Hidden Treasures of the Marietas Islands
One of Mexico’s most bio-diverse sanctuaries is found just off the coast of
Uninhabited by humans, the two main islands and numerous volcanic outcrops are home to more than 90 species of aquatic and sub-aquatic birds, including the blue-footed booby. Divers and snorkelers will find some of the best underwater viewing on the coast, with sea turtles, stingrays, dolphins and octopus making regular appearances. Every winter and early spring, they share the waters with migrating humpback whales, best viewed from the islands’ secluded beaches, or from the vantage point of a yacht or catamaran.
The Secret of the Marietas
For many, the secret charm of one of the islands is a 75 metre (250 foot) tunnel swim into its core. Playa Escondida – Hidden Beach – lies in a crater formed by an errant bomb in the 20th century, when the islands were still used as a military testing ground. In the 1960s, environmentalists lead by legendary French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau began lobbying the Mexican government to save this unique habitat, and it was declared off limits to human intervention, and then designated a National Park in 2005.
When sea conditions allow access, Hidden Beach offers gorgeous golden sand beneath the blasted out rocky arch, jewel-coloured water, and serious bragging rights on Instagram!
Just 45 minutes by sea from Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, guests can access the islands by Resort’s own 17-metre (55-foot) private yacht, or by booking a diving, snorkelling or kayak excursion with Vallarta Adventures, which donates a portion of ticket sales to the continued protection of these unique islands.
Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, México