CAMP CECIL is a “glampsite” (glamorous campsite) on Isla Santo Espiritu, an uninhabited island in the Sea of Cortez, one of the most biologically diverse seas in the world. It also turned out to be my favorite experience in Baja Sur in a couple of weeks of traveling the peninsula. This Mexican island haven with safari-style tents lining the shore is much more than a quiet stretch of beach on a deserted island. It’s a UNESCO protected World Heritage Site of historic and environmental significance and one of the best chances you’ll ever have to encounter diverse marine life in the open ocean (including the planet’s biggest fish). If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in this place removed from everyday life, you’re probably having the adventure of a lifetime.


Planning your stay

Camp Cecil is operated through Todos Santos Eco Adventures. The guides there — who felt more like new friends — are highly passionate, extremely knowledgeable, and always down for an adventure whether it be kayaking, snorkeling with sea lion pups, swimming with whale sharks, Stand Up Paddle boarding, hiking, bird watching, or whale watching. My day started with getting picked up in Todos Santos to swim with whale sharks, then snorkel with sea lion pups (the highlight of my trip), and come back ravenous to a gourmet meal and a super comfy night’s sleep with a cool ocean breeze and sounds of waves lapping on the shore. Each tent is complete with luxurious beds, linens, candle light, beach towels, nightstands and plenty of places to relax. And after a full day of adventuring to your heart’s content, happy hour is a plus, too.

Photo by author

Wildlife

Aside from the glamping and dining experience, the wildlife is the most special thing about Island Espiritu Santo. Along the clear, warm shores and towering cliffs, you can expect to see:

  • Dolphins
  • Whales
  • Whale Sharks
  • Sea Turtles
  • Devil and Manta Rays
  • Blue-footed Boobies
  • Reddish and Snowy Egrets
  • Great Blue Herons
  • Yellow-footed Gulls
  • 5,000 micro-invertebrates
  • Babisuri Ring-tailed Cat

Cost

It’s tough to put a price tag on such mind-blowing exploration, but $550 a night will get you a fully-stocked tent, entrance and National Park fees, three meals a day, hotel pick-up and drop-off, and a custom schedule of all activities with a guide so that whether you’re into sipping margaritas with your favorite book in the sand or hiking to archaeological rock art by the extinct Guaycura and Pericu Indians, the adventures are endless.

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