Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 3b
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Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 3b
Playing the "Tail of the Whale" hole -- a natural island green in the ocean -- makes a round on the Pacifico so special. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
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Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 3a
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Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 3a
Pacifico Golf Course's oceanfront par-3 hole, called 3a, is pretty good, even though 3b's natural island green gets all the attention. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - 7th
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Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - 7th
Boats are part of the scenery in back of the seventh green on the Pacifico Golf Course. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 8
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Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 8
The par-3 eighth hole is one of eight oceanfront holes on the Pacifico Golf Course. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 9
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Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 9
The 522-yard ninth hole is the third par 5 on the front nine on the Pacifico G.C. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 13
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Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 13
A look back reveals the treacherous journey to the 13th green on the Pacifico Golf Course. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 14
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Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 14
The 14th hole on the Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita doglegs left to this double green. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 16
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Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 16
The 16th hole on the Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita is a meaty par 4 of 473 yards. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 17
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Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 17
Pacifico Golf Course's magnificent par-3 17th returns to the ocean. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 3b view from hole 17
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Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 3b view from hole 17
The natural island green hole (called 3b) comes into view again behind the 17th green on the Pacifico Golf Course. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 18
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Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 18
A full panoramic view of Pacifico Golf Course's 18th hole will leave you breathless. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 18 green
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Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita - hole 18 green
A boat anchors just offshore from the 18th green of the Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

Pacifico Golf Course rules the land and sea at Punta Mita in the Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

PUNTA MITA, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico -- Even with eight holes on the ocean, the "Tail of the Whale" hole steals the show on the Pacifico Golf Course at Punta Mita, a luxurious resort and real estate development 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta.

The ridiculously gorgeous extra par-3 hole, called 3b, put Punta Mita on the map in 1999. Tees perched on the edge of the beach point directly at a natural black rock formation in the middle of the ocean 194 yards away. Hitting land, whether it's the green or bunker, surrounded by rock and water provides endless thrills and bragging rights to those who succeed. A raised cart path allows access to the green at low tide for a putt at birdie.

The hole introduces an epic golf adventure on the shore. Complimentary smoothies at the turn provide a nice cool-down before the round heats up on the back nine. Pacifico Golf Course's 18th hole rivals almost any finishing ocean hole in the world. Pacifico plays near perfecto.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 1,000 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfadvisor and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.

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Pacifico Golf Course rules the land and sea at Punta Mita in the Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
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