On the Marieta Islands of Puerto Vallarta in Mexico there's an incredible beach with a strange origin story: it was created as the result of a bomb testing site. The Mexican Government was using the remote strip for target practice in the early 1900s but rather than succumb to devastation, this picturesque beach developed from the ruins.
An aerial view of the Hidden Beach:
The land bridges and strange craters were formed decades ago. Now the warm, clear waters are an attraction for Puerto Vallarta's thriving tourism industry.
It's an idyllic scene that's almost otherworldly-- swimmers playing on the beach beneath the crust of the earth overhead.
This video showcases the unique snorkeling at the Hidden Beach:
The beach is officially named Playa de Amor ("the beach of love"). Visitors reach the beach by swimming through a short underwater tunnel that extends into the beach.
The Marieta Islands were formed as the result of volcanic activity thousands of years ago. They're just a few miles off the main coast of Mexico.
One visitor, Ventura, explains, “The beach itself was most likely formed prior to the First World War since the Mexican government had been using the islands as target practice. These controlled bombings have been said to have formed numerous caves and other unique rock formations on the Marietas Islands. It is believed that the Hidden Beach was created as a result of these factors combined with the erosion of the rocks surrounding it due to the local weather conditions”.
The Marietas Islands are protected by the Mexican Government and require a visitor's permit.
Wildlife like humpback whales, dolphins and manta rays are part of the area's native fauna.
Credit: Daily Mail UK