Dive into Nature at Bird Island
Don your snorkel gear, jump into the Sea of Cortez and find yourself surrounded by playfully curious sea lions at Bird Island. What better way to spend a day in Rocky Point, Mexico than to explore nature’s playground and its inhabitants? Although there are no announcers, no beach balls, no glass walls and no stadium seating – the 3,000 sea lions that inhabit the chain of islands are sure to please just being themselves.
San Jorge Island, better known as Bird Island, is on average a two-hour boat ride southeast of Rocky Point. The islands look like jagged snow-capped mountains and are protected, which basically means humans need to stay off of them as not to disturb the wildlife that live there. Along with sea lions, an array of migratory birds such as boobies, cormorants, red-billed tropicbirds, and brown pelicans also reside on the islands and are the reason the island appear to be “snow-capped”. And below the sea there are a fascinating variety of beautiful fish and interesting marine invertebrates.
As you approach the island sea lions will swim out to greet the boat and as you get closer you will see many sunbathing on the rocky islands or floating in the water with one or both fins pointing to the sky. Some will stay on the rocks or floating the entire time you are there, but others will slip into the water and come to check you out. It is always wise to remain a safe distance from the island and the “bulls” (male sea lions) will definitely let you know when you are too close with their gravely grunts and loud barks. At some 2,200 lbs, you will want to heed their warning.
The bulls are most territorial during mating season. Most other times of the year they stand guard like sentinels neck deep in water barking to let you know they are boss. The young sea lions are most curious and will swim around you three, four or more at a time. They come so close you can almost touch them…but they are fast. Depending on your charter, you usually get to spend 2 to 4 hours swimming around the islands. And when it’s time to get back on the boat you will wonder where the time went. The experience never gets old whether you’ve been 1 or 100 times to Bird Island.
Many take the tour of Bird Island and prefer not to snorkel with the sea lions and for these folks there are other options such as kayaking around the islands or perching on large rafts tethered to the boat or hanging on the boat spotting birds and watching the sea lions. Kayaking around the island is another great way to feel at one with nature. The sea lions will follow you in the kayak and porpoise and dive under and all around you. The trip is so much fun everyone should go at least once while they are vacationing in Puerto Peñasco.
If you’re planning a trip to Rocky Point, Mexico soon stay at Laguna Shores Oceanfront Resort and they’ll help you book a trip to Bird Island. And while you’re there take advantage of their many amenities and adventures such as kayaking through the estuary or out in the Sea of Cortez, go clamming, play beach volleyball or wade in their 5,000 sq. ft. trophy pool.