Los Arcos de Mismaloya: An Impressive and Mysterious Natural Attraction
Declared Zone of Refuge for the Protection of Marine Life in 1975 by the then Secretary of Industry and Commerce, Los Arcos de Mismaloya and the waters surrounding them are located on Puerto Vallarta’s southern coast, just a 15-minute drive from El Centro, and a 10-minute boat ride from the beaches Mismaloya and Las Gemelas. These rocks have multiple tunnels, where you may observe their rocky formations in a detailed manner, as well as beautiful reefs that allow you to view a large diversity of marine species.
Several thousand years ago, Los Arcos de Mismaloya did not exist as such, as they were part of the mountain that we currently see along the coast of the bay. The mountain, formed of rock-solid granite, wore out with time, as the strong waves constantly hit against it. In this way, the earth was slowly eroded until one day, the part that connected land to the closest arch to the shore sunk in the sea, leaving the four rocks that we see today as islands.
One unique trait of the place is a vertical underwater wall that runs downwards for 250 m on the west side of the rocks, where you may find several drops ideal for professional divers, like El Cañón or La Quijada del Diablo. Although diving in this zone is strictly for experts, there are other activities for all types of people, such as SUP and Yoga SUP.
Also, now a days, Los Arcos de Mismaloya are the perfect site to enjoy the beautiful blue-green-colored sea through snorkeling, as well as other activities like sailing the perimeter of the place on kayak or yacht. Within each rock or “arch” there is a mysterious tunnel, created naturally, of a height of approximately 25 m, which offers an excellent opportunity to observe the powerful movement of the waves, either up-close or afar, while it crashes against the rocky formation. It is actually known that around Los Arcos de Mismaloya are found some of the deepest waters of the Banderas Bay, reaching more than 1,000 m in depth.
Whether it be that you are looking to take a nice trip along the sea, appreciate the flora and fauna, or have a memorable adventure, Los Arcos de Mismaloya are full of mystery and natural magic ideal for any type of visitor who wishes to have an experience in contact with Mother Nature.