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  • Writer's pictureAdrian Sanchez

Punta Mita and Marietas Islands in Mexico. Paradise rediscovered

Updated: Mar 14, 2020

Some new finds in this area will help with your decision to fly here, find the perfect beach and more unexpected jewels.

If you’re looking for blues and greens colors then Punta Mita is your destination. I mean, blue skies, blue ocean, green jungle, green lawns and palm trees lined up by the water. This has been another successful and very relaxing trip to Punta Mita, Mexico and definitely worth another blog on it.

Winter is here, weather is cooling down and rain and snow are everywhere in the country so this seemed to be the perfect time to take a flight to tropical Bahia Banderas, with non-stop flights from SFO to Puerto Vallarta (PVR) as summer has settled in this place permanently, or at least it feels that way whenever we visit.

There are many places to visit in the entire bay, most of people go for the famous Puerto Vallarta, but if you’re like me that wants a little more seclusion and more untouched tropical paradise then head up north. Just about 45 minutes from the airport, rent a car or better yet schedule transportation by your hotel. The best resorts are located in Punta Mita, including the Four Seasons, St. Regis and W Hotel. This time we stayed at the St. Regis for many reasons that I’ll get to later on.

From the moment you arrive to the wooden gates announcing Punta de Mita and they ask for your name to access the compound you feel like you’ve arrived. The gates to paradise will open widely to show a haven of palm trees, long lawns and a tropical rainforest that are meticulously maintained by hundreds of gardeners and ground-keepers.

Follow the stoned road and it will eventually lead to the majestic entrance of the St. Regis where the sun is shining, the blue ocean is peaking through the glass doors of the open-space lobby and the staff greets you with a margarita in hand saying “Bienvenido al St. Regis”.

There are many things that you can do in Punta Mita, all depends on your mood and how active you want to be. What I love doing here is resting, relaxing, having some drinks, hitting the gym and the spa every day and of course lay by the pool and ocean just listening to the sound of waves breaking in on the beach. But there’s more than that, this time we ventured out to see the Marietas Islands, just a few miles off the shore, now considered a National Park in Mexico and protected ecosystem. You will need to book this through the right tour operators, consider using Punta Mita Expeditions as they will get you the necessary access to the parks, you pay for it and proceeds from it go to maintain and protect these islands and their wildlife.

Snorkeling around the Marietas was stunning, so many fish, eels, stingrays, and more diversity under water. We circled around one of the islands and covered so much ocean seeing thousands of fish banks, all different colors. Even when on the boat we managed to get some followers as dolphins started jumping in and out of the water as our boat tried to play with them as well, so fun! Then we anchored at another side of the island and went paddle boarding, the water was a little choppy, so it was challenging to stay up the entire time, great exercise and also relaxing just sitting there in the middle of the ocean with no one else around you other than six more people on the boat that we had hired for the tour. Water was so clean, blue and definitely a great day activity.

As the Marietas are a protected area it is also hard to land on them. You can do that and I think it’s only on Mondays when they allow 100+ visitors to actually walk on one of the islands’ beaches. The rest of the days just need to stay on boats around the island, still pretty good. These islands are home to many unique bird species and they are protected as well, just like the blue boobies that you can also find on Easter Island in South America.

Go into town. Yes. There are several small towns around the area and the locals are the friendliest people. It’s safe to go anywhere in taxi or your own car. We explored Sayulita again as it’s so charming and you can do some shopping with very unique handmade handcrafts, pottery, glass and textiles. It’s a small town with tons of flavor and colors and definitely a surfer’s paradise. Punta de Mita town is much smaller, some great shops though and some good restaurants around there too.

Food is so interesting here. There seems to be a trend with local chefs and the use of Mexican spices combined with Asian-influence techniques and flavors. Hotels will have the authentic and delicious Mexican food but if you want more than that I recommend exploring Sufi, which is now my favorite restaurant here, Spice Market at the W hotel, with great Indian cuisine. There are many options as well in Punta de Mita town, just ask the locals and preferably try to avoid asking concierge at your hotel because they will send you to the popular restaurants but not necessarily the best ones. Get ready to enjoy amazing fresh seafood.

We were there for a week and it was just the perfect amount of time. Much better than other times when we visited for three or four nights. It’s just that you really need at least two days to get disconnected from reality and all the things happening back at home. After day two you can then immerse yourself in the culture and nature around you, being yourself.

There are many places on earth where you can go to a beautiful beach and amazing water, for some reason Mexico is always on my top list and I think it’s because people here are proud of what they have, they enjoy every single piece of it and are happy to share with others visiting. People in Mexico will make a difference when you visit. Mexico Lindo.
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