Cabo Pulmo is a true paradise for those who want to kick back, relax, and enjoy the “World’s Aquarium.”
This area of Baja California looked far different not too long ago. Before 1995, when Cabo Pulmo became a protected Marine National Park, it had reached a point of being overfished and the ecosystem was suffering as a result. In the 23 years since its designation as a protected area, Cabo Pulmo has done a complete about-face. According to Dr. Enric Sala of National Geographic, by 2009 their “research indicated that the fish biomass increased by 460% at Cabo Pulmo – to a level similar to remote pristine coral reefs that have never been fished.”
Cabo Pulmo is now proof that nature can bounce back and thrive with protection. It is an example to the world that if fishing villages were to instead offer eco-tourism in the form of scuba/snorkeling excursions, whale watching, and eco-resorts, the locals can make more money while simultaneously helping our oceans.
On our two dive trips with the Cabo Pulmo Beach Resort, we saw corals and many varieties of colorful fish. The best part was swimming through a huge bait ball of Jack fish and having a sea lion swim by soon after. Mikael did one more dive than me and got the chance to be right next to a bunch of bull sharks!
For those who are not scuba certified but want to be, you can get your certification at the resort. If you’re not interested in diving, this little village is a perfect opportunity to just get off the grid without having to travel far (if you’re in California). But when I say off the grid, I mean it. Driving to Cabo Pulmo requires a bit of off roading, which we weren’t super prepared for. We went on the cheap and rented a VW Gol (no, that’s not a typo) and I’ll just say it was a seriously bumpy ride. Keep that in mind if you plan to take day trips elsewhere.
That being said, we didn’t want to leave our darling casita too much once we got there. The one we stayed in had a neat thatched roof and was a permanent yurt of sorts. We also had a nice sized patio and a swing bed on a second story with a view of the ocean. What we didn’t have was TV or internet access from our place, which was a bit of a relief. The only spot with WiFi in the town is in the Coral Reef Restaurant above the Dive Shop.
I was so impressed that this village was not only kind to its waters, but also to the land. In addition to everything being solar powered, while walking around we found separate bins for disposing paper, plastic, glass, organic waste, and batteries. And while picking up a few things at the gift shops, we found everything was made locally or the t-shirts, for example, were designed by local artists and printed on organic cotton.
If you can’t tell, I fell in love with Cabo Pulmo and though I’d rather keep it a secret, I think it’s only fair to share it with other sustainable travelers who would appreciate and love this village as much as we did!
Article By: Heather Kennedy
Heather is the Co-founder of Urban Treehouse. She produces the blog and web series and finds joy in having the opportunity to share inspiring stories about people in her community that are making a difference. Heather also co-owns Sea Stand Productions with her husband and Director of Photography for Urban Treehouse, Mikael Gustafson, where the two produce documentaries, commercials, and web videos for a variety of companies with a focus in nonprofit organizations.