In its latest issue, leading travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler designated the Marieta Islands off the Nayarit coastline as one of the “101 Most Incredible Places” in the world.
In particular, writer Matías Callone waxes lyrical about the “Playa Escondida” (Hidden Beach) – the only place on the federally protected islands that visitors are permitted to disembark.
Says Matías Callone: “We’re not talking about the typical beach or an expanse of sand facing the sea in the traditional sense. In this blog we like to showcase places that are a bit more original and unusual. In Mexico or more precisely, in the Marieta Islands, there’s another hidden beach that’s quite lovely. It’s a place that’s accessible, but only after some adventure.”
He continues: “This beach (called the Hidden Beach) is one of the attractions that lure hundreds of visitors each week to the Marietas Islands. These small, uninhabited islets are located across the coast of Punta de Mita, in Nayarit, and can only be reached via authorized tours.”
The Islas Marietas are home to abundant marine life populations and hundreds of bird species. The islands have been designed by the Mexican government as a protected biosphere reserve.
The Mexican government began conducting military testing on the islands in the early 1900s. Many bombings and large explosions took place causing amazing caves and rock formations to be created. The testing stopped after there was a massive international outcry, started by explorer Jacques Cousteau in the late 1960s.
Regular tours now head to the islands, which have become a popular spot for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Vallarta Adventures runs a seven-hour tour to the islands for 79 dollars (adult) and 55 dollars (child). Included are a continental breakfast, deli-style lunch, open bar, snorkeling and kayaking equipment and paddleboarding. For information and booking go to www.vallarta-adventures.com or call 888-526-2238.