The Marietas Islands National Park in Nayarit in the Eastern Pacific is a unique place made up of a small archipelago of uninhabited volcanic islands over 60,000 years old whose natural value lies in the marine fauna and flora. Because of this, it has also been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and Nature Reserve.
Located on Isla Redonda, one of the two main islands of the Marietas, is the impressive “Playa Escondida” or “Playa del Amor”, a beach that can only be seen from the sky through a crater. It is virtually imperceptible from the sea and there is only a small tunnel you can enter through at low tide.
The beach is only visible from the air through a crater, it is imperceptible from the sea. Its origin is still a mystery today.
There are several theories that try to explain the origin of this miracle. The most common claims are that it is the result of military tests conducted in the first half of the 20th century, others refer to natural processes of erosion and that the beach was formed when the roof of a cave collapsed.
Unknown until a few years ago, the “Playa Escondida” has become very well known over time thanks to social networks. This has resulted in an excessive number of tourists visiting the islands, causing serious damage to the delicate ecosystem in which they are located. To visit the Marietas Islands, today you have to use the services of some tourist companies that have special permission for this area.
Access is limited to 116 people per day from Wednesday to Sunday. To access it, you must wear a life jacket, put on a special bracelet and know how to swim without flippers so as not to damage the coral. Also, you can only spend 20-30 minutes on the beach.
From the outside, you have to jump out of a boat and swim through an incredible tunnel of volcanic rock, which can also be navigated by pedal boat or kayak. These measures serve to protect the species that live there and preserve the natural beauty of the area.
Protect the mysterious beach
Some of the starting points to visit the islands are Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerías, Punta de Mita or La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. However, most travelers choose Puerto Vallarta as their base. In high season, reservations must be made well in advance.
Although the “Playa Escondida” or “Playa del Amor” is the most famous attraction, the Marietas Islands are a paradise for divers as they are a refuge for a large number of underwater species. There are also surprising places on earth: arches, caves and siphons.
Remember that thanks to technology we can see every corner of the earth without damaging ecosystemsand that if you decide to visit, you must be attentive to the environment and be very respectful.
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