- State of the Republic: Nayarit
- Location: Islas Marietas National Park and Marine Reserve
- Popularity of this tour: This excursion is very popular and provides a unique opportunity for close-up views of two species of boobies, frigatebirds, whales, dolphins, sea turtles and more at an uninhabited archipelago close to Puerto Vallarta. Special options can now be arranged to land on one of the islands to follow Mexican biologists along the 305 m / 1000’ trail for once in a lifetime views of nesting seabirds, endemic plants and several species of terrestrial reptiles! Please inquire for pricing and availability
- Address: The Embarcadero de Punta Mita (boat harbor) is located at Ave El Anclote 20, Punta de Mita, Nayarit.
Location & Full Tour Description:
Though long known to local fishermen and other mariners dating at least as far back as the time of the Spanish Conquistadores, in the1960s Jacques Cousteau officially put the Islas Marietas (Marietas Islands) “on the world map” for the ecotourists, birders and adventure seekers!
After watching his television production, “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau,” awe-struck travelers of the time witnessed the incredible beauty, accessibility and vulnerability of the “Mexican Galapagos Islands” located just off the coast of Nayarit, and have been visiting them ever since.
Replete with nesting colonies of Magnificent Frigatebirds, Blue-footed and Brown boobies, Bridled Terns, Brown Noddies, and more—the Marietas Islands comprise a cluster of uninhabited volcanic islands located in the northern extremity of Banderas Bay, just 7.9 kms / 4.26 nautical miles / 20-minutes offshore from Punta de Mita, and are now easily accessible by boat.
They lie in the State of Nayarit and were declared a National Park and Seabird Sanctuary in 1975, covering a surface area of 53 square kilometers that is dominated by two main islands—Isla Larga (900 m x 400 m) or Long Island and Isla Redonda (1000 x 500 m) or Round Island, in addition to several satellite islets.
In recognition of their unique natural and cultural values, The Islas Marietas have been afforded the triple distinction of being declared a National Park, a UNESCO MAB Biosphere Reserve and RAMSAR site!
Most of the archipelago is completely protected from landings, and has been since 2016, for the benefit of its sensitive nesting colonies of boobies, frigates and other seabirds, and in an effort to keep people from trampling the native vegetation or negatively impacting several endemic invertebrates and reptiles—including several species of lizards and two snakes!