Puerto Vallarta is blessed with ecological diversity and beauty. Banderas Bay shelters numerous diverse ecosystems, including tropical lagoons, rainforests, mangroves, pristine beaches, waterfalls, and spectacular mountains. This gift is something that has been treasured and protected in Puerto Vallarta where the developing the area’s infrastructure has gone hand-in-hand with maintaining its pristine natural habitat and endemic species.
One of the most popular activities to do in Puerto Vallarta has been the conservation of the hundreds of baby turtles that come to hatch in the destination’s beaches from August to November. Various hotels in the destination have conservation programs for guests to experience what it is like to save the once low population of turtles and help them nest or assist the new born travel to the ocean; Puerto Vallarta has been actively working towards the conservation of Marine turtles for more than 30 years.
Most recently, Puerto Vallarta is offering escorted tours of El Salado Sanctuary, a protected area of 415 acres, located 2 miles from Puerto Vallarta’s International airport and home to 100 species of birds, 29 species of amphibians and reptiles, and ten mammals species. Among its conservation efforts, El Salado is dedicated to the ecological rehabilitation, research and protection of the area’s ecosystem. The sanctuary consists of mangrove and marsh vegetation, semi-deciduous and thorn forests. Visitors are moved around the mangrove canals in a panga (small canoe) to experience the area’s biodiversity up close as well as educational nature walks, this is a sustainable way for the Sanctuary to maintain its flora and fauna and teach its visitors about conservation. .
Another self –sustained project in Puerto Vallarta is located in the destination’s Magical Town, San Sebastian. The Potrero de Mulas project is a protected conservation area that offers rustic and unique accommodations that have low impact on the environment and its surroundings. Additionally, visitors can enjoy nature walks, camping, zip lining, bird watching, bow hunting, mountain biking and an obstacle course.
Another popular activity in Puerto Vallarta is watching the Humpack whales. Conceived and born in Puerto Vallarta, grown whales follow acoustic signals, currents, and temperature changes for more than 5,000 miles to arrive in the warm waters of Banderas Bay. Hailing from Alaska and Northern California, humpback whales arrive to Puerto Vallarta to mate and give birth to their young, which can weigh up to 4,000 pounds and 20 ft in length. While whale watching in Puerto Vallarta visitors will find the large diversity of fauna that live in this ecosystem, including dolphins and the infamous Blue-footed Booby.