Guide To Scuba Diving in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Guide To Scuba Diving in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

You is perhaps accustomed to Puerto Vallarta as a trip vacation spot, however do you know it’s additionally an amazing place for a little bit of scuba diving in Mexico?

This well-known seashore city is the right base for exploring some superb dive websites within the space. We’ll take a more in-depth take a look at scuba diving in Puerto Vallarta on this detailed information. 

For extra on travelling to PV, be certain to take a look at our full information to visiting Puerto Vallarta, the place to remain in Puerto Vallarta, one of the best seashores, the place to eat, the nightlife, and the highest excursions!

Right here we go, our Scuba Diving Information to Puerto Vallarta

Introduction to Scuba Diving in Puerto Vallarta

It’s a brief and scenic boat trip from city to many websites in Banderas Bay, most of that are effective for freshmen and superior divers alike. Round PV, you possibly can dive shipwrecks, caves, underwater mountain ranges, and far more. 

There’s numerous superb marine life to see when diving round Puerto Vallarta. You’ll be able to spot every kind of rays and turtles in addition to moray eels, dolphins, and even humpback whales.


Scuba diving actually is an unimaginable expertise and is without doubt one of the finest actions in Puerto Vallarta.

Whereas locations like Cozumel and Playa del Carmen on the east coast could also be extra well-known, Puerto Vallarta is a good diving vacation spot in its personal proper.

In my humble opinion, it’s additionally only a nicer place to go to. I could also be a bit biased, having spent the higher a part of the final three years dwelling there, however there’s a purpose I selected this seashore city on the west coast of Mexico!

Though it takes a short time from city to achieve one of the best dive websites, that’s half the enjoyable. On these boat journeys round Banderas Bay, you’ll be capable of take pleasure in some postcard-worthy surroundings en path to your dive website. It really is a surprising place to go to.

Better of all, there’s a lot to see and do in Puerto Vallarta whenever you’re not within the water.

That is the right vacation spot when you’re hoping to do a little bit of diving along with different journey and cultural actions. In fact, you possibly can at all times simply relax and chill out on the seashore with a margarita in hand as properly!

When you’re planning a visit to do some scuba diving in Puerto Vallarta, learn on for a more in-depth take a look at one of the best time to go to, the highest dive websites, and a few highly-rated dive outlets to go along with.

When To Go Scuba Diving in Puerto Vallarta

The most effective time to go scuba diving in Puerto Vallarta will depend on what you’re hoping to do. Some would say one of the best time is between November and Might when the seas are calmest. 

It’s sometimes sunny, heat, and dry throughout these months, so you possibly can take pleasure in your time on land as properly. That being stated, the winter months additionally see restricted visibility and the water can get fairly chilly.

In February the water can get right down to 72°F (26°C). Plankton blooms presently have an effect on the visibility, however that additionally attracts manta rays and sharks that you simply’ll hopefully be capable of spot. 

On the web site of 1 common dive store, they point out how the winter months convey very unpredictable circumstances at lots of the finest dive websites.

Sturdy currents and winds presently of yr can restrict or completely block off entry to a few of them, so it’s finest to plan not less than per week upfront. 

scuba boat puerto vallarta mexico

Peak journey season to Puerto Vallarta is between December and March, with issues getting particularly loopy round Christmas and New Yr’s. Make sure to e book your lodging properly upfront if touring at this very busy time!

There’s one other mini-peak season when Semana Santa (Holy Week) rolls round. This is without doubt one of the finest occasions to journey Mexico when you’re into tradition, however not when you aren’t a fan of crowds.

Summer time means the wet season in Puerto Vallarta, which has its professionals and cons.

On the one hand, it’s highly regarded and humid with frequent downpours. Coping with inclement climate means smaller crowds and decrease costs, although.

The exception to that is weekends in the summertime when Mexican households flip up in droves to take pleasure in la playa.

The water can also be warmest presently (round 85°F/30°C in August-September) and visibility is at its finest, so it’s not a foul time to go scuba diving in Puerto Vallarta. 

Finest Dive Websites in Puerto Vallarta

Whereas there aren’t many dive websites offshore or proper round city, the boat trip to achieve them is half the enjoyable. Cruising round Banderas Bay on a lovely day in your means out to a 2-tank dive isn’t such a foul commute.

Listed below are a number of the finest websites to go scuba diving in Puerto Vallarta:

Los Arcos

Water Temp: 65-89°F (18-31°C)
Common Visibility: 20-50 ft (6-15 m)
Depth: 29.5-130 ft (9-40 m)

Maybe the most well-liked spot to go scuba diving in Puerto Vallarta is Los Arcos.

This epic marine park options arches (therefore the title) in addition to caves, tunnels, and a reef filled with marine life like lobsters, octopuses, moray eels, rays, and every kind of colourful fish. 

There are a couple of totally different trails that divers can comply with at Los Arcos. These are appropriate for divers of all ranges as they vary vastly in depth.

Rookies can take pleasure in “El Acuario” (The Aquarium) whereas extra superior divers can try “La Quijada del Diablo” (The Satan’s Jaw).

scuba diving in puerto vallarta los arcos


Water Temp: 65-86°F (18-30°C)
Visibility: 20 – 60 ft/ (7-18 m)
Depth: 40-80 ft (12-25 mt)

This secluded fishing village within the bay is a good dive website for extra superior divers.

On a 2-tank journey right here, you possibly can take pleasure in recognizing tropical fish and huge pelagic species. This contains manta rays, sea turtles, and even humpback whales between December and April. 

As well as, you possibly can admire “Las Iglesias”, rock formations that resemble the pillars of a cathedral and “Las Torrecillas”, which is a powerful sequence of pinnacles rising up from the ocean flooring.

Marietas Islands

The Marietas Islands are a nationwide park positioned about an hour-long boat trip from Puerto Vallarta. That is thought-about the highest place to go scuba diving in Puerto Vallarta.

Because it’s shielded from searching and fishing, there’s an abundance of marine life right here. On a diving journey, you would possibly see big manta rays, sea turtles, dolphins, eels, and presumably whales within the winter months.

It takes about an hour to achieve the Marietas Islands by boat.

As you get nearer to the islands, you too can spot a number of totally different species of birds, together with the blue-footed booby. Better of all, divers of all ranges can take pleasure in a visit to the Marietas Islands.

Water Temp: 62-86°F (17-30°C)
Common Visibility: 40 ft (12 m)
Depth: 25-60 ft (7.5-18 m)

hidden beach puerto vallarta
The beautiful Hidden Seashore on Marieta Islands is superb!

Price of Scuba Diving in Puerto Vallarta

The price of scuba diving in Puerto Vallarta varies relying on which internet sites you go to. As I discussed, a lot of them are fairly a protracted distance away from the middle of city. 

For instance, diving at Los Arcos prices between $90-110. In the meantime, journeys out to the Marietas Islands price a bit extra ($120-150). It’s an extended distance to journey plus most operators embody lunch and drinks as properly.

Two-tank excursions to El Chimo common round $150.

By no means been diving earlier than? Puerto Vallarta is a good place to be taught and begin exploring the opposite 70% of the planet.

To offer it a shot, you possibly can join a Uncover Scuba Diving course for simply $50. This offers you the prospect to see if scuba diving is best for you.

Those that need to go all-in can join a PADI Open Water course as a substitute.

These sometimes take 2-Three days to finish. You’ll be able to join Open Water programs at Puerto Vallarta dive outlets for round $450 complete after the price of studying supplies. When you’re completed, you’ll be licensed and able to rock!

scuba diver in puerto vallarta

Another choice is to do a referral course for as little as $240.

That is whenever you full the bookwork portion at a neighborhood dive store again dwelling earlier than touring to Mexico. Doing that permits you to deal with the finding out half at dwelling and spend extra time within the water in Puerto Vallarta.

When you’re seeking to take your scuba diving to the subsequent degree, you too can join Superior Open Water, Rescue Diver, Deep Diver, and a number of other different programs. Costs for these sometimes vary from $350-500 and take a couple of days to finish.

Dive Outlets in Puerto Vallarta

High quality of dive outlets can change because the years cross by. All the time guarantee that the corporate you’re going with is PADI acknowledged, skilled and follows correct security tips. Additionally, at all times be certain to test current evaluations on-line, and your diving tools earlier than heading out.

Banderas Scuba Republic

BSR has been within the scuba diving enterprise for a few years and has earned rave evaluations from divers the complete time. It is a skilled operation by way of and thru, from the tools to the dive instructors. 

Vallarta Adventures

The largest and finest tour operator in Puerto Vallarta additionally does scuba diving programs and journeys. You at all times know that the standard will probably be top-notch when reserving with these guys. 

PV Ocean Excursions

Run by a father and son staff from the UK, PV Ocean Excursions began only a few years in the past and is already one of many high dive outlets in Banderas Bay. They’re identified for being very skilled and personable. 

Hyperbaric Chambers in Puerto Vallarta

Whereas scuba diving is mostly a secure exercise, accidents do occur. That’s why you at all times need to know the place the closest hyperbaric chamber is. 

Sadly, there isn’t any SSS Community hyper chamber in Puerto Vallarta. The closest one is over in Cabo San Lucas in Baja California Sur. You’ll be able to click on right here to take a look at their website and get extra info.

los arcos marine park
Los Arcos Marine Park

Earlier than you go scuba diving in Puerto Vallarta (or wherever, for that matter), be sure you have strong journey insurance coverage. The DAN (Divers Alert Community) comes extremely really helpful for divers. Click on right here to be taught extra about their insurance policies.

The best way to Get to Puerto Vallarta

Most guests will arrive on the Puerto Vallarta Worldwide Airport (PVR). It’s at all times attainable to search out direct flights to PV from the US and Canada, with essentially the most choices through the excessive season (December-March). 

There aren’t lots of different worldwide choices for arriving in Puerto Vallarta. You may get direct flights to and from Panama Metropolis in addition to each London and Manchester, however that’s about it. 

When you can’t discover a whole lot on a flight to PV, I like to recommend trying out choices into both Mexico Metropolis or Guadalajara. Each cities are numerous enjoyable to go to and also you’ll then be a really quick and low cost home flight away from the seashore!

los muertos beach in puerto vallarta mexico

Puerto Vallarta can also be a significant cruise ship vacation spot. These arriving for a fast tour from a ship can nonetheless squeeze in a scuba dive (or two) in Puerto Vallarta.

The factor about touring to Puerto Vallarta is that you’ve got many choices aside from staying on the town. By flying into PVR, you too can simply base your self in locations like Sayulita, Bucerias, Punta de Mita, Mismaloya, or Yelapa.

All of those locations are simply reached by native bus or water taxis and can put you nearer to a number of the finest dive websites within the bay.

Able to Go Scuba Diving in Puerto Vallarta?

Whereas it could not make many lists of one of the best locations to go scuba diving on the earth (or in Mexico), Puerto Vallarta remains to be a incredible alternative if you wish to embody a little bit of diving throughout your seashore vacation.

Even when you solely go to one of many epic websites just like the Marietas Islands or Los Arcos, it’s properly price it to check out scuba diving in Puerto Vallarta.

Extra superior divers will certainly need to tack on a couple of further days to go to a number of the harder websites within the space comparable to El Chimo — the place you’ll hopefully spot humpback whales from the boat!

If you’re again on land from an enormous day of diving, you possibly can take pleasure in all of the facilities of this stunning city. Puerto Vallarta has some unimaginable eating places and bars to select from, making for the right method to unwind after an enormous day trip within the water.

Pictures on this submit had been sourced on Shutterstock.

Disclaimer: Some hyperlinks on this article are affiliate hyperlinks, which implies that if you are going to buy by way of them, we obtain a small fee. It will by no means price you further and in lots of instances you obtain a particular low cost. We respect your help!

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