach with gentle, blue-green water.
A trip down to the Zona Romantica is a must for any visit to Puerto Vallarta. The most beautiful neighborhood in the city, this is the spot to visit for the best Instagrammable photos of cobblestone streets, white historic buildings and red terracotta roofs.
Many of the city’s top restaurants and bars are here, and it has some of Puerto Vallarta’s most popular beaches.
One of the top reasons to come to Puerto Vallarta is to try the food. Local specialties include seafood, birria, ceviche, and much more. Several tour companies offer local food tours to many different restaurants and street carts. One of the best foodie experiences is Vallarta Food Tours’ Versalles Tour.
This experience takes you out of the main tourist areas and into the local neighborhoods to try some of the restaurants and local eateries that are shaking up the foodie scene in Puerto Vallarta.
The government-protected Islas Marietas is a group of uninhabited islands known for its rare wildlife. Local tour operators, like Boca Chicca or Vallarta Adventures, can arrange snorkel trips, paddle boarding, or even a visit to the hidden beach located inside one of the islands.
Getting Around Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta is a very easy city to get around, and one of the safest in Mexico. Taxis are abundant and offer rates that are calculated by neighborhood zones. Uber is also available in Puerto Vallarta, and usually for a much lower rate than local taxis.
Once you’re in any neighborhood, it’s very easy to walk around. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even walk from neighborhood to neighborhood and get a feel for them all.
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