Nov 11 2016

Octavio Pelayo Sanchez, owner of Bahia Banderas Adventure Tours, was born and raised in Punta de Mita, just a short distance from Sayulita. Through a love of the beach, the familiarity of the area and the Marieta islands, and having a desire to share the experience of everything the area has to offer with others, he started his business, Bahia Banderas Adventure Tours, two years ago. 

You offer a number of tours near Sayulita. What destinations do these include? 

The Marieta Islands, whale watching between Punta de Mita and the Marieta Islands, Yelapa, Las Animas, and Quimixto. We offer both pre-designed tours, as well as customized tours. 

What do your tours include? 

Well, the customized tours, which are full day tours, have many options and offer a lot of flexibility, such as snorkeling, swimming, paddle boarding, horseback riding, zip lining, and lounging on the beach. We design the tours based on what the clients want to do. Non-alcoholic beverages (water and gatorade) are provided on the tours, but people can bring along any alcoholic beverages they choose. 

Would you tell us about your most popular tour?

It’s definitely the tour to the Marieta Islands - the islands are the queen and everyone wants to see them. Coming from Punta de Mita in the boat, you get to see the vantage point from this beautiful coast. The Marieta Islands are made up of two islands - Island Redondo, which is where Playa de Amor is (also known as the hidden beach), and is the island most people think of when they hear Marieta Islands. The government has restricted access to this beach to 40 people / day, but I’m able to get up to 8 permits that allow clients access. Isla Larga is the other island, and Playa Nopalera is here, and offers really great snorkeling. During this tour, people have the opportunity to see the Marieta Islands from all directions and really appreciate the beauty of it. We also like to show people La Puente de Piedra (stone bridge) and point out the Blue-Footed Booby, a marine bird, which is common in the area. 

You are concerned about the conservation of the islands. Will you share what you do to make a positive impact? 

Yes, the conservation of the islands and protecting our environment is something that is very important to me. Our company donates money to biologists for research and conservation and we also make an effort to collect garbage from the ocean. For example, if we are out on a tour and see a large piece of garbage, we will stop and get it out of the ocean. We make sure all of the garbage on our boat is self-contained and is taken back to land and disposed of properly. Also, once a week our boat participates in a volunteer effort in a clean up of the islands and collect all of the garbage that we see floating in the water. Unfortunately, a lot of the garbage is flowing into the ocean from the rivers. I also encourage our clients to use eco-friendly sunscreen. 

How would you describe your tour guides? 

They are awesome, friendly, courteous, and enthusiastic! They love what they do, are familiar with the area and the wildlife, and love sharing their knowledge with others. They point out interesting rock formations, whales breaching in the distance, Blue-Footed Booby flying overhead, etc. They are also sensitive to our clients, as to what is important to them on their tour and will shape their experience based on this.

The panga (boat) used for your tours is new. Would you tell me more about it? 

The panga, which is named El Friede 1, is 28 feet long and seats up to 10 people. The seating area is placed lengthwise, rather than side by side. This is great because it means you’re not looking at anyone’s back and it brings people together for conversation. Also, when you see dolphins or something else, everyone can see it - there’s no trying to look around someone else. 

What sets your tours apart from others in the Sayulita area? 

We offer both pre-designed and 100% customized tours. Also, we offer an intimate setting for our adventures since we limit them to 10 people. We give a more personalized experience than others that cater to large parties. This allows a setting to interact with the Captain and Guide and enjoy the opportunity to learn about the area, sea life, etc.  And I'd like  visitors and local residents to consider  joining El Friede 1 to experience sunset as it can only be seen from the sea.

How does one get to Punta de Mita from Sayulita for a tour?

It’s easy to get from Sayulita to Punta de Mita by car or taxi. If several people share a cab, it’s also very inexpensive to make the trip. 

*Editor’s note: There are many options for taxis, private drivers, and rental cars in Sayulita. Click here to learn more.