PLAYA DEL AMOR: A gaping hole in the Surface of the Marieta Islands exposes a secret and very hidden beach with pristine waters and white sand. It cannot be seen from the outside and is only accessible through a long water tunnel that fills up when the tide is high, making it difficult to get to.
The ocean is a sparkling clear green. I am crunched down in a ball on the tip of a paddle board peering below at the swarms of jellyfish in the water. They will not stop me. I’ve been waiting to see this hidden beach for years. I made up my mind that I was going to get stung and that it would be worth it in the end.The tide was high but I could still see a horizontal crevice in the rocks leading through to the water tunnel. Our yacht stopped just outside of the caves where we got into a little speed boat, and from there onto a paddle board. This is where we were to paddle in, the path that leads to the much anticipated hidden beach inside of a cave. I went first. Almost smashed between the jellyfish ridden water and the roof of the rocky tunnel, I ducked my head down and we slowly paddled through. In the distance, light coming in through a gigantic circular hole in the top of the cave exposed a pristine sandy beach. There were people in there. How did they all get through? Surely not everyone was brave enough to swim through hundreds of jellyfish.
As I approached the beach the water exposed by the light got greener and clearer. I couldn’t help myself. I jumped off the board, prayed that the jellyfish would leave me alone, and swam to shore. I looked behind me to see my sister, Krishni, crouching down on her paddle board with a huge grin on her face. She did the same thing I did and jumped right in. We were so ecstatic to be experiencing this rare formation of a beach, it was just so fascinating and marvelous. Neither one of us could wipe the silly smiles off our faces. When I looked up I saw my other sister, Nila, making her way through the cave tunnel and to the beach. Three people have successfully made it so far; even though we were warned it would be difficult. But wait, here comes someone else from our group. It’s Lili, my brave seven year old daughter, who had apparently decided that this was something she wasn’t going to miss. I had told her to stay on the boat with everyone else, but I guess the thought of jellyfish didn’t scare her too much. Our yacht with the rest of our group sat waiting for us just outside the caves of the island. If only we could tell them what they were missing. And then one by one, our husbands snorkeled in. As you can see from the photos, we were beyond elated that they decided to give it try, jellyfish or not.