This sweet little island reserve that lies between LaPaz and Puerto Vallarta as you sail across the Sea of Cortez, Mexico is a reserve for birds, both boobies and frigates, to lay their eggs and raise their young. Research is also conducted here. It used to have a small fishing village and Tiburone
Bay is named because sharks would come eat the chum the fishermen threw out as they washed their day’s hauling. Very occasional boats visit this special island and we had only one other boat come during our stay.
The island is a volcanic desert with a harsh landscape. It does boast a couple of sandy beaches, one with a cave large enough to fit 5 adults out of the sun while the kids play in the surf.
At low tide, the rough volcanic surface makes for an excellent tide pool exploration. A diverse amount of species get caught up in these tide pools, including eels and starfish. You can spend hours searching these vast pools.
There is an abandoned structure back a little ways from the anchorage and fishing village. It has a large amphitheater with welcome shade. Surrounding this amphitheater are possibly hundreds of iguanas out sunning themselves. These cold blooded animals come out in the morning to get their energy from the sun. They are very interesting animals and after they adjust to you, they are actually quite friendly!!
There were other types of lizards also, which could be caught and cuddled with. We even took the opportunity to feed them, which was so exciting. What a great chance to review what the diet of a lizard is! And it’s habitat too!
One of the local fishermen came to the abandoned buildings to fillet and wash up his fish. Innocence took this opportunity to go ask him all about the fish he caught. She inquired what kind they were and what he planned to do with them.
He was a very sweet man engaging her in this conversation!! World School kids simply do not have the same boundaries as other kids. If they have a question, they are going to ask it! They don’t care if the person is young or old, how they look, nor what language they speak. They just ask and work out the details later. It’s a beautiful thing! In traditional schools so many things are organized and separated by age and class that kids won’t even talk to other kids one year older or one year younger. This actually limits their socialization rather than improves it.
On this island were blue footed boobies, which are quite rare! They had nests, eggs, and babies. The nests were everywhere and the birds were quite tolerant of human presence, but only to an extent. There is a trail around the island and sometimes their nests are blocking the path. Some art of negotiation had to happen at times to bypass a nesting mother without disturbing her, or going to far off trail and disturbing her neighbor. They sit on their babies until they are quite large. We could get quite a nice view of them feeding their young by regurgitating.
Also on the island were frigate birds nesting. They are beautiful black birds with a red neck pouch and bifurcated tail. They are more aggressive and will sometimes take fish the boobies have caught. They too had babies and eggs with them. The males would enlarge their distinctive gular pouch to attract females, which makes for an impressive display. At times they would also display out their wingspan while on the ground.
To cool off after an afternoon onshore, we’d go out snorkeling and kayaking. There are nice reefs with beautiful tropical fish and even the occasional box fish.
The amazing rock formations to the east side of the island were majestic, and the cliff would drop off quickly beside them underwater making for some interesting features to snorkel, but sometimes the currents were VERY strong pulling the swimmers away, so take note if you go! But near the island and in Tiburon Bay, the currents weren’t so strong and the kids could kayak and swim easily.
This is such a neat little nature reserve if you are able to go!! If you enjoy watching nesting birds in all stages of reproduction, iguanas, other lizards, and sea life, you’re going to love this island.