The Islas Marietas mean as much to Nayarit as the Eiffel Tour means to París. They’re considered an icon: Nayarit’s face to the world.
The Islas Marietas main attractions are the Playa Escondida (Hidden Beach) or Playa del Amor (Beach of Love) and the sighting of humpback whales that visit Mexican waters during Winter. The reef diving and dolphin watching complement extraordinarily these protected areas recognized by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve. Additionally, the Islas Marietas are an important nesting, shelter, reproduction and transit area of 92 seabird species. This National Park covers an area of 1,383 hectares and consists of two islands, two islets and the sea that surrounds them. It is 6 mi away from Punta Mita, 20 mi away from Nuevo Vallarta and 24 mi away from Puerto Vallarta, three very popular tourist destinations in Bahía de Banderas. High and mismanaged visitation could endanger the ecosystem. Therefore, we’re working along with the government, the tourism industry and civil society organizations to ensure that this National Park –part of the world heritage– maintains its ecological function, its natural beauty and its economic importance.
There are more than 92 species of native and migratory aquatic and sub-aquatic birds that nest, take refuge, reproduce and migrate to the Islas Marietas. There is a total of 115 species of fish, sharks and rays in the area, including 10 species of marine mammals, dolphins and whales, among others. The coral reefs are home to over 200 species while the terrestrial part of the islands includes 11 species of iguanas, lizards, rattlesnakes, tortoises and turtles.