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Puerto Vallarta Ecotourism


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Ecotourism in Puerto Vallarta

Explore the lush rainforests and vast oceans of Puerto Vallarta. 


Puerto Vallarta is one of the few destinations in the world that offers so many untouched ecological resources.  The rainforests that encompass the city, offer vibrant flora and fauna, wildlife including monkeys, rare species of butterflies and birds such as the brightly colored Toucan. 


Opposite of the mountains, the city faces the magnificent Bay of Banderas, or Banderas Bay.  The second largest bay in the world, tourists and locals alike enjoy some of the world's finest scuba and snorkeling, swimming with the dolphins and sea lions, which incidentally keep the bay shark-free.  The bay is also known for its superb whale-watching.  Many spectators plan their excursions between November and April, the prime mating season for the humpback whales. 


Local nature reserves offer rare bird sightings including the Duck Billed Frog.  Crocodiles can be found in the marshes, along with unique fish and crustaceans who find these areas useful for breeding.


One of the more popular activities amongst visitors, is attending one of the weekly sea tortuous releases, where hundreds, sometimes thousands of sea turtles are released back into the ocean after being collected as eggs along the popular Los Muertos Beach several weeks before.  


Popular Ecotourism Sites and Activities in Puerto Vallarta:

Boca de Tomatlan

A tiny hidden village south of Puerto Vallarta, Boca de Tomatlan is one of Puerto Vallarta's greatest hidden secrets.  It is the launch point for numerous water taxis going to Yelapa, Las Animas, Quimixto, Pizota de Tecomata, Colomitos, La Cueva, El Chimo, Torrecellas, Calletas, Majahuitas, Manzanillas, Islas Marietas, and pretty much anywhere else one could want to go by water.  Hiking trips also depart from this location.  We suggest however, that you arrive early so you have time to enjoy yourself.  Drinks are served at tables on the beach, and there are two sand strips separating a magnificent lagoon where the Rio Tamatlan runs into the ocean, creating beautiful photography opportunities and romantic moments on the beach.  


South of Puerto Vallarta, past Boca de Tomatlan, this are is known for superb hiking and numerous butterflies, lizards, iguanas, and lush tropical foliage.

Islas Marietas

Location:  Island off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, easily reached by water taxi or private boat.

Known for: 

What for:  Indigenous species of the Blue-Footed Booby, and the Military Green Macaw, both species which are close to extinction.  the Black-throated Magpie and the Duck-Billed Frog are locals to this island as well.  Excellent location for whale-watching from November through April.

Los Arcos

The highly photographed view from the Los Arcos nature reserve  can be recognized by its three distinct arch-shaped rock formations located just offshore.  ore than 360 bird species take up residence here, amongst the pines, oaks, firs and junipers that make up this area of the Sierra Madre Mountains.

Boca de Tomates

The little-known turtle sanctuary located here, invites guests to actively participate in Vallarta's nature conservation efforts from July through December.  This organization is one of the few that maintain special permits allowing the collection of federally protected eggs several times a week, to be hatched onsite and released back into the ocean following the 45 day incubation period.  An excellent activity for adults vacationing with children in Puerto Vallarta.



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