The Marietas Islands (Islas Marietas), located off the coast of Nayarit in Banderas Bay, are an archipelago composed of two small islands and two islets of volcanic origin. They are uninhabited and are only 8 km from Punta de Mita, the most exclusive destination not only on the Riviera Nayarit, but also in all of Mexico.
These Pacific islands are a protected area and have been designated as a National Park since 2005 and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 2008.
Thousands of migratory and resident birds (both land-based and marine) use these islands as migration stops, refuges and reproduction areas, including the famous Blue-Footed Booby. The Marietas Islands also harbor an amazing variety of coral species and are home to the most diverse population of reef fish in the Banderas Bay. The biodiversity is such that it includes dolphins, manta rays, octopi, multi-colored fish and an endless variety of flora and fauna, making each visit an unforgettable experience.
The area also plays an important role in the reproductive cycle of endangered species such as the humpback whale and the olive Ridley sea turtle.
The most famous spot on the Marietas Islands is Playa Escondida, or the Hidden Beach. This is a beach that’s literally hidden in the interior of the island – the only way in is swimming using a snorkel or free stroke when the tide is low. Once you’re inside you’ll find yourself in an enormous perfect circle right in the middle of the islet.
Some of the activities you can enjoy in the area include snorkeling, paddling and kayaking. You can’t set foot on any of the islands, except by entering the hidden beach by water and enjoying that exceptional wonder of nature.
Authorized tours are available for hire in the different micro destinations of the Riviera Nayarit.
Originally published by Riviera Nayarit CVB
For more information or to find a tour guide to the beautiful Las Islas Marietas, visit our Activities & Tours page.