We went to La Paz, Mexico in search of the magnificent whale shark (the world’s largest fish). We found one, along with dolphins, fish, an uninhabited islands, and the Northern Hemisphere’s largest colony of sea lions.
Despite a run in with mighty Montezuma, we found La Paz, Mexico to be a charming and adventurous town in Baja California Sur.
Did you know?
- The whale shark is found in both tropical and warm oceans, lives in the open sea.
- Whale sharks have a lifespan of about 70 years.
- Though they have very large mouths, they are filter feeders, and feed mainly on plankton!
- The species originated about 60 million years ago.
- Whale sharks can grow to be up to 30-40 feet in length!
- They are the largest living nonmammalian vertebrate, rivalling many of the largest dinosaurs in weight.
How to swim with a whale shark?
Go with an experienced guide who is well-trained to spot them! You’re looking for a shadow or a fin, people. Not easy. And whatever you do, don’t get in front of it’s face. Not sure what happens if you do, but they have a huge mouth and would NOT want to find out (Jonah & the Whale?). Fun Baja provides snorkeling and scuba diving trips with excellent guides. They also offer excursions to the islands of the Sea of Cortez, whale watching, camping, kayaking and land tours of the highest quality.
Visiting Isla Espiritu Santo
Closest to the Pichilingue Peninsula of Baja California Sur, is the uninhabited Isla Espiritu. The island extends 11 miles long and 3 miles wide, with dozens of blissful bays, abundant marine life and a plethora of land-based reptiles, birds, and amphibians, including a ring-tailed cat, black jackrabbit and a ground squirrel that are unique to the island.
A perfect place to picnic (and camp if you’re so inclined), it’s a 23,800-acre desert and one of the most unspoiled ecosystems in Baja. It boasts five species of mammals and reptiles. Archeologists have found evidence that humans stepped upon this island as long as 40,000 years ago.
Nearby at Los Islotes (another tiny uninhabited island) you’ll find the Northern hemisphere’s largest colony of sea lions. You can snorkel and dive with them, including the babies, who may nibble at your finds and blow bubbles in your goggles! Truly a magical and unforgettable snorkeling experience!
For an account of Lanee’s experience swimming with a whale shark, check out her story on FathomAway.com where she channeled Moby Dick .
And you’re probably headed to Baja for some fun and sun. Check out the best beaches in La Paz.
After a long day soaking up the rays, here’s where to celebrate your awesomeness: La Paz’s best cocktails.