PLAYA DE LA CHIVA
Also known as Blue Beach, the bay here curls a mile from point to point, with Isla Chiva plunked right in the middle. Set your blanket on the stretch of white corraline sand close to the island. There are no facilities here other than a few thatch umbrellas, so bring lots of water and a picnic lunch.
Dramatic canyons and crevices carve through the eastern point of the bay, sheltering loads of fish, and Abe Velasques of Abe's Snorkeling and Bio Bay Tours (abessnorkeling.com) says the swim out to Isla Chiva is a must-do. "Wade in off the curve of beach just to the east of the island," says Velasques, "and swim toward its west side." If it's calm, he suggests circumnavigating the island (about three-quarters of a mile) counterclockwise; otherwise, stick to Chiva's west side. "You can spot lots of marine life, such as reef fish, small turtles, octopuses, eels and conch," says Abe. "We've even seen big spotted eagle rays."
WHERE TO STAY