Los Arcos Underwater Park

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Los Arcos National Marine Park in Puerto Vallarta


Since 1984, the famous Arcos de Puerto Vallarta (a cluster of granite islands poking out of the sea surface) have been considered a National Marine Park. Located south of the Banderas Bay, this protected area has become an excellent site for both diving and for snorkeling.

The Los Arcos National Marine Park is located just between the beaches of Mismaloya and Las Gemelas. This site has deep tunnels, caves, arches and breathtaking reefs. It is said that the average depth of this place lies between 30 and 1,600 feet (somewhere between 9 and 480 meters), making them the deepest waters of the bay.

Also, this site is protected for the reproduction of various seabirds such as pelicans, bobos and some species of parrots, among others. Similarly, the great diversity of marine life avails scuba diving and snorkeling.

There are several boats cruising the Bay with a stop at Los Arcos to enjoy the scenery and partake of the activities above. Most of these boats continue south to visit beautiful beaches only accessible by sea.

Including a bit of history, many years ago these magnificent natural formations of the bay, were called “Las Peñas”. This is where, John Huston decided to film part of the movie “Night of the Iguana” in the early 60’s.

Here are some specifications about Los Arcos:

• Location: 20 ° 32 ’30 “to 20 ° 33′ 00” North | 105 ° 17 ’00 “105 ° 17′ 45” West
• Area: The protected area covers a region of 30 hectares
• Islets: There are five islands with heights between 5 and 50 meters above sea level. Three of them form a natural arch.

If you’re in Puerto Vallarta or have plans to come, it is well worth taking the time to enjoy this extraordinary experience that already should be in your itinerary.


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