The Mexican resort of Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific Ocean’s Bahía de Banderas is marketing itself as a vacation destination ideal for visitors interested in sightseeing, ecological diversity and beauty.
The Bahía de Banderas, in the Mexican state of Jalisco, shelters numerous diverse ecosystems, including tropical lagoons, rainforests, mangroves, pristine beaches, the Pacific Ocean, waterfalls and mountains.
According to the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board, Puerto Vallarta has treasured and protected these natural assets by ensuring that development of the area’s infrastructure has gone hand-in-hand with maintaining its natural habitat and endemic species.
One of the most popular nature-protection activities in Puerto Vallarta has been conservation of the hundreds of baby turtles that come to hatch in the destination’s beaches from August to November.
Various hotels in Puerto Vallarta have conservation programs, which allow guests to experience what it is like to save the once-low population of turtles and help them nest or assist newborn turtles travel to the ocean. Puerto Vallarta has been actively working towards the conservation of marine turtles for more than 30 years, according to the tourism board.
Puerto Vallarta is also now offering escorted tours of El Salado Sanctuary. This is a protected area of 415 acres located 2 miles from Puerto Vallarta’s Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport and is home to 100 species of birds, 29 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 10 mammalian 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 being offered educational nature walks. According to the tourism board, 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 old colonial town of San Sebastián del Oeste. The Potrero de Mulas project is a protected conservation area that offers rustic and unique accommodations which have low impact on the environment and its surroundings.
Additionally, at San Sebastián del Oeste, visitors can experience nature walks, camping, zip-lining, bird watching, bow hunting, mountain biking and an obstacle course.
Another popular activity in Puerto Vallarta is watching humpback whales. Conceived and born in the ocean off Puerto Vallarta, grown whales follow acoustic signals, currents, and temperature changes for more than 5,000 miles to arrive in the warm waters of Bahía de Banderas.
Swimming from Alaska and Northern California and further away, humpback whales arrive in the ocean off Puerto Vallarta to mate and give birth to their young, which can weigh up to 4,000lb and are 20 feet in length.
While whale-watching in Puerto Vallarta visitors can also view the large diversity of fauna that live in this ecosystem, including dolphins and the famous blue-footed booby, a seabird which is extremely graceful on and over water but is clumsy on land. The birds’ only need for land is to breed, which they do on rocky coasts, according to Wikipedia.