The Heart of the Sea: Mariel Hawley will swim across Banderas Bay

  • This Mexican mermaid and Triple Crown of open water swimming winner will cross the 42 kilometers between Punta de Mita and Cabo Corrientes in an extraordinary feat to benefit Corazón de Niña Children’s Home.

Mariel Hawley, the amazing Mexican mermaid and winner of the Triple Crown of open water swimming is set to take on another challenge in her already storied career: swimming across Banderas Bay from Punta de Mita (in the Riviera Nayarit) to Cabo Corrientes—at 42 kilometers, this is the largest bay in all of Mexico.

The details of this feat were announced at a press conference held at the W Punta de Mita hotel, the official sponsor together with Marriott Resort Puerto Vallarta, the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), and the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Promotion Trust.

Although the crossing will take place during the last week of October (between the 22nd and the 26th), Mariel decided to travel to this region earlier in order to scout out the Bay of Banderas and start her training. The challenge before her is not easy, not only due to the distance (42 km) but also to the maritime currents, not to mention that at this time of the year jellyfish abound as a consequence of the increase in water temperature.

However, she will be very well taken care of, accompanied by a boat and support staff from Vallarta Adventures; every half hour she will stop to hydrate. The trip is expected to be completed in 14 or 16 hours.


press conference, Mariel Hawley, Riviera Nayarit, hotel W Punta de Mita

Altruistic strokes

The initiative has been called Corazón de Mar (Heart of the Sea), which goes hand in hand with the cause she will be leading. Mariel has always focused her career on altruistic work, which ranges from obtaining resources for surgeries and treatments for children with a cleft lip and/or palate, to oncological treatments for children suffering from some type of cancer.

On this occasion, the beneficiary will be the Corazón de Niña Children’s Home of Puerto Vallarta, for which the athlete—who is also a speaker—will offer her lecture “Overcoming limits with each stroke,” at a cost of $200 pesos per person; all the proceeds will go to the Children’s Home.


Mariel Hawley, Mexican swimmer, events

A mission of love

Mariel shares how she has managed to combine her passion for swimming with the love she has for helping the less fortunate and the great life lessons she has gleaned from the best and worst experiences she has faced.

“Today it’s my turn to do my bit and put in a lot of strokes to support others who are facing a much more intimate, personal, and complicated battle called cancer.”

“The idea is to make a crossing that marks out a new route, that blazes a new path for other people to follow, I think that’s part of what I do,” she said.


Mariel Hawley’s accomplishments include crossing the Catalina Channel, the English Channel, and the Manhattan Island Swim Marathon, making her the first woman in Mexico to win the Triple Crown in Open Water Swimming. She is also the National Masters Swimming Champion from 2002 to date, plus winner of the Ironman 2010.


Mexican Swimmer, Mariel Hawley

Crossing the Seven Seas

As if that wasn’t enough, she is the 15th person in the world to complete the open-water Seven Seas challenge: the North Channel (separating Ireland and Scotland); the Cook Strait, (between New Zealand’s North Island and the South Island); the Tsugaru Strait (where the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean meet); the English Channel (separating England from the European continent); the Strait of Gibraltar (where the the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet with Europe and Africa); and the Catalina Channel (between Santa Catalina Island and the coast of California). The last three were already completed by this daring sportswoman and Mexican swimmer Nora Toledano.

Mariel Hawley, swimmer, Mexican Swimmer


The awards received by the swimmer throughout her sporting career include The Andres Henestrosa Golden Scroll of Merit in the “Female Athletes” category; the Mont Blanc Award in 2013 in the category of “Female Trailblazer;” the National Women’s Award 2012 in the category “Sportswoman with a cause that delivers;” a 2012 Honorable Mention award granted by the National Women’s Institute to Women in Sports in conjunction with CONADE; and the 2011 Woman Builds Award granted by the Observatory for Women in Latin America, A.C.

For more information about this event, please visit Mariel Hawley on Facebook. Follow the hashtag #MarielNayaritVallarta


Remember, Mexico’s Pacific Treasure will be here when you’re ready to travel.



The Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the Bahía de Banderas Hotel and Motel Association (AHMBB) work together to promote the region with the support of the Government of the State of Nayarit through its Tourism Promotion Trust (Fiprotur).