First visit to Isla Espiritu Santo

Tags: Baja, Caleta Partida, El Mezteño, Isla Espiritu Santo, Mexico

Date: March 5, 2024

After spending a couple of days anchored in the bay in front of La Paz with paperwork, provisioning and doing laundry, we left to go visit two nearby islands, Isla Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida. The islands form a nature reserve and are uninhabited. The western sides of both islands have numerous bay that are good for anchoring.

This is El Mezteño, the northernmost bay of Isla Espiritu Santo in the late evening light:

Above is towards the beach at the end of the bay, looking up an arroyo, a channel in the ground that sometimes has a water stream running but most of the time is dry. Below is the steep side of the bay:

The next day we hiked up the arroyo. There wasn't really a trail so it was more a scramble that a hike but we wanted to get to the top and have a look over to Isla Partida to the north. We saw this little colorful guy sunning himself on a rock:

The island is mostly dry rocks and some cactuses scattered around, but in the arroyo a few more plants have established themselves, probably taking advantage of the water that runs there from time to time. Here is a small tree growing right in the middle of the arroyo and extending a very long root along the side:

A black turkey vulture observing us from above:

Once we scrambled over the top of the side of the arroyo we reached a plateau:

At the top we had a great view of Caleta Partida, the narrow strait separating Isla Espiritu Santo from Isla Partida:

Turning our head to the left, this was the view:

A few tiny sailboats are just visible anchored off the beach in the distance.

We ate our lunch sitting on a rock overlooking Caleta Partida:

On the way back to the arroyo we took a picture of one of a large cardon cactus:

The largest recorded cactus in the world is a cardon cactus, measuring 19.2 m with a trunk that is 1 m in diameter, however, the average height is "only" 10 m. The cardon cactus can live for several hundred years.

A grasshopper we spotted on a rock on the way down:

We passed one small pool of water during our hike:

This must be a place where a lot of the animals that live here come to drink. What we did see there were wasps drinking while floating on the surface of the water. These yellow paper wasps are covered in water-repelling wax making them able to stand on the surface of the water:

Yet another lizard:

Getting closer to the beach and Amanda — just visible to the right of the branched cactus:

And here she is: