The crown’s jewel

Isla Coronados is a volcanic island, located just 2 miles from the mainland coast of the Baja Peninsula. We went there to explore the inner portion of the island and stay maybe two nights. We stayed five. Read on.

<This the second in a series of posts covering the 10 days-or-so we spent cruising the area between Puerto Escondido and Bahia Concepcion in Baja California. Click here to access the first post>

After spending nearly a month at the footsteps of the scenic Giganta range and its surroundings, we were expecting Coronados to be a continuation on the same theme. But, no, this little island has its kick.

To start with, despite being small – roughly 2×3 miles – it has a wide, crescent shaped bay lined by a pristine white sandy beach. There are two palapas on the beach, which we used almost daily to enjoy the afternoons with our Coastal Drifter friends. On one of these events, Debra came up with the wonderful idea of a potluck – bringing a fantastic fetuccine on an alfredo-lobster sauce, which we devoured. Pesto contributed with a fusilli a la marinara for the kids, which they devoured as well.

Lobster-Alfredo fettuccine on a pristine beach among friends ... does it get any better?
Lobster-Alfredo fettuccine on a pristine beach among friends … does it get any better?

 

The  postcard-perfect beach at Isla Coronados
The postcard-perfect beach at Isla Coronados

 

Pesto-22Jun15-018
Raquel and Savannah made a tent and played “survival” on a smaller beach nearby

 

Sierra and her newly-found jellyfish
Sierra and her newly-found jellyfish

 

Yours truly
Yours truly

 

Natural landscaping
Natural landscaping

 

Another beautiful sunset
Another beautiful sunset

 

Another special aspect of Coronados is the aquatic life. The area is in fact a nature preserve, and I’ve seen pictures of Orca Whales swimming nearby. In our case, we didn’t see any whales, but the Dolphins and Manta Rays threw daily shows.

Starting with the cetaceans, every evening they would come in the bay for feeding. The waters would start boiling with the fish running for their lives, while the smart dolphins corralled them. At night, we could see them swimming under our boats, with the luminescence clearly marking their paths in the water – an impressive sight!

Dolphins playing around s/v Coastal Drifter
Dolphins playing around s/v Coastal Drifter

 

And near us as well !
And near us as well !

 

We could see them all day, from head ...
We could see them all day, from head …

 

... to "toes"
… to “toes”

 

Then there was the rays. We had seen rays breaching out of the water before, but not the way they do in Coronados. They would swim around inside the bay in large groups (“pods”?), cutting the surface gently with their wing tips as they swam slowly. And then, all of a sudden, one of them would start breaching. Once, twice, a number of times. Not only are they beautiful animals, but the way the breach is also interesting. Even after getting completely airborne, they keep on flapping their wings, as if trying to gain altitude. And almost always, they will fall flat on the water, with a loud “splat” sound. They clearly don’t bother with it, as the breaching and splatting would go on day and night.

Manta Ray breaching. A common sight at Coronados
Manta Ray breaching. A common sight at Coronados

 

They swim with their wing tips gently slicing the still water surface
They swim with their wing tips gently slicing the still water surface

 

There were large pods circling the bay. We could see them from above the dinghy
There were large pods circling the bay. We could see them from above the dinghy

 

One day we didn't resist and tried to swim near them, but they swam faster
One day we didn’t resist and tried to swim near them, but they swam faster

 

Even without seeing them, we had a good time on this little "adventure"
Even without seeing them, we had a good time on this little “adventure”

 

But the feature that makes Coronados special is the volcano that lies at its center. Although extinct, the most recent lava flows are still clearly visible on the island’s geography. There is a hike to the top of it. Not the ordinary hike, but a challenging one. A challenge we embraced in earnest on a warm spring day. That was an experience in itself, and deserves a post of its own, which we will publish tomorrow.

The extinct volcano at Isla Coronados
The extinct volcano at Isla Coronados

Stay tuned.

4 Replies to “The crown’s jewel”

  1. Que foto maravilhosa do Paulinho, estou feliz de poder estar acompanhando vossas andanças, beijos á todos

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