Along the west coast of Mexico, you will find a universe of virgin beaches, famous for their turquoise waters and golden sands.
Some of them are found on small deserted and uninhabited islands, while others are hidden on the coast, framed by dense vegetation. There are three such beaches near Puerto Vallarta that are must-see beaches that captivate with their beauty and are perfect to leave the routine behind and discover the Mexican Pacific.
Coral Island, Nayarit
Beyond the famous beaches of Punta Mita or Sayulita there are other magical corners in the Riviera Nayarit; Virgin sandy areas away from mass tourism, big cities, and noise.
In front of the coast of Guayabitos, there is an islet that is known for its transparent waters and its pearly sand, some refer to this stretch of beach as “The Natural Aquarium of the Riviera Nayarit”.
It is called Isla del Coral, and there, you can snorkel and explore the marine fauna, or try your skills with Stand Up Paddle Boarding. In addition, its calm sea is perfect for swimming with kids, who can play in the sand and learn about the birds that inhabit the area, such as pelicans, seagulls, or silly birds.
To get to Isla del Coral, you have to take a boat from Rincón de Guayavitos, and the journey takes between 10 and 12 minutes. In addition, there are water taxi companies that run tours from other points in the region, such as Sayulita, San Pancho, or Punta de Mita.
Staying in Rincón de Guayavitos is a great option, and in fact, it is one of the great attractions of the Riviera. It is located approximately an hour from the Puerto Vallarta airport and offers visitors a wide variety of accommodations: from luxury hotels to houses for rent or cabins for those who prefer cheaper options. The destination has a clean beaches certification, and the sea is emerald in color, and very calm.
In addition, from there you can take advantage of visiting other treasures of the Jaltemba Bay, such as Platanitos Beach, Cangrejo Island, Los Ayala, Punta el Custodio or Tortugas Beach.
Isla Cocinas Beach, Jalisco
Isla Cocinas is one of the most spectacular beaches in Mexico. It is located in one of the 11 virgin islands that make up the Bay of Chamela, in Jalisco, so it is necessary to go by boat.
The easiest way to get there is starting from the coast of Punta Pérula, located two and a half hours from Puerto Vallarta. There you will find water taxi companies and fishermen who transport tourists. The journey takes about 25 minutes.
Without a doubt, Isla Cocina is one of the bay’s greatest attractions, due to its white sand and calm, crystal-clear waters, which make it a perfect place for snorkeling enthusiasts and the little ones. If you want to spend the day there, don’t forget to bring an umbrella, water, sunscreen, and food, because there are no shops or restaurants on the island.
Another way to get there is by boat from Playa Chamela, considered another of Jalisco’s treasures.
Both Chamela and Isla Cocina are located in La Huerta, one of the four municipalities that make up the Costalegre Corridor, along with Cabo Corrientes, Tomatlán and Cihuatlán.
Escondida Beach – Marietas Islands – Banderas Bay
It seems an unreal place. An impossible corner of some fiction movie. And for that reason, Playa Escondida has captivated thousands of tourists from all over the world, to the point of becoming one of the most striking enclaves in Mexico and a mandatory stop when visiting Nayarit.
The reason that it attracts so much attention is that this jewel is hidden under a rocky semi-dome, which covers the entire extension of the sandy area and opens to the sky thanks to a crater. This stony formation made it go unnoticed by man for decades since from the outside it is almost imperceptible.
Also known as Playa del Amor, it is a protected place, which was even closed to the public for a time due to the damage caused by the massive visit of tourists. In 2016, the beach reopened to tourists, but only to a maximum of 116 people a day and for half an hour, so it is necessary to book well in advance, especially in high season.
To get to Playa Escondida, you can hire one of the tours that depart from the Puerto Vallarta Marina, the Nuevo Vallarta Marina, the Corral del Risco in Punta de Mita, or from Sayulita. The boat will leave you a few meters from the island, and you will have to swim a short distance through a small tunnel. It is mandatory to wear a life jacket, and it is forbidden to wear fins because they can damage the coral.
When you know Playa del Amor, you can take the opportunity to discover other spectacular corners of the Marietas Islands, such as Playa la Nopalera, or Puente de Piedra.