Romance is a huge reason for many to travel, whether it's hunting down the perfect honeymoon destination or just seeking a way to bring breathe romance back into a relationship. Mexico is home to many an all-inclusive resort and they can be romantic, but the true love story settings lie in the areas around the resorts, especially in those which are lesser-known. Sure, beaches are a great place to spark romance, but they can also be overrated and overcrowded. In order to truly find a romantic experience, it's sometimes better to go off the beaten path. Or, in this case, to go underneath the beaten path. Mexico is known as one of the best first-time vacations as well, so this is a great option for novice travelers.
The beach in question is called, quite literally, Hidden Beach, It can be found on Islas Marietas, which sits roughly 22 miles outside of Puerto Vallarta. This beach acts more as a secret cove, safely tucked away and hidden from sight. The only way to reach this island is by swimming or taking a kayak, as it is surrounded by water. The channel visitors must pass through is one that connects the beach to the Pacific Ocean but trust us, the short journey is worth it once couples get a look at this gorgeous beach shoreline. Getting there is quite unconventional but it's all part of what makes up the adventure of getting to this gorgeous and intimate beach.
Why The Beach Is So Beautiful
While the beach is still a modern tourist destination, it does have a long history prior to becoming a place for romance to blossom. The Marietas Islands are currently uninhabited and are protected as a UNESCO MAB Biosphere Reserve as of 2005. Long before that, it's believed that the islands were formed as a result of volcanic activity in the area, mainly a result of volcanic eruptions under the water. However, while this explains how the islands were formed, it doesn't explain why Hidden Beach has an unusual feature - a dome with a hole in the middle that functions as a natural skylight, allowing unfiltered rays of sunlight to shine down on this hidden piece of beach paradise.
Rumor has it that the overall uniqueness of the structure of the rocks surrounding Hidden Beach is the result of military testing. Since none of Mexico's residents live on the islands it's believed that the site was perfect for testing things such as bombs, heavy artillery, and weapons, which were then believed to have formed the islands that can be seen today. While the beach itself might be small in size, the number of people allowed to visit is limited, so its sandy shores will rarely be overcrowded. This crowd control also allows the beach to maintain its natural beauty and gives the ecosystem the much-needed rest it needs in between human activity, only adding to its wonderful flora and fauna.
With the declaration of the Marietas Islands becoming a UNESCO site, they also became home to a national park called Parque Nacional Islas Marietas. The only activities that are permitted to take place there now are those which won't damage the environment, including kayaking, swimming, and the general enjoyment of the beaches. Any hunting or fishing is also strictly prohibited in an effort to preserve the island's natural wild and marine life. After testing by the military, much of the island was damaged but with an increased effort to preserve the land, it has since been restored to the beauty that existed there in the first place. For sparkling waters, calm waves, and aquamarine waters, look no further than this semi-remote location... It gives a whole new meaning to shutting off the world and hiding out for a while when you're in a place that's actually hidden from view!
How To Get There
The easiest and best way to get to Hidden Beach is by boat. The boat ride from Puerto Vallarta is roughly an hour and there are several tour companies that offer full-day excursions; easily found with a bit of research beforehand. Visitors should know that reservations to the island must be made before booking and they are limited, so be sure to make them early on.
Once reservations have been made wristbands are given out to prove a beach-goer has saved a spot. For those who just want to see the islands and don't care so much about reaching the beach, regular day tours are also an option just to see Islas Marietas.