Best sailing destinations in Bahía de Banderas, México. Discover hidden places in Bahía de Banderas that can only be accessed by boat. Join this exciting tour by the most beautiful bay in the world.
Since the founding of Puerto Las Peñas in 1851, going through all its development to become a tourist destination with more than 100 years of history, one might think that Puerto Vallarta and Rivera Nayarit have already discovered everything, and yet, its waters still keep secrets. Prepare to set sail! Discover the destinations in Bahía de Banderas that can only be accessed by boat.
We will start the list with one of the most iconic places sailing north of Bahía de Banderas: the Marietas Islands.
Sailing destinations #1: Marietas Islands
You can visit this natural wonder on a guided tour, shared with many different groups… or you can travel with luxury and comfort aboard our Custom 36 in a totally private charter.
Those who enjoy ecotourism, and especially those who are drawn to the wonderful marine world, will feel that the Marietas Islands are a dream come true.
During the outward journey, from November to the end of March, it is almost impossible not to see whales, these cheerful and impressive giants, that take our breath away, and like to practice their spectacular acrobatics very close to the islands. Don’t worry if you are not in the season, it is also possible to see dolphins, manta rays, and sea turtles nearby all year.
Once you arrive at this natural reserve, made up of two large islands (Isla Redonda and Isla Larga) and small islets, the chances of delighting in underwater biodiversity only increase. On Isla Larga, you can kayak, paddle, swim, dive, or snorkel among hundreds of multicolored fish (the greatest diversity of reef fish in Banderas Bay according to Semarnat).
And it is because Bahía de Banderas enjoys a favored tropical climate that allows the harmonious convergence of species from the north (up to the Gulf of California) and from the center and south of the Mexican Pacific. Some, like whales, travel long distances to reproduce and have their babies, while others that are smaller and more colorful have made this coral sanctuary their permanent home. And that’s speaking of the underwater world, but the site is also an internationally recognized point for bird watching, with 93 species, of which some of them are endemic.
On the other hand, human action has accidentally contributed by providing the distinctive characteristic of the Marietas Islands: Hidden beach or the Beach of Love. The story goes that at the beginning of the 20th century, the area was used for artillery tests by the Mexican armed forces. An explosion crater on top of an island revealed a hidden beach of golden sands and fascinating rock formations.
Located on Isla Redonda, Hidden beach is one of the most protected sections, in order to preserve its beauty, access is only allowed to 116 people per day (paying for an access bracelet whose funds are used for the conservation of the place) with a stay of 20 minutes per group. Another important point is that to access the hidden beach you must swim approximately 50 meters across a cave, both factors make it highly recommendable to plan your visit because, on days of high tide or very crowded days, it will not be possible to guarantee entry.
Even with its justified regulations, this destination offers a day of water and sun full of unforgettable wonders, and our Custom 36 is conditioned and ready to accompany you on the journey.
If you are thinking of sailing with greater freedom and with more fun options, the ideal proposal is to navigate the waters heading south. Yelapa, Majahuitas and Quimixto are the star triad of tourism, each one with a unique charm that is worth knowing.
Sailing destinations #2: Yelapa
People who live in Puerto Vallarta and need a break from the city always take two options, the first is to “go to the ranch”, as they say here when they go to the towns, near the mountains, for a few days; and the second option is to go to Yelapa.
Imagine a small corner of the world disconnected from everything, with a town built between the sea and the jungle. A paradise where you say goodbye to the day by seeing the multicolored palette that the sun projects when touching the sea, people wake up in the morning with the song of the macaws and in the afternoon you can walk side by side with a parade of hundreds of crabs along the main street. This is Yelapa, the #2 among Bahía de Banderas sailing destinations!
A quiet and jovial fishing village, where vestiges of pre-Hispanic culture have been found, giving it a deep historical and cultural sense that its inhabitants appreciate and respect, as well as Mother Nature that shelters them. A destination that invites you to do ecotourism, here there are no five-star hotels, but there are places of retirement that offer the millions of stars of the celestial vault seen from a hammock under the open sky.
As we have already mentioned, the only way to visit the small hidden paradise of Yelapa is to arrive by sea, the perfect excuse to take a yacht tour of Puerto Vallarta.
Sailing destinations #3: Majahuitas
One of the most beautiful beaches in Cabo Corrientes, its name derives from “Majahua” a kind of local tree, unmistakable for its large leaves and that grows on the seashore. Is the #3 among great sailing destinations in Bahía de Banderas.
Majahuitas is a jungle paradise with a deep turquoise blue sea and a semi-virgin beach that is planned to be kept that way for a long time, to achieve this it has become a nature reserve with restricted access, which means that it cannot be reached any day and at any time, although there are certain surrounding areas with free access.
The group that works for the conservation of this beach, and the more than 480 additional hectares of tropical forest surrounding it, has been in charge of designing and managing sustainable beach experiences with a good vibe at the Beach Club. Which is open to the public on weekends.
In Majahuitas you can enjoy a perfect day at the beach with excellent quality gastronomy and mixology. In addition, on Saturdays, the sounds of nature mix with the rhythm of live music from a selection of local and international musical talent, with the best DJs playing on a magical night.
Sailing destinations #4: Quimixto
Located between Las Animas and Majahuitas, it is perhaps the best-known sailing destinations among the hidden corners of Puerto Vallarta. Still, the only way to get there is, again, by sea.
Actually, Quimixto is not located in Puerto Vallarta, it belongs to the neighboring municipality, Cabo Corrientes, and is part of one of the jewels of the tourist corridor known as Costa Alegre. A route with fabulous beaches that we will talk about in other publications.
The main charm of Quimixto without a doubt is its waterfall. To get there, you can take a pleasant walk or a horseback ride following the mouth of the La Puerta river, it is barely 1.5 km entering a quiet path that allows you to appreciate the fruit trees and the sound of birds.
Quimixto ins the #4 among the sailing destinations of Bahía de Banderas.
You don’t need to worry about carrying too much, Quimixto has a restaurant on the beach and others next to the waterfall, so you can enjoy Mexican appetizers, seafood, and delicious soft drinks.
Whether you are looking for a relaxed atmosphere, how about a massage on board? Or a romantic, with dinner at sunset, multiple entertainment options for the little ones, with babysitting included? Of course! If you require it. All our charters are personalized, because, regardless of the destination you decide to visit, our goal is that you have an unforgettable experience.