Isla Isabel – ‘The Galapagos of Mexico’

We’ve spent the last week in possibly the coolest place I have ever been — Isla Isabel, a tiny island 40 miles off the Pacific Mexico coast. A national park and bird sanctuary, Isabel brings new meaning to the expression “teeming with life”.

Isla Isabel Pacific Mexico

Looking down over the bay at Isla Isabel -- a Jurassic-park-like setting if I've ever seen one!


I think the pictures will do the best job of giving you an idea of what it’s like, but let me just say this — the anchorage is an “anchor eater” (meaning super rocky with bad holding), there’s a continuous swell that rolls your boat and tosses you around all night long, and I don’t even like birds that much… but I whole-heartedly loved this place, and would love to go back again.

Brio at anchor in Isla Isabel

Brio at anchor in Isla Isabel


Blue-footed Boobies Birds on Isla Isabel

Blue-footed boobies doing a little bird dance on Isla Isabel


A boobie bird on her nest with eggs

A boobie bird sitting on her eggs -- these creatures make their nests in the ground, and will let you get about 3 feet away... any closer and they start a soft whistling sound which quickly turns into a louder shrieking. Helps you not step on them!


Jurassic Park Isla Isabel

More Jurassic Park-like images -- Absolutely TEEMING with life!!!


A mother frigate bird and her baby

A mother frigate bird and her baby in one of the hundreds of nests we saw


Jonathan in front of Las Monas on Isla Isabel

Jon in front of Las Monas (we were anchored right behind those rocks) on Isla Isabel


Angel fish underwater snorkelling

Life is not just on land though -- underwater was amazing too! A pair of angel fish we spotted while snorkelling


Snorkelling on Isla Isabel

Snorkelling at Isla Isabel


Whale headed for Brio at anchor

One of the many humpback whales we saw, headed *directly* for Brio (at anchor). I was freaking out at this point, wondering if this might be the last photo taken aboard Brio! But the whale dove deep and came up behind the stern of the boat. Phewf 🙂


Breaching baby whale behind Brio

A breaching baby whale, off Brio's stern quarter (in behind Jon's fishing reel)


Yellow fin tuna caught in Brio's dinghy

With all the life surrounding us, it was bound to happen! Jon's huge yellow-fin tuna, caught in the dinghy just off of Isla Isabel


I have about 1000 more pictures of our week in Isabel, but the internet here is forcing me to be choosy. My family is coming to visit us in Puerto Vallarta in 3 weeks, so we have a nice chunk of time to slowly continue exploring this coast. Until then!

Leah 🙂

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