On Mexican Vacations, Explore Hidden Playa del Amor

by Marcia Frost

You won't find a shortage of beaches on Mexican vacations, but there's one amazing beach you can easily miss if you don't know where to look. Playa del Amor, or "Lover's Beach," is often referred to as "Hidden Beach" because it's off the radar of most travelers.

Where It Is

Playa del Amor is located in the Marietas Islands, also known as Islas Marietas. Situated off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, these islands — popular for their spectacular snorkeling and diving — are home to an abundance of birds, dolphins, sea turtles, and other marine life.

It's believed the Marietas Islands were formed by volcanic eruptions many centuries ago. The Mexican government used the islands for military operations until several scientists, including explorer Jacques Cousteau, formed a successful movement to have the islands declared a national park. Today, the islands are a UNESCO site.

Within these islands, Playa del Amor gained the reputation as being hidden from the public for many years. Recently, word of mouth — and photos on the Internet — have made it better known.

Getting There

Once you're on the Marietas Islands, you need to swim through a naturally formed, 40-foot-long rock tunnel to get to the hidden beach.

Try an excursion to the Marietas Islands, so you can see this beach for yourself. From Puerto Vallarta, you'll travel by catamaran on a scenic ride through clear blue waters. After a guided tour and safety briefing, you'll be free to swim through the tunnel to Playa del Amor.

Why It Is Special

Once you arrive at Playa del Amor, you will emerge into an awe-inspiring circular lagoon — and you'll understand why some refer to Playa del Amor as the "Galapagos of Mexico." Beyond breathtaking scenery, this hidden beach offers you the chance to view exotic birds and stunning marine life.

Since it's difficult to get to this piece of land, it's a serene place to spend time alone or with a significant other. While you're there, you can explore the unusual land formations, or snorkel and explore the beauty underseas. Or, you can just enjoy these moments that make Mexican vacations unforgettable.

Playa del Amor is hidden in the Marieta Islands, just off the coast of Puerto Vallarta.
Playa del Amor is off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.