When you travel south in Banderas Bay, you will find an area that through the years has become a popular tourist attraction for people who enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving. It is a hotspot for the daily boat tours of Puerto Vallarta. This protected and now famous area is called “Los Arcos” (The Arches) or "Los Arcos de Mismaloya" (The Arches of Mismaloya).
These stunning rock islands protrude from the ocean surface and are easy to spot even from downtown Puerto Vallarta. Los Arcos have been protected as a National Marine Park since 1984.
The amazing Los Arcos National Marine Park, located in the Banderas Bay cove between two beaches, Las Gemelas and Mismaloya Beach. In this Marine Park you will discover deep tunnels, caves, arches and an impressive and colorful coral reef. The waters around these islands are also the deepest in Banderas Bay, providing a depth ranging from 9 to 480 meters (30 and 1,600 feet).
Los Arcos underwater park is the most popular diving and snorkeling destination in Puerto Vallarta because of it’s abundance of marine life and the clarity of the surrounding water which is rarely choppy. Snorkelers, scuba divers and boaters revel in this area’s natural wonders and beauty, and enjoy having an opportunity to view the various forms of tropical marine life which include: puffer fish, parrot fish, cornet fish, lobster, octopus, angel fish, rays, clown fish, needle fish, and others. This beautiful place is also a protected area for some various seabird species that breed there, including penguins, various species of parrots, pelicans and other sea and land birds. Los Arcos is visited by many boats everyday. The visitors marvel at the stunning scenery while enjoying their favorite water activities.
These huge rock formations were called Las Peñas (The Rocks) not that long ago and in fact so was all of Puerto Vallarta because of the large rock formations that protect the entrance of Banderas Bay.
Make sure to see visit the famous Los Arcos National Marine Park while vacationing in the Puerto Vallarta area. Los Arcos is an attraction you don’t want to miss!