Warm days on the water and lively nights in old town are hallmarks of most Puerto Vallarta vacations. With two days, you can enjoy the beaches and water sports of the Bay of Banderas and still have time to venture inland for a jungle adventure.
Los Arcos National Marine Park
Malecon, Puerto Vallarta, 48300
Los Arcos is reachable only by boat, and most visitors arrive as part of a Puerto Vallarta day cruise that includes relaxing at sea and snorkeling in the caves of Los Arcos. The marine life is stupendously varied, from clown and puffer fish to rays and sea turtles. Sightseeing cruises typically also visit other must-see Puerto Vallarta attractions, such as the malecon (waterfront promenade), Romantic Zone, and Mismaloya Beach. There are also small-group snorkeling tours and popular South Shore private sightseeing cruises. Puerto Vallarta city highlights tours let you view Los Arcos from the shore and include hotel pickup and drop-off.
The best experience of our trip!
Cynthia was incredible and highly educated in the field of marine biology. We had the experience of a lifetime thanks to her. I’d come back again 1000 times!
William_E, Aug 2021
Recent reviews from experiences in Puerto Vallarta
Ingrid_B, Jun 2021
Small Group Snorkeling in Los Arcos, Puerto Vallarta
This was an amazing time! Our guide was knowledgeable and the captain was really nice. They were on time and answered all of our questions. Very knowledgeable about what we were seeing and each step of the trip.
The largest number and variety of sea life I have ever seen snorkeling
Debra_B, Mar 2021
Private Snorkeling Tour to Los Arcos
Our boat crew was wonderful. Lovely handmade margaritas, handmade guacamole. The largest number and variety of sea life I have ever seen snorkeling
Relax and unmask
Jeanette_G, Jul 2020
Private Snorkeling Tour to Los Arcos
What an amazing way to spend a morning! Beautiful views and peaceful waters allowed the cares of today’s world drift away. A much needed break! Our captain Fernando was wonderful! Best trip!
Things to Know Before You Go
Los Arcos is a must-see for nature and wildlife lovers, and first-time visitors to Puerto Vallarta.
Bring sunblock and a hat or sunglasses, as there’s little shade out on the bay. Also wear comfortable clothing, and tote a bathing suit, towel, and change of clothes.
Snorkeling gear is provided on most Puerto Vallarta boat tours; bring your own if visiting independently.
How to Get There
Los Arcos lies off the coast of Mismaloya, in the south of Banderas Bay. The easiest way to reach Los Arcos is on a snorkeling or sightseeing tour. Cruise boats head out to Los Arcos from the Puerto Vallarta malecon and Marine Terminal.
When to Get There
Los Arcos Marine Park is lovely year-round. Arrive early if you want to beat the crowds, especially during Puerto Vallarta’s high season (winter). Spring and fall strike a nice balance between pleasant weather and manageable crowds. Wet weather is likely from July through September.
A small sandy beach on a picturesque jungle-fringed cove, Mismaloya sits just south of Puerto Vallarta along the coast of Banderas Bay. In 1964, John Huston’s movie The Night of the Iguana put this now-famous beach town on the map. A popular day trip from Puerto Vallarta, it offers several seafood restaurants, thatched-roof palapas, and one large resort.
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