Embark on a fascinating wildlife-spotting adventure as you navigate to the sea lion colony of Farallon Island, say hello to passing dolphin pods, and observe a variety of marine wildlife.
Join us on this Farallon de San Ignacio 3-day adventure from Mazatlan! Farallon is one of the most remote islands on Sinaloa’s coastline. Located around 20 nautical miles off the coast of Topolobampo Bay, Farallon de San Ignacio is a volcanic island that hosts a year-round colony of California sea lions. This is the only breeding colony for this pinniped species along the entire east coast of the Gulf of California. The island is also home to thousands of blue-footed boobie birds and other coastal and pelagic marine birds.
Duration: 3 Days/2 Nights
Start and end location: Mazatlan
Day 1 – Take a “Panga” Journey to See Blue-footed Boobie Birds in Huge Coastal Lagoons
Your first stop on this Farallon adventure will be at Bahia de Santa Maria-La Reforma, an enormous coastal lagoon system where you will go on a “Panga” trip to El Rancho Island to visit the largest breeding colony of blue-footed boobie birds in all of Sinaloa.
This is an amazing place, visited only by enthusiastic birders and local fishermen. If you are lucky enough, you will witness and document the birds’ famous courtship dances and see them take care of their newborn chicks, an unbeatable experience for wildlife enthusiasts.
After your visit to El Rancho Island, you will have lunch in the fishing village of La Reforma, before you continue your trip north by highway to Los Mochis.
Day 2 – Observe the Farallon Island Sea Lion Colony and Spot Dolphins in Topolobambo Bay
Early in the morning, you will travel to Topolobampo Bay where you will embark again on a “Panga” trip off the coast to explore the coastline of Farallon Island and take a census of the sea lion breeding colony.
The information you collect on these surveys helps researchers understand the ecology and life cycle of this species in this area of the Gulf of California. This is a unique opportunity to be part of a research expedition and contribute to this species’ conservation in Mexican waters.
Several hundred sea lions occupy the island year-round. Adult males are large and loud as they defend their groups of females, while young sea lions swim like torpedoes under our boat. In the summer, you can see newborn pups swimming along your boat while you cruise among some of the island’s most beautiful passages and coves. Its clear waters are great for snorkeling and underwater encounters with sea lions and other marine life. On your way back to shore, you could see pods of dolphins, sea turtles, or whales.
Back in Topolobampo Bay, you will visit the home of a very peculiar resident of the area. “Pechocho” as the locals call him, is a solitary dolphin who several years ago apparently made a small estuary on the bay his home, after a big storm hit the region. This dolphin has become a loved and well-respected resident by the locals, as well as an obligated tourist visit when in Topolobampo.
While cruising the Bay, there is a good chance of encounters with other pods of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins, which we believe are also residents in the area. Our crew will collect information on these sightings and take photographs of the dolphins’ dorsal fins for individual identification as part of a regional monitoring program for this species. This tour gives you a hands-on experience with different marine mammal research techniques while visiting some of the most amazing and remote locations along Sinaloa’s rich and diverse coastline.
Day 3 – Enjoy Lunch in Culiacan, Visit the Gorgeous Botanical Gardens, and Return to Mazatlan
After a good night’s sleep in Mochis, you will go to Sinaloa’s capital city of Culiacan for lunch and to visit the beautiful botanical gardens. Finally, you will head back to Mazatlan.
After you book your experience, you will receive a confirmation email from us confirming that your payment went through. You will then be connected directly to the tour operator, in case you have any further questions. We are also happy to answer any questions about the tour, or travel in general in your country of destination.