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Playa Del Amor

  • (worth a detour)
  • 1-2 km
  • Moderate
  • High
  • full day
  • 2 2

A hidden beach in the heart of Marietas Islands in Mexico

Islas Marietas, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Get there early to avoid crowds.

Playa Del Amor (Lover’s Beach) is a truly unique beach located in one of Marietas Islands, an hour-long boat ride away from the Coast of Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. This paradise is a one of a kind destination due to its clear waters, but more importantly, its unique location: hidden below the ground.


During the early 1900’s, the uninhabited islands, which were created by a volcanic eruption, were used by the Mexican government for military purposes. There is a big debate going on currently of whether the beach was created only a few decades ago as the accidental result of test bombings and was later intended to be used as a military refuge or formed naturally thousands of years ago. The only fact we know for sure is that it was used by the military as a target practice site.


In the sixties, scientist Jacques Cousteau’s investigations and protests gave results and the Mexican government finally declared Marietas Islands a protected national park where hunting and fishing are prohibited as well as any type of human activity that could harm its ecosystem. Living in the islands, or even setting foot on them without a government approved permit, is considered illegal.


To date, the islands remain uninhabited and only approved boats and tours are allowed to take visitors to any of the islands. The only way to access Playa Del Amor is by swimming or kayaking through a 20 meter (80 feet) long tunnel connecting the tidal’s side of the beach to the Pacific Ocean. The water’s level inside the tunnel is not high, so getting there does not impose a big challenge.


The beach is surrounded by a very varied and spectacular wildlife such as manta rays, humpback whales and dolphins, making it a very popular snorkeling destination.


Playa Del Amor’s popularity is very recent and is the result of social media. Before it went viral, a very small percentage of people knew about it and it remained almost as hidden and secret as it was when it was used by the military.


Who knows? Perhaps this beach should’ve been the shooting location for the popular movie “The Beach”.


Opening hours

Tour schedules only

How to get there

The only way to get there is by booking a tour through government-approved agencies. Many are offered in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco but it is recommended to book ahead online.