The warm and crystal-clear waters of Banderas Bay along with its wide variety of sea life make Puerto Vallarta one of Mexico’s top diving destinations. Although the best time of year for diving is the summer months June through September, diving is still good all 12 months of the year. There are several professional and reliable tour operators who offer boat excursions for scuba diving and snorkeling at prime locations around Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay.
One of Puerto Vallarta’s most popular spots for diving and snorkeling is the underwater preserve at the rock formation Los Arcos near Playa Mismaloya. This location has granite arches and caves, and is home to manta rays, eels and other types of beautiful marine life. Other areas near PV for snorkeling include the rocks and coves around Quimixto, which is south of PV and only accessible by boat, and the numerous lava rock formations at Conchas Chinas. For advanced divers the Marietas Islands near Punta Mita north of PV have lava tubes and caves that are teeming with big fish and other sea creatures. And many enjoy diving near sea lions among the rock formations at Caletas Cove, a beautiful private and secluded area located south of PV which can only be reached by sea.
PV Sea Dive was founded a few years ago by Padi Dive Master Lance Conrad, an expat from Texas. He and his team of certified instructors all have world-wide diving experience and a wide skill base, and offer Padi certification courses as well as a variety of different dives. Beginners can choose diving tours at Majahuitas, Mismaloya or Los Arcos. Intermediate divers can enjoy diving at the Marieta Islands or Los Arcos. Advanced divers can choose from locations such as El Chimo, and El Morro, and of course Los Arcos. Snorklers are offered snorkeling tours around the Marieta Islands, and around islands off the coast of Puerto Vallarta.
Chico’s Dive Shop
Paseo Diaz Ordaz 772, Downtown Puerto Vallarta (on the Malecon)
Mexico Phone: 322.222.1895
Chico’s Dive Shop offers equipment rentals as well as PADI and NAUI certification. Snorkeling and scuba diving tours are offered at various locations to include: Las Caletas, Los Arcos, Mismaloya, Majahuitas, Marietas Islands, Los Anegados & El Morro. Advanced scuba diving expeditions, including night dives, take place both within the protected bay and outside of the bay.
Vallarta Adventures – Nuevo Vallarta
Paseo de las Palmas #39-A
Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico
Mexico Phone: 297.1212 Ext. 425
Vallarta Adventures is proud to be the only PADI 5-Star Dive Center in Puerto Vallarta. PADI 5-Star Dive Centers are progressive PADI Dive Shops that excel in providing scuba divers with a full range of scuba certification programs, scuba gear selection, and scuba experience opportunities. These shops must meet elevated service and business standards and actively promote underwater environmental awareness and embrace the PADI System of diver education, with a commitment to providing quality training, products, services and experiences. Vallarta Adventures specializes in private dives and custom tours. Snorkeling is offered as an available activity on several of their half-day adventure tours.
EcoTours de Mexico
Proa S/N Loc. 20 Condos Marina del Rey, Marina Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Mexico Phone: 322.209.2195
This company has been in business since 1991. They offer English-speaking PADI dive masters. Their tours include dives at Los Arcos, Majahuitas and the Marieta Islands. All tours include diving gear, lunch, soft drinks, water, boat transportation, protected areas entrance fees, boat transportation and personalized attention by a dive master. For snorklers, snorkeling tours are offered to the famous Marieta Islands.
Vallarta Under Sea
Calle Proa SN Local 22, Edificio Marina del Rey, Marina Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Mexico Phone: 322.209.0025
This tour operators consists of a highly-skilled team of professional Padi divers. All dive trips in Puerto Vallarta include:
Two tank dives.
All the SCUBA gear you need (mask, fins, wetsuit, regulator, BCD, etc.)
Box lunch (sandwiches and snacks)
Soft drinks and bottled water
Dive Master personalized attention with max 5:1 ratio
Certified and beginners separate groups
Max 10 max per boat (4 boats run every day)
Snorkelers are welcome at most dive sites, but not at advanced dive sites
Protected areas entrance fee
For an extra fee of $5 USD per person, they can include pick up (one-way boat transportation) from Nuevo Vallarta at the Paradise Village public pier
Not included: $20 pesos dock fee that must be paid during check in