Skip to Content

Why Travelers Should Visit Espiritu Santo Island in Baja California Sur, Mexico

Share The Article

Last Updated

Espiritu Santo Island is a magical place in the Baja California Peninsula. It's an authentic sanctuary with stunning natural bays, home to about forty percent of the marine species that exist in the world. It's a tropical paradise with amazing landscapes and endless amounts of wildlife. Here are the top reasons why travelers should visit the Espiritu Santo Island.

A Little History

Hernan Cortez discovered the island in the year 1534, and he named it “Island of Pearls. In 1631, the Jesuits who collected pearls from the site “baptized” the Island with its current name. French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau described this area as “The Aquarium of the World.” Espiritu Santo Island, which is the closest to the Pichilingue Peninsula, is 12 miles long and 3 miles wide. Archaeologists have found evidence that humans set foot on this island 40,000 years ago.

Where is Espiritu Santo Island Located?

Espiritu Santo Island is located 45 minutes from the city of La Paz in Baja California Sur and can be reached by boat. Its main attractions are its impressive biodiversity of fauna. It's home to sea lions, manta rays, dolphins, turtles, and when it's a season, gray whales and gray sharks.

Espiritu Santo and its Pure Beauty

Espiritu Santo is an island surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. It's where the rocky desert meets the sea, and its volcanic rock formations tower along its shores, and exploring inland will amaze you. The Sea of Cortez houses one-third of the total species of cetaceans. It's the only place in the world where there are underwater sand waterfalls. It also houses 4,500 known species of marine invertebrates, 181 birds species, and 695 plants species, of which 28 are only found in this region. It contains more than eight hundred and ninety species of fish, and about ninety are exclusive to the area.

How to go to Espiritu Santo Island

The easiest way to access the island is to do it by boat from the city of La Paz. If you're already staying there, you can choose from many tour operators who will take you to “La Lobera” to spot the sea lions and listen to their “song.” The tour lasts around eight hours and is full of pleasant surprises; during the tour, you can admire the landscape, which consists of desert cliffs on the horizon, creating a perfect contrast with the blue of the Sea of Cortez. It's very common to spot whales, dolphins, rays, and many birds that will accompany you throughout the journey.

What to do on the Island

Espiritu Santo has so much to offer, including swimming with sea lions and the magnificent whale shark. Still, the island's most popular attraction is snorkeling in the waters of the Sea of Cortez. It's one of the most rewarding experiences that a visitor can have, since you'll dive into the aquarium of the world and experience up close its incredible diversity.

You can also enjoy its beaches; most are still virgin. Ensenada Grande is a beach located in Partida Island, a small island next to Espiritu Santo. You can not miss it; for some, it holds the title of the most beautiful beach in the world. Generally, the tours to the Island include transportation and food. If you want to live the experience of the spectacular sunsets in the middle of the ocean and sleep under a roof of stars to the cooing of the waves, you can book a camping tour in which they provide an expert guide so you can camp for a couple of days on the island.

What is the best season to visit?

The best time to travel to Espiritu Santo is from February to November, where you'll enjoy a pleasant climate and moderate rainfall. The average maximum temperature in Espiritu Santo is 77°F in April and 66°F in January.

Espiritu Santo is protected by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve and managed by Mexico's Commission on Natural Protected Areas, which is also collaborating with non-profit groups to protect ten other islands in the Sea of Cortez. When you visit the city of La Paz in Baja California Sur, we recommend you take the time to visit Espiritu Santo Island.

When you think of a destination that can enchant you for its natural beauty in Mexico, you should include Espiritu Santo Island on your list.

Read More

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19

Is It Safe To Visit Mexico During COVID-19?

↓ Elevate Your Travel↓

Sign Up Now For Travel Off Path Premium! No ads, VIP Content, Personal Travel Concierge, Huge Savings, Daily Deals, Members Forum & More!


Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path's latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.

This article originally appeared on

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Monday 29th of November 2021

just was there earlier this month. Snorkeling with Sea Lions, you know about that?

Also article should note water temperature variation.


Monday 29th of November 2021

Thanks for the tip!