While we very much enjoyed relaxing in the city, the beaches quickly called to us. We spent our first day at Balandra Beach (Playa Balandra) where the shallow water stretches for hundreds of yards and you can walk to the famous Balandra Mushroom Rock. As we headed home for the night, we readied ourselves for our big adventure of the trip, a chartered tour around Espiritu Santo.
Our family of five boarded our boat for the day at Marina Costa Baja on the north end of La Paz. It was a quick and easy experience with Baja Advenure Co and we were out on the water with gear and fresh water in hand. Little did we know, but our experience would be one for the record books!
We started by boating to Balandra and checking it out from the water. As we headed away and toward Espiritu Santo, our guide Sophia explained much about the waters, islands, beaches, marine life, and more. It was educational, fun, and an easy way to pass the time on the open water.
As we were in transit, the captain stopped the boat and noted some rays jumping out of the water. Mobula rays, it turns out, can jump very high out of the water and do so often. No exact reason is known, but it makes for a fascinating sight. The magic, however, is below the water. There, you will find thousands of these graceful creatures, swimming peacefully. Our guide asked if we wanted to hop in the water and check them out and two of us jumped at the opportunity. It was one of the most amazing experiences, snorkeling within 25 yards of so many of them—something we will never forget.
We stopped at several different rock formations and island features as we made our way around Espiritu Santo—our next major stop being to snorkel and swim with sea lions. As we pulled into our anchor point, a group of sea lions decided they liked us and followed us for several hundred yards, waiting for us to jump in the water. We were all a little bit anxious jumping in with what are described as “puppies of the sea” but all decided to get out of our comfort zones and jump in. It was such a fun and exciting experience. They really are very playful and so graceful in the water. They swam around us, called out, and generally seemed to enjoy our company. We waved as we moved on and I swear one of them waved back! 😊
After this, we continued to experience so much more on our cruise. We snorkeled on a reef, had ceviche on a white sand beach, watched dolphins and sea turtles swim in the water and, perhaps, the final amazing experience, we were the first in our guides’ career to see a blue whale on the open water. This giant creature moved with silent power as we kept our distance and marveled at how impressive and beautiful nature can be.
As we settled into our beds, exhausted from the day, we did so with thoughts and sounds of the sea lulling us to sleep.
My daughter put a video together of our whole trip:
Video credit: Alyssa Park @ParkRanger12
This trip was a major success and everyone had a great time. We balanced full days with relaxation: In my opinion, the perfect recipe for a family vacation.
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