Sea Lions – Los Islotes

by   Profile Damir   When 2nd January 2018

Los Islotes island is located just 25 miles, or just over an hour’s boat ride, from La Paz.

The ride towards the island is like a small safari through the beautiful bays of La Paz and islets like San Rafaelito where a small population of some 50 seals can be found.

Arriving at Los Islotes, you see spectacular round rocks with large flocks of birds and a multitude of seals sleeping on the rocks. The island is home to a population of some 400 seals that are used to the many visitors arriving there in order to snorkel or dive.

Diving with these animals is quite spectacular. At a depth of just one to five meters you can enjoy unforgettable scenes of playful and curious seals who are accustomed to interacting with divers.

Entering the sea not far from the rocks where the seals are resting you find shoals of fish. The silence of the underwater world turns into a frenetic activity of sounds produced by the seals. Rather than feeling frightened by the multitude of sounds coming from all sides, you are enchanted. With every moment spent in their environment you become more and more aware that they are like small puppies and only want to play with you.

The sea temperature is a pleasant +25-27°C,  ideal for enjoying a dive and playing with the seals for hours.

These animals are gracious and playful, and divers or snorkelers, after just a couple of minutes spent in the sea, cannot hide their enthusiasm when encountering these small marine acrobats.

Their agility while rushing and turning around you will leave even the best swimmer disgraced. If you try for even one minute to follow the race and rush of the young seals, trust me, you will literally end up tied in a knot and not know where you are. They are incredibly fast and change direction so quick that they disappear out of sight within seconds. While you are searching around for them they will be right above you and tickle your head with their whiskers. Naturally, the more you turn around, the faster they are, because they think you want to play with them. It is best to try and remain in the same place, that way you will experience the most fun, because at one point they will come nearer. The little older seals can be a bit shy and watch you from a safe distance.

The seals in this colony are not aggressive at all, and most of the adult seals will alert you with a loud bubble burst if you are too close to their home or let you know that they are watching their pups playfully rushing towards and all around you. What is certain is that these little acrobats will make you smile and you will look forward to your next encounter with them.

Diving with them is pure meditation. The seals are certainly the main attraction of Los Islotes and the underwater world is quite beautiful. One of the islets has a natural arch through which you can pass to the other side of the island, and here you will see large shoals of fish, soft corals and lots of sea stars.

Above water Los Islotes is a small paradise for birds so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery. It is forbidden to visit this island by boat in order to protect the habitat of all these animals.

The trip to and from this island is also an opportunity to see other marine life. Depending on the period of the year, you will see pods of dolphins, grey whales and whale sharks as well as humpback whales.

In the Sea of Cortez everything is possible.

Written by
Profile Damir
When 2nd January 2018
Location Los Islotes

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