The wonderful Marieta Islands, Sayulita and Puerto Vallarta
June 23, 2021
After the great days at the beautiful lagoon of Bacalar, I had several options…. One was to move further north and enjoy the beautiful cenotes and the Caribbean Sea. Since the area north of Bacalar (Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, among others) is unfortunately also by far the most touristy in Mexico and I have another flight from Alaska to Cancun in early August anyway, I decided to fly to the complete opposite corner. Namely, to the second largest Mexican city, Guadalajara. After two nights, however, I left Guadalajara (because I wanted to spend more time there afterwards) in order to refuel a little bit on the beach and to see familiar faces. And off I went to Sayulita!
Well, what can I say… In retrospect, Sayulita was probably a bit like what I imagine Playa del Carmen to be like (but I’ll have to update that when I’ve actually visited Playa :P). Well-visited beaches and the nightly party life dominate the beach town very much. Nothing is cheap here either. Nevertheless, it has a certain charm and in the end, the company is always a big part of the trip and it was definitely right! We were a small group that definitely had fun on the beach and in the nightlife and also did a really really cool tour. Namely to the Islas Marietas!
The Islas Marietas are some uninhabited islands on the coast of Nayarit and fantastically beautiful. Nowadays, the government has protected the islands from hunting and fishing. Thanks to the protection, there are an incredible number of fish and bird species around the islands. The islands are completely uninhabited and were formed many thousands of years ago by volcanic activity. At the beginning of the 20th century, military tests were carried out on the Islas Marietas by the Mexican government. Many new caves and rock formations were formed by the many bomb impacts. In the meantime, the islands can only be entered with permission. We paid about 60 euros per head just to enter the islands and the beautiful beach of Playa Amor. An absolute highlight and, in retrospect, well worth the money.
Playa Amor, also called the hidden beach (Playa Escondida), is a private oasis of white beach, crystal blue water and mysterious caves on a tropical island. The beach is only accessible through a tunnel. So you have to swim through this tunnel or take a kayak to reach Playa Amor. But once you reach it, it’s insanely beautiful! The beach is only accessible at low tide and my breath was taken away when I was able to swim under the tunnel entrance towards the beach and the beautiful beach appeared in front of me.
After a few more cheerful days in Sayulita, it was time to say goodbye and continue on to Puerto Vallarta. Well, Puerta Vallarta is an absolute tourist stronghold. I booked a hostel in the Zona Romantica. When I arrived in the district, I was greeted by many rainbow flags on the walls of the houses. There were also many posters of men with naked torsos and many Freddy Mercury posters. A very colourful neighbourhood! So option 1 was that I ended up in a neighbourhood that has a great fondness for rainbow colours, an artists’ quarter so to speak!
I couldn’t really sort out my thoughts on option 2 yet… When I passed two travel agency stands and the salesmen at both stands wanted to offer me a gay boat tour. Then it was clear to me that I definitely had my accommodation in the heart of the LGBT scene (option 2 :P). I quickly took off the rainbow T-shirt I had just bought so as not to draw too much attention to myself… hahahah
After all doubts had been cleared up, a friend told me that Puerto Vallarta is definitely an absolute stronghold in the scene and the measure of all things here in Mexico haha. I made the most of my free time, sitting outside most of the time in front of the cafes, reading books and people-watching xD. In the end, Puerto Vallarta was super relaxing for me to come down a bit after the festive days in Sayulita and plan the next travel steps… So full of motivation, I’ll tell you about the second biggest city of Mexico… Guadalajara in due time. And since I’m already in Ciudad Valles (yes… I apologise for the delay), I want to guarantee you that really insanely dreamlike pictures of the diverse green landscape in the state of San Luis Potosi will follow soon! That’s right… I’m piling very, very high right now… So don’t give up and check the blog every now and then 😛