What does Jacques Cousteau have in common with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton? If you guessed ‘not much’, then you are mostly right! However, the famed French undersea explorer & conservationist & arguably the most famous Hollywood star of our time both fell madly in love with the Punta Mita area. Liz Taylor & Richard Burton filmed “The Night Of The Iguana” in 1964, and loved the area so much that they purchased neighboring holiday homes to escape the intense spotlight on their scandalous love affair. I think it’s safe to say that Cousteu’s passion for the area had a more noble motivation. The Bay Of Banderas, particularly the Marieta Islands, teem with diverse marine life including hundreds of fish species, humpback whales, dolphins, turtles & manta rays as well as ocean caves & coral reefs. Cousteau loved spending time in these thriving waters & started a movement to protect the Marieta Islands. Today, the islands remain as a proud testament to the Frenchman’s efforts, with National Park protection instated in 2005 & recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While Cousteau is no longer with us, his legend lives on in the deep blue waters of Punta Mita. Meanwhile, the likes of Liz Taylor & Richard Burton are today followed with a slew of Hollywood A listers including every variety of Kardashian, Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore, Lady Gaga & Rihanna.
Your stay at Villa Pacifica will leave you spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting beaches for swimming & snorkeling. The Punta Mita peninsula, as well as destinations to the north and south offer an endless array of pristine beaches, many with ample marine life, sure to satisfy snorkeling enthusiasts.
The Ranchos Estates Private Beach
The beauty of staying at Villa Pacifica is the sublime privilege of stepping from your manicured lawn, onto the warm white sands of your own private beach. Shared only with other residents on the Ranchos Estates (of which there never seem to be any), you can dive right into the waves of the Pacific without having to strain yourself too much! If you love snorkeling, there is a rocky granite point right out the front of the villa where you can get warmed up for bigger snorkeling adventures in the area.
El Anclote Beach
El Anclote is the official town of Punta Mita, located 30 km (19 miles) north of the Puerto Vallarta International Airport to the south. El Anclote offers a lively beach scene, thriving with locals & visitors enjoying swimming, surfing, snorkeling & a buzzing local cafe culture. You can enjoy excellent scuba diving (with minimal effort) around the natural pier surrounded by coral reefs & scores of fish species. You’ll also see such species as turtles and manta rays.
Emiliano Zapata Beach
The next village east of El Anclote is Emiliano Zapata, which is home to a beautiful, uncrowded beach. From Villa Pacifica, you can walk to this beach in about 20-30 minutes. You can still enjoy the same snorkeling perks as nearby El Anclote to the western end of the beach where the pier juts out.
The Residents Beach Club
Guests of Villa Pacifica have access to the exclusive Residence Beach Club, which sits right by the our Seasons. The club has a gorgeous, private beach where you can lounge under the sun & have cocktails delivered to your towel, or you can take advantage of the free beach equipment on offer, including snorkeling gear. The water off the beach club is rocky & teaming with fish. This is a great spot to introduce your kids to snorkeling in a fun & safe environment!
Kupuri Beach Club
About 5 minutes drive from the Ranchos Estates is another, less frequented locale called the Kupuri Beach Club. This new beach club is set on a gorgeous stretch of beach facing north over the Libitu Bay. Not only is this a stunning, uncrowded beach, but rocky outcrops make it a great spot for low key snorkeling.
The Marieta Islands sit just off the coast of Punta Mita. In fact, as you sit and enjoy your sunset cocktail at Villa Pacifica you can easily spot this ecological gem from your sun lounge. Referred to as the “Galapogos of Mexico”, the Marieta Islands are home to a thriving undersea life, including over 100 species of fish that thrive in underwater caves and coral reefs. Now a dedicated National Park, boasting UNESCO World Heritage protection, only a few local tour companies are allowed to bring guests to the site. The Marieta Islands are also home to the famous “Hidden Beach”, a surreal and stunning natural formation where a white sand beach slips into crystal clear waters, under a perfectly round hole in the granite island rock.
About half an hour north of Punta Mita is the hippy chic surf town of Sayulita. The hidden beaches along the south point of the bay offer exquisitely private beaches & turquoise coves that can only be reached at low tide by kayak (or SUP, if you’re feeling confident). Several small sandy beaches are separated by large granite boulders, offering some of the best snorkeling in this part of Mexico. Also located in the Sayulita area is Playa de Los Muertos. Continue past the cemetery on to this beach which is very popular with Mexican families due to it’s tendency to be a safe swimming beach, thanks to huge rocks that protect it on both sides. Carriztos Beach is another hidden gem near Sayulita. From the Plaza head south towards Punta de Mita, make a right turn on Niños Heroes. Proceed to fork in the road stay left. Continue on up and over the jungled lined hill down to south end of the beach.
So whether you are channeling your inner Jacques Cousteau, or desperate to satisfy your deepest Hollywood celebrity fantasies, the beaches and waters surrounding Villa Pacifica are sure to impress even the most seasoned beach goers. Call Punta Mita Vacation today to start planning your escape! Our reservations team can be reached on (888) 473-8456. Our reservation team is based in Colorado and we are bilingual in English & Spanish.