When people think of Los Cabos, the only island-like feature that comes to mind is the world-famous Los Cabos arch, also known by some as Lands End.
However, if island hopping is more of your travel adventure style, there are islands that are actually an easy day trip from Los Cabos.
Espíritu Santo and Isla Partida
About an hour’s boat ride off the coast of La Paz are the topical islands of Espíritu Santo and Isla Partida.
Created out of the destruction of strong earthquakes thrusting lava and rock to the surface of the Sea of Cortez, both Espíritu Santo and Isla Partida are beautiful sights to be seen on an island-hopping adventure.
The first thing visitors notice on a boat ride to the islands is the amazing rose pink and deep rust hues of lava plumes that were cooled to create islands. The islands are surrounded by dramatic shallow waters, easy enough to wade across, that harbor dramatic tropical teal colors.
The islands are a contrast to the sea life in the water. Much like the rest of Baja California Sur, the islands are essentially deserts, meaning that visitors are greeted by dry landscapes and cacti however over the turquoise waters.
Amazingly, Espíritu Santo is one of the top fifteen largest islands in Mexico, yet it remains uninhabited to this day. In fact, the area is designated an eco–tourism protected area and is under the enforcement of the Flora y Fauna – Islas del Golfo de California.
It has also been designated a special UNESCO biosphere reserve, giving the islands even more special designation and protection.
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Getting to the Islands
It’s easiest to get to Espíritu Santo and Isla Partida by first traveling to La Paz. It is only about an hour’s boat ride from that location. However, scanning the tour boats from Los Cabos found some longer trips available by boat charters in the Los Cabos area.
While the trip is a little long by boat, visitors are greeted by some amazing sea life along the journey. It is not unusual to see large manta rays in the crystal blue waters, along with playful dolphins and curious sea lions. The sighting of a whale is not completely out of the question.
Don’t let the first stop along the journey of a small island covered in bird waste detract you from the adventure.
This island is actually home to one of the biggest blue-footed booby colonies in the area. The birds are just as curious as the visitors walking over to get good views of the tourists on the boat. They pose for photos and screech and squawk, almost on cue to the approval of the guests on the boats.
After departing the island with the birds, it’s a quick hop over to Espíritu Santo and Isla Partida.
What to See on the Islands
The area is a prime area for snorkeling, with plenty of tropical fish in the crystal blue waters to view and watch. It also is home to a large colony of resident sea lions who love to call Espíritu Santo and Isla Partida home.
The mating season for sea lions runs from June to August, and it’s quite a noisy time to visit Espíritu Santo and Isla Partida.
The playful animals’ barking is loud as they playfully clamor for attention during the mating season. If visitors are lucky, they may even get a glimpse of a young sea lion born as part of the festivities.
Along with the wildlife, the geologic formations at Espíritu Santo and Isla Partida are absolutely breathtaking. There are dramatic cliffs of red and brown, along with a strange formation called “La Mascara”.
Translated in English as “The Mask”, it’s a rock formation that strangely enough looks like a face.
Is it a sign? It’s definitely a wonder for visitors to see and ponder what exactly it means. It’s one of the secrets that make Espíritu Santo and Isla Partida an island-hopping adventure near Los Cabos.
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