Hidden Beach Marietas Islands.
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Marietas Islands: Hidden Beach Near Puerto Vallarta!

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Hello from the Marietas Islands, where you’ll find Hidden Beach, aka Lover’s Beach, Near Puerto Vallarta!

Just off the coast of Mexico, within the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, these uninhabited islands are waiting for the curious and the adventurous to visit. But you’ll need to know a few things before heading off.

I absolutely loved my visit to Marietas Island, so I’ll share with you everything you need to prep for your visit.

Visiting Marietas Islands and Hidden Beach Near Puerto Vallarta

Planning Your Trip NOW?

Here is the quick low down you need to know:

  • Marietas Islands are a set of islands that require a boat to get to.
  • The famous beach there is called Hidden Beach or Lover’s Beach.
  • This is a restricted area that not only needs a tour to get to but also requires an extra fee.
  • They only allow 116 people daily, and you only have 30 minutes to stay at the beach.
  • The tour usually includes other stunning beach stops around the Marietas Islands.

You can book this tour now, depending on where you are located:

Tour from: Puerto Vallarta | Punta Mita | Sayulita

A Bit of Background

The Marietas Islands were formed thousands of years ago due to volcanic activity and have become a sanctuary for diverse marine life.

Here, you’ll find the most famous “Hidden Beach” or Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach), a secluded paradise accessible only through a water tunnel that opens up to the sky. But how did such a wonder come to be?

Nina at Hidden Beach at Marietas  Island looking at the opening you have to swim through.
That cave to the left is where you have to swim through.

Mexico used to use this area as a military training zone, and the island was once a bomb testing site! In the 60’s, activists wanted to declare this a protected zone and finally, in 2005, it became a protected national park and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

How to Get to Hidden Beach at Marietas Islands

Your adventure begins in Puerto Vallarta, Punta Mita, or Sayulita, where you can hop on a boat tour that will whisk you away to the islands. I did my tour from Sayulita.

You’ll ride out there on the boat, which is 20 minutes to an hour or so long, depending on where you’re coming from. You’ll have to swim to the hidden beach, and your time is limited. Let me explain more…

RELATED: 27 Awesome Things to Do in Sayulita, Mexico

The Boat Ride to The Islands

The journey itself is awesome – azure waters, playful dolphins, and, if you’re lucky, a humpback whale or two! You’ll want to come around December through March if you want to see the whales, as that’s their migration window.

I got to see numerous whales, including a mother and her baby! It’s a magical boat ride over, so don’t just be excited for Hidden Beach; there’s more to see along the way.

Book Your Trip:

Tour from: Puerto Vallarta | Punta Mita | Sayulita

What to Expect

Upon arrival at the islands, you’ll be greeted by crystal-clear waters teeming with colorful fish, coral formations, and birds overhead including blue-footed boobies.

Your boat driver will get permission for his guests to enter Marietas Island and Hidden Beach as it is regulated. They only allow 116 people per day, and the tour operator has to pay a fee to the people monitoring.

You’ll only have 30 minutes from this point on to visit.

People equipped with lifejackets swimming through the cave to get to Hidden beach.
I wasn’t joking. This is us swimming through the cave to get to Hidden Beach.

You jump out of the boat and swim into a dark cave. You can’t see Hidden Beach at all unless you swim through this cave, so if you’re not down to do this, you might not want to book this trip.

Hidden Beach

As you swim towards the light through the cave, it finally opens up to Hidden Beach!

You’ll emerge onto a beach completely enclosed by towering rock walls, with sunlight streaming down from the huge hole above, illuminating the sand and water in hues of gold and turquoise.

Person walking on beach in an open crater at Marietas Islands, Hidden Beach near Puerto Vallarta
Me in Hidden Beach Marietas Islands

It’s really worth it as this spot is unlike any other beaches around, and the small challenge to get here makes it that much more worth it.

You’ll only have a few minutes to enjoy, though, and soon enough, you’ll have to swim back through the cave and to your boat as others are waiting to visit.

Where Else Do You Visit?

Most tours also include other awesome spots to visit, namely Playa la Nopalera, which is a stunning stretch of sand where you can spend some more time (that’s not rushed) on a beach basking under the Mexican sun.

Woman walking on beach with seagull flying above on Marieta Islands near Sayulita
Playa la Nopalera, Marietas Islands

There’s a gorgeous arch, rocky outcrops to explore, and crystal-clear water to swim in.

Arch way of rock with a beach leading to the ocean.
Looks similar to Hidden Beach, right?

Book Your Trip:

Tour from: Puerto Vallarta | Punta Mita | Sayulita

Tips For Your Visit:

  • Best Time to Visit: The ideal months are from November to March when the weather is pleasant and the marine life, including whales, are most active.
  • Book in Advance: Tours fill up quickly, especially during peak season. Booking early secures your spot and often gets you a better deal.
  • What to Bring: Biodegradable sunscreen, a hat, a dry bag, and water are essentials.
  • Bring Cash: Most tour operators don’t include the actual entrance fee to Hidden Beach in their tours! Make sure you’re aware and bring extra cash. This is the fee they will pay once you reach the person monitoring the people entering the islands.

I hope this helped you plan your visit to Marietas Islands and Hidden Beach!

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