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Espiritu Santo Island: Baja California’s Aquarium Of The World

Espiritu Santo Island, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Espiritu Santo Island is declared Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO. This inhabited island is located in the Gulf of California, one of the world’s most biologically productive and diverse seas.

It stretches 19km (11 miles) long and 5km (3 miles) wide, being the 12-largest island in Mexico. It boasts dozens of lovely bays, with rich marine life and land-based reptiles, birds, and amphibians. Besides, the surrounding coral reefs are home of sharks, rays, turtles, dolphins and even whales. As Jacques Cousteau described it, we are in front of the Aquarium of the World.

Dry Desert-like Landscape
On The Way To Meet The Sea Lions

What To See & Do

  • Snorkeling with the sea lions is a unique experience. Their colony is found in the north of the island. Respect and don’t chase them. Actually, some of them (mostly females and young ones) will approach you, playing and swimming around.
  • Admire the untouched landscape. Sheer rock dropping off into water next to white sandy beaches. What else could you ask for?
  • Scuba dive. In fact, there are several good sites including two sunken ships.
  • Kayak. Some agencies offer from one day to a whole week tours. Camping on the beach.
  • Playa Balandra, a beach surrounded by surreal rock formations just a few minutes from La Paz.
Aquarium Of The World
One Of The Several Islets Seen

How To Visit Espiritu Santo Island

Since it is a protected area, you are not allowed to go on your own. You have to arrange a tour from La Paz. I traveled with Club Cantamar and I had a wonderful experience. Departing daily from La Paz Malecon at 10:00 and geting back around 18:00. Snorkeling gear, snacks, drinks and a meal (generally ceviche) are provided. Honestly, the best way to have the Sea Lions experience and to enjoy the incredible landscapes. Moreover, the guides are thoughtful, knowledgeable and passionate. Very recommended.

Departure From Pichilingue Harbor
Perfect Day With Club Cantamar

More Information

  • Evidences have been found that humans arrived to this island as long as 40.000 years ago!
  • Currency: Mexican Peso – 1 USD ~ 20 MXN
  • Travel Guide: Lonely Planet Mexico
  • And last but not least, take your waterproof camera!

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