Ensenada Grande, Isla Partida

Part dos of our whale shark expedition, was relaxing at Playa Ensenada Grande on Isla. In route, we stopped to swim with sea lions (we ended up swimming around them; they were in a heavy state of sedation on the rocks), to see La Piedra Mascara (where natives supposedly left human sacrifices to their gods), and to watch frigatebirds mate (the males put on quite the display, puffing up their bright red gular pouches to the size of a balloon; see dude posturing on the bottom right of picture above). We also boated by cove after cove of postcard-perfect beaches. After the twelfth cove or so, I began to question our tour guide, wonder if we were to be the latest human sacrifice on this island….

Eventually, we arrived. A yacht of impressive size crowded the entrance to the bay — fortunately, though, the humans from said yacht only occupied a small slice of the beach. We set up camp on the opposite side. Our tour guide then served us excellent ceviche on tostadas. Then we spent the next few hours relaxing and snorkeling.

Playa Ensenada Grande meets most of my favorite beach criteria, discussed here. The sand was flour. The sea was calm and turquoise. Land could be seen from nearly every angle. And the snorkeling was superb. The best I’ve yet experienced in Mexico. Royal purple sea fans waved between auburn and emerald coral. Electric blue sea cucumbers did whatever they do on the ocean floors. Oysters pursed their magenta lips from the rocks (this island, like it’s larger sister island Isla Espiritu Santo, was once primed for pearl hunting; now they’re both protected). Large varietals of reef fish peeked out from various alcoves (the most interesting being a white polka-dotted guineafowl pufferfish). See video below to get a sense of this magnificent beach.

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