If you're in the market to travel somewhere tropical and unique... we're jealous. But also, we feel inclined to tell you about Puerto Vallarta, Mexico's Playa del Amor. This exotic "Hidden Beach" is invisible from the outside since its sandy cavern sits inside one of Mexico's lush and uninhabited Marieta Islands.
Hop on a boat and travel an hour northwest from Puerto Vallarta's coast in search of Mexico's Hidden Beach. Don't worry—it's not too hidden. Playa del Amor has become a popular tourist spot for romantic adventurers, so several tour companies will provide day excursions. How will you know when you're approaching your destination? The secret beach is at the mouth of Banderas Bay and at the base of a Marieta Island. Look for a sandy cavern with crashing blue waves from the Pacific ocean.
As for how the crater got there... we're not quite sure. The Marieta Islands themselves are an archipelago, which Atlas Obscura explains as "a chain of land formations formed by underwater volcano eruptions." However, it is believed that the crater was caused by a very different explosion — bombings. Beginning in the early 1900s, the uninhabited islands were used for military testing by the Mexican government. These test bombs are likely the cause of much of the archipelago's rocky topography, including the Hidden Beach.
The islands were officially named a national park in 2005, Parque Nacional Islas Marietas, which prevented further military testing and its consequential harm on the islands' marine life. This also allowed for visitors to enjoy the Playa del Amor without, you know, the threat of a bomb. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your swimsuit, then swim or kayak your way to a truly dreamy (and hidden) destination.
This article first appeared on Curiosity.com.