Puerto Vallarta Los Arcos Marine Park (Las Peñas)

Hello everyone,

And thank you again for reading me. We left off with the bountiful and diverse species beneath the Bay of Banderas and its unique species.

We now visit what is a unique ecosystem within a greater one, at Los Arcos Marine Park (Las Peñas).

If you travel south while in Puerto Vallarta, or in Banderas Bay (Bahía de Banderas), you’ll find a protected area, that through the years has become a regular attraction, not only for the different day cruise ships from Vallarta but also for those that enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling.

We are, of course, talking about the now famous Puerto Vallarta islands of “Los Arcos” (The Arches) or “Los Arcos de Mismaloya” (The Arches of Mismaloya) which of course have become one of the symbols of the city.

On a side note, do not confuse “Los Arcos Marine Park” with “Los Arcos” on the Malecon, the latter are arches that are located in downtown Puerto Vallarta and are a tourist attraction right beside the main square.

These small beautiful granite islands protruding from the sea surface are visible even from downtown PV, and are protected as a National Marine Park since 1984.

The beautiful Los Arcos National Marine Park is located out at sea between two beaches, Mismaloya beach, and Las Gemelas beach. At the park, you’ll find caves, deep tunnels, arches and a striking reefs.

It is said that the waters around the islands are also the deepest in the bay, with a depth ranging from 9 to 480 meters (30 and 1,600 feet).

This wonderful place is also a protected area for various seabird species that breed there, some of these include penguins, various species of parrots, pelicans and other sea and land birds.

Mirroring the land-based cornucopia, marine life biodiversity in the sea around the park is also considerable, you’ll really enjoy a snorkel or scuba dive in the area, the water is quite clear and you can see different species of fish, manta rays, sea turtles, pufferfish and other marine life.

Be sure to plan your trip accordingly since Los Arcos is a place that is visited by many different boat tours every day, they stop by this national park and all visitors have the opportunity to enjoy and marvel at the stunning scenery while doing their favorite activities.

After the tour in Los Arcos, ships continue their journey south so their clients can also enjoy the beautiful beaches that can only be accessed from the sea, such as Quimixto, Majahuitas or Yelapa beach.

Hope to see you soon enough on your favorite beach. Once again, I wish you a fun stay. While in town be sure to give me a call at (322) 110-5318


Puerto Vallarta Fishermans Guide, Part Two, Ceviche Not Included

Hello Everyone,

My previous communiocation offered the avid Fisherman a Guide to what Fish Species lie beneath the Bay of Banderas and its most common species. Since Puerto Vallarta offers such a tresure of life beneath its waves, I thought a Part Two was appropriate for the Fisherman who wants to learn more. The following fish are also bountiful in Bay of Banderas:

Bigeye Trevally: You can find Bigeye Trevally in rocky areas near shore and along reef breaks. Adults feed actively at night and they’ll eat just about everything. Target them on light tackle and hang on!

Roosterfish: Probably te coolest looking of all the inshore game fish in Puerto Vallarta, the Roosterfish is the prize game fish for the light-tackle crowd. They will grab a fly live bait or lure fished in the surf or around coastal islands. The fish gets its name from its from its distinct dorsal spins, which it often tucks into a deep groove on its back.

Dorado: While you generally see it on menus as mahimahi in the States, in Mexico it´s Dorado and there is alwasy room in the fish box for a haul of nice bulls. There´s nothing better than some fresh Dorado ceviche on the ride back to the harbor after a good gay offshore.

Pacific Needlefish: It´s hard to miss a needlefish. The fish´s mouth takes up roughly 20 percent of its body. They can grow to 4 feet and are a fairly rare but interesting catch offshore.

African Pompano: Although known as an African pompano, the species is actually a member of the Jack Family. The fish loses its elongated rays as it grows. They´re a lot of fun on light tackle and get up to the 40 pound range.

Ok thank you again for reading me and I look forward to seeing you around Boca de Tomates for some great fish and fun locals.

Saludos and Happy Fishing,

Puerto Vallarta Fish Species, A Fishermans Guide

Hello Everyone,

After previously covering the amazing Mangroves and Marietas Islands off the coast of Puerto Vallarta I thought the avid fisherman might be wondering what kind of Fish Species are beneath the depths. With a wide range of species, Fisherman love the Bay of Banderas for the following reasons:

PV Yellowfin Tuna: Few fishing thrills compare to seeing a giant yellowfin sky after a kite bait fluttering on the surface. It´s definately one of the most exciting bites in sport fishing.

Cubera Snapper: With its gnarly fangs and powerful broad tail, the Cubera is king of the snappers. The Cubera´s range varies from 100 foot depths to shallow reefs and structure.

Pacific Sail: The Pacific Sailfish can reach the 200 Pound mark, growing twice as large as its Atlantic cousin. With solid numbers of blue marlin, black marlin and sailfish off of Puerto Vallarta, a grand slam of three species is always a possibility.

Rainbow Runner: Always fun on light tackle, Rainbow Runners are also great bait. Slow troll a live runner and watch the explosion behind the boat.

Barred Pargo: The brown head and alternating wide and narrow white bars running down the side of the fish make identifying the Barred Pargo easy. The bars actually fade over time as the fish grows and they´re known to get up to 3 Feet in length. You barely see pargo that big as they prefer to live in rocky caves and it´s hard to pull them out of their natural habitat.

Grouper: Sharpen that filet knife, we eating good tonight! The Grouper is the king od the bottomfish. They fight extremely hard as they struggle to get back into their rocky home. Crank down the dag and spool up with braid if you want to reel in one of these babies.

Be sure to take all the fixings for fresh Ceviche when fishing, and enjoy!

Saludos, Gustavo

Puerto Vallarta’s Marietas Islands, An Unspoiled Ecological Gem

Hello again! I hope you are planning your trip to Puerto Vallarta and or on your way. Let me tell you about a great unspoiled destination here within the Bay of Banderas that often goes overlooked, The Marietas Islands.

With a total area of 1,383 hectares the Marietas Islands National Park is an archipelago made up of two islands and two islets with a total area of 78 hectares: Isla Redonda, Isla Larga, Los Morros Cuates two islands near Isla Larga, and a marine portion located at the northeastern end of each island.

The islands are considered to be an important breeding site, shelter, and transit of resident, migratory, continental, and marine bird species, such as the Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) and the famous Blue Footed Booby (Sula nebouxii). This area also has a great diversity of coral species, has the highest diversity of reef fishes in the Bay of Banderas, and is essential for the reproductive processes of populations of endangered species such as the humpback whale, the olive ridley turtle, and several species of birds.

Today, the Marietas Islands protect 44 species of flora and fauna found in a risk category according to the Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2001, eight species of marine mammals, 92 of birds and 115 fish.

On April 25, 2005, the Marietas Islands were declared a Natural Protected Area with National Park status.

On February 6, 2008, the United Nations Organization for Education, Science, and Culture (UNESCO) announced the addition of the Marietas Islands National Park to the international program Man and the Biosphere (Man and Biosphere, MAB).

– Observe large colonies of resident, migratory, and marine birds.
– Spot dolphins (all year) and humpback whales from the islands and boats (mid-December to late March).
– Diving, snorkeling in coral reefs where you can admire a lot of underwater landscapes of great beauty and color inhabited by the Manta Rays and blue and yellow Damselfish among many others.

– Go kayaking and paddle boarding.
– Explore the many caves and other rock formations of the islands.
– Visit and relax on the beautiful little beaches like Playa del Muerto and Playa La Nopalera on Isla Larga and Playa del Amor on Isla Redonda, and the world famous Hidden Beach.

The Marietas Islands have a conservation and management program which specifies some recommendations to its visitors, including:

– Do not feed, touch or make loud noises that disturb the natural behavior of wildlife specimens.
– Do not hunt, capture, disturb, extract, remove, or seize wildlife and their products as well as remove or extract any materials from the area.
– Do not alter or destroy by any means or action sites used for feeding, nesting, shelter, or reproduction of wildlife. – No extreme sports such as rock climbing.
– No campfires on the islands.

Access to the islands is done exclusively by sea from anywhere in the bay, mainly: Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, and Nuevo Vallarta, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Bucerias, and Punta de Mita, Nayarit.

Each of these destinations has specialized tourism companies and licensed guides, some are equipped with large vessels up to 200 people and offer a full day trip with food and beverage service on board. Others have small boats up six passengers and only provide transportation service.

Punta de Mita, Nayarit: 7.9 km. La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit: 24 km. Bucerias, Nayarit 30 km. Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit 33 km. Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco 39 km.

I sincerely hope yoy get a chance to visit this gem and its unspoiled beaches.


Puerto Vallarta Ecological Adventure in the Mangroves

Hello and welcome back to Puerto Vallarta. I know that water sports will probably be on your agenda while in town, but have you ever explored our amazing mangroves?

Sometimes overlooked, the salt marshes of Puerto Vallarta are in a protected natural area and in an ecological conservation zone with more than one hundred species of birds and almost thirty species of amphibians, reptiles and mammals.

If in case you wish to visit (which I highly encourage) you can book a tour with your hotel concierge. You can also take Avenida Francisco Medina Ascencio to the pier in front of Plaza Iguana (beside the bullring La Paloma) and book a tour directly.

The small boats have space for the whole family with up to thirteen people can fit comfortably and calmly sail through the canals and under the mangrove tunnels.

Enjoy the amazing biodiversity while you slowly sail and learn how important the mangroves are for the local ecosystem. Not only do their calm waters shelter wildlife and serve as nesting grounds for fish, they also act as protective barriers that regulate the climate and nutrients in the water.

Along the long roots of the mangroves that submerge into the crystal clear waters below you will find a hidden world of green iguanas, raccoons, violin crabs and other wildlife.

If you are traveling as a family with smaller children, take advantage of the environmental education workshops offered every Saturday where children can have fun while learning about the region’s biodiversity.

Please remember when saying goodbye to the mangroves of Puerto Vallarta that this is just one trip through the beautiful corners of Jalisco which offers some very exciting adventures, such as camping, hiking, sightseeing, and a variety of water sports.

Once again thank you for reading me.