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National Parks to Visit near Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit

DESTINATION | Published on 03/11/2020
National park puerto vallarta
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The best Riviera Nayarit attractions are found within its naturally beautiful landscape, and to preserve these Puerto Vallarta tourist attractions, these locations have become nationally protected parks, where motorized boats and human activity are limited. Los Arcos National Park and Islas Marietas National Park are two of the bestplaces to visit in Puerto Vallarta, and they’re the ideal locations for activities like paddleboarding, scuba diving, and snorkeling. Spend your day exploring the natural wonders of these unique places to visit near Puerto Vallarta Mexico, and your body and mind will be rejuvenated.

Los Arcos National Park


Carved by the wind and waves for thousands of years, the towering rocks of Los Arcos National Park rise above the sea just off the coast of Mismaloya, a small fishing village, and with its seafood restaurants right on the beach, the town is one of the popular places to visit near Puerto Vallarta Mexico. As soon as you arrive on the beach, local fishermen and guides will offer to take you out to the rocks, the most iconic of all the best places to visit in Puerto Vallarta. One of the top things to do in Puerto Vallarta is snorkeling, and these guides will take you out to the best spot. Los Arcos is also one of the popular Puerto Vallarta tourist attractions for scuba diving. Because the waters around the rocks aren't too deep, divers of all ability levels can explore the nooks and crannies where eels, eagle rays, and even sea turtles like to hang out. After exploring this national park Puerto Vallarta has, sit down for some freshly grilled fish and a cold beer on the shore of Mismaloya while looking out at Los Arcos.

Islas Marietas National Park


At the other end of the Bay of Banderas, the Islas Marietas National Park is the other national park Puerto Vallarta has, and it draws visitors from all over the world for its two most popular Puerto Vallarta tourist attractions: the blue footed booby birds and a hidden beach. These rare birds with their distinctly blue feet perch all over the rocky islands, but the hidden beach isn’t as easy to spot. This hidden beach at Islas Marietas Nayarit was formed during a series of bomb tests and drills carried out by the Mexican army in the mid 1900s. It’s located under the domed rocks of the islands, and to reach it, you’ll have to swim through a wide tunnel in the rocks. Here and all around the islands, you can enjoy a variety of fun things to do in Puerto Vallarta, like snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Reaching Islas Marietas Nayarit requires a tour because of the rules regarding access to the islands. There’s also a limit to the number of people allowed onto the hidden beach each day, so if it’s one of the Riviera Nayarit attractions you’re wanting to see, be sure to book your tour early.

Of all the best places to visit in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit attractions, Los Arcos and Islas Marietas Nayarit will take your breath away. Exploring either national park Puerto Vallarta has will make you feel a million miles from home as you’re surrounded by the power and tranquility of nature. To explore these locations, you can try some of the unique things to do in Puerto Vallarta, like scuba diving and paddleboarding, and by getting out to different places to visit near Puerto Vallarta Mexico, you’ll be able to see more of what makes this destination magically beautiful.

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