A Natural Gem: Los Cabos

The Estuary in San José del Cabo

Close to the hotel zone in San José del Cabo is one of the best-kept secrets of the city, a beautiful nature reserve: the San José del Cabo estuary, a state ecological reserve that was declared a natural protected area in 1944.

Covering 50 hectares, it has been a pillar of the community of San José del Cabo. Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the indigenous people inhabiting the area (Pericúes) knew how to take advantage of their natural wealth through fruit recollection and hunting. The arrival of the Spanish colonizers established the Mission of San José del Cabo Añuití that gave way to the then town of San José del Cabo.

Estero de San Jose del Cabo y el Mar del Pacífico

The Estuary of San José del Cabo has always been a strategic place. During its time as a colony it had an essential role within the trade routes between New Spain and other lands, being the main point on the Acapulco-Manila road (Philippines) in what was then known as the Naos of China. Ships came to these estuarine beaches to fill their water reserves, so the Estuary was also known as Aguada Segura.

Years passed and the town grew, becoming the picturesque place you already know. Its inhabitants very well known that the Estuary is an area that must be protected, since it has a vast ecosystem that is an ideal home for endemic bird species and migratory birds that return every year from lands as far away as the USA or Canada.

Turned into a true oasis, the Estuary is not only the most important natural area in San José del Cabo, it has also become a famous tourist attraction for visitors and ecotourism lovers and bird watchers.

The Estuary houses more than 200 species of animals, so you will be in for a surprise when you come to visit. Of all the animal species that you can find here, 70% are birds - this makes the San José del Cabo Estuary a perfect sanctuary to observe different types of bird species. I recommend you bring binoculars to observe all these beautiful species in their natural habitat without disturbing them. If you are into bird-watching, this is the perfect place to do it.

Las Aves en el Estero de San Jose del Cabo

Top 5 bird-watching tips:

  1. Be silent, birds tend not to approach places where they think predators may be present.
  2. Avoid sudden movements, for the same reason as above, they can be easily frightened and not return to the same place for a good while.
  3. Be patient, even if you don't see many birds at first, your patience will be rewarded.
  4. Avoid brightly colored clothes so you can go unnoticed more easily, as colors will alert birds of a possible predator and your movements will be more noticeable.
  5. Look around, you may be focusing your eyes on a single area where you expect to see something while wonderful things may be happening around you.

Curious Fact:
The Estuary is the only coastal lagoon of fresh water in Cabo, so the mixture of salt water from the sea of Cortez and fresh water enables the vegetation to grow lushly and attracts fauna.

The Estuary is an oasis of tranquility and peace, so you can see the birds while they look for food or rest, and you could even be lucky enough to witness a mother feeding her young.

If you want to visit the Estuary of San José del Cabo, you can do so by cycling or by walking along the golden sand beach that takes you to the hotel zone. Upon your arrival, you will be met by the vivid green color of the tall palms, the lush vegetation and you will be amazed to see how many animals live there. Without a doubt it is a place that you must visit with your family.

Pro tip:
If you want to cycle across the Estuary, just make sure your bicycle is designed for use in the sand, since the Estuary is connected to the beach.

Tours de Cabalgata en el Estero de San Jose del Cabo

If you decide to go on a horseback riding tour, your ride will have a different and special touch. Just make sure you follow the directions of the guide because you must take care of the flora and fauna of this place.

Curious fact:
The Estuary also is a climate regulator of the desert. That's the reason why the Estuary de San José del Cabo has such a warm temperature.

Something you should keep in mind is that since the Estuary is connected to the beach the weather there is particularly hot and humid, so if you decide to come make sure you wear comfortable clothes, put sunscreen on, and bring eco-friendly bug sprays with you.

Usually, guided tours to the Estuary last approximately 2 hours and are run daily. I recommend you go on yours at sunset, when the weather should be more pleasant and you can witness the beautiful colors of the sky as the day turns to night, as well as the verdant scenery provided by the Estuary. This evening walk is an unmissable experience so take the opportunity to enjoy it with your loved ones.

This is a protected area and a natural sanctuary for birds and animals, which guarantees the development of both local flora and fauna.

The Estuary even has the support of a group of volunteers from Los Cabos, "Together for the Estuary," who, along with the help provided by the government of San José del Cabo, have been keeping the Estuary in good shape and regularly take care of it.

So on your next visit to Los Cabos do not hesitate to visit the Estuary de San José del Cabo - an incredible place full of natural beauty and unparalleled views.