They are a super popular tourist destination because of the amount of publicity and attention the islands have gotten over the years, not to mention the abundant marine life populations due to the facts that the islands are protected from fishing, spear fishing and hunting by the Federal Mexican government. The islands have been extremely attractive to scuba divers because of the average depths around the islands are between 20 and 50 meters. There are so many reefs as well as underwater caves that divers love because of the vast marine life that they enjoy.
The Marieta Islands were originally formed by volcanic activity more that a 1000 years ago, all of the islands and are completely uninhabited. Many tour companies in La Cruz, Sayulita and Puerto Vallarta offer boat tours to the islands which take about an hour ride to get there.
The world famous hidden beach which was an attraction for some years is now closed for repair. Parts of the reef and coral have died because of the 10 plus thousand visitors every month. There are several reasons presented for the closure, although all of them stem from the increased number of tourists visiting the park. One of the main reasons of the closure is that the coral in the area is being destroyed. The cause of coral destruction is thought to be a combination of global warming, boat oil and gas in the water due to excessive tour trips, body oils and suntan lotions from snorkelers and of course the physical destruction due to dropping of anchors 250 times a day. This will take a toll on any reef.
Many visitors come to the Marieta Islands for a glimpse of the Blue Footed Boobie Bird that inhabitant the island as well as so many other types of plants and wildlife. In addition to the Blue Footed Boobie, many species of different seabirds use the location as feeding and breeding grounds, which include the spoken about blue-footed boobies as well as the red-billed tropicbirds. It also has many different varieties of coral, which, in turn, is home to a large variety of reef fish species. The Blue Footed Boobie Bird has taken over the island and is one of the only places in the world you can find this bird with exception to the Galapagos Islands.
Early 1900, the government began conducting military testing on the islands with many test bombings and military exercises. Many of the explosions created the form of the island, making underwater caves and really cool rock formations. After a massive international public outcry, which actually was started by scientist Jacques Cousteau in the late 1960s, after the world got involved, the government eventually decided to label the islands a National Park. This is how the islands became protected against any fishing, spear fishing, hunting or removing any wildlife from the park. Many species of birds make the islands their breeding and feeding ground.
Another problem is the increase in solid waste pollution and hydrocarbon pollution. These pose a threat not only to the coral but to larger animals as well. Even the humpback whales have felt the negative impact of hydrocarbon pollution.
When the closure was announced, rumors began to circulate on various social media networks that the Islands and the beaches had been sold to foreign corporations. Roberto Sandoval, the governor of Nayarit, dismissed these rumors as fabrications and stated that the islands were part of the Mexican national heritage and shall therefore remain an icon of Riviera Nayarit forever.
The Marieta Islands have been named one of the top 100 most beautiful places on earth by Frommers. While visiting us in La Cruz be sure and book a tour to the Marieta Islands. There are many different tours to the Marieta Islands but the most comfortable and fun tour that we have found is Chica Locca Tours. Their boat is a 60 foot trimaran with fluffy cushions, water slides, kayaks and paddle boards and they even have the Crystal Kayaks so you can see everything under the water without snorkeling. Please come enjoy, but respect the islands and all of Mexico!