If the Sea of Cortez is a kaleidoscope of tropical tones, then Espiritu Santo Island is the crown jewel. Located a few miles outside the Bay of La Paz, the island is only accessible by boat and appears from turquoise waters as a monument developed over time by onyx-coloured lava amongst red desert limestone and a pink hued volcanic ash. Dry weather vegetation across the 81 square kilometres adds a smoky quartz to the scenic vistas. Looking down from above, the bold blue water is striking while the roughness of the rocky cliffs fall flat onto the calm beaches below where the tide offers only gentle movement.
Although it is uninhabited, there are a number of animals that call Espiritu Santo Island home which makes the serene island alight with activity. At the northern tip of Espiritu Santo lies a colony of sea lions who call a rock formation named Los Islotes home. The sea lions here are used to snorkelers and scuba divers saying hello. It’s one of the only sea lion communities known to have such friendly interactions with visitors. Elsewhere around the island, hummingbirds and bees bring a buzz to the air while crabs scuttle at the shoreline. Pelicans dive into the water where multi-coloured angelfish, wrasse, trumpetfish, and parrotfish swim below. Those who prefer to keep their feet on terra firma can enjoy 11 different hiking paths located around the Island or one of the seven white sand beaches.
Future visitors can rest assured that Espiritu Santo Island will remain as beautiful for years to come – the area is designated as a Natural Protected Area by CONANP and a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.