Isla Espíritu Santo

Isla del Espiritu Santo, Baja California Sur, Mexico

This archipelago off the coast of La Paz (which takes the name of the main island) is a protected UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. While the islands are uninhabited by humans save for a small fishing camp made of temporary structures, they’re home to a great variety of flora and fauna. In addition to dolphins, frigate birds, and ring-tailed cats, you’ll find the only known black jackrabbit population in the world. Celebrated eco-friendly activities company Cabo Expeditions leads daylong archipelago tours that include exploring the mesmerizing volcanic landscape, a ceviche lunch, and an opportunity to swim on Ensenada Grande Beach—often cited as one of the world’s most beautiful—plus guided snorkeling with the incredibly playful pups at the Los Islotes sea lion colony.

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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.

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