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Puerto Vallarta is home to stunning natural sceneries that amaze anyone with its beauty and wide biodiversity that can be found in protected sites and ecotourism areas, where you can connect to nature and admire stunning landscapes.
Take a look at the list of activities that you can find in this destination to live its natural charm at its best.
Located in front of Mismaloya beach, Los Arcos Marine Park is a natural paradise where you can practice scuba diving and snorkeling and discover the abundant marine life found in its depths, due to its light ocean currents that allow great visibility even at more than 1500 feet deep (480m aprox).
If you want to take your scuba diving experience to the next level, make sure to book a night dive tour, with one of the most incredible and unforgettable underwater experiences.
Los Arcos is also an ideal place to practice stand up paddle and kayak, and explore the caves formed around the huge granite rocks that emerge in the middle of the ocean.
This protected area is a natural habitat for many marine birds, such as blue-footed boobies, parrots and pelicans, among others. At the bottom of the sea, its reefs are home to multicolored fish including clown fish, puffer fish, stingrays and octopuses.
This incredible area dedicated to the conservation and exhibition of exotic plants from Mexico and the world is located just 30 minutes away from downtown Puerto Vallarta, heading south towards Barra de Navidad. It has been voted 5th place among all Botanical Gardens in North America in USA Today's 10 Best Readers' Choice 2019.
Opened in 2005, this extraordinary garden covers an area of 46 acres and is protected by Friends of Vallarta Botanical Gardens, A.C. in collaboration with the United States. Nowadays, it is one of the most important tourist attractions in the region, offering the opportunity to observe and admire the beautiful birds that visit every day, and swim in the Horcones River’s crystal water pools, just a few steps away.
The garden has an astounding collection of orchids, as well as oaks, bromeliads, agave plants and wild palms.
This estuary is a national protected area that has flourished as one of the main ecotourism attractions in Puerto Vallarta thanks to the dedicated work of biologists and caretakers of the place. It is the only urban estuary in Latin America, covering 168 acres with mangroves and marshland, offering the amazing adventure of meeting the American crocodile and learning more about its habits and cares.
It is of great importance to the climatic balance of the zone because the mangroves that grow here serve as a shield from the intense waves of the ocean during hurricane season. It´s also a vital part of the area’s ecosystem because it produces and regulates food for almost every species that inhabits the bay
Its fascinating fauna is comprised of 29 types of amphibians and reptiles, such as the American crocodile and the black iguana, crustaceans like the fiddler, stone, and mouthless crabs, as well as 10 kinds of mammals, like adorable raccoons and opossums.
The guided tours will take you on a boat across the canals filled with flora and fauna, and the opportunity of walking on a dock surrounded by different types of mangroves.
Formed by the Palo María River, this waterfall is a must stop during your visit to Puerto Vallarta. To get there, you have to walk approximately 15 minutes following the river through the jungle. The effort gets paid off once you encounter its crystal-clear waterfall and the various pools formed at its feet where you can dip and refresh after your hike.
The best time to visit is during rainy season, when the river and waterfall are abundant and most impressive.