Espíritu Santo National Park "The Islands"
The Parks Department or National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) works to protect the environment of the islands and surrounding waters in the Sea of Cortez. The Islands of the Gulf of California Protected Flora and Fauna Area was created on 1978 as a breeding site for marine birds, it includes 900 islands and islets of the Gulf of California, from the La Paz area north to Bahia de Los Angeles. It has 4 jurisdictions, in Baja California, Sonora, Sinaloa and Baja California Sur.
The Espiritu Santo Archipelago Marine National Park was created on 2007.
A pass is required to visit the areas. For more information on passes visit our Park Passes page.
The park is a feeding and refuge site for various aquatic species and a stopping place along the migratory routes of hammerhead sharks and sea turtles. The National Park is an important site for fishing, tourism and research. An example of the species you will encounter in the park include one of the largest sea lion colonies in the Sea of Cortez, 7 different marine turtles, humpback whales, eagle rays, hammerhead sharks, dolphins, moorish idols, frigate birds, pelicans, fish eagles, blue footed boobies, and brown footed boobies. There are 38 species of plants and animals in the park that are not found anywhere else in the world.
You may notice some fishing camps on the islands. When the Government purchased the islands the purchase included enabling these fishermen to continue to use their buildings for only a certain number of days during certain periods through the year. No one lives on the islands.
To protect this valuable area the Parks Department has established rules for visitors. Noncompliance is punishable by fine or even the impounding of your vessel.
- Nature Observation (with 9 established hiking trails)
- SUP use
- Licensed Fishing
Activities Not Approved:
- No Pets
- Do Not Take Shells, Bones, Rocks, Sand or Fossils
- Do Not Take any Species, Fish, Snails, or Coral
- Do Not Litter
- Do Not Disturb the Fauna
- Do Not Bring New Species to the Environment
- No Water Skiing
- No Jet Skiing
Los Islotes Rules:
- Snorkeling and diving is only allowed in certain zones and with a licensed guide.
- Do not set foot on the islands of Los Islotes. No standing or sitting - even in the water.
- The buoys are only for small vessels that are licensed tour guides.
- Because of the popularity of the area it is recommended you limit your stay to 1-1/2 hours of snorkeling or 3 hours of diving.
- Always remain at least 15 feet from the islands.
- Do not touch the sea lions, birds or fish.
You may see Park Rangers on the islands monitoring birds and turtles and rescuing entangled sea lions. If you spot an entangled sea lion or whale report it to the Park Rangers at 612-128-4141 ex 18120 or on VHF channel 16.
Please help protect this National Park by reporting any violations of the rules or any other crimes to the environment such as feeding the sea lions, jet skis or water skiing. Take a photo of the violator and include a photo of the vessel they came from. Report this to the Park Rangers at 612-128-4141 ex 18120 or on VHF Channel 16 or email Celia Roman at firstname.lastname@example.org (English spoken).
Anchoring Is Prohibited:
- Los Islotes - No overnight anchoring.
- San Gabriel - The entire bay is closed to anchoring.
- North of Bonanza - The bay is open to anchoring but the reef area to the north of the bay is closed.
Maps for Download
Click on the maps below showing restricted areas and download a PDF file you can save and print for your own use.