Tucked away on the Las Marietas Islands, not far off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, is Playa del Amor, a hidden beach surrounded by solid rock, crystal clear waters and a thriving bird sanctuary. This magical romantic destination, unique to the area of Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit in Mexico provides a spectacular reason to spend the day soaking up the sun and exploring one of the most stunning romantic attractions located within Banderas Bay. Whether snorkeling around the archipelago, exploring the surroundings of the protected islands or lounging on the hidden beach in the middle of a crater, a day at the Marietas Islands will take your breath away.
Hidden Romance and Blue Footed Boobies
The uninhabited islands, created thousands of years ago by volcanic activity, are home to a wealth of exotic marine life and scores of birds, including a thriving population of blue footed boobies, a species found only in a few places around the world. Visitors can spend the day snapping pictures and admiring the various birds as they build their nests, feed and play amongst the volcanic rock and lush green vegetation that covers the islands.
Made famous years ago by explorer the Marietas Islands and oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, this special location is known for its incredible snorkeling, scuba diving and whale watching adventures. The ideal place for eco-friendly activities, Las Marietas won’t disappoint. The pristine waters are home to swarms of tropical fish, sea horses, eels and even giant manta rays that can sometimes be seen swimming around the islands. Many tour companies also frequent the waters surrounding the area looking for the pods of humpback whales that make the Bay of Banderas their home from November to May.
The Hidden Beach – Playa del Amor
While bird watching, swimming and scuba diving all add to the excitement of the day, visiting Las Marietas Islands wouldn’t be complete without exploring the romantic hidden beach inside the largest of the two islands. After a short swim through a rocky tunnel, one can find themselves soaking up the sun on a spectacular beach protected by the walls of a crater. Play in the sand as the gentle waves splash around at your feet, swim around in the calm waters or explore the small cave located next to the sandy beach.
This now protected marine park, wasn’t always a safe haven. In the 1960’s the Mexican government used the vacant islands as a testing site for military bombs and various explosives. It wasn’t until locals urged the government to stop their testing that it became such a beloved place. The artificial beach, a result of a large explosive that left a giant crater in the roof of the island is now one of the most coveted spots around the bay. Engulfed in natural beauty, romance and a warm blanket of sunshine, La Playa del Amor is a hidden beach that will leave you speechless.