ZAP WANDERLUST: The Sea of Cortez Welcomes Marine Life
Famously named ‘the aquarium of the world’ by Jacques Cousteau, the waters around La Paz are home to 39% of the world’s marine mammals and over 800 species of fish. This fall, visitors are invited back into the Sea of Cortez to frolic with the fishes and swim with sea lions and whale sharks in the waters around Baja California Sur.
In September, the sea lion colony that lives on a small rock formation called Los Islotes, located on the Espiritu Santo archipelago, welcomes snorkellers and divers. From September throughout the winter, curious young pups swirl around swimmers while their parents keep a close eye on them from the rocks. The Sea of Cortez is one of the only places in the world where sea lions and humans have friendly encounters. Orcas and other predators don’t travel to this area, so the sea lions have no reason to be shy.
The following month La Paz’s main attraction, the whale shark, returns. By October visitors are invited to hop into the waters around El Mogote, on the Bay of La Paz, to swim with the docile filter-feeders. Neither whale nor shark, the whale shark is the world’s largest fish and not at all dangerous to snorkelers or divers. Captains and guides adhere to strict rules of engagement with this endangered species – ensuring the whale sharks don’t become overwhelmed.
Interested in experiencing all the Sea of Cortez has to offer? Zapwater recommends booking an excursion with The Cortez Club, where they provide all equipment and lunch for $125 plus tax.