The Marietas Islands in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

When we looked up Puerto Vallarta on Google the one picture that caught our eye was the one of the Hidden Beach in The Marietas Islands. The Marietas Islands are completely uninhabited by humans & are home to 44 different species of plants and wildlife. The Mexican government had to close the islands to the public for some time so that they could restore the damage that was done due to the many tours that would go to the island destroying it’s coral and contaminating the island’s surrounding water with excessive oil from the many boats. The islands are opened to the public again, but only certain tours are able to get you in (they have to have a special license I believe).

The tour we bought included a tour around the islands, getting off at one of the beaches (not the Hidden Beach), snorkeling, and food. The Hidden Beach was a private tour with the same tour company, but for a higher price and only an older couple (about 50-60 yrs old) and us were the ones who signed up to go. I was excited because I really didn’t want to have that experience with a bunch of people at the beach since it can get crowded easily because of its small size.

Vallarta by Boat (click on the link to see their website & what they offer)

Price for Marietas Islands tour: $1,600 pesos which would be around $86.00 US dollars (that’s the total price for 2 people)

puerto vallarta marietas islands beach
The first beach they took us to.

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When we got on the smaller boat to go to The Hidden Beach we found out we would have to swim there from where they stopped which was pretty far from the beach. The only thing they gave us was a life vest and a helmet. We asked them if we could get flippers to swim faster, but they said that because we didn’t know these waters they couldn’t risk us damaging the corals. We thought it made sense, but definitely had trouble getting to the beach without them. We had our tour guide lead the way once we got in the water. The older couple had A LOT of trouble swimming to the beach! We had plenty of trouble swimming there as well, but it’s only natural for them to get tired easier because of their age. The guy almost looked like he was about to pass out and the woman actually had a panic attack on the way back to the boat. We feel like it doesn’t matter how good of a swimmer you are, you will definitely have trouble swimming in those waters. The problem was the current and waves. To get to the beach you have to go through a cave and sometimes the water reaches the top so they count (they said it’s usually 6-7 waves before getting everyone to go through the cave and you have to swim quickly because if the big waves come then you’ll reach the top of the cave, which can definitely be scary and even hurt you. The problem is that even if you swim quickly the current always pulls you back. You think you’ve reached the shore when you’re pulled back in and since you try so hard to swim fast you get tired easily so it isn’t for the weak!

The Hidden Beach

Price for Hidden Beach tour: $1,200 pesos which would be around $65.00 US dollars (that’s the total price for 2 people)

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As you can see the water can reach the top. If you get caught in that it could be really dangerous.

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The water was rising to the top here, so they are waiting before they head back.

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Total price for 2 people: $2,800 pesos (around $151.00 US dollars)

We loved that we had that amazing experience because it really is such a unique place, but we don’t think we’d do it again just because it’s so risky. I would say, make sure to do your research and train beforehand, if you can, before you go.

-Daylin