The warm, crystal-clear waters of Nuevo Vallarta’s and Puerto Vallarta’s Banderas Bay and the Mexican Pacific are home to a vast array of sea life making it one of Mexico's most exhilarating diving destinations. Though the area does not offer the number of dive sites found in the Mexican Caribbean, the diversity of the dive sites more than makes up for it! From shallow secluded coves to towering pinnacles; from drift dives to awe inspiring blue water dives; from minute seahorses to giant Pacific Mantas. It can all be found in the nutrient rich cool waters of the Mexican Pacific.
A sampling of some of the sites they visit are as follows:
Las Marietas Islands: Originally made famous by Jacques Cousteau in the 1970's, the Marietas Islands Marine Reserve has now become one of the most popular areas in Western Mexico for scuba diving. Part of an underwater mountain range that peaks above the ocean's surface, the Marietas Islands mark the entrance to Banderas Bay from the Pacific.
Las Caletas: Situated on the south side of Banderas Bay, Las Caletas is Vallarta Adventure's exclusive tropical beach hideaway, where underwater coves and a nearby natural reef are home to a diverse array of sea life, colorful tropical fish, turtles, manta rays and some of the finest scuba diving on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Monday - Saturday, divers have the opportunity to dive with sea lions!
El Morro: West of Marietas Islands, on the edge of Banderas Bay, lies El Morro, a series of rock pinnacles extending above the surface of the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, giving experienced divers the chance to practice more technical diving in a remote location. Home to a great diversity of marine life including lobsters, turtles, octopus, sharks, sea horses, dolphins, jacks, yellowtails, sailfish and the largest moray eels and manta rays you've ever seen. trips to this spectacular
dive site are available to small groups of certified divers only. There are few sights more awe inspiring for scuba divers than watching manta rays performing their graceful somersaults. These magnificent creatures are frequently seen feeding alone or in small groups near the surface at Puerto Vallarta scuba diving sites such as El Morro and other near shore waters near coral and rocky reefs. The Great Pacific Mantas swim the waters of Banderas Bay between July and November, when the weather conditions are best.
Los Anegados: This rock bank lies half way between El Morro and the Marietas Islands in a relatively sheltered area of the outer limits of Banderas Bay. The bank starts at around 30 ft below the ocean's surface and is full of caves and interesting rock formations. Los Anegados is a popular dive after the deeper descents at El Morro and, due to the shallower depths here, it is common that you will see bottom dwellers such as rays and eels.
Pelagics such as Tuna and Jacks are also very common here as well as the famous giant mantas. Nurse sharks are generally a gentle shark which mostly swims away when approached by humans. This makes them perfect for open water shark diving. Nurse sharks can often be found on sandy ocean floors resting during the day or at water depths of less than 60ft so divers can experience these sharks with an open water qualification. Some larger specimens prefer deeper reefs and shelves more than 100ft into the ocean, this will require an advanced open water certification or higher.
Los Arcos Night Dive: One of Mexico's most popular marine reserves, Los Arcos is a cluster of granite islands that perch out of the water in the southern part of Banderas Bay. With depths ranging from 30-1600 feet,
the waters surrounding Los Arcos are the deepest in the entire bay, offering experienced divers the perfect environment for night diving in Vallarta. With Vallarta Adventures, certified divers can discover the thrill of night diving in the Devil's Canyon and El Bajo, the fascinating underwater mountain range, while witnessing the abundant lobster, octopus and other marine life that can only be seen at night.
Dive services for guests of the Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta are provided by Vallarta Adventures, a PADI Gold Palm 5-Star IDC Dive Center.
Their Fleet consists of U.S.C.G. approved catamarans and pangas in addition to a luxury Wellcraft speed boat that can be used for private charters and accommodates special dive groups up to 8 divers with ease and grace.
For a customize dive vacation package, please complete our Reservation Request Form or contact us at toll free 800-353-3419 or our Florida office at 954.453.5036 or E-mail us for more information.