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Central Baja

Central Baja is a diverse mix of both ocean and terrestrial environments. SCUBA divers most often enter the Central Gulf from the mainland side at areas such as Guaymas, San Carlos and Bahia Kino, owing to the ease of entry. There is no easy way to reach El Desierto Central but for intrepid explorers willing to travel part of the sometimes-sketchy 1061 miles (1711km) of transpeninsular Highway 1, it is a destination worth the effort to get there. Beginning at the Bahia De Los Angeles, a series of islands traverse the Gulf and have made an exciting multi-day kayak journey for paddlers willing to make the crossing from Bahia Kino on the mainland to Bahia De San Rafael on the Baja. Along the way, the islands of Isla Tiburon, San Esteban, Las Animas, and San Lorenzo all offer exciting resting points and amazing opportunities for scuba diving and snorkeling. Further south is the town of Santa Rosalia, a popular destination, which, when it is running, may be reached by ferry from Guaymas. Across from Santa Rosalia lies the Reserva De La Biosphera El Vizcaino and at the Southern tip of this United Nations Biosphere Reserve is the famed San Ignacio lagoon where grey whales come to calf every year. This lagoon narrowly escaped becoming a salt factory when environmentalists heard of the plan to convert and sell the region. Bahia Concepcion provides a sheltered bay protected, on three sides from the Sea of Cortez. This area is a favorite destination for RVs and campers from the North. Many spend the entire winter in this bay. The cities of Loreto and Mulege retain the majority of their historical flavor and have been largely untouched by the pressures of tourism felt by their neighbors both to the north and south. 1.5 miles off the coast of Loreto, Coronado Island is a popular site for scuba divers, with large schools of fish all along the rocky outcroppings. At the southwest end, a shallow sandy bay makes a good site for snorkeling and swimmers as well as new scuba divers looking for an easy entry. 8.5 miles off the coast of Loreto is a giant among Sea of Cortez islands. Isla Carmen is about 20 miles across at its largest diameter. At the Northern Tip, black sea bass may still be seen occasionally by advanced scuba divers deeper than 100 feet. Near dead-center in the Sea of Cortez lies the diminutive Isla San Pedro Martir. Few boats make it to this island, and the wildlife reflects this. Large schools of fish are present, and whaleshark and manta ray sightings are not as uncommon here as they are at other sites in the Gulf.