The Sea of Cortez

Our offices are located in the city of La Paz, capitol of Baja California Sur, just blocks from the shores of the Sea of Cortez.

The Sea of Cortez is the body of water that separates the Baja California peninsula from mainland Mexico; it is the youngest and perhaps the richest body of water in the world, home to an abundance and diversity of marine life, with many species that are unique to Baja California. For decades the Sea has sustained commercial fishing and eco-tourism efforts, and yet our human impact has continued to affect its abundance and bio-diversity; the on-going health of the Sea continues to depend on our resource management efforts. Local community members originally called the body of water the Vermillion Sea, describing the effect of a brilliant red sunset or sunrise reflected across the water.

In the 1950s French oceanographer and pioneer diver Jacques Cousteau dubbed the body of water “the aquarium of the world”; it is known most commonly today as the Sea of Cortez and the Gulf of California. In 2005, UNESCO acknowledged the importance of the bio-diversity of the Sea’s island eco-systems, and its 244 islands were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. In 2007, Mexico named the Espíritu Santo Island Archipelago a national park.

On your visit with Baja Expeditions, you will get to explore many of the natural wonders of this magnificent Sea!

Isla Espiritu Santo

Located in the Bay of La Paz, Espiritu Santo Island Archipelago is just a short boat ride from the city.

Did you Know?!  Our company founder, Tim Means, played an instrumental role in the protection of Espiritu Santo.

"The area is protected as part of the Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna - Islas del Golfo de California (APFF-IGC),[2] and is an important eco-tourism destination. It was declared part of a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1995.[3] Espíritu Santo is the only known habitat of the black jackrabbit.[4] The islands are both uninhabited. Ensenada Grande beach, on Isla Partida, was voted the most beautiful beach in Mexico by The Travel Magazine [5] and one of the top 12 beaches in the world. Sea kayaking is a popular activity around the island.

The surrounding reefs are home to parrotfishangelfish,[6] trumpetfishMoorish idols, and rainbow wrasse, while many other species pass nearby including sharksraysturtlesdolphins, and even whales. Birds include brown pelicansgreat blue heronssnowy egretsturkey vultures, and hummingbirds. A large sea lion colony resides on Los Islotes, off the north tip of the islands; snorkeling with the females and young is a highlight of many tours.[7][8]"

- Source: Wikipedia

Learn more about Baja Expeditions’ founder and owner Tim Means, and about the successful conservation project of the Espiritu Santo Island Archipelago in Wildands Philanthropy, a publication of the Foundation for Deep Ecology.  For a quick version, check out Tim’s pivotal role in saving the Espiritu Santo Island Archipelago.

 

San Ignacio Lagoon

San Ignacio Lagoon (Laguna San Ignacio) is a lagoon located in Mulegé Municipality of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur, 59 kilometres (37 mi) from San Ignacio, Mexico and Highway 1. It is one of the winter sanctuaries of the eastern Pacific gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus).

San Ignacio Lagoon was originally discovered by whaling captain Jared Poole, brother-in-law to captain Charles Melville Scammon. The first whaling expedition to San Ignacio Lagoon occurred in 1860 led by Scammon and six whaling vessels. Although many whaling captains would not risk losing their ships to the treacherous sand bar shoals and narrow shallow water passage into the lagoon, enough bold whaling captains did and the beginning of the near extinction of the Pacific gray whale. The lagoon is now one of the primary destinations of the Gray Whale migration.

In 1988 Mexico established the El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve to include San Ignacio Lagoon, which is Latin America’s largest wildlife sanctuary. Not only is San Ignacio lagoon a gray whale sanctuary, but it is one of only two undeveloped nursery and breeding ground in the world of the Pacific gray whale. The other is just 4 hours away in Magdalena Bay. San Ignacio lagoon is also the critical habitat for the near extinct Berrendo or pronghorn antelope and an important feeding habitat for four of the worlds seven species of sea turtlesleatherbackshawksbillsgreen turtles and Olive Ridleys (all endangered). In 1993 the United Nations declared San Ignacio lagoon a World Heritage site because of its importance to the world community.

Source: Wikipedia

Learn more about how you can help protect San Ignacio Lagoon through our Friends of Wild Baja fund.

 

The Mechudo Corridor

The Mechudo Corridor includes 80 miles of undeveloped and still wild coastline between Loreto and La Paz in the Gulf of California. In addition to its relatively pristine condition, this unique area sustains an exceptional diversity of both marine and terrestrial species.

The name comes from Point Mechudo near La Paz, and also references the central figure in the story of the local legend about El Mechudo. Come on down and hear a firsthand telling of the lore! Even better – hop aboard our Catamaran named El Mechudo while you listen for maximum enjoyment!

Baja Expeditions continues to work with small local communities between Loreto and La Paz along the corridor, helping to fortify efforts to maintain eco-tourism in the region. Our visits always have the aim of contributing to the conversation about sustainable planning for the region and finding approaches that continue to respect the coastal ecosystems and communities in the Mechudo Corridor.

Many of our Partner organizations also support local research on sustainable fisheries, as well as do work in environmental education with the young people in the region. Come join us for an expedition along this spectacular coastline and enjoy it for yourself!

Want to help preserve the Mechudo Corridor?  Learn more about our Friends of Wild Baja tax-deductible fund.