Baja California, Mexico’s Southern extension of the American California not just geographically quite the opposite of its American counterpart. It consist to large parts of dry, fruitless land with the reputably lawless Tijuana in the North and the touristy, soulless resort town of Cabo in the South. The latter was probably my least favorite place in Mexico, I therefore could not wait to get out of it. I decided to take the 3-hour bus trip up to La Paz, a wise decision, as La Paz is the jewel of Baja California, as far as I am concerned. People here, are as laid back as they come and you can spend a great, hasslefree time. The only downfall to my time in La Paz was the season. The hotels were empty and tourist often tours didn’t operate due to a lack of paying customers. When traveling alone, that pretty much means you have a lot of time to catch up on your reading. Or walking around and taking photos.

La Paz’s main draw is the attractive Malecon (the beach promenade). In the photo below, the tide had gone out, by the evening, the water was back to normal. I couldn’t quite figure out after which principle it was tide or flow.

It’s very hot in La Paz, so naturally I spent a lot of time eating ice cream at El Fuente, a local favorite ice cream parlor along the Malecon. Fun retro design here:

But the best part about my stay in La Paz was my trip to Espiritu Santo island. A short boat trip away, this place is praised by guidebooks and travelers alike, for its amazing animal richness and beautiful beaches. It’s a national park, so no one lives here, except for about 50 fishermen who have been coming here for so long that the government lets them stay.

I was promised a sea lion colony and possibly the option of seeing dolphins. Good enough, I figured but at the end we got so much more.

Our small boat almost didn’t leave because in the whole of La Paz, no one but me had signed up for a boat trip that day. The guys at the travel office told me to come back at 11 (boats normally left around 10) to see if I would be lucky and people would show up late. When I came back at 11, the dude said that no boat would leave, he tried it all. Literally seconds before I wanted to leave, a group of 4 Spaniards walked in to take the same tour – LUCKY! Better even: another 30 minutes later our tour was joined by 2 German and a Japanese girl (all 7 were exchange students) – all in all a pretty fun group.

I was recommended not to bring my camera, bummer because what we saw is something I’d have loved to capture on my Canon. Instead I did all of my filming and photo taking with my cell phone.

Our boat, the Encantada (Enchanted) took us to the island in whiff and we thought we hit jackpot when we saw 3 dolphins on the way who swam with our boat for a good 5 minutes. I had never seen dolphins in the open sea, so I was super excited, as was everyone else. But the real magic happened on our way back to La Paz, when we hit an entire school of dolphins! There were 1000s of them, it such an amazing feeling to see them. At one point we all jumped in the water and could see them swim past us from up close! Hearing their happy squeeks under water was incredible. Our tour guide said we were fortunate to have seen those, as the last time they had come across such a big school of dolphins had been 6 months ago (and they go out every day).

Another highlight from the trip was the sea lion colony. On the island, there is a large group of around 300 sea lions who happily grunt, jump through the water or chill in the sun. This is the only place in the world where you are legally allowed to swim with a seal lion colony, so it felt quite special to be able to do that and see them up close. One actually picked me in my leg, a sign that he wanted to play. I, on the other hand, was scared to be eaten alive, so I sat this game out.

After the excitements of swimming with sea lions and seeing dolphins we took a rest at a gorgeous beach with chrystal waters where we had a little picknick with Ceviche and beers. Some of the girls went to look for shells and some funnily shaped coral stones..

I made a short video with some of the impressions me and my phone collected on the trip. See if you can count all the dolphins!

Happy travels,