Dive Spots in Puerto Vallarta

Divers in the Banderas Bay have the opportunity to experience encounters with giant mantas, sea turtles, and sometimes even dolphins and whales.

Divers in the Banderas Bay have the opportunity to experience encounters with giant mantas, sea turtles, and sometimes even dolphins and whales.

Los Arcos: Granite rock formations and caves have been sculpted by the power of the ocean over thousands of years shaping the arches upon which this National Underwater Park is named. From the main arch, where depths range from 25 to 60 feet, a shelf takes you to the edge of Devil's Canyon, dropping down awesome 1800 feet. This wall marks the beginning of the continental platform. This is a magical dive and it is here where divers can experience the feeling of the abyss. Tropical fish abounds, with some luck sea turtles and often giant mantas can be seen.

Majahuitas Beach Paradise: Located on the south side of the bay and reachable by boat only, there is beautiful Majahuitas Beach. This dive site is home to a unique colony of Garden Eels and Black Coral. Divers are able to disembark to spend their surface interval and lunch at the beach. Here we also often find mantas and dolphins.

Marietas Island: These magical islands are 22 nautical miles from Puerto Vallarta on the north side of the bay. Marietas Islands are home to several Sea Birds species. Endangered Blue Footed Boobie birds thrive on these islands and besides here, they are only found in the Sea of Cortez and Galapagos Islands. This is an exciting dive as there are many lava tunnels and cave formations to dive thru.

Between dives, the divers are able to visit Playa del Amor (Love Beach) which is only accessible by swimming thru a cave, and observe the natural habitat of the Sea Birds. The boat ride to the islands gives us the opportunity to see Dolphins, Giant Manta Rays, and Turtles. From December through May Banderas Bay is home to the magnificant Humpback Whales.

Chimo: This is a small fishing village located along the southermost coast of the bay. During the winter months, this dive site becomes populated with Giant Manta Rays. In addition to the abundant marine life, Chimo has something very special to offer. Here the ocean floor twists and turns to create the most interesting underwater landscape. Torrencillas is an underwater plateau about a quarter-mile in diameter, from which a series of separate pinnacles rise up like fingers stretching to the surface to greet the light.

El Morro: It's a rock pinnacle extending above the surface. It is located just beyond the protected waters of the bay 35 miles to the north. This dive site is reserved for experienced divers only. El Morro has a lot to offer, Giant Mantas, Soft Coral, schools of Jacks and other big fish. There is a series of underwater pinnacles and caves. Divers can explore a cave that goes thru a pinnacle entering at 90 feet and exiting at 60 feet.

Written by Klaus Bosbach Ocean Quest Dive Center