Best tour in La Paz! Visit Espiritu Santo Island
If you come to La Paz and don’t visit Espiritu Santo, you’ve done your vacation wrong! I can say without hesitation that this is one of the must-do excursions in Baja California Sur.
I’ve been there more times than I can count, yet it feels like a brand new adventure each time.
Plus, you get bang for your buck anytime you take this “island” tour, as Espiritu Santo is actually an archipelago, comprised of not one but two main islands - La Partida and Espiritu Santo - along with three islets and four rocky promontories. So much amazingness to explore, you can imagine why I keep going back!
Whether you’re dreaming of experiencing Espiritu Santo on a thrilling panga boat tour (the small fiberglass fishing boats that are used for most water excursions around La Paz), or on a private luxury yacht catering to your group’s every whim, the Trip&homes Experiences team has got you covered!
Panga tour to Espiritu Santo with Trip&homes
Book here price per person around 115 - 130 USD per Person
Luxury trip to the Island on a 60 foot 3 cabins Hatteras Yacht toys included.
Book here your 8 hours day trip starting at 1500 USD (capacity for 15 people)
Even though it only runs about 20 miles from north to south, and six at its widest east-west point, there are too many notable features within this UNESCO designated biosphere reserve for me to fawn over all of them, but allow me to at least highlight the top 5:
Los Islotes - the northernmost islet, home to a healthy California sea lion colony of over 500 individuals. Though snorkeling and scuba diving with the playful juveniles is the main attraction at Los Islotes, don’t forget to look past those adorable brown eyes and whiskers! The reef surrounding the rocky islet is INCREDIBLE and teeming with colorful fish and healthy corals, and could be a destination all on its own.
La Mascara - an eroded rock formation resembling a (slightly creepy) howling mask, cries out over the Cortez waters. Espiritu Santo translates to “Holy Spirit”, but maybe there’s a spirit of another persuasion here as well? This photogenic cliff is located within the bay of the famous Playa Candelero.
The world's first pearl farm - from the 16th to 19th centuries, La Paz was the world's #1 export of pearls; it's why our gorgeous city was founded in the first place! (The crown jewel of La Paz is literally the British Queen's crown jewel.) In the early days, the Sea of Cortez offered a seemingly endless source of natural wealth for pearl oyster fisheries….seemingly; by the late-1800's the native stock had all but disappeared. In response, an enterprising local designed a farming system, located within the embrace of Espiritu Santo's protected bays (and employing 1000 people!) The project was successful for a couple of decades, but eventually, the fatal combination of disease and a sacking following the Mexican Revolution was too much to overcome. Today, jetties originally built for the farm act as sanctuary and nursery for thousands of frigate birds, nesting on its rocky surface.
The Isla Partida arch - Los Cabos doesn’t have the only famous rock archway in Baja California Sur! The forces of erosion have created another impressive work of art with this 40-foot high opening carved through the otherwise very solid-looking rock. A skilled captain can take your boat right through on a calm day!
The East side - rainbow rocks and sheer cliffs plunge deep into the ocean, reaching almost unimaginable depths immediately offshore (300 feet, what?!). The geological layers tell a cyclical story of creation and destruction, to those who know how to interpret them - over here, perfectly straight sections of dark lava, and there, wavy patterns of compressed pink ash. These islands were once a part of mainland Mexico, before seismic shifts in tectonic plates sheared off the peninsula, as we know it today and thrust deep, old, prehistoric rock up towards the sky. As a non-scientific type, myself, I just think this wild side of the island is a magnificent time machine to the past!
If you didn’t know, the French explorer and researcher, Jacques Cousteau, wondrously proclaimed the Sea of Cortez “The Aquarium of the World”! And just imagine, this protected biosphere of marine magic is waiting for you a mere 25 minutes by boat from your cozy Trip&homes accommodation in La Paz. (To see all accommodations in La Paz click here)
Make it a day trip on its own or combine Espiritu Santo with a visit to the world’s largest fish - the whale shark!
By: Terri Lynn Manna