The Hidden Beach, Islas Marietas National Park, Mexico
Playa del Amor, more commonly known as the Hidden Beach, is a feature of one of the Marieta Islands, located west of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, at the mouth of Banderas Bay. It looks like something out of a fantasy novel: a wide, sandy cavern with the blue waters of the Pacific rushing in. The islands are an archipelago, a chain of land formations formed by underwater volcano eruptions. They themselves are natural wonders, but it was something other than volcanic activity that brought the burrowed beach to light.
It is rumored that the hole that created the Hidden Beach was a result of deliberate bombings. The Marieta Islands have always been completely uninhabited, making them ideal sites for military testing by the Mexican government. Beginning in the early 1900s, weapons and artillery were tested on the Marieta Islands, a safe distance from Mexican citizens but not so safe for Marieta topography. Test bombs are the known cause for many caves and rock formations on the island, possibly including the Hidden Beach.
The Hidden Beach is invisible from the outside, and is only accessible through a long water tunnel that links the beach to the Pacific Ocean. There is approximately six feet of space above water level, so visitors can arrive at the beach by swimming or kayaking. The islands remain uninhabited, but are frequently visited by tourists who come to enjoy the diverse marine wildlife and the unique tropical Eden of Playa del Amor.
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