It would be easy to miss this hidden and beautiful little beach located several meters inland; if it weren’t for the sound of the waves washing gently against the sand, you could walk right past. Playa Del Amor, or the Beach of Love, is a unique natural wonder that you definitely won’t want to pass by.

The Marieta Islands archipelago, off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, was formed centuries ago by volcanic activity in the area. In the 1990s due to the islands’ uninhabited status, the Mexican government began to conduct military testing there. The bomb testing went on for decades and would probably still be to this day if it weren’t for famous marine scientist and conservationist Jacques Cousteau. Cousteau convinced the Mexican authorities of the island's truly unique value and it was declared a national park. Any activity harmful to the natural flora and fauna, such as fishing, hunting, and military testing, is now prohibited. The islands have flourished under the watchful eye of this protective legislation, yet unfortunately a lot of damage was already done. The years of bombing and controlled explosions have left their mark on both the landscape and the wildlife, yet some beauty can be found in the ashes too. Playa Del Amor, also known as the Hidden Beach of Mexico, must be the most picturesque bomb crater in all of existence and it’s a breathtaking sight well worth the trip.

The island remains uninhabited, so access is only granted to tourists via authorized boat service providers. Even once you’re on the islands themselves, the only way to get to the beach is to swim through an 80-foot tunnel linking the beach to the Pacific Ocean. It’s not too daunting, however, and there is around 6 feet of space between the water and the rocks above, meaning there’s no need for scuba gear or breath holding. Once you arrive on the beach, the stunning sight of the clear blue skies framed by the rocky outcroppings is one that cannot be replicated anywhere else on earth. You can sit on the beach, your toes dipped in the crystal-blue waters, and enjoy the view for hours and never get bored. Those with a slightly shorter attention span will be kept amused by the myriad of colorful sea creatures that call the inland beach home, from dolphins to manta rays. They seem to know the beach is something special, too.

The beach would remain a hidden gem in all likelihood if it weren’t for the advent of the internet. The beach has shot to fame after images of its almost unbelievable secluded beauty began to do the circuits on social media sites. It obviously has star power, and it wasn’t long before a video of someone’s trip went viral and the rest is, as they say, history. Ventura Osorio, who provide tours to the Hidden Beach and works out of Puerto Vallarta, which was already a popular tourist spot in its own right, says that interest in the beach has grown astronomically in recent years.

Book a trip as soon as you can and lay claim to the fact you visited the beach before it got famous.