The Banderas Bay area and Puerto Vallarta have plenty of wonderful activities for land or sea. But, one of the most enjoyable day trips you can take is a tour of the Marieta Islands just a few miles north west off the coast of Puerto Vallarta. The islands are an archipelago, a chain of land formations formed by underwater volcano eruptions. The Marieta Islands are protected by the Mexican Government from fishing and hunting. This means you can visit on boat trips, snorkeling tours and diving excursions. Because it is a protected area with an abundant marine life population and many reefs and underwater caves, it is extremely attractive to scuba divers and snorkelers. The waters are crystal clear so you might see sea turtles, dolphins, tropical fish, large manta rays, eels and sea horses swimming around. Humpback whales can also be seen during their season from November through March.
The Marieta Islands were formed from volcanic activity over thousands of years and they are completely uninhabited by humans. However, they are home to exotic marine life and thousands of tropical birds including the adored blue-footed booby. These birds can only be found in a few places worldwide, so bird lovers should dedicate a day tour to the Marieta Islands.
The Marietas Islands are now rather famous for what is known as the "hidden beach" or Lovers' Beach, which can be seen from the air through a crater in one of the islands. It is rumored that the hole that created the Hidden Beach was a result of deliberate military bombings. Since the Marieta Islands have always been completely uninhabited, it made them an ideal site for military testing by the Mexican government. Weapons and artillery were tested on the Marieta Islands, beginning in the early 1900s, a safe distance from Mexican citizens but not so safe for Marieta terrain. Test bombs are the known cause for many rock formations and caves on the island, possibly including the Hidden Beach.
Scientist Jacques Cousteau led a protest against harmful human activity on the islands in the 1960s. In 2005, the islands were finally named a national park, (Parque Nacional Islas Marietas), making swimming, kayaking, sunbathing, and other forms of recreation the only activities allowed.
A trip to The Marieta Islands, is without a doubt one of the activities you should put on your list of adventures to take pleasure in during your stay in Puerto Vallarta or elsewhere in the Banderas Bay area. The Marieta Islands provide many reasons to visit such as birdwatching, sunbathing, snorkeling, diving, and simply enjoying an extraordinary day with your partner.
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