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Reviewed August 6, 2018

It's not that it rains that much during the day, in fact it was great weather until about 6:30pm at night during our July visit. It's the fact that it rains in the mountains, travels to the muddy rivers that empty out into the Bay. You can actually see the muddy water coming in from the North and traveling into the Bay where all of the hotels are located. We stayed at the Marriott and it arrived everyday at about 2:30-3:00pm. They claim its "clean" water, but I personally do not want to swim in an ocean with that much muddy river water. I am a bit of an ocean snob. We did travel to Nuevo Vallarta in the spring one year and did not experience this issue. We might have been north of the big rivers that enter into the Bay, not sure. They say it does not occur in the winter/spring, only during rainy season.

Thank DTailer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2018

On Monday 16th April we took a speedboat ride across the Bay, from Nuevo Vallarta to Boca de Tomatlan and our return journey as part of our Vallarta Adventures outdoor activities tour. It was a wonderful travelling experience as our boat sped across the top of the water, we were able to appreciate the size of the Bay and the spectacular mountains and their domination of the skyline.

This Bay is situated on the west-central coast of the Mexican Pacific coastline, and is about 65 miles long.

We asked our Tour Guide if there were any whales or dolphins in the Bay, he advised us that there were none, they had moved on some weeks ago to different waters, so sadly we saw nothing.

Puerto Vallarta, Bucerias and Punta Mita are the largest towns within the Bay, also home to Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta marinas. It is a favourite tourist location and there are a large number of hotels, golf courses and condominiums along the Bay.

We stayed in Nuevo Vallarta for 2 weeks and very much enjoyed the views of the Bay which is flanked on all land sides by imposing mountains, Sierras. They are Sierra Vallejo on the northern part, Sierra Cuale to the East and Sierra El Tuito to the south and southeast.These contribute to the stunning backdrop to the Bay.

Local tour guides will have you believe it is the largest bay in the world, the reality is somewhere else is.

1  Thank David D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2018

After two trips on this bay and 7 nights of sunsets, I found this to be a great experience. When the wind came up in the afternoon I was able to sale a Ketch! When we snorkeled at the island it was clear.

Thank Hal P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2018

We went on a snorkeling/whale-watching trip, and while the snorkeling wasn't great, the whale watching was amazing! It was mating season so we saw a lot of action. There was a group of about 10 of them in one spot! One whale came right up next to our little boat! We also went over to the Marieta Islands where we saw blue-footed boobies and other birds. It was great!

1  Thank Jackie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2018 via mobile

A boat tour of the bay with soo much to see there are whales, dolphins, loads of sea birds and turtles. Also on land looking from the sea there are so many beautiful areas to see. It is well worth a tour of the bay and finish by seeing the sunset.

Thank daveNewport
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2018 via mobile

The Bay of Banderas is very scenic and of course houses Puerto Vallarta, Bucerias, La Cruz and more. The whale watching is fantastic.

Thank GaleAS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2017

Winter is the time of year to see the Hump Backed Whales and Dolphins. Best for Whales is to go to Punta Mita and rent a small boat just for your group. (Speed boats from PV take about an hour to get near to the Mariettas and it can be bumpy and uncomfortable.) The captain should include a tour round the Mariettas to see the Blue Footed Boobies (seriously this is a sea bird!), and a bit of snorkelling. Much the best value for a couple of hours. If you are lucky you should see both dolphins and whales.... we have done so the three times we have been.

Thank Stevemex007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2017 via mobile

My friend & I took two day long trips out into Banderas Bay during our 10 day visit. We took a Vallarta Adventures dive trip out to the Marrietas Islands and also a day luxury sailing day trip. When returning from diving we were surrounded by the biggest school of dolphins I ever saw. There were hundreds, and the captain stopped our boat so we could enjoy the amazing sight. We also saw many frigate birds, both blue- footed and brown boobies, brown pelicans, and gulls. A cruise on the bay is a must outing when visiting Puerto Vallarta.

4  Thank PaulAK2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2017

Banderas Bay is home to a large number of towns and cities. Much of the coastline is building up, but there are still smaller villages scattered about and they are always good to visit. North of Puerto Vallarta, which is the biggest city and just about center of the bay, you can drive to the smaller villages and towns. Punta Mita & Bucerias are a couple of the larger areas and have interesting town centers. They are worth a drive. South of Puerto Vallarta lie Mismaloya and Boca de Tomelin. Mismaloya is tied to the movie "Night of the Iguana", although it has changed extensively since Elizabeth Taylor's visits. Bica is a thriving small port town; many water taxi routes using the port today. boca is the last coastal town on the bay, from here the road cuts inland. Any village to the south are accessed mainly by water taxi although a few have roads through the mountain originating mainly in El Tuito. The main villages along this stretch include Animas, Yelapa, Quimixto, Pizota, Conchas and Chimo. Yelapa is the largest of these and has water taxi service from los Muertos Pier in Puerto Vallarta. It has a nice waterfall that can be hiked to, worthwhile (Pizota has a waterfall as well). It also has a nice pier/dock...a few of the villages have none, necessitating a jump onto the surf from the water taxi. Chimo collects passengers in a small canoe and transports them from the taxi to the beach. Quimixto is a fair sized settlement, Pizota has about 80 residents, Conchas is just 24 palapa style homes and Chimo residents number about 100.The water taxi ride is beautiful, taking just over an hour from Boca to Chimo, so days have heavy seas, so sit to the back of the boat if you can for a smoother ride. The taxi runs twice a day from Boca to Chimo, roughly 150 pesos each way (new rates may be in effect). Yelapa, Quimixto and Chimo have restaurants so they are good choices for day trips. Pizota has a family or two who will cook if you give them advance notice--you may be eating in their homes. Most all the villages have some sort of accommodations available, Yelapa having the widest selection. Many places are listed on Airbnb or VRBO websites. This southern section of Banderas Bay is well worth exploring.

Thank dennis l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2017

My husband & I spent over a month enjoying views of Banderas Bay, this winter. We rented a cliff top condo in Conchas Chinas for the first half of of stay..This area was about a five minute bus ride from downtown PV. It was the area where the Sierra Madre Mountains cascaded down to meet the waters of Banderas Bay. We watched whales in the bay from our balcony. We had happy hours at Lindo Mar Resort & watched the sunset over Banderas Bay. We ate many meals on our balcony while we enjoyed its beauty & serenity.

Our second condo was in an area just north of downtown PV. We were high on a hill & had expansive territorial Bay & city views. We spent hours on our balcony enjoying the marine action on the bay. Cruise ships, yachts, sailboats, pirate ships, fishing boats, parasailing, fireworks, seabirds, & more captured our attention during the day. Sunsets were glorious multicolored events. Truly magical!

We were not content just to look a the dark blue water of Banderas Bay. We walked its shores along the Malecon. We ate & drank at waterside restaurants. We walked the beaches of Los Muertos, el Camerones, & Mismaoya. We swam in it.

This 62 mile bay was truly the jewel in the crown of Puerto Vallarta. I look forward to spending another winter's month gazing at its beauty.

4  Thank Condu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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