Isla Isabel: Paradise Found in San Blas
There’s a little secret paradise just a few hours from the beautiful port of San Blas, a place that truly embodies the word “disconnect.” We’re talking about Isla Isabel, sometimes called “Mexico’s little Galapagos.” This island is volcanic in origin with a hypersaline central crater lake formed 3.5 million years ago. The tour is perfect for adventure seekers, photographers, divers, snorkelers, and bird watchers. Ready to find out more? Keep reading!
Where is it?
The Isla Isabel National Park is located about 70km from beautiful San Blas (some two and a half hours away, depending on the weather conditions). The only way to get there is by catching a boat from San Blas or the Bahía de Camichin. The maximum number of people allowed on the island at any given time is 30 campers and 60 day trippers. It has its own calendar managed by the Conanp to regulate access to authorized permit holders for tours. Note: the best time of year to visit is from November through July.
What’s there to see?
One of the most incredible things about Isla Isabel is its natural diversity, especially when it comes to birds. These guys are show stealers and you’ll see why the minute you set foot on the island. Fifty-five species of birds call this home, among them: frigates, blue-footed boobies, pelicans, red-billed tropicbirds, and the brown-footed boobies.
The craziest thing about it is how close they let you get when you tour the island. Usually when we’re talking about birdwatching, it’s something you do from afar with binoculars. At Isla Isabel, though, you can see hundreds of these guys—including the blue-footed boobies—close up and personal. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience.
What you won’t find here are any hotels, restaurants, electricity, or WiFi. This is 100% “disconnect time.” You’ll need that time for whale watching from December through March, not to mention swimming with whale sharks from November through May, weather permitting.
This is a truly unexpected paradise plopped right in the middle of the Pacific. The gorgeous landscapes from the different viewpoints are amazing, but it’s the crystal-clear, turquoise-blue beaches that will steal your heart.
Truth is, calling it “Mexico’s little Galapagos” kind of falls short. This is a super unknown hidden treasure. And, no doubt, one of the best memories of the Riviera Nayarit to take home. –REBECA SERNA @rebeca_viajeros30
How do I reserve my tour?
We highly recommend calling Pipilas Tour and asking about availability when you’re ready to travel. They have the permits necessary for an island visit. You can reserve up to six months in advance for groups of no more than 15 people. The ideal group size is six. They’ll give you all the info on what you’ll need to take with you.
Keep in mind:
Not recommended for pregnant women or children under the age of 2
No pets allowed
No alcohol allowed
You can’t take anything off the island
Organic waste can be composted