These two islands about 20 miles north of La Paz are part of a Mexican National Park. The wildlife in and around the islands are unique and protected. We were a little disappointed, because a lot of the wildlife is undersea, and even though I went in the water, it was always to cold to enjoy it. Any in the water time was spent hunting dinner. The islands provide nice hikes and as you would expect, beautiful anchorages. In the two weeks we spent around the islands we visited five different anchorages. All of them unique, but this is still a very arid climate, so plenty of cactus and rocks on these volcanic islands.
The first anchorage, Playa Bonanza, has a beautiful white sand beach that goes on for miles. The beach was littered with shells and sea glass to find and enjoy while we were there.
Beyond the beach there is a trail that will take you to the other side of the island and into our next anchorage, Bahia San Gabriel. We skipped the hike. Why hike when you can sail there?
At Bahia San Gabriel there is an old abandoned oyster farm. Which in this case simply means a lagoon separated from the bay where they used to farm oysters.
Lots and lots of shells along the shore, but more exciting was the frigate rookery located on the breakwater to the lagoon. Hundreds of these large birds nesting in the trees and making quite a mess.
At Ensenada de la Raza we were tucked into the northernmost of three large bays. The bays are also tucked in behind a couple of small islands or islets. When we came to the first bay, it had boats in it. The second one had what looked like a tent resort set up on the beach, and the third one was just right. Sounds like “Goldilocks and the three bears” Anna and I planned on diving near one of the small islands, but it turned out to be a little rough and with the cold water we passed. Other than the diving option at this anchorage we didn’t see much to do. Anything on shore would require bushwhacking up over the hill. So after one night we moved on.
Caletta Partida is a cove that separates the two islands. It is different from the other bays because there is a small canal that at high tide you can dinghy through to the other side of the islands.
The western side of the island, where we were anchored, had sand beaches before reaching the mountainous terrain. The eastern side from what we could see, just dropped off into the sea. The eastern side has much better fishing. Both sides had awesome rock formations and caves that reached deep into the water. Amazingly there was a big difference between the rocks on the northern island and those on the southern island. Even though they were separated but such a short distance. Maybe it has something to do with the timing of the eruptions?
Ensenada Grande, the northern most anchorage we visited is about a mile from famous Roca Islotes. Known for the sea lions that live and breed there. The sea lions are quite friendly toward divers and snorkelers and tend to interact with them. Or so it’s said. The weather still a little sour made getting up around the end of the island in the dinghy out of the question. Stray Catz yes, but in the unprotected anchorage, it wouldn’t be safe leaving her while Anna and I were in the water. So that adventure will come later.
There is a trail that goes to the top of the mountain and takes you cliff-side to the eastern shore. This is not a simple hike. It was necessary to crawl across more than one rock, but if you make the trip amazing views await you. Our friends from Sea Fern joined us on this adventure.
That was the easy hike. It paled in difficulty to the one we did the next day. No crawling, we had to climb rocks to make this hike. We wanted to see the fossilized shells in the caves along the way. The shells were disappointing, but the hike was fun. It also was a good way to end our time exploring these islands. The next day it was time to head back to civilization. It was time to stop putting off repairing the roller furler. Ugh!