Mexico 2014: Marietas Islands

I did promise a whack of Mexico stories a while ago…So I should probably deliver at least one of them seeing as it’s been approximately four months since I returned. Just a heads up, this is heavily photo laden.

In February, myself, my sisters and my Mom hopped on a flight to Puerto Vallarta for a week. We stayed at a Riu Jalisco and did the sorts of things that an all inclusive vacation provides. It’s very low maintenance travelling. And a lot of the time a nice relaxing vacation where not much preparation is necessary, is just what you need. Because of this freedom to lounge and do as we saw fit the whole week, we were free to book external tours at our leisure. The first of which was an Island adventure in the Bahia de Banderas out of Pureto Vallarta.

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This was the best thing basically ever!

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We woke up at five or six am to get ready and catch a taxi into Pureto Vallarta proper. Once we got the the tour companies location, we were treated to breakfast, got ourselves organized and loaded a boat that headed out into the bay. The sun was low in the sky and the air on the bay was still very cool. As we got further out into open water the resident humpback whales could be seen coming up for air, and diving back down into the bay.

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This was more than awesome. I’ve always wanted to see whales, and when I was able to experience these mammals living in their natural habitat I was as excited as a four year old on Christmas.

We slowed and quieted our boat to encourage them and their habits of curiosity towards us, and waited for more displays, jumps and spins from some of the largest animals in the world. It was so great! I would have been happy waiting around all day on that boat playing with the whales. But alas, there was much more to be done!

We sped off eventually towards the Marietas Islands, an island chain in the north west corner of the Bahia de Banderas. The next leg of our tour may have been even more magical than the former.

When we arrived there we hopped in the water and swam towards one of the islands, in search of what we were told was a secret beach! After about ten or fifteen minutes of swimming we were guided under what looked like a rock wall, through a cave and into one of the most stunningly magical places in the world.  A secret beach indeed.

 

I’ve read that it could have been a site for Mexican artillery testing, but the more likely explanation I think is that the underlying rock of the island was ‘softer’ and more easily eroded by the pounding waves of the ocean, and the hard rock became thin enough and eventually broke causing this ring or hole in the covering rock. It was absolutely beautiful! A once in a lifetime opportunity. Except that I could fly back and do it again tomorrow if I really wanted to.  We were on a schedule determined by the tide so we had to get going or else we would have been trapped in this hole of rising water as the tide came in, so we took some pictures and were on our way swimming under the rock cave and back to the boat.

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The next activity we were to enjoy was our choice of snorkeling around the islands, swimming, paddleboarding and then lunch. We all snorkeled and saw all sorts of fishies, eels, and tiny jellies that were more annoying than anything else really. One zapped my on my upper lip, hurt like a mother, but I carried on. They weren’t dangerous. Just painful. Mosquitoes of the sea…lol

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A delicious lunch was served and we all sat back and enjoyed our fresh salsa, salads and sandwiches. The boat headed back and we were followed by a pack of dolphins, a playful seal and a sea turtle!  The crew entertained us with their bang on impression of Mexican ‘Kiss’ and our delightful bartender kept the beverages coming. Perhaps a bit too easily. I could still walk though. 😀

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A big thank you to Vallarta Adventures for such a wonderful day at sea and all of the tour guides who were friendly, helpful and genuinely loved what they did.  It was a very reasonable price (Approx $100 USD plus tip) for pretty much a full day of experience and two meals.

Don’t hesitate to visit Puerto Vallarta. It’s a wonderful city, in a wonderful country, and as long as you’re not a complete idoit its as safe as any other place Down South.

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Thanks for coming along with me, and check back for more Mexican Adventures soon!

xx

Hailey Jane

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