Fodor's Expert Review Islas Marietas

Nuevo Vallarta to Punta Mita Island

Since Jacques Cousteau pointed out the amazing biodiversity of this pair of small islands, they've been designated a protected area by the Mexican government and have become a must for snorkelers and divers who favor the relatively clear waters and abundance of fish and coral. In winter, especially January through March, these islands, about a half hour offshore from El Anclote, are also a good place to spot orcas and humpback whales, which come to mate and give birth. Las Marietas is the destination for fishing, diving, and snorkeling; in addition, sea-life-viewing expeditions set out from El Anclote and Corral de Risco as well as from points up and down Banderas Bay. Don't miss the Love Beach, a secluded stretch of sand only accessible by swimming or snorkeling; the legend says that it was created during a weapon test by the Mexican army, which made a hole in the island and created a unique beach. Truth or not, it's a piece of beauty. Facilities: None. Best for: snorkeling;... READ MORE

Since Jacques Cousteau pointed out the amazing biodiversity of this pair of small islands, they've been designated a protected area by the Mexican government and have become a must for snorkelers and divers who favor the relatively clear waters and abundance of fish and coral. In winter, especially January through March, these islands, about a half hour offshore from El Anclote, are also a good place to spot orcas and humpback whales, which come to mate and give birth. Las Marietas is the destination for fishing, diving, and snorkeling; in addition, sea-life-viewing expeditions set out from El Anclote and Corral de Risco as well as from points up and down Banderas Bay. Don't miss the Love Beach, a secluded stretch of sand only accessible by swimming or snorkeling; the legend says that it was created during a weapon test by the Mexican army, which made a hole in the island and created a unique beach. Truth or not, it's a piece of beauty. Facilities: None. Best for: snorkeling; solitude; swimming.

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Punta Mita, Nayarit  Mexico

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