My Puerto Vallarta trip definitely ranks up there with one of my favorite family trips. Our adventures were endless and we had a fabulous time. If sailing on a luxury yacht, with a very small group of people (less than 30 people) accompanied with all you can drink beverages, fantastic food, and tons of water activities lights your fire, I have found your adventure.
For the rest of you, go look at those large booze cruises, because this is not your gig!
I read a lot of things to do in Puerto Vallarta long before we left and I read about all the different companies that offered adventures. I decided that my family needed to head out on a luxury yacht, to snorkel at Los Arcos and then take in the lovely secluded coves of the Cabo Corrientes.
Lavishly live passport travel out loud, let’s dive into the best snorkeling adventure in Puerto Vallarta while sailing on a luxury yacht! Who’s ready to travel?
Best Snorkeling Experience at Los Arcos in Puerto Vallarta
Chances are if you are reading my article you have been Googling and Googling and hoping to find some confirmation that Vallarta Adventures Luxury Yacht & Snorkel tour is your passport to fun in the Puerto Vallarta sun and you are about to receive that blessing.
I do not work for Vallarta Adventures, in fact, all I know about them is that we booked tours with them and they were handled professionally.
You should know that Vallarta Adventures is the largest adventure provider in Puerto Vallarta and it is safety first, customers first and fun all mixed in.
The Luxury Yacht & Snorkel Experience
Are you ready for a day of fun in the sun and water, with incredible food and beverages? If you said yes, get that swimsuit, book online and brings your sunglasses. This adventure is definitely a must do for any family that loves a bit of spirited adventure with a calmer side. Don’t come if you are looking for a party boat, this it is not.
What you see is an incredible yacht with caring staff. The experience in the water, on paddleboards, and in food is perfection. Make sure you have your cameras ready, there is endless photo ops and you want to capture them!
Ask me how I know they are the best experience and here’s how I know! We were in Los Arcos, the water was a bit ‘rough’ moving us from the boat rapidly. Our Captain positioned the boat so that if we floated away, we would float to him and his staff.
Another venue we had looked at online set their people in the water, did not provide snorkels, flippers, or facemasks and our Captain rescued them. That’s right, a full out the rescue. Our captain allowed them to rest, and then got them back to their boat, who’s Captain did not even note he had lost those passengers. SO choose Vallarta Adventures if you want safety.
What is Provided
We were provided with towels (as many as we needed), snorkels (all being cleaned in warm, soapy, sterile water, goggles, and life vests. Additional equipment on board were paddle boards for the secluded cove you travel to after snorkeling.
Truly if you come with your sunscreen and sunglasses (passports and tip money) you are golden. You won’t need much more because you are going in the water and sailing on the yacht. Luxury life!
We chose to leave the Maritime Terminal, which was about 10 minutes from the Buenaventura Grand Hotel. Our cab fits the 5 of us and it cost us $7 to get there. Additionally, you need about $1.25 a person to enter the marina before you check in with Vallarta Adventures.
Getting on the boat, the crew takes your shoes, for the duration of the cruise but you move to the front of the boat, they explain how to walk and hold on during the cruise and they take GOOD care of you while you are sailing. I highly suggest a water camera for snorkeling, this one works awesome and does not break the bank.
Additionally, bring sunscreen you are on the water for about 5 hours and it gets hot.
From the month of December to the beginning of March you might get lucky enough to see whales and we did. Don’t pay for those other tours and then go snorkeling, while we got lucky, we understand that is the ‘trend’ during these months and wow did everyone get excited when we saw them, totally unexpectedly.
The Captain cut the motor and allowed the Whale to move around, it was crazy great! But your fingers do have to be speedy because when these gentle giants surface it is quick. In fact, I missed a few chances because I was so excited and giddy to see the action.
Why To Love This Cruise
In front of us is Los Arcos. In case you do not know why it is so famous, it is the sight of where Night of The Iguana starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton was filmed. Also, of course, the scenery and the sun.
I mean, look at what is in front of the yacht, lovely landscape and blue skies. There is so much to love on this trip.
This is a newer adventure for Vallarta Adventures and if you have kids with you, or if you do not like those LARGE crowds that get louder as they drink, then you definitely will love this cruise. The Luxury Yacht is that luxurious, the front seats are soft pillows or you can sit on the steps.
My husband and I wanted to keep our wits about ourselves after all we had three children to tend to, we were in open water and getting in that water, we did not drink anything more than water on the way to Los Arcos.
While we did not have a drink immediately, we were off and munching with this fantastic trio of shrimp, guac, and nachos! Yes, this cruise included all you can drink beverages as well as a snack and a fresh twist on lunch which you will see as you read on.
Small Group = More Personalized Service
What I love is when you are not in large crowds and you kind of get to know the staff. You learn just enough to know how dedicated they are to their jobs and their tourism. In fact, our staff really chatted with us and worked with each of us to make the most of our snorkeling experience.
We also got to know some of the people we were snorkeling with. It’s good to know we all worry about sharks and love to see whales. We are all human and have common interests.
Our group consisted of about a total of 17, I told you very small and very nice. Our director of the snorkeling and cove fun was Cory. He is a master of what he does, not only does he explain everything step by step he does not push you if you are not comfortable doing something.
I personally hate getting into the Ocean, guess what, after his explanation, I was in as much as everyone else snorkeling! He even told us if there were sharks he would see them first, lol!
This is Cory he told us everything about the area, the water and set our expectations about snorkeling. Here are the fish we could expect to see today, this helped my husband quickly identify what he was seeing in the camera and shoot photos fast.
Could we identify what fish we saw in the water? Sure after we came out we did see a few of those fish on the chart. It is awe-inspiring below the water and truly on a sunny day you can see a good distance down. Cory spent more time under than we did!
My children were the ‘youngest’ on this cruise it seemed to be adults 25+ but the children were welcome and treated like queens and kings. There were no rules for how old or young you could be on this trip.
Additionally, you were not forced to get off the ship. You could not get in the water at all if that is your preference, simply do what you want to enjoy. No rushing, no pushing, no one was over drinking either. I totally preferred this environment.
Again, this area is famed for Los Arcos as I have referenced above. The photos you can capture are incredible. Nature at its best and below Los Arcos is an entire universe of sea life you want to see.
We have been on a lot of tours but this was pretty fantastic from nature to sea life. I will be the first to admit I often am ‘offish’ about these kinds of trips, but it was so relaxing.
That’s them (up above in the photo, Los Arcos), the arches where we are going to snorkel, more to the one on the right rather than the one on the left, but the sky and conditions are perfect.
This is where we are headed to snorkel and the more brilliant the sun the better the snorkeling. There were other boats here but they did not interfere with our time. Plenty of people come to this destination and I can tell you why it’s gorgeous.
When you look at this formation it’s eerie and pretty all at the same time. There is still water, and harder water, there are currents and then there is just a wicked calmness about the area. You just have to jump in to experience what you are about to see.
And we are in and Cory is waiting for all of us and the Captain is helping us too! Do not fear if you have not snorkeled before, the staff is helpful. Their only objective is to give you fun and a great holiday.
Ask questions, spit on your mask, and enjoy the water. It was late January and the water was super comfortable without wetsuits. Just in case you were wondering. Many will not snorkel just so you know that as well.
LET’S TAKE A PEEK BELOW
So Cory spent a lot of time down under, pointing things out for all of us to see. He was fearless of the environment, a total athletic person who really knows where to dive and what to look for. The more encouraging part was that no one forced us to do what he was doing.
We simply swam along above and every once in a while large schools of fish came out of nowhere. Cory would point and show and we would watch and photo. What a great setup right?
If you hear people say they can not see anything they are just used to the Caribbean water. You can see so many fish, you can see down to about 15 feet without an issue and without diving down.
WHAT YOU WANT TO KNOW
The food and beverages are outstanding and the staff works so hard to keep you having fun without pushing on you. They provided us time to just rest and time to eat, and of course assisted us to paddle boarding, snorkeling and taking photos. The Captain helped us boarding and snorkeling as well when Cody was in the water, they were all just so nice!
Onboard there is even a photographer, but they do not push you to buy the photos, it’s all your choice. We were looking for one of us all in the water, but it did not turn out well enough.
Cove Of Colimis
This cove knocked my socks off, the water was warm, the color was incredible and the clarity was amazing. The stingray thing is what I am going to address right now.
In addition to fish and great snorkeling, there were multiple stingrays at the bottom and Cory went around with my husband and son and showed them these creatures. I kind of was leary of them because of what happened to Crocodile Hunter, but the photo ops were just crazy good.
When Cory was not in the water, he was getting us in the water on Paddleboards and we were all cheering each other on, as all of us tried it out! Once off the paddle boards we swam to the beach and rested and then swam back to the boat! It was so much fun.
Yes I did paddleboard, yes my kids did and we all had a great time. You have to paddle to the beach, and enjoy that area as well, after all you only live once! This destination is ah-mazing.
Honestly exhausted from paddle boarding, snorkeling and tons of swimming we happily set sail back to the marina. On the way back we dined on this delicious tray for 2 along with plenty of margaritas and cervezas. Fresh Mozzarella, pasta salad, fruits, sushi and raw veggies, perfect for this vegetarian!
Culinary bliss with simple foods and great tastes. I loved the fresh mozzarella and the fuit. The Jicama was not my favorite if we are being honest here.
Check out our other basket with delectable bites, a very savory selection of carbs and truly romantic even if we had the kids with us. My 2 teens ate this as well, and Niko had a boxed lunch specially prepared for him by our wonderful and helpful Buenaventura Grand Hotel!
The Overall Trip
Our trip began just a little off schedule. The Captain explained something had happened, but they more than make sure we had enough time everywhere. The group we were with were relaxed. Everyone we were with wanted to have fun.
There are bathrooms on board, welcoming staff and delicious food and beverages. You do NOT have to get in the water. If you prefer to just sit and watch you can. There was a deck as you saw that you can sit underneath if you prefer to not the sun.
The day started at about 9:30 and we were back in about 2:30. Make sure you get to the Marina on time so you get on your adventure. All cab drivers know where to go when you tell them the Marina. Unlike most tours, this one provided all the equipment including towels which made it so much easier on us. The tour is very affordable with respect to some tours we have done when traveling to other places.
We had a fabulous time with the staff, and the adventure and we would do it again. It’s a great day on the water and below. Both the water and this crew were incredible! Lavishly live passport travel out loud with the Best Snorkeling Experience at Los Arcos in Puerto Vallarta.