Some of Mexico’s most diverse flora and fauna is found in Puerto Vallarta. In large part due to the lush vegetation of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains, Puerto Vallarta is home to an abundance of wildlife and plant life. This vibrant and biodiverse environment makes for a naturally beautiful place for tourists to visit from all around the world. Keep reading below to learn more about Puerto Vallarta’s flora and fauna, and why the natural beauty of Puerto Vallarta makes it a leading destination for tourists to visit.
PV’s Flora and Fauna
The biodiversity of flora and fauna found in Puerto Vallarta is dependent on the tropical climate which provides plentiful rain during the summer months. The heavy rainfall combined with sea, sun and humidity blends together creating a perfect habitat for a wide variety of animal, marine and plant life. Puerto Vallarta is unique in that the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains reach down to the water’s edge of Banderas Bay forming a tropical canopy that is home to a plethora of jungle inhabitants. Puerto Vallarta’s tropical climate stimulates and supports the area’s Puerto biodiversity and ecology. The thick jungle of the Sierra Madre Occidental where it meets the ocean makes the beach towns and coastal villages south of Puerto Vallarta only accessible by boat. With over 40 kilometers of mountains, rivers, coasts and beaches in Banderas Bay, Puerto Vallarta is actually one of the most significant biodiverse areas in all of Latin America.
Visit the Vallarta Botanical Gardens
If you are on vacation in Puerto Vallarta, you should definitely visit the Vallarta Botanical Garden which is located around 30 minutes south of downtown THe Vallarta Botanical Garden is a natural park open to the public and visitors can see and learn about more than 3,000 species that inhabit the region. There is also an impressive orchid nursery that contains more than 100 different species that is worth a visit. Visitors will love touring the lush gardens, and when you visit plan ahead to venture down to the fresh river below. The peaceful river is an ideal spot for cooling off on a hot summer day if you feel like taking a dip, and you can even bring food with you to enjoy a snack or meal al fresco. If a restaurant meal is more your style, you will love the delicious Mexican restaurant located upstairs that offers diners impressive scenic views. Are you a fan of tropical fruit? If so, Puerto Vallarta grows a wide variety of tropical fruits including coconuts, guamuchiles, mangos, guavas, yaka, and avocados that you should definitely try when in season.
Puerto Vallarta Wildlife
Puerto Vallarta bird species that inhabit the area include the Mexican Cacique, Copete Magpie, Yellow Chest and the Blue-fronted Alcatraz. Keep your eyes peeled when you are out and about and you may catch a sighting for yourself. Puerto Vallarta’s Banderas Bay is home to many fish species that find protection in its calming waters including the blue marlin, black marlin, snapper, sailfish, tuna and croaker. If you snorkel or scuba dive in the area near Los Arcos de Mismaloya, you are sure to see many beautiful and colorful fish up close for yourself. In the Sierra Madre jungle, unique and interesting animals including the nine band armadillo, the nocturnal badger, the white-nosed coati, jaguars, ocelots, tigrillos and jaguarundis make their home. As far as reptiles, the green iguana, spiny-tailed iguana, the enchaquetado lizard, mottled Mexican lizard, acaltetepon, crocodiles and many different species of snakes are native to the region as well.
Puerto Vallarta Marine Life
Puerto Vallarta has some of the best marine life in all of Mexico. Visitors to the area will love seeing playful dolphins that love showing off for visitors cruising Banderas Bay. Bottlenose dolphins, spotted dolphins, and spinner dolphins are the most common species of dolphins that can be found in Banderas Bay. Sea turtles including the olive ridley turtle, the delicate leatherback turtle, the green turtle and the hawksbill turtle return each year to Puerto Vallarta to lay their eggs before heading out to sea once again. Vacationers can help protect sea turtles and can even participate in baby sea turtle release once they have hatched at one of the local protection sites. Last, but not leave, incredible humpback whales migrate through Banderas Bay each winter December through April where mother whales give birth and nurture their young in the area’s safe and warm waters. Humpback whales also regularly migrate to two other areas in the world including the Revillagigedo Islands and Hawaii.
In conclusion, Puerto Vallarta is home to incredible biodiversity that we should appreciate and respect. Are you ready to plan your next getaway to Mexico? If so, visit Puerto Vallarta where natural beauty rules.