Marieta Islands, hidden beach and dolphins!
– How awesome was that Rio Celeste! What a wonderful piece of nature! I never thought Central America could be that great! What else could surprise me?
-Have you ever heard about the hidden beach in México?
-Just wondering how it could be hidden?
-We will definitely take you there!
And that is sort of how I got familiarized with the Marieta Islands, talking with two friends on a bar in Costa Rica. I have never planned a trip to Mexico before but that destination seems worth a lot.
The whole idea of the Marieta Islands sounds insane. A solid rock island with a huge hole in the middle, like a giant donut. The water flows beneath it and through the ages dig its way till the center. You only get there by diving from the outside, praying for the best and emerging on the other side.
I knew it was crazy but there I was a year after those beers, very far from home hitting the road toward the city of Punta de Mita, the supposed best place to start a boat trip to the Marieta Islands.
Punta de Mita is known for its location and for having better prices compared with the famous Puerto Vallarta. Sadly, my wallet could not confirm this statement. Times has changed, and the benefits of this small city were reduced to its geographic position. And don’t try to say that probably prices to the locals are different. I was with my Mexican friends, do you remember?
With an unsuccessful attempt to bargain a discount with a self proclaimed owner/sailor/captain of the boat. We ship to the west on the warm pacific waters, hoping to discover the most exciting destination in Mexico.
You can see the Marieta Islands since you are on the coast but the boat trip takes around 1 hour. We had 30 minutes until the final destination when our captain points his finger on the horizon. “Did you see that?” Off course we didn’t.
Our boat goes to the left, letting the Marieta Island on our right side and a big question mark on our faces. What is this old man up to? A couple minutes more and the boat engine was turned off to we realize what was happening.
We were surrounded by a group of dolphins, males, females, babies and adults. Swimming slowly with an enviable serenity. The best part of this magical surprise was yet to come, when I discovered that not only get then on film underwater but also recorded their amazing sound.
By that time I had almost forgot there the main goal of my day was to visit the Marieta Islands. Every time I have contact with animals everything else seems a bit less interesting. But now the dolphins are gone and we head to the entrance of the nature wonder.
The boat stopped some people wear a life vest and I grab a pair of fins and a snorkel to jump on the water. I swim a bit near the boat and then our guide goes towards the “cave” I try to follow him, but by the time I notice, he was already inside.
When on the boat I received no instructions of how to get to the hidden beach, so I though that swim till there was like a walk in the park. However, I was wrong, very wrong.
The entrance to Marieta Island is like a tunnel, the water flows in and out according to the waves. So sometimes it is half empty, perfect time to go trough, and sometimes is totally full,
And there I was, in the worst spot, watching the water invade the tunnel and pull me up toward the selling, just like Stallone in Daylight. I don’t get scared easily, but this time I nearly expected the worst.
With some scratches on my arms caused by the rocks, I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and there is no way that could be train. The hidden beach presents itself, beautiful, unique and exclusive. There was only my friends and I contemplating that gorgeous spot of Marieta Islands.
With all the beauty it is easy to spend some hours in the hidden beach. We chase crabs, climb the walls, watch (a lot of) birds when all of the sudden it was time to go. Fortunately it is a lot easier to get out. Just go with the flow like a dead fish and you are out. That means that you need to swim against the current to get in.
The Marieta Islands are more than the hidden beach, however after that nothing could surprise me that day. Not even the other islands and regular beaches. I had already made my day, and confirmed. This place is awesome!
Check our video os Marieta Islands, hear the dolphins and dive with us :)
Featured photo by Miguel Naranjo