Unknown diving corner
In the turquoise waters of Mexico’s Caribbean there are countless places filled with marine flora and wildlife. However, on the Pacific side, Mexico has other beautiful submarine spots where, unlike the Gulf area, there is the opportunity of observing larger, more diverse aquatic wildlife.
Bahía de Banderas, in the Vallarta area, is fortunate to have the Marietas Islands, an archipelago declared a sanctuary and National Ecological Reserve. The islands welcome, among other species, humpbacked whales, manta rays, whale sharks, dolphins and turtles. Plunging into its waters is a never-ending adventure: there are varied dive spots for both beginners and experts as well as dive certification centers.
Underwater parks, tunnels, sunken ships, deep walls, distant drops and caves, sculpted by the waves thousands of years ago, are some of the marvels you will encounter in the following places:
An internationally renowned dive spot, northwest of Puerto Vallarta, recommended only for experts. Near this shell-covered rock you will find manta rays, turtles, dolphins and even huge sharks. You can also explore the caves, arches and deep drops.
North of Bahía de Banderas you will find a series of walls emerging from the sea. Recommended for professional divers, this spot combines canyons, cliffs, caves and arches and is home to giant manta rays, green morays, tropical fish and turtles.
This group of islands, a beautiful, welcoming sanctuary that was immortalized by Jacques Cousteau, is the permanent and seasonal home for schools of fish, marine mammals and exotic birds. This ideal site for spotting giant manta rays welcomes amateur and professional divers.
Ideal for the family, with a beautiful beach and shallow diving spots for beginners and canyons for experts.
An aquatic park where you can practice snorkeling as well as professional diving. You can tour its extraordinary, ancient formations inside granite caves, the “Quijada del Diablo” (Devils’ Jawbone) and “El Bajo”, a submarine mountain. It also attracts night divers who come here to observe species only visible after dark, such as octopus and lobster.
Located south of Puerto Vallarta, Majahuitas can be reach by boat. It offers natural underwater attractions like gardens of eels, angel fish and a great variety of tropical fish visible to beginners while snorkeling. Professionals can dive in deeper waters.
Vallarta is rich in dive spots that are considered safe if and when expert divers consult local certified professions who should point out the precautions they must take. Beginners should only go out with a dive outfit whose personnel are certified as professional scuba divers.
Text: Sara Stenger ± Photo: Alberto Friscione