The amazing hidden beach in Marieta Islands


Head to Mexico, near Puerto Vallerta to discover Playa del Amor, the sublime hidden beach of the Marieta Islands, also known as Hidden Beach Marieta.

In an open crater bathed in sunshine, this beach was artificially created by the explosion of a bomb that allegedly exploded there during military trials. Indeed, the Marieta Islands (Islas Marietas in Spanish) is an old military area that became a protected marine national park, thanks in particular to Commander Jacques Cousteau who used the media in 1960 to put pressure on the Mexican government. Any human activity of hunting or fishing is strongly prohibited. The Parque National Islas Marietas, inaugurated in 2005, covering almost 1400 hectares.


The national park has created an ideal environment for all animal lovers and scuba diving. There are also sea turtles, mantas, octopus, dolphins, humpback whales, but also many species of birds. There is, for example, the blue-footed fool, a bird with a triangular tail and turquoise feet.


Indeed, on arrival, they will discover a kind of large rock with a round hollow open in the center, like an open crater, with a part endowed with fine golden sand, letting the waves arrive gently at the ankles of the swimmers who like to take a dip in this crystal clear water. The beach is also sunny but some places under the rock can find some shade.



It is nicknamed “Playa del Amor” (beach of love) or “Hidden Beach” (hidden beach), although it appeared after the explosion of a bomb during military tests in the last century.

A discreet access

A place not accessible to all. On the Marieta Islands archipelago, a few miles off Puerto Vallarta, on the west coast of Mexico, lies a special artificial beach. Its access – at low tide only to avoid being stuck – is initially effected by boat (a journey of about an hour) and then, you have to go for a swim with masks and snorkels to cross a kind of cave.


Protected against the intrusion of the outside world, the beach is only accessible at low tide and it will be necessary to cross a cave to reach it. Only at this price, you can reach the tranquility of this exceptional place.



How to get there?

The islands are about a 1-hour boat ride west-northwest of the Puerto Vallarta coast and are visited daily by hundreds of tourists. Getting there requires a bit of organization and booking your boat in advance, as the boats and sports trips planned (kayaking, diving, snorkeling) are very popular!


Departures are from the Puerto Vallarta Maritime Terminal or the Vallarta Center of Nuevo Vallarta.

In May 2016, the Mexican government made the decision to regulate the tourist flow at the origin of the deterioration of the ecosystem. During 4 months, 550 fragments of corals were implanted to extend the reefs.


Since the reopening of the site, new rules have been put in place: visits are made only in groups of 15 people maximum in 30 minutes By day, 116 people have the chance to go to the hidden beach.

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