Isla San Jose & Cabeza de Mechudo

Feb 22, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Bird


After spending the night navigating north into the Sea of Cortez, we arrived at Isla San Jose, 37 miles north of the Bay of La Paz. The long, narrow island’s series of high peaks—up to 2,000 ft. tall—make up a mountainous backbone. The lower valleys shelter a cacti forest, and in the southern tip, there’s a lagoon sheltered by mangroves.

Some of us spent the morning bird watching and paddling kayaks around the mangroves. Others decided to take a more leisurely approach and explored the area aboard expedition landing crafts. Time passed quickly and soon we were back on board National Geographic Sea Bird. Lunch was served on the sun deck, where we had a great meal with a view of the island on one side and the majestic Sierra of la Giganta on the other.

After lunch, we picked up anchor and traveled a few miles to Cabeza de Mechudo across the Canal de San Jose—our destination was a beach on the peninsula. On shore, we hiked into the desert and learned about different plants and the adaptations that allow them to live and thrive in such arid conditions. Later in the afternoon, we decided to take our explorations underwater. With fins, masks, and snorkels, we headed out to the reef. We saw a large variety of colorful fish swimming all over the reef, which almost seemed like a busy city. We ended our full day of activities the best way we knew how: with a beach BBQ, a bonfire, s’mores, and margaritas in hand.

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Hiroshi Kawashima

Hiroshi Kawashima

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