Espiritu Santo Island & Isla Partida Easily the most popular cruising destination in the Sea of Cortez.  In 1978 The Nature Conservancy designated Isla Espiritu Santo a protected area because it is one of the most ecologically significant and diverse regions in the Sea of Cortez.  Both Espiritu Santo and Partida, two islands separated by a narrow channel, are designated Parks and require a $1 permit to land on the islands.  While fishing is prohibited within a one-mile radius the island contains a variety of beautiful anchorages and a wealth of prime snorkeling, diving, and kayaking opportunities.

Distance from La Paz – 21 NM

Most protected anchorage – Caleta Partida (on the western side of the channel between the islands)


1- Snorkel with sea lions near the sea lion rookery on Los Islotes

2- Dive among three shipwrecks creating an artificial reef near Isla Ballena

3- At high tide take a dinghy through the channel between Partida and Espiritu Santo and explore sea caves

4- Anchor in the beautiful Bahia San Gabriel, which has one of the best white sand beaches on the island and 

    great snorkeling around Punta Prieta on the north end.  If you feel like a hike there is a trail leading from the

    San Gabriel beach to Playa Bonanza, a beautiful beach on the east side of Espiritu Santo.

5- Stretch your legs on a variety trails that lead from the beaches and traverse the island, through beautiful

    desert scenery peppered with stunning ridge top views (the hike from Caleta El Candelero is our favorite).

Choose Your Own Adventure Looking to immerse yourself in a unique island culture? Isla El Pardito  is the only island with a village in the Sea of Cortez.

Looking for more places to snorkel?

1- Cabo Pulmo Reef is the only coral reef found in the Eastern Pacific in the Northern Hemisphere and very

    popular with snorkelers.  It is a National Marine Park and there are associated restrictions, which you can view

    at the park website.

2- Bahia Coyote (Bahia Concepcion) has a wealth of snorkeling sites among the small bays and tiny islands that

    dot the region.

The northern section of the Sea of Cortez offers numerous opportunities to snorkel in less-traveled areas.

  1. Isla Angel de la Guardia is the largest of the Midriff Islands and its warm, deep waters support an abundance of sea life.

  2. San Felipe is a great destination for dolphin lovers, especially near the rocky outcrop of Roca Consagracion.

Looking for more places to dive?

  1. 1The wreck of the Salvatierra ferryboat is located in the San Lorenzo channel just outside of La Paz.  It sank in 1975 and lies at a depth of 60 ft.

  2. 2El Bajo seamount (roughly 6 miles north of Isla Partida in the open sea) is a group of pinnacles 60 ft. below the water; it is very popular with moray eels, mantas, whale sharks, and hammerheads.

  3. 3Isla Las Animas (off the eastern coast of Isla San Jose) is one of the most colorful dive spots in the Sea of Cortez and there are a number of underwater caves to explore.

  4. 4If you are headed north for the hurricane season, or just because, there are numerous top-notch dive locations in the Bahia de Los Angeles area.