Last month I implemented an incentive trip for 240 people in Puerto Vallarta. I was hoping that I could get away from the Hospitality Desk to get to this secret beach! I did check this off my bucket list...was it worth it? I think so, but before you head to Mexico to visit this beach you should know a few things. This is a small island, part of 3 islands off the cost of Banderas Bay in PVR, the beach is very small. You'll take an hour trip to get to the islands so if you get sea sick be prepared with your wrist bands or pills because this tour is about 7 hours! If you're lucky and it's whale season you will see many whales and their babies and probably dolphins. I was part of a group of 40+ which on a large boat and nobody got sea sick- I'm not sure I'd be keen to go on a smaller boat. Once you arrive at the island you'll jump off with flippers and a life jacket (they provide) swim quickly about 100 yards through a small cave-tunnel into the beach. Sometimes the tide is high and you can't swim into the beach because the water gets to close to the cave ceiling. A quick visit is all that is allowed so don't plan on a leisurely day in the sun on a private beach, also there are usually several tour companies bringing people into the beach so it is busy. Bring a waterproof camera because you can take pictures here, or you can buy photos if your tour operator takes them. Next on the tour is a stop at the 2nd of the 3 islands for snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking and lunch. The last stop is a trip to the third island (they are all fairly close together) where some of us that were interested were taken on a smaller boat to see indigenous birds, caves and crashing waves. In summary, I highly recommend the tour company Vallarta Adventures. The catamaran was large and had restrooms, the staff was fun, the music was great and everyone on my trip had a great time. Things I wish I knew before going (probably someone told me and I wasn't listening!) there is an additional 2.00 National Park fee when you arrive at the marina. Also bring a copy of your receipt or your ticket if you paid in advance (just incase there is confusion) and don't forget a little extra if you want to tip the great staff at the end of the trip. Remember transportation to/from hotel and marina are not included in the tour.
By the way, the incentive trip was highly successful and my group had a great time, Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful location with mountains and beaches...actually reminded me a bit of Maui. For groups on a little bit of a budget, you can't go wrong with the all-inclusive resorts; some of which do allow private group functions on property. I have to give 2 thumbs up for my DMC Amstar, who was amazing! Especially Ramon, Mauricio and Cesar who took me to their local hang out for fried tacos and Mexican Coca Cola made/w pure cane sugar! Have I mentioned having a good DMC is key to a successful program? Nothing like having a local on hand at all times to help attendees with questions, transportation, off site tours and dinners. Because we use DMC's around the world, we know how to implement programs in our hometown as the local DMC for Grand Rapids <<<self promotion:-)
I tried to make this review brief and informative, but if you have questions feel free to ask by "commenting" below! Gracias and thanks for visiting my blog.