Puerto Vallarta

Scuba Diving in Puerto Vallarta

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Puerto Vallarta is home to some of the most beautiful underwater scenery in the world, which you can experience up close and personal when you scuba dive in the surrounding Banderas Bay.  Featuring a variety of fascinating sights far below the sea, including reefs, tunnels, caves, shallow coves, volcanic formations, dropoffs and rock arches, your eyes will be in for a visual treat.  

The richness of thriving biodiversity within such a spectacular environment will amaze and delight the senses of divers of every skill level, with amazing sea life such as sea turtles, octopus, seahorses, eels, a variety of rays and countless types of vivid tropical fish.  

Read on to find out which scuba diving area is perfect for you in Puerto Vallarta:

Los Arcos

Easily the most famous landmark, iconic for scuba diving in Puerto vallarta, the dramatic rock formations and surrounding waters that make up Los Arcos national marine park are protected by the government due to the vast array of marine life and birds including the rare Blue-Footed Boobies in residence.  You might be surprised to hear that this stunning location is the beginning of the San Andreas fault line.  

While it is a popular stop for several boat tours for snorkeling on their way south, it is also a spectacular dive site in Puerto Vallarta which happens to be appropriate for both novices and advanced divers alike, with a dizzying variety of tropical fish among the shallow waters, plus a sand patch at 60 feet known as the Devil’s Mouth which leads to an 1800 foot deep sea canyon to explore.  In addition to the lush coral, eel, seahorse, fish and turtles sightings, this location is one of the best places in the bay to glimpse giant manta rays.

los arcos

Las Marietas

Another marine reserve, Islas Marietas are located on the northern tip of the bay, consisting of 2 large islands. One of the top sites for scuba diving in Puerto Vallarta, Las Marietas are home to underwater caves and tunnels. Jacques Cousteau, who was quite taken with their impressive biodiversity, discovered them in the 1960s.  Whatever your certification level, this is a great place to experience, with 3 splendid dive sites featuring 110 foot, 50 foot and 30 foot maximum depths.  

The thriving world among the underwater reef is extensive and can provide unlimited visual entertainment, including plenty of coral, rays and fish.  One of the highlights at this dive site is a jaw-dropping vertical stone wall on the south tip of one island which begins 100 feet above sea level and dramatically drops into the ocean.  On land, the Blue-Footed Booby is a perfect subject for photography.   

marietas

Majahuitas

Named for the beach beside this beautiful dive location, Majahuitas is located south of Puerto Vallarta.  Regardless of where you drop into the water, you will view a spectacular variety of fish in and around the giant boulders dotting the ocean.  This is a wonderful area to catch sight of octopus, spotted eagle rays and literally thousands of garden eels around a sand patch where they move elegantly through the rhythmic ocean waters.  Large manta rays with wingspans between 15 and 20 feet have recently expanded their range to this site, and you will also see a collection of nudibranchs scattered along the rocks.  

Majahuitas