The only way to truly appreciate the full beauty of Banderas Bay is diving in, snorkeling the otherworldly wonders that await just beneath the surface. From guided tours to personal excursions off “secret beaches,” your options are endless.
The Rich Underwater Rainbow of Puerto Vallarta Snorkeling
Top Tour Provider:
Adults – $79-$139
Ages 4-11 – $55-$85
You’ve marveled at the beauty of Banderas Bay from dry land – the way the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains hug the shore of golden sands and bright blue water. Well, it’s just as gorgeous beneath the waves, where humpback whale songs and creatures of colors more vibrant than any you’ll find above the surface welcome adventurers. So, grab some gear or book a guided tour with the renowned guides of Vallarta Adventures, and prepare for some of the best snorkeling in Puerto Vallarta.
Jacques Cousteau’s Beloved “Mexican Galapagos”
There’s a reason the famed oceanographer loved the Marietas Islands so much – actually, there are many. The area is remote, home to a rocky reef and clear waters teeming with 100+ species of tropical fish. Also known as the “Beach of Love,” you may even get to see the “Hidden Beach” of Playa del Amor, formed by a Mexican military bomb dropped in the early 1900s.
A Tropical Wonderland for Everyone
If you really want to take your time underwater, consider a day trip to Las Caletas Beach Hideaway. Former home to famed director John Huston, the reprieve is now home to a sprawling selection of family-friendly attractions, including guided snorkeling excursions, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), animal encounters, cooking classes, a hilltop spa, and Kids Adventure Park.
Explore Remote Beach Villages & Their Waters
Quiet coves near quaint seaside towns south of PV make for lovely snorkeling options as well. Consider remote tours to places accessible only by boat, such as Yelapa & Majahuitas, or a Sea Safari to La Bola cove and the waterfalls of Quimixto.
One of Banderas Bay’s Most Secret Spots
Another option is buying / bringing your own gear, driving, catching a bus or water taxi to Boca de Tomatlán, then hiking to the secluded stretch of Playa Colomitos. Here, the wildlife on land matches that in the sea, with fluttering butterflies, sunning iguanas, and hundreds of migratory birds. There’s even a restaurant stilted over water for taking in the sights, open Wednesday-Monday.