DIVING Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta is a beach resort city in Mexico. It is located in Bahia de Banderas near the Pacific Ocean. This resort city is known as among the biggest urban conglomeration in this state, next only to the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area. This area is frequently visited by tourists not only for its gorgeous beaches and laid-back resort lifestyle but also for extreme activities like scuba diving.
PUERTO VALLARTA DIVING
Puerto Vallarta is one of the main diving destinations for people who visit Mexico, particularly along the Pacific Coast. Most of the dive sites are located quite a distance from the main resort area, such as in offshore islands like Marietas Islands and Los Arcos. You will also encounter a variety of underwater features like caves, coral reefs, rock formations, and tunnels.
During the day, the currents in most of the diving sites in Puerto Vallarta are mild. This provides the ideal condition for introductory diving courses. But for those divers who are in search of a challenge, you can go to the offshore islands to find dive sites wherein currents are heavier and therefore not suitable for beginners.
The dive trips in Puerto Vallarta are mostly done on small speed boats as they are located offshore. Each dive site will offer a unique experience so it is best to plan ahead to which dive sites you are going to explore for a memorable dive.
BEST DIVE SITES
The Los Arcos dive site (also known as The Arches) is the most popular dive site in Puerto Vallarta – for day or night diving. This site is known for its massive granite formations with a maximum depth of up to 25 to 60 feet. There are also several caves that are popular for their unmatched beauty. When diving the Los Arcos dive site, you will encounter various species including spotted eagle rays, large pelagics, and giant manta rays. If you dive during the day, you will be in awe by the deep blue waters to behold.
The El Morro dive site in Puerto Vallarta is a lot like the Los Arcos – it consists of many caves and pinnacles. You will also be greeted by a bounty of coral, fish, and marine life. Since the site is located outside the bay, it is best suited for advanced divers. The proximity to the open ocean means that this site experiences strong currents. Even expert divers who haven’t dived in a while are required to have recent diving experience before exploring this site.
The El Sequial dive site features an incredible plateau that rises from the depth of the ocean as its main attraction. This plateau is about 1.5 miles deep but some areas are around 60-80 feet from the surface. Thus, most of your dive will consist of exploring the edges of this massive table wherein you can find tuna, sailfish, and some larger sharks on certain occasions. There is good visibility on this dive site, too. But beware of the current as it has the tendency to gain strength so not all diving charters in Mexico recommend this for newbies.
The Los Anegados dive site in Puerto Vallarta is located in the middle of two other dive sites: El Morro and Marietas Islands. If you want to see manta rays, jacks, and tunas on your dive, this is the best site to go. If you explore the rocky banks on the site, you will find that it has been transformed into shelters by moray eels, eagle rays, and nurse sharks.
El Chimo was once a fishing village in Puerto Vallarta. The dive site is named after that fishing village, which is located just off the coast of the village. This dive site is popular for its glistening sandy slopes wherein you can find large loggerhead or green sea turtles. The current can be strong so it is best for experienced divers.
BEST TIME TO DIVE
The best time to dive in Puerto Vallarta is anywhere from November to May. This is recommended as the ideal time to dive for best conditions for offshore diving in Mexico. During this time of the year, the Pacific Ocean is at its calmest. The weather is also generally good this time of the year. You can expect mostly sunny days with occasional rainshowers.
HOW TO GET TO PUERTO VALLARTA
To get to Puerto Vallarta by air, you can take a domestic or international flight via the nearest airport on the city: Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport. It is located to the north of Puerto Vallarta.
HIGHLIGHTS OF PUERTO VALLARTA
Puerto Vallarta is a beach resort city with lots to offer its visitors. With its gorgeous location along the Pacific Coast, there are many opportunities to enjoy active or relaxing holiday that involve the water.
One of the top activities in Puerto Vallarta is go humpback whale watching at El Chimo. This is a small fishing village located south of the city. It is known for the breathtaking drop-offs and the best spot for watching humpback whales if you visit April to December.
Another notable attraction in Puerto Vallarta is the Los Arcos National Marine Park. This marine park is a haven for divers because it has plenty of deep tunnels, vibrant reef teeming with marine life, caves, and arches. Other must-see attractions in Puerto Vallarta include Bahia de Banderas, Bucerias, and Islas Marietas National Park.
There are plenty of things to see or do in Puerto Vallarta to keep tourists entertained. Whether you want a laidback holiday or you want something exciting, you’ll find a destination to explore.
WHERE TO STAY
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Puerto Vallarta is a vibrant beach resort city in Mexico’s Bahia de Banderas. The city has a land area measuring at 1,300 square kilometers with an elevation of 7 meters. Its proximity to the bay and the agricultural valley of Ameca River helps support the economy of the area. Meanwhile, there are several mining centers at the foot of the Sierra. The beach city consists of narrow coastal plain.
Today, though, tourism is the major source of economic activity in Puerto Vallarta. The variety of scenery and landscapes consisting of beaches, mountains, and plains offer something unique for every visitor.