Isla Espíritu Santo
Isla del Espiritu Santo, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Isla Espíritu SantoThe Isla Espiritú Santo and the adjacent Isla Partida (separated by a narrow isthmus which only appears at low tide) are desert islands, with no human residents. Even if there is no permanent human population here, the islands are rich in rare flora and fauna, so much so that the area was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1995. Considered a kayaker's paradise—it’s the best way to explore the island—travelers can spot ringtail cats, wild goats, endangered black-tailed jack rabbits (unique to the island), bats, ground squirrels, a wealth of seabirds, turkey vultures, and a wide variety of reptiles who come out towards evening when the desert sun goes down. White sand beaches on both islands are pristine havens for seabirds. Jacques Cousteau once said that the waters around these islands were the world's aquarium—they still teem with life including sharks, dolphins, whales, turtles, and rays. There's also a healthy sea lion colony on nearby Los Islotes, a great choice for snorkelers who like up close and personal encounters with local wildlife of the friendly, non-shark variety.