The Baja California Peninsula on the west coast of Mexico is known for its 775 miles of lush nature preserves, fine wine and food, prehistoric and modern history, endless diving possibilities and unique marine wildlife. Its beautiful beaches and many attractions draw tourists year-round. However, there’s one beach in particular that may not be on your vacation list—the charming and hard-to-find Playa del Amor.
Playa del Amor, also known as Hidden Beach or Lover’s Beach, is an Eden away from civilization located in one of Mexico’s uninhabited Marietas Islands west of Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita. Often confused for Playa del Amor, in Baja California’s touristy Land’s End rock formations, this little gem is literally hidden away from the world—unless you have a boat and a guide to get there.
A Hidden Paradise in Mexico
Playa del Amor is something out of a movie or book: a gaping, sandy cavern nestled in a crater below an unassuming grassy island with bright-blue Pacific waters rushing into its opening. This beach is completely invisible from the outside world and, as its name suggests, it’s been a popular destination for couples seeking a little privacy. Today, it’s a popular tourist attraction, yet still remote enough for a private adventure.
What to Expect at Playa del Amor
The Hidden Beach is about an hour away from the closest coastal town, Puerto Vallarta, and the Marietas Islands are completely uninhabited—you can bask in the azure waters knowing you are in the middle of nowhere and out of sight from the rest of the world. The beach is so secluded that it has no facilities and is only accessible through a long water tunnel that links the beach to the Pacific Ocean. The water is about six feet deep, so once the boat drops you off, you can swim or kayak through to get there.
The Marietas Islands are an archipelago thought to be formed by underwater volcano eruptions. Playa del Amor is assumed to have formed from numerous military bombings conducted by Mexico’s government in the 1900s, but this is not entirely clear. The Marietas Islands were declared a national park in 2005, allowing birds and other wildlife to flourish and people to visit.
Getting to Mexico’s Hidden Beach
Hop on a boat and travel an hour northwest from the coast of Puerto Vallarta to get to this little gem. There are plenty of tours to take you there, but as a protected park, there’s a limit on the number of visitors per day. Be sure to book in advance and prepare for rescheduling if the maximum has been reached.