Sayulita has been on the map as a surf destination for quite some time but just a few miles south is a quiet fishing village turned resort town with a plethora of paddling options. Located on Mexico’s Pacific coast, the small town of Punta Mita is situated on a peninsula on the Banderas Bay, offering gentle surf and views of the Marieta Islands. Often referred to as the “Mexican Malibu,” this under the radar destination has waves aplenty well as a number of flat water paddling options. In addition to ocean adventures, Punta Mita and the surrounding area offers inland activities as well.
While exploring a new place on your own is fun, sometimes it’s nice to let the experts do the work for you and jump on a tour. I recently spent a month in Punta Mita and had the chance to try out a few of the most popular tours and excursions in the area. Here are four of my favorites.
Vista Paraiso/Riviera Expeditions Zip Line Canopy Tour
Located in the mountains of Higuera Blanca, Vista Paraiso’s zip line adventure features ten lines and a suspension bridge atop the Mexican jungle. The course zips through and over the jungle, with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Monkey Mountain in the background. The bi-lingual guides are the perfect blend of friendly, funny, and professional and go above and beyond to ensure that the experience is a good one.
Safety is a top priority and two ropes are used on every line and are carefully inspected by guides before takeoff. After safely returning to the ground, we enjoyed tequila tasting and fresh chips and salsa at the onsite restaurant before a shuttle transported us back to our accommodations. Vista Paraiso’s zip lining tour was an epic experience and the perfect way to see the area from above.
WildMex Coral Island Snorkel
While the Marieta Islands are definitely the most popular in the region, the Coral Islands are a quieter, more peaceful option. Located near Rincon de Guayabitos, the tour meets at the WildMex shop and then shuttles guests to the island via van and boat. Once on the island, you’ll have the chance to snorkel in a large pool that is home to a wide array of fish, rays, lobsters, and octopi.
After getting your fill of snorkeling, you’ll have the opportunity to paddle around the island and spot the blue-footed boobies that inhabit the island. The tour was incredible and a perfect way to see the island.
Chica Locca ChicaFun Waterslides Marietas Islands Tour
If you’re looking for a day of partying and fun on the water, Chica Locca Tours may be for you. Chica Locca’s all-inclusive open boat tour includes breakfast, lunch, drinks, snacks, and ample time to play in the water and explore the island. The ChicaFUN WATERSLIDES is incredible: bright colors, comfy chairs, and plenty of toys. Upon arriving at the Marietas, the boat docks offshore and you have the chance to explore the island, swim, snorkel, dance, enjoy the waterslides, or paddle around the boat. A trip to the coveted “Hidden Beach” is available for an additional cost and is a once in a lifetime sight worth seeing.
The bi-lingual guides are very service-oriented while simultaneously being fun and entertaining. On the return trip, the boat docks one last time in La Cruz so you can get your last fix of riding the waterslides. The seven-hour trip is perfect for families and friends and is a sure way to have a good time on the water. Chica Locca regularly runs special offers and discounts, so be sure and check the website to see if you can secure a deal.
Riviera Expeditions/Vista Paraiso Horseback Riding Tour
Vista Paraiso’s horseback riding tour begins on their immaculate and beautiful property where you are introduced to your bi-lingual guides, horse, and fellow riders. From there, it’s a short ride down the cobblestone streets of Higuera Blanca, a traditional Mexican town to the jungle.
After leaving the town, you trek through the lush jungle trails to the white sand beaches lining the Pacific. There, you’ll have the chance to ride along the water and give a go at running your horse on the beach. After that, it’s a mellow ride back through Higera Blanca to Vista Paraiso. The tour is very peaceful, the horse/guides friendly, and the scenery incredible.