The only paid excursion we took on our recent trip to Puerto Vallarta was a boat trip to go snorkeling. It was a lot of fun and actually a pretty full day of things to do and see.
The trip with Vallarta Adventures we paid $60 or $70 a person the day before and had to meet up at the Port which was about 10 minutes away from our resort at Conta Del Sol. The trip started at 9:00 but the fellow at the hotel told us to get there for 8:15, not sure why do early.
At the Port there were buns and coffee and there was an opportunity to get pics taken (for money of course) with a big parot (which we didn’t take), and a big sea lion (pics were just too cute not to pass on).
Finally just before 9 we got pictures taken by a statue and headed onto the boat. Big catamaran that held 100 people or so and this day there were probably around 40 of us.
On The Water to Marietas Islands
As we left the port our guides were great to introduce themselves and orient us with the boat. There were two separate washrooms each for men and women, only smoking in the back of the boat, and then a great breakfast with pancakes and eggs as well as juice, coffee, whatever we wanted.
And don’t forget the sunscreen. We had gotten special eco-sunscreen the night before and slathered it on. No one wants a sunburn. More on that later…
Once we got going the sea was a little choppy and we stopped in one area in Nuevo Vallarta to pick up a few people and then off again to the Marietas islands to do some snorkeling. This is what we came for!
The guides on the boat were great in showing us how to use their equipment. Really good info on what to look for and finally about sharks. He told us that if we see a shark… call him over because in all his time he had never seen a shark there. Great ice breaker for everyone that was a little nervous about jumping off a perfectly floating boat.
We still had some trouble getting the snorkel and mask on, finally got into a small boat and over by and island we snorkeled for probably 30 minutes or so. The time went really quick and we saw lots of tropical fish but also had a few problems, mostly with the fact that we were wearing lifejackets (safety first) and the water was really deep so it was hard to keep ourselves together.
After we finally got back in the boat after snorkelling there were some other things that we could do, including standing paddleboarding.
My 12 year old son and I went on the paddleboards and I warned him to watch his balance. He just stands up and asks why? I had a bit more trouble getting myself stood up but was able to paddle myself around a bit better. Finally when it seems that my son and I were definitely headed to south america one of the friendly guides came by in a little motor boat (that thing is sure handy) and gave us a ride back.
While I was getting back in the little boat I apparently scratched my knee and the staff on the boat were all excited to help me out. The cut was really small but on my wet leg it dripped down. The head guide told me to let my family know that I barely got away from the shark on time and we all laughed.
Finding The Marietas Islands Hidden Beach
After we were finished with all these water sports we went over to the most famous island in the Marieta Archipelego and that is the island with the hidden beach. Again we had to take the little motor boat closer, don our life jackets and drop back into the ocean.
There is a cave that you have to swim through to get to the hidden beach and just because of the different currents this can be a bit tough to swim through.
I sure with we had a camera with us when we go to the beach. It is smaller than we expected but amazing looking with a hole in the island above you and actually to one side we were able to go through another cave and see ocean waves crashing into a big cave. The sand is like dust, so fine and we found a few shells that we were able to bring home as souvenirs.
After the swim back to the boat my wife had her accident, as she was getting into the boat she slipped off the ladder and went butt first into my daughter – we are still laughing about that weeks later and my Michelle has to admit she is not very graceful 🙂
Then lunch. The lunch were these great burgers with chips and lots of toppings and other food. And now that we were finished with jumping off the boat the bar was open! My wife does not drink and I decided ahead of time that I would be watching my booze intake on a boat. Last thing I would want is seasickness after drinking.
Finally Coming Back to Puerto Vallarta
The boat trip back to Puerto Vallarta was uneventful. We looked for dolphins, which are common in the area, but we didn’t see any which is too bad, my wife and kids have swam with dolphins before so we were not heartbroken over this.
The staff know that everyone is getting tired by this time in the afternoon so they keep the energy up with music and games. We laughed, enjoyed the afternoon and had a great time coming back. Lots of pictures as we got closer to shore.
We got into shore around 5:15 or so. The day was a little long but full of stuff done and time together.
Finally as we were getting off we noticed that maybe we had not reapplied the sunscreen enough times. We all burnt. Good thing we were going home the next day anyway as the sunburns were pretty bad and even my head was peeling for a week afterwards.
Even though we were nervous about spending so much money for an excursion we were really happy that we took this trip. We expected ahead of time that the highlight would definitely we the snorkeling but there were so many things that were fantastic, so many memories of things that we had never done before that we really enjoyed.
This was one of those days that we are glad we have lots of pictures of and memories to remember for years to come. Always a few problems on a long day our like this but in the end well worth it.