Sailing the seas around Puerto Vallarta is guaranteed to be a great day out, the sea is alive with a million species, sea birds dive bomb the water and the vast Mexican sun beats down mercilessly, but keep an eye out or you might miss it, as one of the cracks in the rugged cliffs surrounding the Marieta Islands is not all it seems.
A little history here folks; In the early 1900’s these Islands, a mere 2 miles from the coast of Mexico, were chosen as target practice by the Mexican Government, blasting holes in the rock and leaving craters the size of mansions, so what?
One of these craters has, through time, created the world most beautiful bomb site, making tracks for the wind and the rain to wear away at the soft rock and a deep crack to break through to the sea, letting the ocean pour in, bringing with it sand and wildlife as the tide softened the harsh interior of the pit.
If you were to swim through the short tunnel you would be greeted with none other than paradise, the former bomb crater is now an idyllic beauty spot as sand banks have formed, fish flicker in the crystal waters and the rock faces teem with rare wildlife, the disaster zone is now simply referred to as ‘Playa de Amor’ or in translation, The Beach of Love.
Wildlife enthusiasts and geologists have a field day when visiting the Marieta Islands, with the combination of rare rock formations and the islands being forced into shape by volcanic activity, the depths surrounding it are home to a multitude of Humpback Whales, Dolphins and large Manta Rays, adding to sightseer popularity and drawing the attention of scuba divers from all over the world.
The rock faces protect you from the wind and the tunnel protects the shoreline from the waves, as you walk down the ‘Hidden Beach’ you get a feeling of surreal freedom, even though you are enclosed in a stone cylinder, made all the more private by the fact that the Mexican Government now refuse entry to the Islands to those who do not have pre-approved permits.
The Playa de Amor is not the only amazing formation crated by the Government target practice, as many shots were fired at the uninhabited islands the local wildlife has integrated themselves into these man made chasms providing hiding and breeding places for several rare species, prompting authorities to protect the area under the Natural Reserve.
With the popularity of the ‘Hidden Beach’ just off the coast of Mexico, spreading through social media platforms, visitors to this sand scape have grown astronomically, as those who travel to seek hidden beauties throughout the world add Playa de Amor to their Bucket List.
My advice to anyone planning to visit the area is to plan ahead, not usually something you would hear from me but with the permits and adverse weather conditions it’s highly recommended, and as always, don’t leave it too long.
Content Courtesy- www.traveleze.co.uk