Playa del Amor

Published on Nov 17, 2023 by


If you’re planning a tropical and unique vacation, consider visiting Playa del Amor in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. This hidden beach, located on one of Mexico’s uninhabited Marieta Islands, is accessible only by boat and is not visible from the outside. Take a day excursion with one of the many tour companies and look for a sandy cavern at the mouth of Banderas Bay and at the base of a Marieta Island, with crashing blue waves from the Pacific ocean. The origin of the crater that houses the beach is uncertain, but it is believed to be a result of military testing by the Mexican government in the early 1900s. The islands were declared a national park in 2005, Parque Nacional Islas Marietas, to protect the marine life and allow visitors to safely enjoy the beach. Don’t miss out on this dreamy, hidden destination. Pack your swimsuit and kayak or swim your way there.

Playa del Amor

The Marietas Islands, located off Mexico’s west coast, are home to an incredibly unique and unusual beach known as “Hidden Beach.” Although the beach itself is not particularly large, it is considered a must-see destination due to its unique location within a large cave with a hole in the roof that allows sunlight to shine through. Access to the beach is through a narrow tunnel from the Pacific ocean, which can only be traversed during low tide.

While the beach’s location may seem off-putting to some, it has become a highly popular tourist destination. However, due to the damage caused by the large number of visitors, the Marietas Islands were closed to the public in 2016. Today, only 100 people per day are permitted to visit the beach, which is now designated as a UNESCO MAB Biosphere Reserve.

The origin of the beach is somewhat of a mystery, but it is believed to have been created by bomb blasts during military testing in the early 1900s. The practice was ended due to pressure from international activists like Jacques Cousteau in the 1960s. To visit the beach, you will need to take a boat ride from Puerto Vallarta, which takes about an hour. You will also need to obtain a wristband for entry.

Tour Attractions

Discover Intimate, Hidden Beaches:

Take a walk on the world-famous hidden beach, Playa del Amor, and enjoy its remarkable secluded beauty. Swim through cave formations and rock archways, and admire the extraordinary terrain and unique wildlife that call these islands home.

Snorkel and Explore The Marieta Islands:

Enjoy an informative boat ride with our expert guide as we cruise around the islands and point out the unique wildlife and numerous species of birds.

See the Pacific Ocean Humpback Whales (During winter):

Watch for the enchanting humpback whales as they soar out of the water or engage in fin flapping or lobtailing.

Protect the Marietas National Park:

A portion of the proceeds from each tour goes toward the protection and the study of Marietas National Park.

  • Life Jacket
  • Water
  • Snorkel
  • Helmet
  • Important Information

    • COVID-19 protocols are implemented to ensure the safety of all guests.
    • Participants must check-in 30 minutes prior to departure. Boarding will be closed 10 minutes prior to departure time.
    • Minimum age: 12 years.
    • Life Jackets are mandatory.
    • Access to the hidden beach is not guaranteed and is dependent upon sea conditions.
    • Actual time in the Hidden Beach is 15 to 20 minutes, due to federal regulations.
    • Use of sunscreen is prohibited in the Hidden Beach.
    • Participants must be fit and able to swim 75m (200ft) from boat to beach.
    • Book with Vallarta Adventures to ensure a comfortable and unforgettable tour experience while protecting the Marietas National Park.


    Q1. What is Playa del Amor?

    A1. Playa del Amor, also known as “Hidden Beach,” is a unique and exotic beach located on one of Mexico’s uninhabited Marieta Islands, accessible only by boat. It is known for its crystal clear blue water, beautiful natural surroundings, and its location within a sandy cavern with a hole in the roof that allows sunlight to shine through.

    Q2. How do I get to Playa del Amor?

    A2. To visit Playa del Amor, you will need to take a boat ride from Puerto Vallarta, which takes about an hour. You will also need to obtain a wristband for entry.

    Q3. Is there a limit on the number of people allowed on the beach?

    A3. Yes, to protect the fragile ecosystem of the Marieta Islands, only 100 people per day are permitted to visit Playa del Amor.

    Q4. Are there any restrictions on what I can bring to the beach?

    A4. Yes, the use of sunscreen is prohibited in the Hidden Beach.

    Q5. Is there an age limit for visiting the beach?

    A5.Yes, the minimum age for visiting the beach is 12 years.

    Q6. Is swimming or kayaking allowed in the beach?

    A6. Yes, visitors are allowed to swim and kayak in the beach.

    Q7. What is the best time to visit Playa del Amor?

    A7. The best time to visit Playa del Amor is during the winter when the humpback whales migrate to the Bay of Banderas, allowing visitors to witness the beautiful creatures.

    Q8. How long is the tour?

    A8. The tour duration depends on the tour company, please check with the tour company for the exact time frame.

    Q9. Are there any additional activities offered during the tour?

    A9. The tour may include a boat ride, snorkeling, and whale watching, depending on the tour company.


    About the Author: Meghan O'Gieblyn

    Meghan O'Gieblyn is a dynamic and insightful author, celebrated for her unique blend of narrative storytelling and thoughtful analysis. Her writings often explore the intersections of culture, technology, and philosophy, reflecting a deep curiosity about the modern world. Meghan's essays and articles have graced the pages of various prestigious magazines and literary journals, earning her a reputation for eloquent prose and compelling perspectives.

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