The history of the Marietas Islands is very closely related to the history of the founding peoples of Banderas Bay since pre-Hispanic times. According to ancient documents the Marietas Islands were "Formerly used as an Indian slaughterhouse, where it is said that they went there to worship evil" ... some other histories refer to the islands as important "pearl feeders" which where then exported to Europe and even as a Hideout for pirates.

In a map drawn up in 1797, the islands referred to by the name of Marietas started to appear. The location of these islands being used as a fishing site dates back to around 1935 where shark fishermen camps were set up to carry out the capture and extraction of liver oil, which was very valuable at the time of World War II as a complement Vitaminic for the soldiers, also they were exploited for the collections of guano to scale for its commercialization as natural fertilizer.

The protection of the islands has been the object of interest by various sectors of the population such as schools, government, companies, culminating on April 25, 2005 with its declaration as a Natural Protected Area under the category of National Park. Since 2004, it has been part of the Ramsar sites as a major wetland in the world and in 2008 was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program.


The Marietas Islands are located off the coast of the state of Nayarit, in waters of federal jurisdiction 7.9 km southwest of the peninsula known as Punta de Mita, in the municipality of Banderas Bay, these islands are considered as the last that conform The great variety of formations belonging to the Gulf of California.

The access is only by sea, starting from any point of the Bay, being the ports: Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco and Nuevo Vallarta, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and Punta Mita.

Seasonal Whale Watching

The Whale Watching Season runs from December 8th through March 23rd each year. Because of the location of the Marietas Islands, and the temperature of the water being the most ideal for them. Humpback Whales tend to be close to the surroundings of the Islands.