Islands don’t get much weirder – or more wonderful – than the Marieta Islands on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Here’s why a boat trip to these idyllic isles should be on your travel bucket list…
Next month, the first of our customers will be jetting off to Puerto Vallarta on Thomson’s state-of-the-art jet, the Dreamliner. Excited? Us, too. Especially considering the amazing places you could be exploring. Take the Marieta Islands. Really, the pictures say it all, but we’ve thrown together a few extra reasons to stick them on your to-do list…
Officially it’s called Playa del Amour, but visitors reckon Hidden Beach does the job better. After all, it’s tucked away in a cave underneath one of the islands and can only be reached by swimming through a tunnel. But what makes it really bucket list-worthy is the fact that the cave has no lid, opening it up to the sunshine – and savvy aerial photographers.
With a snorkel and fins, the Marieta Islands are your oyster. There are more than 10 kinds of coral around these parts, reeling in the biggest load of reef fish in Banderas Bay. In winter, the kings of the ocean, humpback whales, mooch through the waters.
It’s not all about the amazing sea life. Around 100 bird species hang around the Marieta Islands, including a few record breakers. There’s the world’s largest colony of brown boobies, for starters, and the islands are also home to biggest swallow breeding grounds in Mexico.
Hidden Beach is the closest you can get to actually stepping foot on the Marieta Islands. And thanks to their uber protected status – they’re national park territory – only a few tour operators can weigh anchor in their waters. With all that peace and quiet, it’s hard to believe you’re only an hour’s boat ride from Puerto Vallarta.
Way back in the early 1900s, the Mexican government used the Marieta Islands as a military testing site. These explosions carved out some of the caves and oddly-shaped rock formations you’ll see when you visit today. In fact, rumour has it that even Hidden Beach was created by one of these test bombs.
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Author: Catherine Roberts
Published: April 23, 2014
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