Isla Espiritu Santo, off the coast of La Paz in the Gulf of California, is part of the national marine park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. This long narrow island is abundant in wildlife, both above and below the ocean’s surface, and a popular destination for travelers looking to experience some of the best of Mexico’s outdoors.
Only reachable by boat, Isla Espiritu Santo features unspoiled beaches and dozens of bays teeming with tropical fish and marine life. It’s most often visited on a day trip from La Paz, and the only way to spend any substantial amount of time here is to camp. Multi-day camping trips allow for the freedom to explore the island’s hiking paths and terrain. One of the highlights of a visit to Isla Espiritu Santo is a chance to snorkel with sea lions at Los Islotes.
Most visitors arrive as part of a snorkeling tour from Todos Santos or La Paz that includes hotel pickup and drop-off. Full-day tours from Los Cabos visit Todos Santos, Isla Espiritu Santo, and Balandra Beach. There’s also a popular glamping tour to consider.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Isla Espiritu Santo is a must-see for nature and wildlife lovers.
- Choose a half-day or full-day snorkeling tour with hotel pickup and drop-off.
- Arrive early if you want to beat the crowds, especially during high season.
- Remember to bring sun protection and plenty of water, as the island offers little shade.
How to Get There
The easiest way to visit Isla Espiritu Santo, located in the Gulf of California off Baja California Sur, is on a boat tour from La Paz. Or, if you’re visiting independently, there are motor boats (pangas) that leave from Tecolote Beach, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of La Paz.
When to Get There
Isla Espiritu Santo can be visited year-round. Winter sees large numbers of tourists, whereas other times of year are less crowded. Spring and fall strike a nice balance between pleasant weather and manageable crowds. During summer, expect daytime highs of 95°F (35°C) with higher-than-average humidity and a chance of wet weather.
Isla Espiritu Santo Wildlife
Isla Espiritu Santo is one of the best places in Mexico to view wildlife. The surrounding waters are teeming with tropical fish, and visitors have a chance of seeing sea turtles, manta rays, sea lions, dolphins, and blue or humpback whales. It’s also a popular bird-watching destination for blue-footed boobies, reddish egrets, great blue herons, and yellow-footed gulls.