Home » Mexico » PV Hot List: Visit Los Arcos of Mismaloya

In Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, the surrounding Banderas Bay is home to some of the most amazing natural beauty in the country that has mesmerized both visitors and residents. Los Arcos is situated south of downtown Puerto Vallarta and is a natural landmark and tourist attraction you can’t miss during your time in the area. Los Arcos of Mismaloya are unbelievable rock formations that contain natural tunnels where small boats can drive through. If you enjoy scuba diving or snorkeling, you can do that in and around the tunnels as well. Keep reading below to learn all about Puerto Vallarta’s Los Arcos of Mismaloya, which is just a few minutes away from downtown Puerto Vallarta off the southern shore of Banderas Bay.

Puerto Vallarta Hot List: Visit Los Arcos of Mismaloya

Did you know that a Los Arcos of Mismaloya lookout point can be reached by driving south from downtown Puerto Vallarta on Carretera 200? If you want to get up close and personal with the rock formations, you can take a 10-minute boat ride from the Mismaloya beach, or you can also take a water taxi directly from the main pier downtown which takes a little longer. If you aren’t in a rush, it is a nice way to enjoy incredible Banderas Bay views along the way. There are multiple tunnels at the Los Arcos rock formations where swimming or snorkeling can be enjoyed, and small boats can easily go through the tunnels. There is a wide variety of marine life that inhabits the area as well as numerous seabird species such as parrots, penguins, pelicans, and other native land birds. Scuba divers and snorkelers will be impressed by the colorful reefs and vibrant fish that can be found at Los Arcos.

History of Los Arcos of Mismaloya

In 1975, The Secretary of Industry and Commerce declared the Los Arcos of Mismaloya a zone for Refuge for the Protection of Marine Life. The area has been a protected area since 1984 when it was established as a National Marine Park. Today, the granite islands protrude up high into the sky and visitors in downtown Puerto Vallarta visitors can even see the impressive rock formations from the Malecon boardwalk. However, thousands of years ago the Los Arcos de Mismaloya rock formations were actually connected to the adjacent Sierra Madre mountains. Over time, they were slowly worn down by fierce waves that continuously crashed against them. Consequently, the earth eroded which disconnected the land in between Los Arcos and the shore which left the remaining four rock formations that you can visit today.

Deep Ocean Waters at Los Arcos of Mismaloya

Los Arcos of Mismaloya is actually the deepest part of the water in Banderas Bay reaching depths up to 480 meters deep (30 & 1,600 feet). There is a vertical underwater wall that goes down 250 meters on the west side of the rock formations where professional divers can explore diving spots known as El Canon and La Quijada del Diablo. Novice snorkelers and people who enjoy paddle boarding can partake in these outdoor activities and enjoy the clear turquoise sea waters. Take note that each of the four-rock formations has an arch with a 25-meter high tunnel. Visitors that go through the interior tunnels of the rock formations will be in awe of how strong the waves are in this area.

Whether you view the Los Arcos of Mismaloya from a boat or up close as you swim, snorkel or dive, it is a must-visit attraction for individuals vacationing in PV. Are you ready to visit Los Arcos de Mismaloya soon?

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