Explore the Pacific Ocean of the Mexican Coast
By Veronica Toro
Translated by Nyima Bieber
The Mexican Pacific has countless places for practicing water sports, and one of most sought-after activities for enjoying its mystical depths is scuba diving. The following are our best recommendations for enjoying this incredible experience in and around Banderas Bay.
Las Islas Marietas
The Marieta Islands make up a peculiar nature preserve, distinguished by being a sort of giant rock with a beach inside. Located about an hour (by boat) from Puerto Vallarta, the reserve is home to an extensive amount of biodiversity: reefs, coral, and animals like dolphins, stingrays, octopus, seahorses, whale sharks, turtles and many kinds of fish.
As it is a protected area, this island does not allow for free and voluntary entry. You’ll need a special permit to set foot on solid ground.
More information | Crossfader
El Morro is a site located six miles from the Marietas Islands where you can scuba dive walls, caves and tunnels.
Here it is possible to dive in water up to 150 feet deep and find animal species such as turtles, lobsters, octopuses, dolphins, eels, bull fish, sail and swordfish.
Entry is limited to certified divers only.
More information | Riviera Nayarit
This area is located right between El Morro and the Marietas.
It is a fascinating site, due its vast amount of formations to explore.
There is one cave in particular that can be reached by going through a pinnacle which ends at 18 meters deep. The waters are shallower here but the main attraction is diving with nurse sharks, which rest on sandy bottoms and reefs. Nurse sharks make a perfect diving companion, because unlike other sharks, they are completely harmless.
More information | The Scuba Diving
An area with moderate current, located 40 miles off the coast of Puerto Vallarta.
The coral here covers rocky terrain and there are caves, arches and deep drops to be explored. The wildlife species are abundant and you’ll be able to see stingrays, sharks, dolphins and tuna on your dive.
Entry is limited to specialized divers.
More information | Punta Mita Adventures
These islands are located off the jungle outskirts of Puerto Vallarta and are accessible only by sea.
This is one most beloved places of locals and tourists alike thanks to a variety of services offered, such as Spa treatments, interactive animal centers, exclusive orchid gardens and hammocks available for anyone to take a wonderful break.
Diving is a quintessential activity at Las Caletas, as a wide range of species found in on the ocean floor offer a distinct natural spectacle.
More information | trotamexico
A protected and highly popular site is the Los Arcos National Marine Park.
The granite formations here vary from eight to 20 meters in the depths, which exceeds their marine surface.
There are beautiful reefs at Los Arcos, with depths up to 1,600 feet. The famous wall called Pared del Cañón del Diablo or Wall of the Devil’s Canyon, is a mountain range that houses species such as eels, stingrays, moray eels, octopus and lobsters. The schools of fish will leave you speechless and night diving is particularly striking.
More information | visitapuertovallarta.com.mx