Bahia Amortajada and Isla San Francisco

Mar 29, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird


Landing on the shallow shores of the southwest corner of Isla San Jose, we spent our morning exploring Bahia Amortajada. Walking along the white sand shoreline, we enjoyed the lovely cactus gardens to our right and stunning contrast of the turquoise waters of the Gulf against the red mountains to our left. Led by our expedition staff team, we also took the expedition landing craft for a cruise through the dense mangroves in the nearby lagoon. Searching for sea birds hiding amongst the branches, it was special to delve into the northernmost mangroves found in Baja California, remote and preserved from any human developments.

Our water activities continued well into the afternoon, as we anchored in the beautiful Half Moon Bay of Isla San Francisco. Snorkeling the rocky reefs in the afternoon sun, we were treated to impressive schools of grunts and yellow-tail surgeonfish. Wandering across the salt flats to the pebbly shore on the other side of the bay, we explored the many weird and wonderful intertidal creatures exposed by a negative tide. 

We may be on the home stretch of our expedition, but there certainly is no shortage to wonderful experiences here in Baja California.

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About the Author

Maya Santangelo

Naturalist/Expedition Diver

Maya was born and raised in Southern California, where her curiosity for the natural world was encouraged from an early age. Relocating to Sydney, Australia with her family at 11 years old, she learned to scuba dive, eventually becoming a PADI Instructor. Her fascination for the underwater world undoubtedly fueled her interest to study marine biology at James Cook University. Working as a professional guide in some of the world’s top dive destinations, including Palau and Mexico’s Guadalupe Island and Revillagigedo Archipelago, Maya realized a passion for sharing her love for the ocean with others, and the value of citizen science in the dive industry.

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