Discover one of the largest, deepest, and most beautiful bays in the world, located in Mexico. It’s called Bahía de Banderas, which means “Bay of flags” in Spanish. And, nestled along its coastline below the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains, there’s the amazing and inspiring town of Puerto Vallarta. Also, this oceanic wonder is host to many alluring creatures, both above and below the sea. Finally, there’s the famous beaches, each with it’s own individual appeal.
But first, why is this magnificent bay called “The Bay Of Flags”? It appears to be connected with an encounter on the shores of the bay. To explain, the story tells of a near conflict between Spanish explorers and the local natives of Xiautla, which is now called Puerto Vallarta. Learn the whole story by reading: Banderas Bay is the Bay of Flags: Uncover the history behind the mysterious name.
Geographically, Bahía de Banderas is located on the Pacific Ocean, right at the opening of the spectacular Sea of Cortez. This unique location filled with diversity and intrigue intersects the most biologically-diverse body of water in the world with the largest and deepest ocean in the world – the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific. So, join me on this discovery mission to reveal all that Bahía de Banderas has to offer.
Bahía de Banderas’ beauty is official
Officially, Bahía de Banderas is listed by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as one of the most beautiful bays in the world. To clarify, UNESCO ranks the world’s greatest bays based on specific criteria. For example, they look at flora and fauna of significant interest, natural beauty, appreciation at national levels, and if it has at least two features that are recognized by UNESCO in the cultural and natural-assets categories. Bahía de Banderas is so beautiful, it blows these factors right out of the deep-blue water!
The Sea of Cortez is a natural wonder
Named in honor of the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés in 1593, the Sea of Cortez is full of natural wonders. Also called the Gulf of California, it offers great fishing, diving, and beaches, all up and down its coastline. But, when it comes to sea life, there’s no other place in the world that quite compares.
Once called “The World’s Aquarium” by Jacque Cousteau due to its huge biodiversity, the Sea of Cortez supports over 900 varieties of fish. Also, it supports more than 2,000 species of marine invertebrates. And, It’s home to many endemic species, which are creatures that only exist there, and nowhere else on Earth.
Whale breeding in Bahía de Banderas
Puerto Vallarta is blessed with an awesome privilege every year, from December through April. Right from the coastline of Bahía de Banderas, observers get to enjoy watching the splendor and grace of humpback whales in search of peaceful locations to give birth to their young. These giants of the sea can be easily seen from land and on the water, since they congregate near the coastline. Therefore, you can find many great whale-watching tours that offer the opportunity to observe them in their natural habitat.
Back in 2004, Astrid Frisch of Ecotours de Mexico in Puerto Vallarta estimated that the population of humpback whales may reach up to 2,200 individuals. Considering just how big these mammals really are, that’s quite a lot!
Humpbacks are the world’s fifth-largest species of whale. And, their offspring are born with an average wight of 1.5 tons. Also, they measure about four to five meters in length when they’re born. For more detail, males can reach 15 meters long, while females tend to be a bit larger, measuring 17 meters in length. Then, adult humpbacks can reach a weight of almost 100,000 pounds. Finally, humpback whales have a life expectancy of about 40 years.
Sea-turtle offspring waddle to the bay
From July through December, sea turtles spring to life on the sea and on the beach. During the day, watch the sea turtles swim on the surface of the sea or relax on the beach while they wait for nightfall. Then at night, enjoy a comical scene as sea turtles waddle across the sands of the beach looking for that perfect location to deposit their precious payload. Being perfectionists, they spend hours meticulously making their nests before laying their eggs and burying them in the sand. Finally, once they’re done they return to the sea for another year.
Observing sea turtles prepare for their young is quite a sight indeed. But, the real magic lies in seeing their babies hatch. Imagine an adorable troop of tiny turtles waddling and flopping their way towards the sea, as they leave the beach behind them. Interestingly, they’ll miraculously return years later to nest on the exact location they were born. For lovers of nature and all things cute, seeing sea turtles hatch is an unforgettable moment.
Conservation groups along the coast of Bahía de Banderas gather and protect sea-turtle eggs until they hatch. Then, these organizations host turtle-release events on the beach. Visitors are always encouraged to attend, since the presence of spectators wards off poachers and predators. What a great win-win situation for all!
Bahía de Banderas is a beach-lovers mecca
Choose a different stretch of sand each day you spend along Bahía de Banderas and discover a new version of Mexico every time. So, if you’re a beach-lover, this type of adventure can soothe your soul and melt away your stress. The great beaches that run along this magnificent deep-blue bay offer world-class surfing, unique culture, and even some intrigue. For example, there are two beaches called “Playa de los Muertos – Beach of the Dead.” Each one has a different reason for the morbid name.
To discover each of the beaches along the coastline of Bahía de Banderas, check out Puerto Vallarta beaches.
Puerto Vallarta real estate
Many Americans, Canadians, and people from other countries choose to make Puerto Vallarta their home or vacation home. So, discover how to purchase your dream home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, by inquiring with the top Real Estate broker in the Puerto Vallarta region: David Pullen.
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