The Marietas islands are an amazing stop if you love the outdoors, nature, and total relaxation. A natural landmark of Banderas Bay, the Marietas Islands is a national reserve, bird sanctuary and home to the largest variety of reef species in the area (103 of 153 in the area). This wildlife refuge is a protected natural zone, and its unique characteristics make it unlike any other.
Formed long ago by volcanic activity, the islands are two formations, one long and narrow and the other round. Dominated by large caves and cliffs, with its large variety of marine life and beautiful coral, makes this the perfect place for scuba diving and snorkeling. Each side of the island possesses its own unique characteristics. During the winter, divers confess to hearing songs of the whales that use these islands as a natural refuge from predators and ocean currents.
The Marietas Islands are also an important bird sanctuary for nesting and migration of at least 92 different species of birds, both native and migratory. Some of these endangered species have their largest population on these islands. This is why “Islas Marietas” is a national park and all activities are limited to the enjoyment of the landscape and aquatic activities.
The distinctive craterlike opening opens a bird’s eye view of what is considered “The hidden beach”, attracting beach enthusiasts from all over the world.
In 2005, after years of research and an intensive effort to legally protect the island, it was finally pronounced a national park, “Parque Nacional Islas Marietas”. Spanning almost 566 acres, this beautiful island is now preserved as a legacy.