Espiritu Santo’s Diverse Ecosystem
The archipelago off the coast of La Paz is the Galapagos of Baja, if not of all North America. Anchored by the island of Espiritu Santo, this UNESCO-protected biosphere reserve is teaming with flora and fauna. Manta rays propel themselves into the air, flapping as if to fly, and belly flop or backflip back into the water. Frigate birds—with red throats that can inflate like balloons to attract a mate— circle overhead. Dolphins, seasonal whales, blue-footed boobies, ring-tailed cats, and organ pipe cactus all call this volcanic landscape home. At its tip, the main event awaits: snorkeling with a colony of sea lions at Los Islotes. You’ll be overcome by sheer childish joy as these playful creatures swirl around you and each other.
By Susan Mason, AFAR Local Expert
Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico