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“Lots of sightseeing in one trip” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Marietas Islands

Marietas Islands
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
+52-322-297-1212
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Marietas Islands: Cavern Swim and Snorkel Cruise...
Attraction details
Sherwood Park, Canada
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Lots of sightseeing in one trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

We took three tours with Vallarta Adventures while we were on vacation and the Marietas Island was our favorite. The snorkelling felt a little rushed but seeing whales, dolphins and a manta ray on the way to the island was awesome. Swimming to the hidden beach was a little crowded. My recommendation to VA would be to take less people on the this trip to make it more enjoyable. If you are a weak or nervous swimmer, you probably won't enjoy the swim to the hidden beach but it is a really neat location.

We chose to get on a small boat to get an upclose look at the island and the birds that inhabit it. That was awesome! Our guide did such a good job and switched from Spanish to English seamlessly.

The only reason I wouldn't rate this tour a 5 is that Vallarta Adventures just takes too many people at one time. Trying to snorkel was really crowded, same with the swim to the beach. It would be nice if an adults only tour was offered. Other than that the crew does a fantastic job!

Visited March 2013
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Date | Rating
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English first
PORTLAND, OR
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Birder's trip with Vallarta Adventures”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

The whole reason we chose PV for vacation this year was to be able to see the blue-footed (and brown) boobies and add them to our birding life list. So, we booked an excursion to the Marietas Islands with Vallarta Adventures. This was our second day trip with VA and they are highly recommended for good reason. They are very professional and run a great trip. And, although the snorkeling part of the trip was a pretty bad experience, we got to see the birds galore, so it was a successful trip. We also got to see tremendous whale watching with them breaching & tail slapping & doing all sorts of “tricks”. We were really, really lucky to encounter that since it’s the end of the season. This trip is now tied with our whale watching trip in Baja a few years back where we were surrounded by whales for the best whale watching we’ve ever had.

The snorkeling part of the trip was awful, though. The only thing I would fault VA for is that we were not told that we would have to swim a long way against the current to reach the “Hidden Beach”. Halfway there I was close to exhaustion and had to be “rescued” by one of the kayak guides who threw me a rope & towed me to the entrance to the arch. I am an experienced snorkeler but not a strong swimmer and I would never have attempted that swim if I had known how far it was and that it was against the current. Swimming through the archway to the Hidden Beach was easy, but too dark to see any fish and the beach itself was totally underwhelming to us. Just a crescent of sand surrounded by big rocks. A lot of people apparently love it, but it just didn’t do much for us. The head guide talked to me & told me he would help me swim back if I needed him to, but since we were then going WITH the current the return swim was no problem for me at all. Except that pretty much the whole way I was being bumped & kicked & pushed by all the other snorkelers in the herd. Hardly got to see anything. I’m sure the experience varies every trip, but I wanted to include this as a caveat to others like me who are weak swimmers & don’t enjoy trying to snorkel in a crowd.

That's the only reason I gave this excursion only three stars. The rest of the trip was just great and I would do it again, just would pass on the snorkeling unless they got closer or in an area of quieter water.

Visited March 2013
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Colorado
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Pretty islands but snorkeling was average”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

Very pretty islands with interesting scenery. Snorkeling was just average. We saw several whales on the way there.

Visited March 2013
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Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Go on the Pegasus with Kimi”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

Had a great trip on the Isis sailing vessel run by Pegasus and with tour guide, Kimi. We sailed around the bay looking for whales and other sealife. Kimi was unbelievably knowledgeable and very funny. Then we went snorkeling to the islands and swam to the hidden beach. Kimi and the staff helped us to get there safely. We had a nice continental breakfast and a lunch with sandwich, chips and salads. Also open bar on the way home. Any they also put up the sails and we spent a relaxing hour sailing through the bay. Can't say enough. Was a wonderful day.

Visited March 2013
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Guadalajara, Mexico
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
38 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“So, so”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

The good: pretty pictures, hidden beach is pretty, whale watching, just another pin in my travel map, blah, blah, blah

The bad: smells a LOT like bird poo since its a nature reserve, the waves were reaaaally strong and swimming into and out hidden beach is a pain in the [--], no snorkeling (the water is too deep and cloudy), strong currents, beach is to deep to enjoy...

Would never go back, but now I can say Ive been there. Next please...

Visited March 2013
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